What should be on your 2022 reading bucket list?
‘To be read’ piles can fill up fast. With so many amazing books coming out each and every year, it can be difficult to decide which will make the cut. After all, there are only so many reading hours in a life time! It has taken a while for us to accept this fact, but accept it, we reluctantly have.
Reading isn’t just for those seeking to escape. Within books, we learn. We develop empathy and ideas about how the world works. We, from first page to last, step into the mind of another and live how they live.
Below, we’ve selected a couple of titles that we’d urge everyone to read. From prize winners past, to recent publications, what these books have in common is that they are designed to expand the way we think.
And, better yet, they are all available to borrow from an SGS LibraryPlus+ site!
The Transgender Issue: An Argument for Justice by Shon Faye
A book designed to create societal change. Faye explores how far class, employment, housing insecurity, police violence, prisons and sex work all affect transgender people living in Britain everyday. It’s a landmark work and aims to make the conversation around trans life in this country fairer and healthier, with the welfare of trans people at the forefront.
The Descent of Man by Grayson Perry
An exploration of modern masculinity. We all know, by now, that masculinity needs to be questioned, and Perry offers up this book to discuss what sort of man would make the world better for everyone. It’s a funny, honest and clever read with lessons offered up to future generations.
Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead
One of the only writers ever to have one the Pulitzer twice, Whitehead has solidified himself as one of the greatest contemporary writers of fiction. His new novel is set in 1960s Harlem, involving petty criminals and failed heists, sitting somewhere between crime and family saga with issues of race and class pivotal to the plot.
The Muslim Problem by Tawseef Khan
In this insightful, clever book, Khan takes aim at the stereotyping of Muslim men and women in Britain. This book is a wake-up call and provides in-depth analysis of racial prejudice. By placing Islamophobia into a historical context, Khan offers up a way to navigate a world that is so often set up to fail Muslim communities.
Exciting Times by Naoise Dolan
A tale of love, commitment, power and privilege with Marxist overtones as Dolan’s Irish protagonist, Ava, teaches wealthy children English in Hong Kong. It’s a feminist must-read for those who enjoy dry, witty comedy.
Slay in Your Lane by Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinene
A book that looks back as well as forward, delving into the lives of wave-making black women and how to succeed now from your dating life to your career. This is an inspirational how-to for a new generation of powerful young, black women.
The Good Immigrant ed. by Nikesh Shukla
Arguably a book that every single person in Britain needs to read. This collection of essays analyses the immigrant experience, exploring otherness, racial inequality and revealing injustice on every page, every line. It’s searing a varied, with easy essay hitting home with the force needed to create real, essential change.
Piranesi by Susanna Clarke
Fantastical and mystical. This book won the Women’s Prize for Fiction this year and is a real-standout in the world of 2021 fiction. The world-building is incredible – a maze of crumbling walls, tides, stone staircases and sea birds. Clarke uses this book to discuss ideas of solitude, chronic illness and contentment within a dark, atmospheric fantasy world.