My entire life, I’ve been a voracious reader. I am not really sure why this is the case. I guess it may have something to do with being an introvert, you are never alone when you are reading a good book.

It was almost 700 years ago when the legendary book lover Petrarch made the observation that: “books give delight to the very marrow of one’s bones.”

There is a saying in Latin that goes, “liber medicina animi,” which translates to “a book is a medicine for the soul.” That’s exactly what I’ve been looking for in books.

Reading allows us to discover that we are not alone in the world.

Reading also helps with thinking. As Fran Lebowitz said: Think before you speak. Read before you think.

Here is my reading list for 2022:

  1. Made in the USA: The Rise and Retreat of American Manufacturing – Vaclav Smil <—- Enjoy anything written by Vaclav Smil and this book was no different. He explores the impact of technological innovations, economic policies, and global competition on the American manufacturing sector. It also examines the consequences of the decline of American manufacturing, including the loss of jobs and the decline of certain industries. [9/10]
  2. 2084: Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Humankind is a book – Michael Osborne and Carl Benedikt Frey <—– The book explores the potential for AI to automate many jobs, leading to job displacement and increased inequality. It also examines the potential impact of AI on decision-making, privacy, and security. The authors also discuss the ethical implications of AI, including issues of bias, accountability, and transparency. [7/10]
  3. Manthatisi and Sekonyela: Queen of the Batlokwa by Heritage Publishers <—- I love history and the story of Queen Manthatisi is I believe a story that’s not shared enough. This book is about the rise of one of Africa’s warrior Queens. [9/10]
  4. Shaka: From Outcast to iNkosi by Heritage Publishers – Reading about King Shaka’s adventures never gets old to me, thus I recommend it to anyone who finds themselves looking for a good historical read. [8/10]
  5. Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us – Seth Godin [Reread] <—- Seth argues that in today’s world, anyone can start a tribe and lead it to create change. He states that the internet and social media have made it easier than ever for people to find and connect with like-minded individuals and create a tribe. The book provides practical advice on how to start a tribe and lead it effectively. Because Seth is my favourite author, I gave this book such a high rating because of how much I enjoy him. [9/10]
  6. The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom – Don Miguel Ruiz <— The book presents a simple but powerful code of conduct for attaining personal freedom and true happiness. I think it’s a must-read for anyone. [8/10]
  7. Between the World and Me – Ta-Nehisi Coates – This nonfiction book is written as a letter from a black man to his son, Samori. This book captures what it’s like to be black in America and to know that the cops are not on your side, that they won’t help you, and that they represent danger. [9/10]
  8. Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts – Brene Brown [Reread]- I haven’t read a lot of Brene Brown’s books but out of a couple that I have read, this one didn’t do it for me. I loved Braving the Wilderness much better. Some books you read because they are popular, and then you realise why you shouldn’t read popular books. [7/10]
  9. The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon – Brad Stone – The book is entertaining. The chapters describe Jeff Bezos’s ideology and the company’s 20-year struggles. Thankfully, this book is only around 50% worship fiction, which is usual in books about “visionary founders.” The other 50% is an interesting read about Amazon’s origins, difficulties, and vast empire from a high-level business perspective. [9/10] 
  10. The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power – Shoshana Zuboff [Reread]- If there is a book that tells it like it is in regards to the evil that tech giants are doing, this book is it. Shoshana doesn’t pull any punches. It’s my favourite. [9/10]
  11. Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike” is a memoir – Phil Knight [Reread]- If you love shoes, and sneakers to be particular and you love business, you will enjoy this book. [9/10]
  12. The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears – Dinaw Mengestu <—- I’m not into novels but I loved this one. It is a novel about the experiences of Ethiopian immigrants in Washington D.C. [9/10]
  13. Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China – Ezra Vogel – Deng Xiaoping is the leader who pioneered the miracle that lifted the vast majority of Chinese people out of poverty. I really admire his modesty. [9/10]
  14. The Man Who Broke Capitalism: How Jack Welch Gutted the Heartland and Crushed the Soul of Corporate America―and How to Undo His Legacy – David Gelles – Here David Gelles is brave. He shares the damage that one of the most celebrated business managers has caused to corporate thinking and ultimately to capitalism. [9/10]
