Back to top

Book Favourites from Library Staff 2022: Literary Fiction

Lit fic 22

 Some of these books are so well-thought of they are already modern classics. Click on the tiles for more information from our catalogue.

Age of Iron by J M Coetzee 
In a letter written to a long estranged daughter in a far off country, telling her of the violence ravaging her city and the presence of a homeless man outside her house, Mrs Curren exposes the deep rifts in South Africa society under apartheid. Age of Iron is a novel about a terminally ill woman and a seemingly terminally unsettled country, both coming to terms with the truth of their situation and the obligations arising out of them. AM

Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan 
This slim novel, shortlisted for this year’s Booker Prize, takes place in 1985 in a small Irish town ominously shadowed by a convent. Within its tall glass-spiked walls, Bill Furlong, making his routine deliveries of coal, discovers the convent’s grip on the town is firmer and more sinister than he had believed. A precious and quiet novel about the potential of individuals in the face of unsettling and unquestioned complicity. AM

The Lying Life of Adults by Elena Ferrante 
A comment from her father sends Giovanna into an exploration of her lost family and the industrial nether-regions of Naples; into experiences of misogyny and desire; deception and adultery. A visceral coming-of-age story told in Ferrante’s spare prose. AM

The Narrow Land by Christine Dwyer Hickey
Based partly on the lives of American artist Edward Hopper and his wife Jo, this novel is set in Cape Cod. A slow burner and although Miss Moneypenny didn’t like the unsympathetic treatment of Jo, months later she says seh can remember quite a lot of the story. JAM loved the evocation of a 1950 seaside summer, the coming-of-age aspects as well as the echoes of the war and hints of loss which creates an unforgetible atmosphere.

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara 
If you  haven’t heard of this one before I’d be surprised as this book is known for making people weep – a lot. This story is about four classmates from college as they move through the trials and tribulations of life all the way until the end. Although this book follows four different men, the story predominantly focuses on Jude who struggles with chronic pain and mental health issues that affect his relationships. You learn what happened to him in the past and how they have affected his living. It’s a huge book that can be slow at points, but I loved it because it felt real. There were no miracles like in most books. This novel is a beautiful depiction of the families we are born into and the families that we built ourselves. Highly recommended. Amy

The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles 
In three words: Absorbing, sophisticated and stylish. It’s 1954 and 18 year old Emmett is released from a work farm in Nebraska. He plans to collect his eight-year-old brother and head west to start fresh. Instead two escaped acquaintances from the work farm convince him to take the Lincoln Highway to New York. Nothing goes according to plan but you very quickly fall in love with the brothers and are enchanted by the strange and wonderful characters they meet along the way. Recommended for anyone who has read and enjoyed Charles Dickens or just loves character driven books. SG

Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver 
And speaking of Dickens, Barbara Kingsolver’s new book reimagines the world’s favourite Victorian author’s novel David Copperfield, transplanted to a contemporary, American setting. Damon/Demon is born in a trailer home to a teenage single mother who’s in and out of rehab. The story carries on with the nasty stepfather, the warm-hearted Peggot family, the child poverty that Dickens sought to expose, still a problem today. A fabulous read with an engaging character and a twisty plot that will leave you breathless. SG

The Fell by Sarah Moss
Imagine being lost on the moors during a Covid lockdown. Kate goes missing leaving a worried teenage son and an elderly neighbour wondering what's happened to her. This is the first Covid book I've read where the pandemic is a key part of the story not just an interesting background. You get the isolation, anxiety and insecurity felt by many at this difficult time. A short novel that is also an absorbing and empathic read. JAM

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin 
Covering thirty years in the lives of Sam and Sadie, the novel follows their rise to fame in the world of video gaming, their creative ambitions and betrayals. A cute wee story about friendship, growing up, ambition and love. Gem

This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel
A GP and her stay-at-home writer husband have five boys. The youngest, Claude, shares with his family that he wants to be called Poppy and be a girl. What happens next is the best parenting book you’ll ever read. The family make tough decisions, never hiding the mistakes they make. Brilliant. This one was enjoyed in audiobook form and was Miss Moneypenny’s overall best book of 2022.


19 December 2022

Back to Library Blog


Monday 10.00am - 5.30pm
Tuesday 9.00am - 7.00pm
Wednesday 9.00am - 5.30pm
Thursday 9.00am - 7.00pm
Friday 9.00am - 5.30pm
Saturday 10.00am - 4.00pm
Sunday 1.00pm - 4.00pm

Havelock North

Monday 10.00am - 5.30pm
Tuesday 9.00am - 5.30pm
Wednesday 9.00am - 5.30pm
Thursday 9.00am - 5.30pm
Friday 9.00am - 5.30pm
Saturday 10.00am - 4.00pm
Sunday 10.00am - 1.00pm


Monday 10.00am - 5.30pm
Tuesday 9.00am - 5.30pm
Wednesday 9.00am - 5.30pm
Thursday 9.00am - 5.30pm
Friday 9.00am - 5.30pm
Saturday 10.00am - 4.00pm

Hastings District Council - Copyright © 2024 Hastings District Council

Disclaimers and Copyright
While every endeavour has been taken by the Hastings District Council to ensure that the information on this website is accurate and up to date, Hastings District Council shall not be liable for any loss suffered through the use, directly or indirectly, of information on this website. Information contained has been assembled in good faith. Some of the information available in this site is from the New Zealand Public domain and supplied by relevant government agencies. Hastings District Council cannot accept any liability for its accuracy or content. Portions of the information and material on this site, including data, pages, documents, online graphics and images are protected by copyright, unless specifically notified to the contrary. Externally sourced information or material is copyright to the respective provider.

© Hastings District Council - / +64 6 871 5000 /