2022 Staff Favorites
Check out what Berlin-Peck staff read and loved in 2022!
December 5, 2022
Check out what we read and loved in 2022!
In this list:
- realistic fiction
- historical fiction
- mystery & thriller
- speculative fiction
- biography & memoir
Jessica Anya Blau
A delightful novel about a fourteen-year-old girl’s coming of age in 1970s Baltimore, caught between her straight-laced family and the progressive family she nannies for—who happen to be secretly hiding a famous rock star and his movie star wife for the summer.
The One Hundred Years Of Lenni And Margot
Determined to leave a mark on the world even though they are in the hospital and their days are dwindling, unlikely friends, seventeen-year-old Lenni and eighty-three-year-old Margot, devise a plan to create one hundred paintings showcasing the stories of the century they have lived.
This Is How It Always Is
A family reshapes their ideas about family, love, and loyalty when youngest son Claude reveals increasingly determined preferences for girls’ clothing and accessories and refuses to stay silent.
What The Fireflies Knew
A coming-of-age novel told from the perspective of an eleven-year-old over the course of a single summer, as she tries to make sense of her new life with her estranged grandfather and sister after the death of her father and disappearance of her mother.
The Hotel Nantucket
Attempting to win the favor of the Hotel Nantucket’s new London billionaire owner, general manager Lizbet Keaton—with drama behind closed doors, staff and guests with complicated pasts, a ghost roaming the halls and her own romantic uncertainty—has her work cut out for her.
It Starts With Us
It Ends With Us #2
Atlas Corrigan, Lily’s first love and the person who returned suddenly and interrupted her romance with neurosurgeon Ryan Kincaid, tells his side of the story in the sequel to It Ends with Us.
The Best Is Yet To Come
After the death of her twin brother, teacher Hope Godwin moves to Oceanside, Washington, where she falls in love with animal shelter volunteer, and wounded ex-marine, Cade Lincoln, Jr. and a dog named Shadow, finally finding peace in her new home until Cade’s past comes back with a vengeance.
What Might Have Been
In concurrent storylines that track what would have happened if she chose to stay or go to London, this sweeping story about destiny and who we are meant to be and love follows Lucy as she must make a career decision and choose between two very different men.
Nora Goes Off Script
Nora Hamilton knows the formula for love better than anyone. As a romance channel screenwriter, it’s her job. But when her too-good-to work husband leaves her and their two kids, Nora turns her marriage’s collapse into cash and writes the best script of her life. No one is more surprised than her when it’s picked up for the big screen and set to film on location at her 100-year-old-home. When former Sexiest Man Alive, Leo Vance, is cast as her ne’er do well husband Nora’s life will never be the same.
Remarkably Bright Creatures
Shelby Van Pelt
A luminous debut novel about a widow’s unlikely friendship with a giant Pacific octopus reluctantly residing at the local aquarium-and the truths she finally uncovers about her son’s disappearance 30 years ago.
We Are Not Like Them
Christine Pride, Jo Piazza
The lifelong bond between two women, one Black and one white, is severely tested when one woman’s husband, a police officer, is involved in the shooting of an unarmed Black teenager, while the other woman, a reporter, covers this career-making story.
The Five Wishes Of Mr. Murray McBride
With all his family and friends gone, one-hundred-year-old Murray McBride is looking for a reason to live. He finds it in Jason Cashman, a ten-year-old boy with a terminal heart defect and a list of five things he wants to do before he dies. Together, they race against the limited time each has left, ticking off wishes one by one.
The Violin Conspiracy
Ray McMillian is a Black classical musician on the rise—undeterred by the pressure and prejudice of the classical music world—when a shocking theft sends him on a desperate quest to recover his great-great-grandfather’s heirloom violin on the eve of the most prestigious musical competition in the world.
John Williams’s luminous and deeply moving novel is a work of quiet perfection. William Stoner emerges from it not only as an archetypal American, but as an unlikely existential hero, standing, like a figure in a painting by Edward Hopper, in stark relief against an unforgiving world.
Tomorrow And Tomorrow And Tomorrow
Embarking on a legendary collaboration launching them to stardom, two friends, intimates since childhood, have the world at their feet until they discover that their success, brilliance and money won’t protect them from their own creative ambitions or the betrayals of the heart.
Miss Eliza’s English Kitchen
A Novel Of Victorian Cookery And Friendship
When Eliza Acton is told by her publisher to write a cookery book instead of the poetry she loves, she refuses—until her bankrupt father is forced to flee the country. As a woman, Eliza has few options. Although she’s never set foot in a kitchen, she begins collecting recipes and teaching herself to cook. Much to her surprise she discovers a talent—and a passion—for the culinary arts.
