95 Books: My 2022 Reading List

Tom Warneke
16 min readMay 24, 2023

Another year, another round of interesting reads. I chose to yet again attempt reading 100 books as there’s just so much good stuff out there to be read. Much like last year I fell so slightly short — this year making it to 95!

The methodology this year remained the same: A combination of real books, audio books (via Audible) and the occasional book summary on Blinkist. I don’t profess to finish books I don’t like but I do give them a decent chance (at least 30 pages). The key is consistency — audio books in the car, trying to read every night before bed, whatever works for you. Pretty soon, 100 (or… 95) books seems pretty achievable.

My Top 10 books for 2022 (in no particular order)

  1. The Comfort Crisis by Michael Easter
  2. Proof Of Life by Daniel Levin
  3. Decision Time by Laurence Alison
  4. On All Fronts by Clarissa Ward
  5. One Mission by Chris Fussell
  6. Four Thousand Weeks by Oliver Burkeman
  7. A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
  8. Dead in the Water by Matthew Campbell
  9. The Storyteller by Dave Grohl
  10. The Glass Palace by Amitav Ghosh

For 2023, I’m going to lower the goal back to 52 books at least… (so, a book per week) to allow myself a bit more room to pursue some other things.

For now, here’s my booklist of the 95 books I read in 2022, in the order I read them.

