The Best Fiction of 2022: The Booker Prize Shortlist, recommended by Neil MacGregor

The Booker Prize is awarded each year to the best original novel written in the English language. We asked the art historian Neil MacGregor, chair of this year’s judging panel, to talk us through the six novels that made the 2022 shortlist—and why fiction can be a most effective means of engaging us emotionally in social and political crisis elsewhere.

Award Winning Nonfiction Books of 2022, recommended by Sophie Roell

It’s that time of year when there are dozens of the best-of-the-year lists. Which books are worth reading? One way of narrowing it down is by looking at the various awards that celebrate books across a range of nonfiction categories. Five Books editor Sophie Roell does a roundup of nonfiction books that won prizes in 2022.

Award-Winning Novels of 2022, recommended by Cal Flyn

Any end-of-year list is necessarily partial; no one person could hope to read every novel published in the English language in any given year. That’s why prize lists are so useful for guiding the casual reader’s literary diet. Here, our deputy editor Cal Flyn offers a brief round-up of the books that ruled victorious during the 2022 awards season.

Award Winning Biographies of 2022, recommended by Sophie Roell

In telling stories of lives that are often very different from our own and yet connected to us by our common humanity, biographies are some of the most compelling nonfiction books around. Five Books editor Sophie Roell rounds up some of the biographies that have won or been shortlisted for prizes in 2022.

The Best Philosophy Books of 2022, recommended by Nigel Warburton

Every year we ask our philosophy editor Nigel Warburton to recommend the best new books in the field. In 2022, his philosophy book recommendations include David Chalmers’ latest examination of consciousness, a memoir of teaching philosophy in prison, and a biography of the ancient provocateur and original cynic Diogenes.

The Best Audiobooks of 2022, recommended by Robin Whitten

Every year AudioFile magazine reviews thousands of new audiobooks and in its annual best-of-the-year lists its editors include only books that make exceptional listening. Here Robin Whitten, AudioFile’s founder and editor, picks out five outstanding audiobooks in a range of genres and explains what it is that makes them special.

The Best Economics Books of 2022, recommended by Jason Furman

As we study the causes of economic prosperity over the millennia and particularly the last century-and-a-half, it’s worth remembering that humans are always the most important driver of economic growth. Jason Furman, a Harvard economics professor and former adviser to Barack Obama, picks out five of the best economics books of 2022, as well as topics he’d like to see books about in 2023.

The Best Science Fiction of 2022: The Arthur C. Clarke Award Shortlist, recommended by Andrew M. Butler

Every year, the judges for the Arthur C. Clarke Award select the best of the latest batch of new scifi books. In 2022, the science fiction award’s shortlist includes new work from Nobel Prize winner Kazuo Ishiguro, a novel-in-verse from the Scottish writer Harry Josephine Giles, and a new title in Arkady Martine’s beloved Teixcalaan series. Andrew M. Butler, academic and chair of the judges, talks us through the finalists.

The Best Romance Books of 2022, recommended by Katherine D. Morgan

If you like your novels to end happily ever after, then do we have reading recommendations for you. Guest editor Katherine D. Morgan selects five of the best romance books of 2022, and offers a quick round-up of the love stories you should be looking forward to over the next few months.

The Best Business Books of 2022: the Financial Times Business Book of the Year Award, recommended by Andrew Hill

For its annual book award, the Financial Times looks beyond books that might be filed under business in a bookshop, picking out books that are compelling and enjoyable, explains Andrew Hill, the newspaper’s senior business writer. He talks us through the 2022 shortlist: books that shine a light on obscure but immensely important companies or industries, or address some of the bigger challenges facing our capitalist economies.

The Best Art & Design Books of 2022, recommended by Romas Viesulas

Art shows were back in full force this year after several years of discontinuous viewing. Publishing kept pace, with many a new beautiful volume and rafts of revisionist art history to delve into. Here, Five Books art editor Romas Viesulas offers an overview of the best art and design books of 2022.

The Best Thrillers of 2022, recommended by Tosca Lee

Every year, the International Thriller Writers—an honorary organisation of authors—showcases the best new books in the genre at their annual awards. Here, bestselling author and the organisation’s vice-president Tosca Lee talks us through the six-strong shortlist of books, and explains why ‘Southern noir’ writer S.A. Cosby won the title for the best thriller of 2022—only a year on from his last triumph.