The Christie Affair
Nina de Gramont
Brilliantly reimagining the unexpected 11-day disappearance of Agatha Christie that captivated the world, this novel is told from the point of Miss Nan O’Dea, who infiltrated the Christies’ wealthy, rarified world to destroy their marriage.
The Beantown Girls
A novel of love, courage, and danger unfolds as World War II’s brightest heroines—the best of friends—take on the front lines.
Light Beyond The Trenches
A nurse working in Oldenburg, Germany during World War I is inspired to train dogs as companions for sightless veterans after seeing a battle-blinded solider being guided through a garden path by a German shepherd dog.
Angels Of The Pacific
A Novel Of World War II
Inspired by the extraordinary true stories of World War II’s American Army nurses famously known as the Angels of Bataan and the unsung contributions of Filipinas of the resistance, this novel transports us to a remarkable era of hope, bravery, perseverance, and ultimately—victory.
The Last Days Of Ellis Island
New York, November 3, 1954. In a few days, the immigration inspection station on Ellis Island will close its doors forever. John Mitchell, an officer of the Bureau of Immigration, is the guardian and last resident of the island. As Mitchell looks back over forty-five years as gatekeeper to America and its promise of a better life, he recalls his brief marriage to his beloved wife Liz, and is haunted by memories of a transgression involving Nella, an immigrant from Sardinia.
The Gentleman’s Guide To Getting Lucky
Montague Siblings #1.5
Monty’s epic grand tour may be over, but now that he and Percy are finally a couple, he realizes there is something more nerve-wracking than being chased across Europe: getting together with the person you love.
The Lady’s Guide To Petticoats And Piracy
Montague Siblings #2
Hoping to travel to Germany to ask for help enrolling in medical school, Felicity has no money for the trip until a mysterious woman offers to travel with her and pay her way, which ends up entangling Felicity in a perilous quest across Europe.
The Last Bookshop In London
Grace Bennett has always dreamed of moving to the city, but the bunkers and drawn curtains that she finds on her arrival are not what she expected. And she certainly never imagined she’d wind up working at Primrose Hill, a dusty old bookshop nestled in the heart of London.
The Nature Of Fragile Things
Moving to early 20th-century San Francisco to escape New York tenement life, an Irish mail-order bride uncovers transformative secrets involving a silent child and two other women before her precarious existence is upended by the great earthquake of 1906.
The Tattooist Of Auschwitz
A novel based on the true story of an Auschwitz-Birkenau survivor traces the experiences of a Jewish Slovakian who uses his position as a concentration-camp tattooist to secure food for his fellow prisoners.
The Personal Librarian
Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray
The remarkable, little-known story of Belle da Costa Greene, J. P. Morgan’s personal librarian—who became one of the most powerful women in New York despite the dangerous secret she kept in order to make her dreams come true.
The Lost Apothecary
Hidden in the depths of eighteenth-century London, a secret apothecary shop caters to an unusual kind of clientele. Women across the city whisper of a mysterious figure named Nella who sells well-disguised poisons to use against the oppressive men in their lives. But the apothecary’s fate is jeopardized when her newest patron, a precocious twelve-year-old, makes a fatal mistake, sparking a string of consequences that echo through the centuries.
The Fountains Of Silence
At the Castellana Hilton in 1957 Madrid, eighteen-year-old Daniel Matheson connects with Ana Moreno through photography and fate as Daniel discovers the incredibly dark side of the city under Generalissimo Franco’s rule.
The Paper Girl Of Paris
Sixteen-year-old Alice is spending the summer in Paris, but she isn’t there for pastries and walks along the Seine. When her grandmother passed away two months ago, she left Alice an apartment in France that no one knew existed. An apartment that has been locked for more than seventy years. Alice is determined to find out why the apartment was abandoned and why her grandmother never once mentioned the family she left behind when she moved to America after World War II.
Small Acts Of Defiance
A Novel Of WWII And Paris
Fleeing from Australia to France after a family tragedy, Lucie and her mother are trapped in German-occupied Paris, where Lucie uses her artistic talents to perform small acts of defiance, forcing her to decide how far she will go to protect her friends and defend the rights of others.
Jodi Picoult, Jennifer Finney Boylan
Olivia McAfee, a professional beekeeper and single mother, fled Boston and an abusive husband to try to give her son, Asher, a better life. When Asher meets Lily Campanello—a new girl who, like his mother, has fled a troubled past—things get very serious quickly. Then, one afternoon after they’ve had a fight, Asher finds Lily dead at the bottom of her basement stairs. Before he even has time to grieve, he’s arrested and charged with her murder.
