Pages & Paws

Writing, Reading, and Rural Life With a Border Collie

7 Most SURPRISING Reads of 2022


You know that feeling you get when you walk into a seemingly dark, deserted room and everybody and their dog jumps out and hollers, “SURPRISE!!”? It’s so unexpected and sudden. You may feel astonished. Happy. Giddy. In shock. Or the surprise may give you a heart attack.

“Someone say, ‘T-bone?'”

Well. We came across some reads this year that surprised us. (The good kind of surprise, not the heart attack kind.) The books below are all by authors that are new to us. That we never heard of before grabbing their book and deciding to take “a shot in the dark.” All feature:

  • Excellent writing that’s briskly paced
  • Strong, sturdy characterizations
  • A solid plot that’s unusually clever, creative, fresh, and/or informative
  • A transcendent theme or message
  • Are page turners worth re-reading

These titles include indie and/or first-time authors. Several are either self-published or published by small imprints. And they’re all surprisingly good.  Engaging. Interesting. Quick as Kimber after a bowl of kibble. Or extra crispy bacon. 

Most have had little to no exposure. And that’s too bad. Because these are all worthwhile reads. Think “breath of fresh bookish air.” Yeah, baby!

So… drum roll please for the 7 Most Surprising Reads of 2022 (in no particular order):

See the source image1. The Silver Gate

By Kristin Bailey

Published by: Katherine Tegen Books, 2017

Genre: Juvenile Fiction/Fantasy/Fairy Tale

Pages: 311

Via: Library

Read our full review: Children’s Fantasy With Something Extra.

See the source image2. The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica:

Here, There Be Dragons

Written and illustrated by James A. Owen

Simon & Schuster, 2006

Genre: Fiction: Fantasy/Young Adult

Pages: 324

Here’s our review: “Here, There Be Dragons” Ignites Imagination.

3. The Lawyer’s Angel


By Scott Allen Benkie


Genre: Fiction/Legal Thriller

Pages: 470

Via: Reedsy/Discovery.

Move over, John Grisham. There’s a new talent in town. He proves it in this gripping and absorbing legal thriller. It’s one heckuva ride! here’s our full review.

4. The Legend of Lilia

A novel based on a true story

By Christopher P. Redwine, 2022

Genre: Historical Fiction

Via: Reedsy/Discovery

Click here for our full review: Female Fighter Ace Flies High in ‘Legend of Lilia.’


5. Exploring the Neighborhood Pronghorn Community (Second Edition)

By  James Szczur

Genre: Non-Fiction/Nature

Via: Reedsy/Discovery

This nimble read is a skillful, engaging blend of science, adventure, and inspiration. Fascinating, informative, and compelling! Here’s our full review.

Timeless: When the Day Comes (Paperback)6. When the Day Comes

By Gabrielle Meyer

Publisher: Bethany House, 2022

Genre: Historical Fiction/Christian Fiction/Romance

Pages: 364

Via: Author Request

Read our review at: ‘When the Day Comes’: Better Than Bacon?

7. Echoes in the Stars

By Gordon Frisbie

A warm and wonderful memoir-ish tribute to the author’s dogs, most notably a remarkable “lethal white” Australian shepherd named Boo.

See our full review at: ‘Echoes in the Stars’ Shines Bright.


There are more. But one of us says it’s Nap Time. So TTFN! And Best Wishes for a Happy, Healthy New Year full of blessings, books, and doggie treats! (You know who you are! Arf! Arf!)

Did you come across a “surprising” read this year? Tell us what and why in the Comments!

2 thoughts on “7 Most SURPRISING Reads of 2022

  1. I love it when a book surprises me. These all sound wonderful, I’ll keep this as a reference! Thanks!

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