What I've read in 2022

I promised the list of books I've read in 2022 so here we are. If you'd want to dig into them, I've made such a list for 2021, 2020 and 2019. Interestingly, and while I stand behind a '2 books a month pace is kinda perfect for me' I kept reading slightly more books year after year: 21 in 2019, 26 in 2020, 28 in 2021 and 30 in 2022. We'll see what'll happen this year, I've read 25 books so far.

We should see the impact of 3 changes in 2022: (a) we stopped our subscription to Audible in the middle of the year [so no more audiobooks then]; since we were back in France (b) I joined our local library network and (c) I got access to my parents-in-law library [which is quite huge, they're heavy readers]. I love our local libraries by the way. There's no better way to consume books. If you're curious, my goodreads profile is here.

Without further ado, below are my 30 books of 2022 [from the first I read to the last]:

  1. Liberez votre cerveau [fr]
  2. Un paradigme [fr]
  3. Hooked [en]
  4. Indistractable [en]
  5. Wanting [en]
  6. Fouche [fr]
  7. Comment ne pas etre esclave du systeme? [fr]
  8. Fraiche [fr]
  9. The cold start problem [en]
  10. Portraits mythiques de la boxe [fr]
  11. Le monde sans fin [fr]
  12. Why we sleep [en]
  13. Le systeme des objets [fr]
  14. The Founders [en]
  15. Build [en]
  16. Skin in the game [en]
  17. Wabi Sabi [en]
  18. Antifragile [en]
  19. The good ancestor [en]
  20. How much is enough? [en]
  21. Ecology, Community and lifestyle [en]
  22. Mine! [en]
  23. Imagine a city [en]
  24. Insoutenable paradis [fr]
  25. En finir avec la productivite [fr]
  26. Ne tirez pas sur l'oiseau moqueur [fr]
  27. Effondrement [fr]
  28. Progress [en]
  29. King Kong theorie [fr]
  30. The little book of Lykke [en]

I read 17 books in english. I'm surprised, it's still more than the year before - which was 15 - and is consequently my highest since I'm doing these wrap-ups. I think I'm reaching an equilibrium here around half/half between french and english. I like it. I read 3 comics [compare to 1 the year before]; and 0 novel [compare to 3 in 2021].

My top 3 recommendations for 2022 would be: (1) Antifragile [and well, I've to squeeze here Skin in the game as well - they're both related obviously] (2) Mine!  (3) Wanting.

Briefly on each ones.

Antifragile: things that gain from disorder. This is Taleb's masterpiece. I say that while I've loved many of his other books - Skin in the game obviously, but also Fooled by randomness. But it seemed to me that Antifragile was the pinnacle of all his work. A theme he covered a lot that deeply resonated is: via negativa. Or the 'intervention by substraction'. Instead of finding better cures for diabetes, modify diets to remove sugary foods. Indeed, stopping smoking has been one of the most successful medical interventions of the last 40 years. On the contrary, he talked a lot about 'iatrogrenic': making things worse by doing something.

Mine! How the hidden rules of ownership control our lives. This is a fascinating book; full of interesting examples from real life. As a parent now, I can see how the idea of ownership emerges in a child's mind; and its impact then on life. But this book reminded me that ownership isn't straightforward and has to be discussed and thought through collectively.

Wanting: the power of mimetic desire in everyday life. 'A groundbreaking exploration of why we want what we want, and a toolkit for freeing ourselves from chasing unfulfilling desires.' The author relies on the work of Rene Girard around mimetic desire: 'humans don't desire anything independently. Human desire is mimetic – we imitate what other people want. This affects the way we choose partners, friends, careers, clothes, and vacation destinations. Mimetic desire is responsible for the formation of our very identities.'

Luke writes a newsletter named Anti-Mimetic I highly recommend by the way.

I realise now how all these 3 books fit perfectly Larry's point - I mentioned yesterday - on 'why thinkers write': the intent of a text is to cause readers to change the way they think about the world. Well, if you agree or not with the authors above isn't even the point. I can assure you one thing if you read their books: you'll start thinking heavily about our world; and you might definitely change your mind on a few things. This precisely makes reading truly special to me.


Objet du jour

Book #17 - Wabi Sabi - is a very thoughtful gift received from Quentin in Lisbon during the summer of 2022. Relationship recorded with Objet.