Living the Sweet Life: What to Read in 2022

By Alisa Murray Nationally recognized portrait artist and award-winning columnist.

Hey Sweet Lifers! Ya’ll know March is National Literacy Awareness month in celebration of Dr. Seuss’s birthday I hope. He is still one of my favorite author’s with his Green Eggs and Ham reigning in at numero uno in my memory banks of childhood. My Godmother still mentions it every time I go home fondly reminiscing about how much I adored his books and well, really all books! Apparently my Daddy’s partner, T Lane, would come home from catching babies all day with Daddy, and I would be waiting with books in hand for him to shower and sit and read Dr. Seuss to me. Much later in my life, when Brian and I were packing up after the wedding “my” things to head off to Savannah for me to attend art school, he kept complaining about the heavy and countless boxes of books . . . to which his father sternly replied, “At least she reads!” That is still such a fond memory of our early years, and of course, of him God rest his soul.

As far as “stuff” goes, there really is not much I can say I like more than books. I have accumulated many things in my fifty-two years with books being my largest collection. I also find myself wondering about people when I am invited to their homes and find there is no library. What exactly could this mean? Makes me nervous actually!

For me, an afternoon well spent is with William on my lap, a delightful pot of lavender or jasmine tea at my side and a really good book in my hands. Not digital books mind you either. Brian tried that a few years ago as he lamented as to why there was an entire suitcase dedicated to my reading for a vacation. I explained to him it was kinda like his disliking it when I substitute cauliflower and call it “mashed potatoes.” There is nothing that compares to the real thing. I have everything from the classics to hard core action (I love James Bond) to philosophy and psychology. Of course, and I am proud to say very little romance. I have never been into reading what I call “brain candy,” but rather I gravitate to spending time learning something new and or gathering more knowledge in areas that interest me . . . and fortunately for me there’s a plenty!

Now I understand that many people do not have time to read, and for those of you, there’s that audiobook thingy. It’s an easy way to take stuff in without well . . . the cat, the tea and a whole afternoon curled up. In celebration of my old friend Seuss, I have complied my suggestions for this year, taking my cues from the likes of Jenna Busch Hagar, who has her own book club, Oprah, of course, and my own little finds. I think you’ll find something on the list for everyone, and if I have inspired you to buy just one new book in 2022, well I can check that off my personal list of things to do in 2022, too!

  • Home: A Celebration edited by Charlotte Moss and in collaboration with No Kid Hungry
  • Accidentally Wes Anderson by Wally Koval
  • Surrender to Love and The Gift of Being Yourself by David G. Benner
  • The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd
  • The Buddha and the Badass by Vishen Lakhiani
  • The Stranger in the Lifeboat by Mitch Albom
  • Saints by Bevere
  • Black Ice by Brad Thor
  • Hell of a Book by Jason Mott
  • A Carnival of Snackery by David Sedaris
  • The Deepest South of All by Richard Grant
  • Hunt, Gather, Parent by Michaeleen Doucleff, PHD
  • The Jesus I Know by Kathy Lee Gifford
  • Rebel Homemaker by Drew Barrymore
  • Everything is  Figureoutable by Marie Forleo
  • Unrequited Infatuations by Stevie Van Zandt
  • A Swim in a Pond in the Rain by George Saunders
  • Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk

Hope y’all will let me know what you enjoy from these. I’m reading all of them and will be sharing my thoughts on the channel!

Take care of you and,

of course, “Stay sweet!”