The books I read in 2022

I leaned toward novels this year, while belatedly picking up some older non-fiction titles that had been on my to-read list for some time.

  • Archives, by Andrew Lison, Marcell Mars, Tomislav Medak, and Rick Prelinger
  • The Boy Kings: A Journey Into the Heart of the Social Network, by Katherine Losse
  • Cleanness, by Garth Greenwell
  • Dark Age Ahead, by Jane Jacobs
  • The Heat of the Moment: A Firefighter’s Stories of Life and Death Decisions, by Sabrina Cohen-Hatton
  • The Free World: Art and Thought in the Cold War, by Louis Menand
  • Harlem Shuffle, by Colson Whitehead
  • Lapvona, by Ottessa Moshfegh
  • The Listeners, by Jordan Tannahill
  • Paper Girls, By Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang
  • Pure Colour, by Sheila Heti
  • The Real World of Technology, by Ursula M. Franklin
  • Sea State, by Tabitha Lasley
  • Second Foundation, by Isaac Asimov
  • A Separation, by Katie Kitamura
  • Son of Elsewhere: A Memoir in Pieces, by Elamin Abdelmahmoud
  • The Three-Body Problem, by Liu Cixin
  • The Topeka School, by Ben Lerner
  • The Trouble with Brunch: Work, Class, and the Pursuit of Leisure, by Shawn Micallef


  • I picked up The Free World on a whim and while I had expected it to be about “the CIA invented abstract expressionism!” and so on, it’s more of a series of potted biographies of key midcentury artists and academics; the Cold War is simply a backdrop to it all (which is fine!). Very breezy and engaging.
  • Feeling so annoyed with humanity that you deliberately provoke alien invasion? Though it was originally written in 2008, The Three-Body Problem fit my 2022 mood quite well.
  • After reading Seeing Like a State last year and finding it interesting but ponderous, Ursula Franklin’s 1989 Massey Lecture series, The Real World of Technology, made for an illuminating contrast. It’s lucid and concise, with a similarly sweeping view of history but a more thoughtful moral argument at its core. It shows its age in parts, but is otherwise uncannily relevant to the technological discourse of 2022.
  • I finished Asimov’s Foundation trilogy and I think I'm going to leave it at that.
  • Mixing memoir and reportage is not a new trick, but Tabitha Lasley turns the dial to 11 with Sea State. Both an account of the brutal labour conditions of North sea offshore oil drilling, and a vivid first-hand encounter with the equally extreme emotional terrain shaped by those conditions. Thrilling and cringe-inducing in the sheer recklessness of the project, with the narrative arc of a novel but the frank prose of a reporter whose beat is her own unraveling life. Strange and compelling.