  15. Lights Out: Pride, Delusion and the Fall of General Electric – Thomas Gryta – This was a fantastic exploration into the inner workings of GE and the failures of leadership. [8/10]
  16. The Chancellor: The Remarkable Odyssey of Angela Merkel by Kati Marton – I think I have a thing for humility and for humble people. This is a book about the remarkable leader of Germany. This can easily be my book of the year for 2022. [9/10]
  17. Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person – Shonda Rhimes – A good read about an introvert spending a year doing things that she would usually say no to. [8/10]
  18. Their Eyes Were Watching God –  Zora Neale Hurston – The most prevalent theme in this book is a search for unconditional, true, and fulfilling love. [8/10]
  19. Ego Is The Enemy – Ryan Holiday [Reread]- This remains one of my favourite books on life. [9/10]
  20. The Power of African Innovation: How Local Entrepreneurs Create Global Markets – Iyiola Solanke <— This book explores how African entrepreneurs are driving innovation and growth in Africa, and how their successes can be replicated in other regions. [9/10]
  21. It’s Not All About You: The Secret Joy of Practical Humility – Daniel Aaron Cohen – The book addresses how society’s lack of humility impacts mental health and suggests basic, straightforward ways to be happier. The book offers hundreds of “mental happiness tools” to help readers and mental health practitioners cope with life’s challenges with a sense of humor. [7/10]
  22. Like An Eagle – The Ultimate Blueprint For Meaningful Achievement – Dineo Molokoane – Amazing stories told in an amazing and yet honest manner backed by scriptures. [8/10]
  23. The Compound Effect – Darren Hardy – This book is about habits. It states that tiny consistent action over time yields higher results than intensely large but short changes. [8/10]
  24. The Prosperity Paradox: How Innovation Can Lift Nations Out of Poverty – Clay Christensen, Efosa Ojomo and Karen Dillon [Reread]- This is a great book on how to use innovation to solve problems and in the process uplift people out of poverty. My rating is biased, but it is an important book. [9/10]
  25. Twilight of Democracy – Anne Applebaum – I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Very thought-provoking but amazing analysis about the future of democracy globally. [8/10]
  26. Climate Justice: Hope, Resilience, and the Fight for a Sustainable Future – Mary Robinson – Climate change is an important topic, and how we transition to clean energy is even more important. [7/10]
  27. The Circle Maker: Praying Circles Around Your Biggest Dreams and Greatest Fears – Mark Batterson – Some people spend their entire lives on the eastern shore of the Jordan waiting for God to part the river while God waits for them to get their feet wet. [8/10]
  28. The Industries of the Future – Alec Ross – The book discusses which industries are poised for a breakthrough and which are on the decline or will need fewer workers in the future, and it’s an interesting read. [8/10]
  29. Illumination – Nthikeng Mohlele – The protagonist, Bantubonke, was inspired by his music and paintings. When his artistry declined, he became depressed. His devotion to his dying craft made him psychotic. He resorted to music in his “listening chamber” to escape his difficulties. [8/10]
  30. The Most Powerful Idea in the World: A Story of Steam, Industry, and Invention – William Rosen – What the author deemed to be the world’s most influential idea caught me off guard a little. The book offers an interesting account of the factors and innovations that led to the Industrial Revolution. It was amazing to learn about the interplay between steam power, coal mining, textile production, transportation, and other factors that contributed to growth. [9/10] 
  31. A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future – Daniel H. Pink <—- This book argues that the future belongs to those who can think creatively and emotionally, and offers strategies for developing right-brain thinking skills. [8/10]
  32. Infections and Inequalities: The Modern Plagues – Paul Farmer <—- This book explores the relationship between poverty, inequality, and the spread of infectious diseases. Paul Farmer dedicated his career to addressing the healthcare needs of marginalised communities and advocating for social justice in global health. [9/10]
  33. Finding Me – Viola Davis <—- This is a biography of Viola Davis, she grew up hard in a very poor family. She narrates her journey into being one of the amazing actors of our times. If you are into performing acts, this book is for you. I thoroughly enjoyed it [9/10]
  34. Gulag: A History – Anne Applebaum – This book is scary, it’s like reading about the horrors of apartheid in South Africa. The book provides a detailed and chilling account of the brutal conditions in the camps, where millions of prisoners were subjected to forced labour, starvation, disease, and abuse. [8/10]
