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.