The Lies I Tell
Meg Williams. Maggie Littleton. Melody Wilde. Different names for the same person, depending on the town, depending on the job. She’s a con artist who erases herself to become whoever you need her to be. A college student. A life coach. A real estate agent. But nothing about her is real. She slides alongside you and tells you exactly what you want to hear, and by the time she’s done, you’ve likely lost everything.
All You Need Is Fudge
While making fudge for the annual yacht race, Allie McMurphy pulls a dead body from the murky waters of the marina and must dive into the case when her boyfriend’s sister becomes the prime suspect. Includes fudge recipes.
Helen innocently befriends Rachel at a prenatal class despite the woman’s unbecoming behavior and has no idea her new friend has ulterior motives and is on a vindictive mission to ruin the lives of her extended family.
Rock Paper Scissors
When Amelia wins a free weekend getaway to a remote venue in the Scottish highlands, she views this as the perfect opportunity to reconnect with her husband Adam, but the trip has the opposite effect as she no longer recognizes the person she married.
Sometimes I Lie
Amber wakes up in a hospital. She can’t move. She can’t speak. She can’t open her eyes. She can hear everyone around her, but they have no idea. Amber doesn’t remember what happened, but she has a suspicion her husband had something to do with it.
The Ink Black Heart
Cormoran Strike #6
When frantic, disheveled Edie Ledwell appears in the office begging to speak to her, private detective Robin Ellacott doesn’t know quite what to make of the situation. Edie is being persecuted by a mysterious online figure who goes by the pseudonym of Anomie. Edie is desperate to uncover Anomie’s true identity. Robin decides that the agency can’t help with this—and thinks nothing more of it until a few days later, when she reads the shocking news that Edie has been murdered.
Single father Todd is relaxing at the beach with his son, Anthony, when he catches sight of a man approaching from the water’s edge. As the man draws closer, Todd recognizes him as Jack, who bullied Todd relentlessly in their teenage years, but now seems overjoyed to have “run into” his old friend. Jack suggests a meal to catch up. And can he spend the night? What follows is a fast-paced story of obsession and cunning.
Things We Do In The Dark
Accused of murdering her celebrity husband, Paris Peralta must stop the only person who knows her dark secret from destroying the new life she’s worked so hard to build, along with any chance of a future.
Tiffany D. Jackson
When legendary R&B artist Korey Fields spots Enchanted Jones at an audition, her dreams of being a famous singer take flight. Until Enchanted wakes up with blood on her hands and zero memory of the previous night. Who killed Korey Fields? Before there was a dead body, Enchanted’s dreams had turned into a nightmare. Because behind Korey’s charm and star power was a controlling dark side. Now he’s dead, the police are at the door, and all signs point to Enchanted.
After killing a man in an instant of blind fury and fear, Dan Lambert—desperate, unemployed, and torn by dark memories—flees south toward the Louisiana bayous in search of personal redemption, with the police and bounty hunters in close pursuit.
Portrait Of An Unknown Woman
A gripping story of deception in the world of international fine art. Restorer and spy Gabriel Allon embarks on a dangerous hunt across Europe for the secret behind the forgery of a seventeenth-century masterpiece that has fooled experts and exchanged hands for millions.
The Resting Place
Inheriting a house tucked away in the Swedish woods—a place of secrets—from her cruel grandmother, Eleanor, seeking the truth about her grandmother’s murder and the killer, soon regrets disturbing what rests in this place with a dark past.
The Last House On Needless Street
When a neighbor moves in next door, a family of three—a teenage girl who isn’t allowed outside, a man with memory loss and a house cat who reads the bible—are terrified that the unspeakable secret that binds them together will be exposed.
Do Or Diner
When Trixie Matkowski agrees to take over her aunt’s diner, she pictures lakeside views and delicious comfort food in the small town where she spent summers as a child. But the sweet scene turns sour when someone puts murder on the menu.
The Second Husband
Emma is starting a new life with Tom, a loving widower who makes her feel safe again, when a police detective shows up asking questions about her first husband’s unsolved murder—and she learns a shocking truth about her second husband that calls everything into question.
A Flicker In The Dark
Twenty years after her father was arrested as a serial killer, Louisiana psychologist Chloe Davis becomes alarmed when local teenage girls once again go missing and she begins seeing parallels that may or may not be there.
The Hollow Kind
Inheriting a decrepit farmhouse on a 1,000 acres of old pine forest, Nellie escapes her abusive marriage, but she and her 11-year-old son Max soon discover things might actually be worse as something ancient and hungry emerges from the soil with the power to corrupt hearts and destroy souls.