  1. “The 4-Hour Chef” by Timothy Ferriss: An unconventional cookbook, this book teaches you more than just cooking. It presents a new way to learn anything quickly, efficiently and effectively, taking you from being a novice cook to a culinary maestro, all while expanding your worldview.
  2. “We Are Bellingcat” by Eliot Higgins: This groundbreaking book charts the rise of Bellingcat, a collective of internet-sleuths dedicated to truth and transparency. It’s a testament to the power of people, technology, and tenacity in uncovering facts in an era of ‘post-truth’ and misinformation.
  3. “The Glass Palace” by Amitav Ghosh: A sweeping epic that covers a century of Burmese history, from the British invasion to contemporary times, told through the lives of one family. The novel explores themes of love, war, identity, and the enduring power of memory.
  4. “Chemical Warrior” by Hamish de Bretton-Gordon: An intimate and frightening journey into the world of chemical warfare, told by a leading expert. The book offers a look into the use of chemical weapons, the threats they pose, and the measures taken to mitigate their effects.
  5. “The Comfort Crisis” by Michael Easter: An intriguing exploration of the human tendency towards comfort and its impact on our wellbeing. Easter advocates that embracing discomfort can lead to a more fulfilled, healthy, and adventurous life.
  6. “What Doesn’t Kill Us” by Scott Carney: Carney uncovers the potential of the human body to resist extreme conditions following the Wim Hof Method, revealing our innate capacity to overcome physical and mental limitations.
  7. “The Mechanic: The Secret World of the F1 Pitlane” by Marc Priestley: This book takes you into the adrenaline-fueled world of Formula One, highlighting the crucial role mechanics play in a driver’s success and revealing behind-the-scenes secrets of the pitlane.
  8. “Unfuck Your Brain” by Faith G. Harper: A refreshing guide to understanding and managing mental health issues like anxiety, depression, and anger, rooted in science and devoid of pretense.
  9. “The Prophets” by Robert Jones Jr.: An intense, heartbreaking novel about the forbidden love between two enslaved young men on a plantation, posing important questions about humanity, love, and freedom.
  10. “The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable” by Amitav Ghosh: Ghosh challenges our imagination on climate change, arguing that future generations may view us as deranged for our inaction and reluctance to accept the climate crisis.
  11. “The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man” by John Perkins: A controversial exposé of global corruption, where Perkins recounts his career as an “economic hit man,” exploiting developing nations on behalf of multinational corporations.
  12. “Twelve Patients: Life and Death at Bellevue Hospital” by Eric Manheimer: A poignant memoir of Manheimer’s tenure as medical director of America’s oldest hospital, presenting an array of complex cases that reflect the breadth of human experience.
  13. “Fear Is Fuel: The Surprising Power to Help You Find Purpose, Passion, and Performance” by Patrick J. Sweeney II: Sweeney reframes fear as a powerful tool that can drive success, passion, and fulfillment, if harnessed correctly.
  14. “Studio D Expedition Guide” by Jan Chipchase: This guide offers a behind-the-scenes look into the world of field research, with practical tips for conducting successful ethnographic studies and understanding human behavior.
  15. “Authentic Gravitas: Who Stands Out and Why” by Rebecca Newton: Newton explores how individuals can develop authentic gravitas, a crucial trait for effective leadership, and how this contributes to personal and professional success.
  16. “Ghost: Confessions of a Counterterrorism Agent” by Fred Burton: A riveting memoir of a counterterrorism agent’s life, revealing the high-stakes world of investigating and preventing terrorist attacks.
  17. “How To Be An F1 Driver” by Jenson Button: Button delivers an inside look into the fast-paced world of Formula One, sharing personal anecdotes, tips, and the realities of life in the fast lane.
  18. “Will it Make the Boat Go Faster?”: Drawing on the strategies of Olympic-winning athletes, this book offers tangible lessons on goal-setting, teamwork, and performance that can be applied to everyday life.
  19. “The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music” by Dave Grohl: Grohl shares stories from his life in and out of music, revealing the path from his early days to his rise as a member of Nirvana and frontman of Foo Fighters.
  20. “On All Fronts: The Education of a Journalist” by Clarissa Ward: An eye-opening memoir from CNN’s Chief International Correspondent, who shares her experiences reporting from conflict zones and her insights on the role of journalism.
  21. “Expert: Understanding the Path to Mastery” by Roger Kneebone: A thought-provoking exploration of what it takes to become an expert in any field, and the importance of hands-on experience and tacit knowledge.
  22. “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho: An enchanting novel following a young shepherd named Santiago on his journey to fulfill his personal legend, revealing the importance of pursuing one’s dreams and listening to one’s heart.
  23. “One Mission: How Leaders Build a Team of Teams” by Chris Fussell: A practical guide to breaking down silos and fostering collaboration within organizations, based on the author’s experience in the U.S. military.
  24. “Bad Lands” by Tony Wheeler: A candid travelogue through some of the world’s most politically unstable regions, Wheeler’s stories remind us of the complexity, resilience, and humanity that persist even in places marked by conflict.
  25. “Lifespan: Why We Age — And Why We Don’t Have To” by David A. Sinclair: A groundbreaking exploration of the biology of ageing, and how advances in science and technology may allow us to slow down — or even reverse — the process.
  26. “The Spymaster of Baghdad” by Margaret Coker: A gripping account of a top-secret Iraqi intelligence unit that infiltrated and dismantled ISIS, showcasing the bravery of those who risk their lives for peace.
