15 Brilliant Books From 2022 to Add to Your 2023 Reading List

We’ve reached the end of January, so there can be no denying it, 2023 has officially begun. In the settled calm that slowly descends as the novelty and buzz of the new year begins to fade, it often feels like a good time to turn back the page briefly and reflect on the past year. We enjoyed our trip down memory lane so much that we wanted to share it with you. We have put together a list of titles from 2022 for you to indulge in as you await with eager anticipation the brilliant books we’ll be bringing you in 2023. So here it is, 15 titles from Oxbow Books, Casemate UK and our partner publishers for you to add to your 2023 reading list. Enjoy!

By the Casemate UK and Oxbow Books Teams | 10 min read

Archaeology and History

We’ve unearthed these five fascinating 2022 history and archaeology titles for you. This selection crosses continents, and explores a huge variety of artefacts, excavations and environments.


Iron Age Settlement and Central Halls

By Palle Østergaard Sørensen

Edited by Mads Dengsø Jessen (Editor); Mads Lou Bendtsen 

Explore the extensive excavations which have taken place at Gudme, one of the richest prehistoric localities in Scandinavia. More than 1,000 Roman coins, nearly 600 fibulas and several small masks and animal figurines have been found at this site, which by 600 AD comprised of up to 50 farmsteads and covered around one square kilometre. Evidence of specialised craftsmanship has been found at individual farms, including the tools of gold and silversmiths. Discover the fine details of these finds and learn more about this locality, which represents a starting point for a significant type of architectural ideal in Scandinavia. Find out more

Oxbow Books | 472 pages | 9781789259070 | 2022 | Hardback | £55.00

Mehmet the Conqueror and Constantinople

A Portrait of Youth and Ambition

By Christopher Eimer

Mehmet the Conqueror, or Sultan Mehmet II, was 21 years old when he brought an end to the millennium-old Byzantine empire with the fall of Constantinople on 29 May 1483, gaining universal recognition and heralding the dawn of the early modern period. There is very little material evidence for the formative period of Mehmet’s life and, despite his enduring interest in the genre of portraiture, it seemed that no portrait of the sultan in his youth had survived. The appearance of a bronze relief of a young Mehmet changed this. The portrait is inscribed with the words the Magnus Princeps et Magnus Amiras Sultanus DNS [= Dominus] Mehomet (‘Great Prince and Great Emir, Sultan Master Mehmet’) and represents a fusion of east and west which was unparalleled in the mid 15th century. Find out more

Spink Books | 64 Pages | 9781912667666 | 2022 |Hardback | £25.00

Dogs in the Athenian Agora

By Colin M. Whiting

One for the dog lovers! This volume shows how dogs fit into ancient Greek society, using material from the last 90 years of excavations in the Athenian Agora by the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. Featured canines include the mythical Kerberos, as well as very real dogs, whose pawprints have left their mark for more than a thousand years. Discover how ancient Greeks hunted with dogs, what they considered a proper dog’s name, and that the loss of a furry friend was just as painful in antiquity as it is now, to which evidence from excavations of tender burials in the Agora can testify.  Find out more

ASCSA | 44 pages | 9780876616468 | 2022 | Paperback | £4.50

An Introduction to Peatland Archaeology and Palaeoenvironments 

By Benjamin R. Gearey and Henry P. Chapman

We turn now to the first of two 2022 additions to our highly successful Studying Scientific Archaeology series. Peatlands are regarded as having exceptional archaeological value because their waterlogged conditions enable the preservation of organic remains. Another aspect of their significance is their ability to serve as ‘archives’ of past environmental changes. The possibility of analysing environmental and cultural change in conjunction presents the opportunity for exceptional interpretative synergy. This accessible introductory volume, the first of its kind, explores the ecology and formation processes of peatlands, the archaeological and palaeoenvironmental techniques that have been developed for studying them, and warns of the threats that the destruction of these environments can pose for the ecosystem and further archaeological study. Find out more

Oxbow Books | 160 Pages | 9781789257557 | 2022 | Paperback | £29.95

Human Transformations of the Earth

By Charles French

Dig into this second volume from our Studying Scientific Archaeology Series! This volume charts and explains how human activities have shaped and altered the development of soils in many parts of the world, taking advantage of five decades of soil analytical work in many archaeological landscapes from around the globe. It illustrates the major transformations of soils and the processes, both human and natural, that have caused them, from the Holocene right up to the present day. This is a highly relevant text for many of the prevalent issues of the day, including over-development, and soil, land and environmental degradation and resilience. Find out more

Oxbow Books | 256 pages | 9781789259209 | 2022 | Paperback | £40.00

Art and Culture

Unleash your inner culture vulture and browse through this selection of our arts and culture titles from 2022. With subjects ranging from culinary delights, to awe-inspiring art and a nostalgic nod to pastoral culture in days of yore, there’s something for everyone to love.