When every person, all over the globe, receives a small wooden box bearing the same inscription and a single piece of string inside, the world is thrown into a collective frenzy, in this novel told through multiple perspectives that introduces an unforgettable cast of characters.
Through Gaiman’s deft and witty prose emerge these gods with their fiercely competitive natures, their susceptibility to being duped and to duping others, and their tendency to let passion ignite their actions, making these long-ago myths breathe pungent life again.
Leaving Maine for a job as at a luxury property in Hawai’i, Grady Kendall is shocked to discover that the island is known as a place where people vanish and becomes determined to uncover the truth.
Discovery Of Witches
Discovering a magical manuscript in Oxford’s library, scholar Diana Bishop—a descendant of witches who has rejected her heritage—inadvertently unleashes a fantastical underworld of daemons, witches, and vampires whose activities center around an enchanted treasure.
The House In The Cerulean Sea
Given a curious classified assignment to evaluate the potential risks posed by six supernatural orphans, a case worker at the Department in Charge of Magical Youth bonds with an enigmatic caregiver who hides dangerous secrets.
To Sleep In A Sea Of Stars
A space voyager living her dream of exploring new worlds lands on a distant planet ripe for colonization before her discovery of a mysterious relic transforms her life and threatens the entire human race.
If This Book Exists, You’re In The Wrong Universe
John Dies At The End #4
In a city rife with interdimensional parasites, paranormal cults and vengeful teenage sorcerers, Dave, John and Amy take on a possessed child’s toy that entices impressionable wayward youth into murdering people and depositing their body parts inside of it.
When a malevolent spirit that lives in the valley, growing stronger each season, turns their dream home into a nightmare, former marine Harry and his wife Sasha find everything they thought they knew about the world challenged by evil.
All Rob wanted was a normal life. She almost got it, too: a husband, two kids, a nice house in the suburbs. But Rob fears for her oldest daughter, Callie, who collects tiny bones and whispers to imaginary friends. Rob sees a darkness in Callie, one that reminds her too much of the family she left behind.
Zoey Punches The Future In The Dick
Zoe Ashe #2
A sequel to the award-winning Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits finds Zoey declared the sudden ruler over the world’s most decadent city, where a public murder accusation leads her to suspect someone on her own team.
A Memoir Of Finding Joy When The World Goes Dark
After surviving a difficult heartbreak and battle with cancer, acclaimed author and columnist Julia Baird began thinking deeply about how we, as people, persevere through the most challenging circumstances. She started to wonder, when we are overwhelmed by illness, loss or pain, or a tragedy outside our control: How can we keep putting one foot in front of the other?
Brain On Fire
An account of the author’s struggle with a rare brain-attacking autoimmune disease traces how she woke up in a hospital room with no memory of baffling psychotic symptoms, describing the last-minute intervention by a doctor who identified the source of her illness.
A. J. Dungo
In this visually arresting graphic novel, surfer and illustrator AJ Dungo remembers his late partner, her battle with cancer, and their shared love of surfing that brought them strength throughout their time together. With his passion for surfing uniting many narratives, he intertwines his own story with those of some of the great heroes of surf in a rare work of nonfiction that is as moving as it is fascinating.
Left On Tenth
A Second Chance At Life
The best-selling novelist and screenwriter of You’ve Got Mail shares how she got a second chance at love later in life with Peter, a Bay Area psychiatrist; her battle with AML with Peter and friends by her side, and her feelings about facing death.
Dad Is Fat
The popular comedian and actor shares his misadventures as an unlikely father of five, presenting full-length accounts of the experiences referenced in his popular tweets, from his formative years in a large Irish-Catholic family, to his middle-of-the-night diaper-changing foibles, to his struggles to lull tyrannical tots to sleep.
The Happiest Man On Earth
The Beautiful Life Of An Auschwitz Survivor
A one hundred-year-old Holocaust survivor who, despite all he suffered, calls himself the “happiest man on earth,” shares his wisdom and reflects on how he has led his best possible life, talking warmly and openly about the power of gratitude, tolerance,and kindness.
Hard Work, Low Pay, And A Mother’s Will To Survive
An economic-hardship journalist describes the years she worked in low-pay domestic work under wealthy employers, contrasting the privileges of the upper-middle class to the realities of the overworked laborers supporting them.
Every Love Story Is A Ghost Story
A Life Of David Foster Wallace
David Foster Wallace was the leading literary light of his era, a man who not only captivated readers with his prose but also mesmerized them with his brilliant mind. In this, the first biography of the writer, D. T. Max sets out to chart Wallace’s tormented, anguished and often triumphant battle to succeed as a novelist as he fights off depression and addiction to emerge with his masterpiece, Infinite Jest.