The Best China Books of 2022, recommended by Jeffrey Wasserstrom

From a true story that reads like a spy novel to a detailed study of the mythic origins of the Chinese Communist Party in Northwest China, there were lots of interesting books published about China this year. Jeffrey Wasserstrom, a professor at UC Irvine and specialist in modern Chinese history, recommends some of his 2022 favourites.

The Best Cookbooks of 2022, recommended by Becky Krystal

Do you enjoy cooking up a storm in the kitchen? If so, you’ll love food writer Becky Krystal’s selection of the five best cookbooks of 2022—including a guide to sourdough bread, a fun exploration of all things noodle, and a collection of Juneteenth celebration foods.

The Best Memoirs: The 2022 NBCC Autobiography Shortlist, recommended by Marion Winik

Autobiography is evolving; increasingly we find the field dominated by ‘genre-fluid’ books that plait memoir together with strands of cultural criticism, history, journalism or even poetry. Here, Marion Winik, the memoirist and critic, talks us through the five books that have been shortlisted in the National Book Critic’s Circle autobiography category—and describes the face of memoir in 2022.

The Best Economic History Books of 2022, recommended by Davis Kedrosky

From a sweeping history of China covering three millennia to what econometrics papers can tell us about what made the world rich, it’s been a fantastic year for economic history books. Davis Kedrosky, a student at Berkeley and publisher of Great Transformations, an economic history newsletter, picks some of his favourite economic history books of 2022.

The British Academy Book Prize: 2022 Shortlist, recommended by Philippe Sands

The annual British Academy book prize rewards “works of nonfiction that have contributed to public understanding of world cultures and their interaction.” Human rights lawyer Philippe Sands, one of the prize’s judges, talks us through the books that made the 2022 shortlist and explains what makes them so compelling.

Nonfiction of 2022: Fall Roundup, recommended by Sophie Roell

Reading nonfiction books is an excellent way of getting a grip on the realities of the world around us, whether it’s how to live, how to run a country, or understanding how the universe works. Five Books editor Sophie Roell looks at some notable new nonfiction books published since June.

The Best Audiobooks: the 2022 Audie Awards, recommended by Michele Cobb

The movie industry has the Oscars to celebrate its achievements, but if you love audiobooks, you’ll be more interested in the Audies. Here Michele Cobb, Executive Director of the Audio Publishers Association, talks us through the 2022 shortlist for ‘audiobook of the year,’ as well as one of her favourite books from the fiction category.

Notable New Novels of Fall 2022, recommended by Cal Flyn

Fall is a busy time in publishing, as the biggest names in fiction prepare to release new books in the months leading up to Christmas. Here, Five Books deputy editor Cal Flyn rounds up some of the most notable novels of Fall 2022—including two new books from the great American novelist Cormac McCarthy and a sumptuous work of historical fiction from Maggie O’Farrell.

The Best of World Literature: The 2022 International Booker Prize Shortlist, recommended by Frank Wynne

The International Booker Prize celebrates the best fiction in translation published over the previous year. Frank Wynne, acclaimed translator and chair of the 2022 judging panel, tells Five Books about the six novels that made the shortlist, and reminds readers that world literature need not be tough, consumed only in the interests of self-improvement—but is often joyful, surprising and full of feeling.

The Notable Novels of Summer 2022, recommended by Cal Flyn

If you’re looking for a new book to keep you entertained or intellectually excited over the summer break, we’ve got you covered. Five Books’ deputy editor Cal Flyn offers a round-up of the notable new novels of summer 2022, from snappy debuts and fantasy epics to the latest book from the most recent recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Notable Nonfiction of Spring 2022, recommended by Sophie Roell

In the past few months, lots of history books about the past as well as excellent insights into the present have hit the shelves. Some are gripping reads offering a few hours of escapism, others contributions to our human quest to make the world a better place. Some manage both. Five Books editor Sophie Roell offers a roundup of the most notable new books of nonfiction published in March, April and May 2022.

Notable Novels of Spring 2022, recommended by Cal Flyn

If you’re nervous of what 2022 has in store for us, you’re not alone. But at least there will be plenty of excellent new books to read. Here, Five Books deputy editor Cal Flyn offers a round-up of the notable novels of spring 2022, including exciting new work from Sheila Heti, Ali Smith and Marlon James.

Notable Nonfiction of Early 2022, recommended by Sophie Roell

Even though we’re still in the first couple of months of 2022, there are already lots of really interesting nonfiction books either out or just about to be published. Five Books editor Sophie Roell surveys the flood of books that cover everything from Neolithic archaeology to the latest insights of neuroscience and genetics, as well as books that explore where we work, what we feel, and how we die.