Canterbury Cathedral, Trinity Chapel

The Archaeology of the Mosaic Pavement and Setting of the Shrine of St Thomas Becket

By David S. Neal and Warwick Rodwell

Do you love to marvel at mosaics? This beautifully illustrated volume – described as a “very welcome Christmas present” by Christopher Howse in The Daily Telegraph – explores the history and archaeology of the Trinity Chapel in Canterbury Cathedral, including its unique marble mosaic pavement. The early 12th century mosaic is in fact older than the chapel in which it resides and must have been moved there from elsewhere in the cathedral. Discover more about the story of this remarkable pavement and, with previously unrecorded and unpublished evidence, uncover the physical remains of the cult of St Thomas Becket. Find out more

Oxbow Books | 416 pages | 9781789258417 | 2022 | Hardback | £80.00

English Orchards

A Landscape History

By Gerry Barnes and Tom Williamson

As we battle the bracing winter winds, we may find ourselves dreaming of summer days, enjoying balmy weather in a delightful pastoral setting, perhaps an orchard. Old orchards have symbolic and irresistible appeal, the branches of their trees seem to reach out and connect us with the lost rural worlds of our ancestors. This volume presents evidence to underpin this romantic and nostalgic notion. It offers a comprehensive view of orchards in England from the Middle Ages to the present day. It catalogues the appearance and disappearance of these features of the landscape over the last six decades, including discussion of the alarming consequences for wildlife conservation caused by the latter, and provides readers with the opportunity to cultivate their knowledge of different varieties of orchard and fruit. Find out more

Windgather Press | 224 pages | 9781914427190 | 2022 | Paperback | £34.99

The Cake Cookbook

By Hannah Grant

Artists in their own right – bakers! Well, now you can have your cake and eat your veggies too. Designed for endurance training, social events, and fussy eaters, The Cake Cookbook is the sacred text for learning how to bake irresistible cakes with vegetables that are made and polished off by athletes and families alike. With delicious treats that are gluten free, dairy free, and without added sugars, you’ll never look at a carrot, sweet potato, beet, or celeriac the same way ever again. Featuring: The Endurance Pie, Podium Pie, Race Cake, and Climber’s Cake! Find out more

Musette Publishing | 140 Pages | 9798887570648 | 2022 | Hardback | £27.99

Hockney’s Eye

The Art and Technology of Depiction

Edited by Martin Gayford, Martin Kemp, and Jane Munro

David Hockney is amongst the best known and most widely admired living painters in the world. This vibrant catalogue accompanies a major exhibition at the The Fitzwilliam Museum and the Heong Gallery in Cambridge, as well as the Teylers Museum in Haarlem, Netherlands. The first section of the book looks at his thrilling experiments in seeing and representing in broad historical and contemporary contexts. This is followed by discussions of pre-photographic devices for capturing the appearances of things by optical means. The third section includes essays on Hockney’s experiments from the perspectives of neuroscience and computer vision. In short, it reveals in a new way the working of Hockney’s unique eye. Find out more

Paul Holberton Publishing | 184 Pages | 9781913645120 | 2022 | Hardback | £39.00

Orpen at War

By Patricia O’Reilly

We often look to art to untangle life’s greatest complexities – existence, the self, love, death, and even, war. During World War I, Major William Orpen, a highly successful commercial painter in Ireland and the UK, took up a posting as official British war artist. Full of high hopes, he set off to the front with a Rolls-Royce and a driver. But nothing in his privileged life prepared him for the horrors he encountered. This illustrated biographical novel – featuring dozens of Orpen’s paintings and drawings – will enthral anyone interested in a different perspective on World War I and help us to appreciate one artist’s remarkable personal and creative journey. Find out more

Liffey Press | 272 Pages | 9781739789237 | 2022 | Hardback | £19.95

Military History

Furious battles on stormy waters and bullets whipping through frenzied winds; these titles are for the inquisitive readers of military history. Conflict invokes all facets of the human condition – in this list you’ll find feats of leadership, resourcefulness, and courage, as well as tales of secrecy, cruelty, and domination.

