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

Show artwork for Better Words
Better Words

About your hosts

Profile picture for Caitlin Toohey

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 generally being a theatre kid.
Profile picture for Michelle Gately

Michelle Gately

Hi, I'm Michelle! I'm an Aussie living in the UK, working as a bookseller at Waterstones. I'm obsessed with storytelling in all its forms – I spend as much time watching TV or listening to podcasts as I do reading. Other hobbies include bouldering, hiking and generally obsessing about my pug Percy.