Books shortlisted for the Big Read 2022

The KU Big Read 2022 shortlist, which is drawn from books recommended by students and staff, comprises a range of titles from UK publishers and covers a variety of topics – including environmentalism, LGBTQIA+ experiences and the journey of cultural self-discovery.

Winner of Big Read 2022

The winning title was The Gravity of Us by Phil Stamper.

All the titles on the 2022 shortlist were fantastic choices for the next Big Read, but Kingston students and staff alike felt a connection with Cal as a young person moving to a new place, navigating new friendships and about to go off to university.

The Gravity of Us
by Phil Stamper

Seventeen-year-old social media journalist Cal is forced to move to Texas when his dad becomes an astronaut for NASA. There he meets the attractive and sensitive Leon. Will he be able to cope with the changes, not only to his home and family, but to his dream?

Book cover: The Gravity of Us by Phil Stamper
Book cover: An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green

Shortlisted books

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing
by Hank Green

After a chance encounter with a giant art installation piece nicknamed 'Carl', April May becomes an internet sensation overnight. Addicted to this newfound fame, she is pulled into the world of social media. When 'Carl's are found all over the world she begins to dig deeper into their origin. Could they be from another planet?

by Chibundu Onuzo

When her mother dies, Anna discovers a hidden journal from 1970s London written by a man she has never met – her father. In the midst of a divorce and dealing with the changing relationship she has with her daughter, Anna decides it's time to learn about herself. But Anna's journey to Bamana to meet her father may prove more shocking than expected.

Book cover: Sankofa by Chibundu Onuzo
Book cover: Bring Back the King by Helen Pilcher

Bring Back the King
by Helen Pilcher

On a quest to find the perfect de-extinction candidate, Helen analyses several different species ranging from dinosaurs to passenger pigeons. As de-extinction becomes a hotter topic, this book examines the possibility of bringing back mammoths, dodos and even Elvis Presley, with a healthy sprinkling of humour.

The Great Godden
by Meg Rosoff

The summer holidays get a lot more interesting with the arrival of the Godden brothers. Told by a teenage narrator whose name and gender are never revealed, this story explores British family dynamics and how they can be twisted by a single intruding personality.

Book cover: The Great Godden by Meg Rosoff
Book cover: Under Solomon Skies by Berni Sorga-Millwood

Under Solomon Skies
by Berni Sorga-Millwood

Based on a true story. Childhood friends Jack and Toni are stranded in the ocean during a routine trip to a nearby island. While struggle to survive, Jack remembers the key decisions he has made in his life leading up until now and the impacts they've had. This novel explores environmentalism, culture, climate change and the human condition.

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