  35. Invent and Wander: The Collected Writing of Jess Bezos – Walter Issacson [Reread]- I loved this book. If you are an entrepreneur, this is a must-read. [9/10]
  36. Innovation and Its Enemies: Why People Resist New Technologies – Calestous Juma – The book argues that innovation and technological change have always been met with resistance and that this resistance is often rooted in deep-seated social, economic, and political factors. A brilliant read by the late Kenyan scholar. [9/10]
  37. 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos – Jordan Peterson – The rules cover a wide range of topics, including taking responsibility for one’s actions, standing up for oneself, pursuing one’s goals, and taking care of oneself and others. Peterson also draws on a variety of sources, including religious texts, myths, and scientific research, to support his ideas and advice. [8/10]
  38. Academia Next: The Futures of Higher Education – Bryan Alexander – This is an outline of academia’s transition from an independent education provider to a market-driven industry. [7/10]
  39. Zola Mahobe and the Mamelodi Sundowns Story – Don Lepati and Nikolaos Kirkinis <—- All I can say on this one is that I couldn’t put it down. Great story, told very well. [9/10]
  40. Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup – John Carreyrou – This is a sad story about entrepreneurship gone wrong. This is a what-not-to-do for startup entrepreneurs. [9/10]
  41. Conquering The Poverty of the Mind – MaZwane’s Story – Rita Zwane and Isabella Morris – The remarkable story of how Busy Corner Restaurant was formed. The story of rags to riches by a courageous entrepreneur. [9/10]
  42. Do It Afraid – Joyce Meyer – Joyce Meyer does a brilliant job of decoding fear using scripture and how to overcome it. A soothing read. [8/10]
  43. The Age of Spiritual Machines – Ray Kurzweil – Kurzweil expects computers to outperform humans by 2029. Humans will be able to use supercomputer power to create machines with human intelligence and flexibility. [8/10]
  44. The Algebra of Happiness – Scott Galloway – I follow Scott Galloway’s podcasts and I love them, I love how he thinks, I’m just not sure I loved this book, the same way I do the podcasts. Anyway, it’s a 6 out of 10 for me.
  45. Do Epic Shit – Ankur Warikoo – I must say this book took me by surprise. It has some very nice nuggets. It’s written like Seth Godin’s book, with small bite-sized tips on various business and life lessons. [9/10]
  46. Digital Minimalism – Cal Newport – Somehow I was expecting more from this book, it’s okay. I was left underwhelmed, maybe it’s just me. [6/10]
  47. Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World – Cal Newport – Deep work is critically important, I’m not so sure if Cal did justice to the topic. Maybe I need to slow down on self-help books [7/10]
  48. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions – Thomas S. Kuhn <—– this book explores the history of science and how major breakthroughs happen, and how paradigms shift in science [8/10]
  49. Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies – Jared Diamond – The book started well, but somehow I struggled in the middle, and as a result couldn’t finish it. [5/10]
  50. Surrounded by Psychopaths: How to Recognize and Escape the Manipulation, Deception and Emotional Abuse of Narcissists, Sociopaths and Other Toxic People – Thomas Erikson – The book provides insights and practical strategies on how to recognise and deal with individuals that have psychopathic tendencies, how to protect yourself from their manipulation and abuse, and how to disengage from toxic relationships. [8/10]
  51. How The World Really Works – Vaclav Smil – It’s an okay book, I wasn’t really hooked by it, even though I like Vaclav Smil’s books. [5/10]
  52. We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families – Philip Gourevitch – This book is a non-fiction account of the Rwandan genocide in 1994, and how it was covered by the international community and media. Heart-wrenching book about the Rwandan genocide. [9/10]
  53. Failure: Why Science Is So Successful – Stuart Firestein – This book examines why and how scientists make mistakes, saying that doing so is crucial to making advancement in the field. Firestein argues that scientists are motivated less by the need to achieve success and more by their desire to learn, despite the fact that they have experienced many failures and disappointments in their careers. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. [9/10]
  54. Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code – Ruha Benjamin <— It’s so depressing and interesting at the same time. This book is also really insightful about how tech perpetuates racism [8/10]

So many books, and so little time. If I end up going bankrupt, it will be because I spent too much money on books.

Someone once said: “Somewhere out there is a book that will completely change your life. Who knows? It might be your next one.”

I wish you all the best with your 2023 reading list.