  27. “Cry Havoc” by Simon Mann: Mann recounts his involvement in a failed coup attempt in Equatorial Guinea, giving a stark glimpse into the world of mercenaries and the business of warfare.
  28. “The Motivation Myth” by Jeff Haden: Haden debunks traditional thinking around motivation, arguing that the key to long-term achievement is not motivational magic, but rather the consistent process of small wins.
  29. “How to Build a Car” by Adrian Newey: A captivating memoir from one of Formula One’s most celebrated and successful engineers, offering fascinating insights into the art and science of automotive design.
  30. “Thanks a Thousand: A Gratitude Journey” by A.J. Jacobs: Jacobs embarks on a journey to thank everyone involved in producing his morning cup of coffee, exploring the science of gratitude and how it can transform everyday life.
  31. “The Glass Hotel” by Emily St. John Mandel: A haunting novel about two siblings caught in a web of deceit and financial fraud, exploring themes of moral ambiguity, greed, survival, and the power of chance.
  32. “The Almanack of Naval Ravikant: A Guide to Wealth and Happiness” by Eric Jorgenson: A collection of wisdom from angel investor Naval Ravikant, distilling his insights on business, wealth, happiness, and the human condition.
  33. “Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World” by Cal Newport: Newport makes a compelling case for deep work in an era of constant distraction, offering practical strategies to increase productivity and intellectual satisfaction.
  34. “The Know-It-All: One Man’s Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World” by A.J. Jacobs: Jacobs humorously recounts his journey of reading the entire Encyclopædia Britannica, reflecting on the pursuit of knowledge and the meaning of intelligence.
  35. “Invisible Boys” by Holden Sheppard: A compelling story about three teenage boys grappling with their identities in a small, tradition narrow minded town. This novel illuminates the struggles faced by those who feel invisible in society.
  36. “Why We Drive: On Freedom, Risk and Taking Back Control” by Matthew Crawford: A thoughtful exploration of the joy of driving and its social and philosophical implications, challenging the emerging norms around autonomous vehicles.
  37. “How to Be Fine: What We Learned from Living by the Rules of 50 Self-Help Books” by Jolenta Greenberg and Kristen Meinzer: The authors offer an entertaining and insightful critique of self-help culture, based on their experiences following various self-help books’ advice.
  38. “Wuhan Diary: Dispatches from a Quarantined City” by Fang Fang: An intimate account of the early days of the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan, offering a human perspective on a global crisis.
  39. “The Biggest Bluff: How I Learned to Pay Attention, Master Myself, and Win” by Maria Konnikova: A gripping narrative of Konnikova’s journey into the world of professional poker, which serves as a broader metaphor for decision-making, psychology, and emotional control.
  40. “Himalaya” by Michael Palin: A fascinating travelogue by comedian and writer Michael Palin, chronicling his journey through the Himalayas. The book captures the region’s grandeur, diversity, and historical significance.
  41. “The Year of Living Biblically: One Man’s Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible” by A.J. Jacobs: Jacobs narrates his amusing and insightful year-long experiment of following the Bible’s rules as literally as possible, exploring religion’s role in modern life.
  42. “Drop Dead Healthy: One Man’s Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection” by A.J. Jacobs: Jacobs embarks on a mission to become the healthiest person in the world, navigating through a myriad of health and fitness advice with humour and skepticism.
  43. “The Serendipity Mindset: The Art and Science of Creating Good Luck” by Christian Busch: Busch introduces the concept of ‘smart luck’, arguing that we can cultivate conditions for unexpected positive outcomes or ‘serendipity’ in our lives.
  44. “Leadership Strategy and Tactics: Field Manual” by Jocko Willink: A practical guide to leadership in any realm, filled with direct, easy-to-understand advice from former Navy SEAL, Jocko Willink.
  45. “These Are Not Gentle People: Two Dead Men. Forty Suspects. The Trial That Broke a Small South African Town” by Andrew Harding: A gripping true crime story set in South Africa that explores the complex dynamics of a small town and a brutal crime that exposes deep-seated racial tension.
  46. “The Puzzler: One Man’s Quest to Solve the Most Baffling Puzzles Ever, from Crosswords to Jigsaws to the Meaning of Life” by Alex Bellos: Bellos embarks on a fascinating journey into the world of puzzles, illuminating the joy and intellectual fulfillment they offer.
  47. “In the Dark of War: A CIA Officer’s Inside Account of the U.S. Evacuation from Libya” by Sarah Carlson: A riveting account of Carlson’s experiences in Libya during the outbreak of the civil war, painting a gripping picture of the realities faced by intelligence officers in conflict zones.
  48. “We Were Never Here: A Novel” by Andrea Bartz: A tense psychological thriller about two best friends whose annual reunion trip turns deadly, challenging the boundaries of friendship and unveiling dark secrets.
  49. “Relentless” by Tim S. Grover: Grover, a legendary trainer to top athletes, shares his philosophy on achieving excellence, demonstrating how relentless perseverance and mental toughness can lead to unparalleled success.
  50. “A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy” by William B. Irvine: Irvine offers a refreshing perspective on Stoicism, explaining how its ancient wisdom can help us find lasting happiness in our modern world.
  51. “Missionaries” by Phil Klay: A profound exploration of the global war on terror, focusing on the intertwining lives of four characters and offering an unflinching look at the complexities of warfare in the 21st century.