Maritime Strike

The Untold Story of the Royal Navy Task Group off Libya in 2011

By John Kingwell

Let’s dive right in. This is a story of leadership under pressure. In April 2011, the newly created Royal Navy Response Force Task Group deployed to the Mediterranean to provide a range of military options in response to the Arab Spring. Maritime Strike is a personal account by the Group’s Commander, which brings to life the challenges of command – including authorizing strikes and mitigating risk to UK aircrew – in a complex and challenging environment. More than this, it is “a fascinating story of the progress of a working-class lad to the rank of Rear Admiral in the Royal Navy” (Peter Hennessy, Lord Hennessy of Nympsfield). Find out more

Casemate Publishers | 240 Pages | 9781636241135| 2022 |Hardback | £20.00

Blind Obedience and Denial

The Nuremberg Defendants

By Andrew Sangster

Just following orders? Blind Obedience and Denial is a revealing yet accessible examination of the Nuremberg trials and, most crucially, all 23 men who stood accused, not just the most infamous – Speer, Hess, and Göring. This new study utilises not only the trial manuscripts but the pre-trial interrogations, the views of the psychiatrists and psychologists, and the often overheard conversations between prisoners – who did not know their guards spoke German – to give the fullest exploration of the defendants as they faced judgement by the victors of the war. Find out more

Casemate Publishers | 288 Pages | 9781636241784 | 2022 | Hardback | £25.00

Blue Water War

The Maritime Struggle in the Mediterranean and Middle East, 1940–1945

By Brian E. Walter

Another one for the maritime mad! For three millennia, the turbulent sea of the Mediterranean hosted equally turbulent and colossal naval wars. In the early summer of 1940, this ancient body of water would once again become the arena for a new and extensive conflict, as the Kingdom of Italy challenged Britain for dominance within the region. With France on the verge of collapse and Britain facing the prospect of imminent invasion, was it possible for the heavily outnumbered British Mediterranean Fleet to prevail and thwart Italy’s plan to re-establish control over the Mediterranean? This book tells the story of the epic maritime struggle that ensued. Find out more

Casemate Publishers | 352 Pages | 9781636241081 | 2022 | Hardback | £29.99

Bomb Group

The Eighth Air Force’s 381st and the Allied Air Offensive over Europe

By Paul Bingley and Mike Peters

With foreword by James Holland, Bomb Group is the gripping story of a group of ordinary men from whom the extraordinary was demanded. At the heart of the Eighth Air Force were its bombardment groups, each equipped with scores of heavily armed, four-engine bombers. These Boeing B-17 Flying Fortresses and Consolidated B-24 Liberators were soon punching through the enemy’s defences to bomb targets vital to its war effort. This book honours the thousands of young American airmen and volunteers who crewed the 381st Bomb Group, which crossed the Atlantic in May 1943 and was quickly thrown into the hazardous and attritional air battle raging in the skies over Europe. Find out more

Casemate Publishers | 336 Pages | 9781612009605 | 2022 | Hardback | £27.50

Britain’s Secret Defences

Civilian saboteurs, spies and assassins during the Second World War

By Andrew Chatterton

Perhaps the standout of 2022, this wildly popular title uncovers the untold story of highly secret networks of civilian volunteers, and the training and preparation they undertook ready to counter a German invasion during the Second World War. From saboteurs emerging from disguised underground bunkers the length of the country, to vicars and doctors passing on information about the invading army via wireless sets, the defence of Britain was not in the hands of ‘Dad’s Army’, but highly trained saboteurs, guerrilla fighters, spies, and assassins. Very little is known about this secretive resistance force; many didn’t even tell their closest family members. Find out more

Casemate Publishers | 256 Pages | 9781636241005 | 2022 | Hardback | £19.95

What brilliant books did you read in 2022? 👇