The 32 Best Books I Have Read in 2022

With 2022 coming to an end, I thought I'd share a list of some of the books I enjoyed during the year and that I recommend reading. I grouped them by category (in no particular order,) and, since there are quite a few, I just wrote a short comment for each to avoid writing an overwhelmingly long article.

I'm quite happy with the number of books I managed to finish this year (more than fifty.) This is partly due to the realization of how much using Audible to consume books while doing something else is convenient and efficient (although I only found it suitable for non-technical books.)

Science

  • The Gene: An Intimate History (Siddhartha Mukherjee)
    “Reading The Gene is like taking a course from a brilliant and passionate professor who is just sure he can make you understand what he’s talking about...  Excellent.” - Seattle Times
  • The Art of Statistics: Learning from Data (David Spiegelhalter)
    "In this wonderfully accessible introduction to modern statistics, David Spiegelhalter has created a worthy successor to classics such as Mooney's Facts from Figures. Using many real examples, he introduces the methods and underlying concepts, showing the power and elegance of statistics for gaining understanding and for informing decision-making." - David J. Hand
  • Brief Answers to the Big Questions (Stephen Hawking)
    Brief Answers is effortlessly instructive, absorbing, up to the minute and - where it matters - witty.” - The Guardian
  • Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions (Dan Ariely)
    “A marvelous book that is both thought provoking and highly entertaining, ranging from the power of placebos to the pleasures of Pepsi. Ariely unmasks the subtle but powerful tricks that our minds play on us, and shows us how we can prevent being fooled.” - Jerome Groopman
  • Thinking, Fast and Slow (Daniel Kahneman)
    Took me a long time to read. The premise of the book is interesting, and the examples it is giving are enlightening, but I'm not too fond of the writing style and it could be shorter.

Biography Books

  • Next Stop Execution: The Autobiography of Oleg Gordievsky (Oleg Gordievsky)
    The history of the highest-ranking KGB agent that ever worked for the UK, from his early life to his crazy escape from the USSR.
  • The Billion Dollar Spy: A True Story of Cold War Espionage and Betrayal (David E. Hoffman)
    The story of Adolf Tolkachev, an engineer in a Soviet military design bureau that shared a tremendous amount of information with the CIA that contributed to making the USA achieve military dominance during the cold war.
  • The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz (Erik Larson)
    “Through the remarkably skillful use of intimate diaries as well as public documents, some newly released, Larson has transformed the well-known record of 12 turbulent months, stretching from May of 1940 through May of 1941, into a book that is fresh, fast and deeply moving.” - Candice Millard, The New York Times Book Review
  • Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike (Phil Knight)
    How Nike was created and grew to what it is today
  • L'éclaireur (Sergueï Jirnov)
    The autobiography of an ex-KGB agent that was on the path to infiltrating the top of the French administration before the collapse of the USSR and leaving the service. Most of the book is related to how the author came to become an illegal and was trained (In French only)
  • Profession espion (Olivier Mas)
    An ex-DGSE agent speaking about his years in the service. A good read, but don't expect to learn anything ground-breaking (In French only)

History

Career

As I'm lucky to see some career progression lately, I found these two books to give useful pointers.

Finance

True Crime

Other

  • Chinese Espionage: Operations and Tactics (Nicholas Eftimiades)
    I usually don't read a lot about Chinese espionage, so I found this book interesting, albeit fairly short.
  • Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals (Oliver Burkeman)
    Was pleasant to read a book speaking about time management which is not throwing toxic or meaningless productivity "advice" one after the other.
  • 21 Lessons for the 21st Century (Yuval Noah Harari)
    "In Sapiens, he explored our past. In Homo Deus, he looked to our future. Now, [Harari] turns to the present." All three books are great, but my favorite stays the first one.

Credits