  52. “Dead in the Water” by Kit Chellel and Matthew Campbell: An eye-opening investigation into the lawlessness of the maritime world, exposing shocking tales of crime, corruption, and exploitation on the high seas.
  53. “A Little Life” by Hanya Yanagihara: A profoundly moving novel about the enduring bonds of friendship, the depths of human suffering, and the inexhaustible capacity for resilience.
  54. “The Glass Kingdom” by Lawrence Osborne: Set in Bangkok, this novel spins a tale of expatriates adrift in a foreign land, entangled in a web of deceit, manipulation, and betrayal.
  55. “Ukraine Crisis: What It Means for the West” by Andrew Wilson: A comprehensive analysis of the Ukraine crisis, its roots, and its implications for Ukraine’s future and international relations.
  56. “Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why” by Laurence Gonzales: A fascinating exploration of the human survival instinct, blending riveting real-life stories with cutting-edge research in psychology, neurobiology, and physics.
  57. “Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life” by Jordan B. Peterson: The sequel to Peterson’s “12 Rules for Life,” offering further guidance on how to navigate life’s chaos, find meaning, and strive towards a balance of order and freedom.
  58. “The Resolutions” by Mia García: A heartwarming young adult novel about four friends who make New Year’s resolutions for one another, leading to a year of risk-taking, self-discovery, and the power of friendship.
  59. “After the Fall: Being American in the World We’ve Made” by Ben Rhodes: Rhodes reflects on the state of America’s global standing in the wake of recent political upheavals, exploring the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.
  60. “How to Decide: Simple Tools for Making Better Choices” by Annie Duke: Duke, a former professional poker player and decision strategist, provides practical tools for making quick and accurate decisions in our everyday lives.
  61. “A Cry From the Far Middle: Dispatches from a Divided Land” by P.J. O’Rourke: A collection of satirical essays offering biting commentary on the polarisation of American politics and culture, and a plea for a return to the sanity of the political middle ground.
  62. “The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America” by Timothy Snyder: Snyder presents a sharp analysis of the rise of authoritarianism, highlighting the socio-political shifts in Russia, Europe, and the US and their impact on the global political order.
  63. “Effortless: Make It Easier to Do What Matters Most: The Instant New York Times Bestseller” by Greg McKeown: McKeown shares insightful advice on how to make the most essential aspects of life feel effortless, reducing stress and boosting productivity.
  64. “Sizing People Up: A Veteran FBI Agent’s User Manual for Behavior Prediction” by Robin Dreeke: A guide to reading people, predicting their behavior, and building trust, filled with practical tips based on Dreeke’s experience as an FBI agent.
  65. “Thinking, Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman: Kahneman, a Nobel laureate, explores the two systems that drive our thought processes — fast, intuitive thinking, and slow, deliberate thinking — and how they shape our decision-making.
  66. “Nine Lives: The True Story of an MI6 Double Agent on the Frontlines” by Aimen Dean: Dean recounts his riveting story of becoming a double agent for the MI6, providing a rare and valuable perspective on the global war on terror.
  67. “Clearer, Closer, Better: How Successful People See the World” by Emily Balcetis: Balcetis uses psychological research to reveal how successful people literally see the world differently, and provides practical ways for anyone to achieve their goals through altering their perspective.
  68. “Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman” by Yvon Chouinard: Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, shares his philosophy of business, sustainability, and the balance between work and life, providing insight into the success of his unconventional company.
  69. “Wanting: The Power of Mimetic Desire in Everyday Life” by Luke Burgis: Burgis introduces the concept of ‘mimetic desire’ — the innate human tendency to desire what others desire — and its transformative influence on personal and societal decisions.
  70. “Flux: 8 Superpowers for Thriving in Constant Change” by April Rinne: Rinne offers a roadmap for navigating perpetual change, explaining how certain mindsets and skills can turn uncertainty into opportunities for growth and innovation.
  71. “When McKinsey Comes to Town: The Hidden Influence of the World’s Most Powerful Consulting Firm” by Duff McDonald: An exposé of McKinsey & Company, revealing the firm’s immense influence and offering a critique of its methods and its role in shaping global business.
  72. “The Like Switch: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Influencing, Attracting, and Winning People Over” by Jack Schafer: Schafer shares tips and techniques used by FBI agents to influence, attract, and win people over, making this a valuable resource for enhancing personal and professional relationships.
  73. “Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street” by John Brooks: A collection of timeless lessons from Wall Street’s history, revealing the successes, failures, and quirks of the financial industry, offering insights applicable to business today.
  74. “Drunk: How We Sipped, Danced, and Stumbled Our Way to Civilization” by Edward Slingerland: An engaging exploration of alcohol’s role in human society, arguing that it has played a central role in our culture and may have been a key factor in our development as a species.
  75. “Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals” by Oliver Burkeman: Burkeman offers a liberating perspective on time management, embracing the limitations of our human lifespan to help us focus on what truly matters.
  76. “Philosophy for Life: And Other Dangerous Situations” by Jules Evans: Evans presents ancient philosophies as practical wisdom for modern life, offering tools for facing challenges, enhancing emotional resilience, and finding meaning.