I’m Glad My Mom Died
A heartbreaking and hilarious memoir by iCarly and Sam & Cat star Jennette McCurdy about her struggles as a former child actor—including eating disorders, addiction, and a complicated relationship with her overbearing mother—and how she retook controlof her life.
The Woman They Could Not Silence
One Woman, Her Incredible Fight For Freedom, And The Men Who Tried To Make Her Disappear
In 1860, Elizabeth Packard, committed to an insane asylum by her traitorous husband, becomes a champion for the many rational women on her ward, discovering that the merit of losing everything is that you then have nothing to lose.
The School That Escaped The Nazis
The True Story Of The Schoolteacher Who Defied Hitler
The extraordinary true story of a courageous school principal who saw the dangers of Nazi Germany and took drastic steps to save those in harm’s way.
Good Morning Monster
A Therapist Shares Five Heroic Stories Of Emotional Recovery
Therapist Catherine Gildiner presents five of her most heroic and memorable patients. Among them: a Chinese immigrant musician suffering sexual dysfunction; a young woman whose father abandoned her at age nine in an isolated cottage in the depth of winter; and a glamorous workaholic whose mother greeted her each morning of her childhood with “Good morning, Monster.”
This Naked Mind
Control Alcohol, Find Freedom, Discover Happiness & Change Your Life
Many people question whether drinking has become too big a part of their lives, and worry that it may even be affecting their health. This Naked Mind offers a new, positive solution. Packed with surprising insight into the reasons we drink, this book will open your eyes to the startling role of alcohol in our culture, and how the stigma of alcoholism and recovery keeps people from getting the help they need.
The Power Of Knowing What You Don’t Know
Organizational psychologist Adam Grant is an expert on opening other people’s minds—and our own. With bold ideas and rigorous evidence, he investigates how we can embrace the joy of being wrong, bring nuance to charged conversations, and build schools, workplaces, and communities of lifelong learners.
The Science Of Our Most Neglected Sense
A journey into the science of the sense of taste outlines principles in neurobiology and modern food production to reveal the broad range of factors that can affect one’s appreciation of what is consumed.
Two Years, Six Lives And The Long Journey Home
A gripping and empathetic work of immersion reportage, FREE reveals what awaits them and the hundreds of thousands of others who are released from prison every year: the first rush of freedom followed quickly by institutionalized obstacles and logistical roadblocks, grinding bureaucracies, lack of resources, societal stigmas and damning self-perceptions, the sometimes overwhelming psychological challenges.
Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, And The Teachings Of Plants
Robin Wall Kimmerer
Drawing on her life as an indigenous scientist, and as a woman, Kimmerer shows how other living beings—asters and goldenrod, strawberries and squash, salamanders, algae, and sweetgrass—offer us gifts and lessons, even if we’ve forgotten how to hear their voices.
Best Wishes, Warmest Regards
The Story Of Schitt’s Creek
Daniel Levy, Eugene Levy
This coffee-table keepsake book from the father and son creators of the beloved Emmy-winning series features character profiles, illustrated catalogs of David’s knits and Moira’s wigs and behind the scenes moments.
Understanding The New Rules Of Language
Language is humanity’s most spectacular open-source project, and the internet is making our language change faster and in more interesting ways than ever before. Even the most absurd-looking slang has genuine patterns behind it. Internet linguist Gretchen McCulloch explores the deep forces that shape human language and influence the way we communicate with one another.
A History Of The World In 6 Glasses
An offbeat history of the world traces the story of humankind from the Stone Age to the twenty-first century from the perspective of six different drinks—beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea, and cola—describing their pervasive influence during pivotal eras of world history, from humankind’s adoption of agriculture to the advent of globalization.
The Campout Cookbook
Marnie Hanel, Jen Stevenson
Forget freeze-dried astronaut meals and bags of stale, store-bought gorp. Finally, here’s a cookbook that complements the magic of gathering around a campfire and sharing a meal with friends—including a mix of dishes to make ahead and meals to cook on-site.
How Civil Wars Start
And How To Stop Them
Barbara F. Walter
A leading political scientist examines the recent rise in political violence in the U.S and discusses the increasingly likelihood of a second civil war in the United States and what can be done to stop it.
Enneagram Made Simple
A No-Nonsense Guide To Using The Enneagram For Growth And Awareness
It’s a natural human instinct to want to know more about yourself: to try to understand who you are, why you behave a certain way, and how you can move forward. Enter the Enneagram—a tool for personal understanding and transformation. This easy guide to the Enneagram will help you figure out who you truly are and support you on your journey to becoming your best self.