World Backup Day Deals Best Cloud Storage Options Apple AR/VR Headset Uncertainty Samsung Galaxy A54 Preorders iOS 16.4: What's New 10 Best Foods for PCOS 25 Easter Basket Ideas COVID Reinfection: What to Know
Want CNET to notify you of price drops and the latest stories?
No, thank you
Why You Can Trust CNET
Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement

CNET Staff's Favorite Reads That You Need to Add to Your Reading List ASAP

Want to hit your reading goal for the year but already running out of books? Here are some of the best books the CNET staff read last year.

I fell in love with reading again in 2022. After a long hiatus from reading for pleasure, I finally found books that were entertaining, thought-provoking and motivational. Now, a month into 2023 I'm still searching for books to add to my reading list. To help with my quest, I reached out to other CNET staffers, asking for their favorite reads of 2022. They delivered, with some great recommendations. If you're in need of some books to add to your 2023 reading list, check out some of the CNET staff's favorite reads of last year. 

Joy and Sunshine

I first read this book in 2020, but I've reread it every year since. If you haven't already read this beautifully written memoir of a woman's journey on the Pacific Crest Trail, or watched the movie starring Reese Witherspoon, then add this to the top of your reading list immediately. In 1995, Cheryl Strayed dropped everything in her life in pursuit of hiking the treacherous Pacific Crest Trail. Strayed's vulnerability and honesty is what makes this book so special. She criticizes herself while also giving herself grace; something that's rare in memoirs. My greatest dream is to travel solo but traveling solo as a young woman so often gets looked down upon and discouraged. Strayed proves that with enough guts anything is possible. 

If you're looking for another book full of great life advice then I also recommend picking up Strayed's Tiny Beautiful Things. A collection of Strayed's columns, written under the pseudonym Sugar, it helps readers navigate difficult life situations.

--Charlotte Maracina

$10 at Amazon
You're receiving price alerts for Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
Folger Shakespeare Library

Sure, on one level this book is about video games and the creative process of making them, but really it's about friendship. And by friendship, I mean the kind that Salt-N-Pepa have had, but with a better conclusion -- so far. 

The story spans 30 years as platonic friends Sam and Sadie grow up, grow apart and grow back together. They spend nights gaming, days working and years creating together. The book is sad because many people can relate to having a friendship fall through, but it's hopeful and shows that it's worth it to try and make things right. This was easily my favorite book of 2022.

--Zach McAuliffe

$15 at Amazon
You're receiving price alerts for Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow: A novel
Macmillian Publishing

Friends has been a staple show in my life for decades now, and it has a special place in my heart. Everyone who enjoyed the show knew that Matthew Perry, who played Chandler Bing, suffered from some kind of addiction, but I don't think anyone knew how bad it was for him.

This book is a brutally honest accounting of Matthew's life and I found it to be a powerful and often saddening chronicling of his battle with addiction. That he managed to not only go to work, but make millions of us laugh every week is amazing.

--James Bricknell

$16 at Amazon
You're receiving price alerts for Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing: A Memoir

The third book in the Locked Tomb series is a lovely story about found family hiding from a galactic empire headed by a necromancer so cosmically powerful, his subjects call him God (and friends call him John). Nona continues the series' deep spiral into a rich setting filled with secrets, yet on its surface, is still a delightful yarn that rewards a lot of close reading.

The Locked Tomb isn't for everybody. It strays further from the supremely fun "lesbian necromancers in space" premise of Gideon the Ninth, the first book in the series, to unravel the lore of the book's world (galaxy?) in earnest. But Muir's whip-smart prose, peppered with perfect jokes for the Terminally Online among us, will carry you through the book. The story is as much about the sins of Necromancer God as it is about the question of who'll go to the birthday party of the sweetest super-powered girl on this (or any) world. The Locked Tomb continues to be unlike any other book series coming out, and it's worth the spectacle.

--David Lumb

$16 at Amazon
You're receiving price alerts for Nona the Ninth (The Locked Tomb Series, 3)

We're all pretty familiar with some of the myths, gods and stories of Ancient Greece, but Stephen Fry manages to rewrite these stories in such a fun and entertaining way, and turn a disjointed mythological canon into an addictive narrative that you cannot put down. 

The first book in a trilogy, Mythos sets the stage from the creation of the Earth, the age of the Titans, and the creation of the Pantheon of Olympus. Mythos is not only filled with Fry's dry humor, but it's also educational. I learned that many of the words we use today are based on Greek myth, and most of the planets and moons in the solar system are named for Greek or Roman gods and characters. Fabulous read for anyone who wants to know more about some of the oldest human stories in existence.

--Owen Poole

$19 at Amazon
You're receiving price alerts for Mythos: (Ancient Greek Mythology Book for Adults, Modern Telling of Classical Greek Myths Book) (Stephen Fry's Greek Myths, 1)

In Beyond the Wand, Tom Felton shares plenty of behind-the-scenes stories about the making of the Harry Potter films and its all-star cast, making this a must-read for any fans of the series. But, more importantly, he also offers an honest and personal account of his upbringing and the toll fame ultimately takes on him. 

Through a series of moving anecdotes and experiences, he conveys the importance of asking for help and taking the time to work through any mental health struggles. This memoir serves as a reminder that there's always more to someone than meets the eye, and to have compassion for yourself and others as we all try to make sense of this world.

--Abrar Al-Heeti


There's a lot more to 18th century man-about-Boston Sam Adams than being the namesake for a beer brand. In "The Revolutionary: Samuel Adams," published in October, author Stacy Schiff makes the case that Adams wasn't just one of the leading lights of the American Revolution, but, as the book jacket puts it, "arguably the essential Founding Father."

Or, as Schiff herself describes him, "the man whom Crown officers believed the greatest incendiary in the king's dominion." He was a tireless instigator and fervent articulator of colonial grievances who spearheaded what would become a monumental break from the mother country. It was Adams, along with John Hancock, that Paul Revere raced to warn in his famous midnight ride. In Schiff's book, he burns brightly across the pages, very much a man of his time -- and an unprecedented moment -- but also an icon for the ages.

--Jon Skillings

$18 at Amazon
You're receiving price alerts for The Revolutionary: Samuel Adams