Get lost in a good book: 10 reading recommendations from 2022
Although I’ve always loved reading, I often can’t remember the specific books I’ve read from year to year – with a few notable exceptions. So, I keep yearly lists to remind myself which books are essential, just for fun, or not worth a second chance. If your taste in reading is like mine, you might enjoy some of these or at least avoid investing your time in a few I didn’t think measured up. As always, I hope you will consider purchasing any of these that interest you through an independent bookstore like Powell’s in Portland, Oregon or Vroman’s in Pasadena, California. Here is my year of books in 2022.
👍👍 Essential reading:
Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead. The best book I read in 2022. From the two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author, it tells a unique story of small-time crime in Harlem during the 1960s.
Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee by Casey Cep. Explores the life of Harper Lee and a book she never wrote.
The Nineties: A book by Chuck Klosterman. A must read for Gen Xers.
Barkley: A Biography by Timothy Bella. The best sports book I read in 2022.
The Friends of Eddie Coyle by George V. Higgins. A classic crime novel.
👍 Definitely worth your time:
Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire: A 500-Year History by Kurt Andersen
Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion by Tom Beaujour, Richard Bienstock
Forget the Alamo: The True Story of the Myth That Made Texas by Bryan Burrough, Chris Tomlinson, Jason Stanford
Who Ate the First Oyster?: The Extraordinary People Behind the Greatest Firsts in History by Cody Cassidy
💡 A must-read for those working in healthcare:
Joe Public 2030: Five Potent Predictions Reshaping How Consumers Engage Healthcare by Chris Bevolo. Read my review here.
👎 Disappointing, skip them:
Tiger & Phil: Golf's Most Fascinating Rivalry by Bob Harig. The rivalry isn’t actually that fascinating.
Our Kind of Traitor by John le Carré. He has written many amazing novels, but this one was slow and never caught my interest.
👇 Bonus: A 2021 must-read:
Medallion Status: True Stories from Secret Rooms by John Hodgman. This fun, yet thought-provoking, book inspired a LinkedIn article.
📚 Books: They aren’t dead yet!
Every year, I hear people talk about things that have lost their usefulness in the modern age. Books, records, and CD/DVDs are often mentioned. Yet, millions of people still enjoy content using those old formats.
I prefer reading print books as doing that gives me a clean break from digital content. Going “analog” is relaxing and enjoyable.
According to Pew Research, I’m not alone:
“Despite growth in certain digital formats, it remains the case that relatively few Americans only consume digital books (which include audiobooks and e-books) to the exclusion of print. Some 33% of Americans read in these digital formats and also read print books, while 32% say they read only print books. Just 9% of Americans say they only read books in digital formats and have not read any print books in the past 12 months.”
Ultimately, the format of a book doesn’t matter as much as the ideas contained in the content. Audiobooks and digital copies are great and bring books to people who prefer a different experience than I do.
🤔 So, how much do most people read?
This was a low year for me with 29 books read during the year. My goal is about 40 per year, a mark that I’ve hit often in the past.
“Overall, 75% of U.S. adults say they have read a book in the past 12 months in any format, whether completely or part way through, a figure that has remained largely unchanged since 2011. Americans read an average (mean) of roughly 14 books during the previous 12 months and the typical (median) American read five books in that period, according to the survey.”
... and then we have this:
🤦♂️ The worst quote of 2022
“I'm very skeptical of books. I don't want to say no book is ever worth reading, but I actually do believe something pretty close to that. I think, if you wrote a book, you (messed) up, and it should have been a six-paragraph blog post.”
This statement from Sam Bankman-Fried is so bad that it might even make the “365 Stupidest Things Ever Said” desk calendar. That statement is really bad. And really stupid. The irony is that many books will likely be written to cover the downfall of SBF. Maybe he’ll read one and possibly learn something. He’ll have plenty of time coming to do that!