Titles by Bob Dylan, Cormac McCarthy, Jane Harper, Heather Rose, Nikki Savva and Jessica Au are among the books making their mark in 2022.

So here is that day as we rotate between this year and next. It’s the day we can look back at the books that made their mark in 2022 and anticipate what awaits us in bookstores next year.
As usual, thousands of titles were released this year, but here are a few that stood out from the crowd for one reason or another. Some are Australian, some are overseas. All are worth a look.

Cold enough for snow
Jessica Au
This unsung gem was published simultaneously in Australia, the UK and the US after winning the first international novel prize. The narrator is traveling with her aging mother for the first time as an adult. They meet in Japan, visit galleries and talk about the past. The book is written in precise prose that seems to deliberately contrast with the ambiguities inherent in the narrative. Many readers and authors have embraced Jessica Au’s book, including Anna Funder and Hannah Kent.

Jessica Au's Cold Enough for Snow is written in precise prose.

Jessica Au’s Cold Enough for Snow is written in precise prose.Credit:Paul Jeffers

The Philosophy of Modern Song
Bob Dylan
Books by musicians did big business towards the end of the year. Nobel laureate Dylan on the American songbook is eccentric, informed, and idiosyncratic. It has also been criticized for misogyny – he only writes about a few women. But if Dylan isn’t your thing, there have been books by Nick Cave, based on a series of wide-ranging conversations with his journalist friend Sean O’Hagan, a memoir, love, religion and music by Bono, and one by Jarvis Cocker, the based on things kept in his attic. Paulie Stewart of Painters and Dockers also chimed in with his story.

Michael Winkler
This totally original, self-reflective, slightly insane novella about Italian-American boxer Joe Grimm, known for withstanding regular, heavy beatings, and his 1908 tour of Australia definitely beat its weight. Originally self-published in 2021, when it climbed into this year’s Miles Franklin ring as the first self-published book to be shortlisted for Australia’s premier literary fiction awards, people really took notice. It was snapped up and re-released by Puncher & Wattmann, aptly named.

Grimmish by Michael Winkler is the first self-published book to be nominated for a Miles Franklin Award.

Grimmish by Michael Winkler is the first self-published book to be nominated for a Miles Franklin Award.Credit:Justin McManus

The Passenger / Stella Maris
Cormac McCarthy
You know the saying about unruly buses, how one waits forever and then two come? The same could be said of Cormac McCarthy and the 16 long years since The street: The great American writer has published two novels within a few months. The passenger reveals the sad story of Bobby Western, the grief for his sister Alicia and the damage done to the siblings by their parents’ work on the atomic bomb. then Stella Maris gives us Alicia’s voice in conversation with her doctor at the hospital where she is a patient. McCarthy is a must for his fans, but applause for what his final accomplishments might prove wasn’t universal.

Jane Harper's Exiles.

Jane Harper’s Exiles.

jane harper
When Jane Harper created detective Aaron Falk the dryness, her first, hugely influential, million-selling novel that ushered in the outback noir genre, crime enthusiasts envisioned an ongoing series centered on Falk. Maybe not as tenacious as Rankin and Rebus or Connelly and Bosch, but certainly one with legs. why exiles was one such surprise, a “300-page suicide note to Falk,” as the author put it, when she posed a third and final riddle to him. And what happens to Falk? You have to read it to find out.

The sun sets
Fiona McFarlane
This book plays brilliantly with the traditional settler fear of a missing child in the outback. In this case, it’s Denny Wallace in 1883, wandering away during a dust storm in the Flinders Ranges, in a tale told through the eyes of a variety of characters, all of whom come to vibrant life as they fight in McFarlane’s third book to find him. In doing so, she manages a range of perspectives on the Australian colonial project.

https://www.smh.com.au/culture/books/the-books-that-made-their-mark-in-2022-20221229-p5c9a8.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_culture Titles by Bob Dylan, Cormac McCarthy, Jane Harper, Heather Rose, Nikki Savva and Jessica Au are among the books making their mark in 2022.

Jaclyn Diaz

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