2022: A Year in Books
I have always loved reading. For the past 3 years I have also gotten into audiobooks, which has increased my book consumption dramatically. I listen to many audiobooks, and then buy in paper those that I really like. For fiction novels, I still prefer paper, but in some cases I have found the audio extremely good too.
Here is the list of my 10 favorite books that I read in 2022 (Thanks to Necip Fazil Ayan for prompting me!):
- If Nietzsche Were a Narwhal: What Animal Intelligence Reveals About Human Stupidity - by Justin Gregg- a fascinating and radical look at what intelligence is by comparing humans and animals. Among other things, it discusses the idea of why causal reasoning is not only not needed but it might lead to human extinction. Very thought provoking.
- The Culture Map: Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Global Business - by Erin Meyer - One of my all time favorite books to understand people and the world. I just hoped this became a series of book because there are so many other things to explore in that dimension of cultural background impact on behavior
- The Boys - by Katie H. - My fiction recommendation is a novel that I absolutely loved. It is the first “post pandemic” story that I have read, and it made me cry and think hard. I know the author, which may be played a role in how much I absolutely loved it.
- The Dichotomy of Leadership: Balancing the Challenges of Extreme Ownership to Lead and Win - by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin - I am a fan of Extreme Ownership, which I have included in my top management book recommendations. This is not such a great book as the original one, but it is a necessary companion that clarifies some misunderstandings, and provides practical examples. Only read it as a companion, not on its own.
- The Body: A Guide for Occupants - by Bill Bryson An amazing trip into what we know, and, more importantly, what we don’t know about the human body
- Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones - by James Clear - I believe in the power of habits and have read other books about them. This is a popular one that I had not read. It really lived up and even exceeded my expectations.
- Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction - by Philip Tetlock One of those books that you have to read if you care about how (good) decisions are made.
- Accelerate: Building and Scaling High Performing Technology Organizations - by Nicole Forsgren, Jez Humble, and Gene Kim - Not a book that I enjoyed in the literary sense in any way (in fact, it could probably be a blog post), but it includes really important technical team management lessons and research. I have already applied some of them in practice, and I continue referencing it often.
- A Romance on Three Legs: Glenn Gould’s Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Piano - by Erin Meyer - As I mentioned, I absolutely loved “The Boys”. In talking to the author, when she learned that I played the piano she told me that she had written a non-fiction book about Glenn Gould and his obsession. I jumped onto this book and thought it was absolutely brilliant too.
- The Selfish Gene - by Richard Dawkins -This book had been recommended to me many times. It was also references in “If Nietzsche Were a Narwhal” and Andrej Karpathy also mentioned it in a recent interview. The book lived up to its hype. This is also a great book to listen to since the narration by Richard Dawkins himself and Lalla Ward is fantastic.