  77. “How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life” by Scott Adams: Adams, the creator of Dilbert, shares his personal story of repeated failure and how it ultimately led him to success, promoting resilience and adaptability.
  78. “Independence Square” by A.D. Miller: A complex political thriller set in Ukraine and London, revealing a web of corruption and power struggles, and how a man’s personal and professional life is impacted by these forces.
  79. “Off the Clock: Feel Less Busy While Getting More Done” by Laura Vanderkam: Vanderkam presents a time-management strategy that focuses on achieving more by doing less, offering tips on how to make time for what’s truly important.
  80. “Anything But Fine” by Tobias Madden: A touching coming-of-age novel about a ballet dancer whose life takes an unexpected turn after an injury, leading him to discover new passions and redefine his identity.
  81. “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance” by Angela Duckworth: Duckworth introduces the concept of ‘grit’ — a combination of passion and perseverance — as a key predictor of success, more important than talent or intelligence.
  82. “Shantaram” by Gregory David Roberts: An epic novel based on the author’s own life, chronicling the story of an escaped Australian convict who finds a new life in the slums, bars, and underworld of Bombay.
  83. “The Gift of Fear” by Gavin de Becker: De Becker examines the intuition of fear, arguing that it is a vital signal that can help us avoid violence and danger, and provides guidance on distinguishing genuine threats from misplaced anxiety.
  84. “The Premonition: A Pandemic Story” by Michael Lewis: A riveting account of the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, spotlighting the scientists and public health officials who saw the crisis coming and struggled to alert the public.
  85. “How to Build an Aircraft Carrier: The Incredible Story of the Men and Women Who Brought Britain’s Biggest Warship to Life” by Richard Johnstone-Bryden: A remarkable tale of engineering and human achievement, chronicling the construction of Britain’s largest warship.
  86. “‘Into Africa’: Channel Islands to Cape Town by Motorcycle” by Patrick and Tish Hamilton-Smith: An adventurous and inspiring travelogue chronicling the authors’ motorcycle journey across Africa, offering a fresh perspective.
  87. “The First to Die at the End” by Adam Silvera: A companion to “They Both Die at the End,” this novel continues to explore themes of mortality, fate, and the value of time, offering an emotionally resonant portrayal of characters grappling with impending death. Silvera’s work is noted for its thoughtful exploration of difficult themes, presented with empathy, wit, and a deeply human touch.
  88. “Bangkok Wakes to Rain: A Novel” by Pitchaya Sudbanthad: An evocative tale of Bangkok’s past, present, and future, weaving together the stories of various characters whose lives are intricately connected to the city.
  89. “Marrakech, Tangier + Casablanca” by Monocle: A travel guide from Monocle that takes you through the dynamic cities of Marrakech, Tangier, and Casablanca. Filled with insightful tips and recommendations, the book uncovers hidden gems and highlights the must-visit sites in these Moroccan cities. Rich in culture and history, the guide provides a comprehensive overview of what makes each of these destinations unique, with an emphasis on design, art, and cuisine.
  90. “The Stranger in the Lifeboat: A Novel” by Mitch Albom: In this thought-provoking novel, a group of shipwreck survivors find a man who claims to be ‘God’ in their lifeboat, prompting philosophical debates about faith, morality, and the nature of God.
  91. “Bullet Train” by Kotaro Isaka: A darkly comedic thriller set on a high-speed train in Japan, where various assassins, each with a unique motive, aim to kill their target before reaching the final stop.
  92. “High Performance: Lessons from the Best on Becoming Your Best” by Jake Humphrey and Professor Damian Hughes: Drawing from their podcast, Humphrey and Hughes share insights from their interviews with high performers across various disciplines. They explore what drives these individuals to excel and offer lessons on focus, dedication, resilience, and continual improvement, ultimately helping readers to strive towards their personal best.
  93. “Decision Time: How to Make the Choices Your Life Depends On” by Laurence Alison: A leading psychologist, Laurence Alison offers a deep dive into decision-making in high-pressure situations. He uses real-world examples from emergency rooms, air traffic control towers, and crisis negotiations to reveal how we can make better decisions in our own lives. This book equips readers with the knowledge and tools to make effective decisions, manage risk, and navigate uncertainty.
  94. “Proof of Life: Twenty Days on the Hunt for a Missing Person in the Middle East” by Daniel Levin: This gripping non-fiction narrative takes readers into the heart of the Middle Eastern underworld. Levin, a lawyer and crisis management expert, recounts his harrowing twenty-day journey to locate a missing person. His quest brings him face-to-face with corrupt officials, human traffickers, and extremists, illuminating the complex and often dangerous geopolitical landscape of the region.
  95. “A Cook’s Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines” by Anthony Bourdain is a travel and culinary memoir by Anthony Bourdain, where he takes readers on a gastronomic journey across the world. Bourdain explores various countries, from Cambodia to Morocco, and dives into their unique and sometimes unconventional cuisines. Through his witty and insightful narration, Bourdain offers an exploration of cultural traditions, personal reflections, and encounters with local chefs and food enthusiasts. The book offers a blend of food, travel, and storytelling, providing a captivating and adventurous glimpse into the diverse and sometimes extreme culinary experiences from around the globe.



Tom Warneke

Risk. Security. Travel. Geopolitics. Foreign Affairs. International Aid. The Arts. What makes the world tick and what’s the story behind what’s going on.