Episode 6

The Re-Read: Our 2022 favourites

It's our favourite episode of the year – our favourite books, films, TV and audio of the year. Thank you for joining us in 2022 and supporting our wonderful authors.

We've started a Substack for Better Words to give you extra mini recommendations each month outside of our podcast episodes. Come join us!

You can also find us Storygraph: Michelle and Caitlin.

Season 10 (can you BELIEVE?!) will be in your ears in a few months.

We're keeping recommendations brief. If we've featured or discussed the book before, we'll link to the episode.

We'll mark any PR/review copies with *

Adult fiction


  • Babel by R.F. Kuang*
  • All My Mothers by Joanna Glen* (original rec)
  • The Seven Skins of Esther Wilding by Holly Ringland*


  • Girl Friends by Holly Bourne
  • Cat Lady by Dawn O'Porter
  • Yinka, Where is Your Huzband? by Lizzie Damilola Blackburn* (interview)

Young Adult


  • Libby Lawrence is Good at Pretending by Jodi McAlister* (interview)
  • The Cult of Romance by Sarah Ayoub* (interview)
  • August and Jones by Pip Harry* (interview)




  • How to Be Perfect by Mike Schur
  • Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing by Matthew Perry
  • I'm Glad My Mom Died by Jeanette McCurdy


  • Why Did You Stay? by Rebecca Humphries (read my Substack review)
  • Redhanded: An Exploration of Criminals, Cannibals, Cults, and What Makes a Killer Tick by Suruthi Bala and Hannah McGuire
  • Parsnips, Buttered by Joe Lycett

Favourite cover

Caitlin: Tiny Uncertain Miracles by Michelle Johnston

Michelle: The Lamplighters by Emma Stonex

The hype read

Caitlin: Book Lovers by Emily Henry

Michelle: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins-Reid

The book we recommend to each other

Caitlin: I'm Glad My Mom Died by Jeanette McCurdy

Michelle: All Our Hidden Gifts by Caroline O'Donohue

The new release we want to read

Caitlin: Love & Autism by Kay Kerr

Michelle: The Vintage Shop of Second Chances by Libby Page

(We also both have Spare on reserve at the library)

The book we already own and want to actually read

Caitlin: Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta

Michelle: Still Life by Sarah Winman



  • Barry
  • She-Hulk: Attorney at Law
  • The Resort


  • Chernobyl
  • The Dropout
  • Holby City

Joint favourite: Heartstopper (listen to our full discussion)



  • West Side Story
  • Being the Riccardos


  • Downton Abbey: A New Era
  • More, More, More by Joe Lycett

Joint recommendation: Matilda the Musical (Netflix)



  • Midnights by Taylor Swift
  • And That's What You Really Missed
  • Maisie Peters


  • Redhanded
  • There's Nothing But Space, Man by Sam Ryder
  • All Killa, No Filla

Books and other things mentioned

  • The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart
  • Just the Gist 2022 reccos and recommendations episode
  • Beyond the Wand by Tom Felton
  • Dying of Politeness by Geena Davis
  • A Class Act by Rob Beckett
  • Windswept and Interesting by Billy Connolly
  • Wahala by Nikki May
  • Palm Springs (film)
  • Happy Valley season 3 (TV series)
  • Slate article on Matilda's Trunchbull evolution
  • The Lonely Island
  • Eurovision: The Story of Fire Saga (film)

Connect with us on Instagram: @betterwordspod

About the Podcast

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Better Words

About your hosts

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Caitlin Toohey

Hi, I'm Caitlin! I've been on bookstagram since 2016, a podcaster since 2017, and worked in publishing since 2019. So books and reading are my entire life. When I'm not reading, I like listening to Taylor Swift, watching sitcoms, and going to aerial classes.
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Michelle Gately

Hi, I'm Michelle! I write words and tell stories for a living as a journalist and marketer. So it makes sense that I'm devouring more words and talking about books in my spare time, right? I'm also an Aussie living in the UK. When I'm not thinking about words, I can be found cuddling my pug Percy, climbing or going on walks in the English countryside.