Love London Love Culture’s Favourite Books of 2022

Emma Clarendon selects some of her favourite reads of 2022….

Pandora by Susan Stokes-Chapman: what intrigued me about this novel is the fact it was the re-imagining of a Greek myth, set in Georgian London. Now while it was initially a bit of a slow-burner, it soon developed into something that was compelling to read. With its elements of mystery and magic, it was an absorbing and compelling read that by the end was completely irresistible. If you enjoy finding fresh ways to enjoy Greek Mythology, make sure you add this one to your list!

Stone Blind by Natalie Haynes: sticking with the Greek Mythology theme, this is a heartbreaking and though provoking re-telling of the story of Medusa and how she came to such a tragic end. It had my thorough attention from start to finish as her story unfolded alongside that of Perseus, told not only through their perspectives but also some wonderfully vivid narration that keeps you asking questions about what beauty means and who is really a monster. By the end you would have had to have a heart of stone not to feel pity for Medusa.

One of the Girls by Lucy Clarke: thrillers really have to have a compelling premise to catch and hold my attention, and this one certainly did! Taking place on a Greek Island, a group of girls are on their way for a weekend of fun to celebrate their friend’s hen party. However, what none of them realise is that by the end of it one of them will be dead. From start to finish, as the reader delves deeper into this story you are never quite sure where the story is going to end up as it has been so well written. If you love thrillers then I can highly recommend this one!

All About Me! by Mel Brooks: Mel Brooks is one of my all time favourites when it comes to people working in the film industry, which is why it is such a delight to read this book. Written with his customary wit and insight, the focus is more about his career as opposed to his life in general, which keeps him a bit of mystery by the end – but at the same time, you have a much deeper understanding of his thought processes when it came to creating films such as Blazing Saddles and The Producers.

Elektra by Jennifer Saint: Jennifer Saint is excellent at taking a lesser known female figure from Greek Mythology and transforming readers perspectives of these characters who have existed in stories for hundreds of years. There is still a sense of theatricality and drama of the original story but saint manages to dive deeper exploring each character’s motivations for their actions and the consequences of them, leading to horror and death. It was an unexpected and fascinating read.

Death on the Pier by Jamie West: using his knowledge and passion for the theatre industry (the author has worked on numerous West End shows), this lightly entertaining murder mystery has plenty of aspects to it that feel familiar to any other book of this genre but has a great pace about it that keeps the story moving effectively – even if it means that we don’t get to know two of the central characters as deeply as we would expect.

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