During 2022, I read 101 books. I give some highlights from my year in books here by presenting my favourites.
Last year, I started a new job as an Engineering Manager. That particular job turned out to be a bummer, so I quit early 2023. Before that, however, I had an additional reason to read and re-read many good books about management, leadership, business, product development, and organising software development in preparation for the new job. My goal is still to move over to a management role within software development in the future, so all this will be useful eventually.
Since I already read a lot about the above topics most years, there has been a very heavy focus on them during 2022. I also read some books about health. I present my favourites across a few different categories below!
For a longer list of recommended reading related to business, see my Self-Study MBA Reading List post from last year. I read several books from that list.
Leadership and management
There are way too many good books in this category that I want to recommend. Nevertheless, here are my top 6 recommendations from the ones I read 2022:
- Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willinks and Leif Babin.
- Becoming a Manager by Linda A. Hill.
- The Wisdom of Teams by Jon R. Katzenbach and Douglas K. Smith.
- Team Topologies by Mathew Skelton and Manuel Pais.
- Simply Managing by Henry Mintzberg.
- The Emotionally Intelligent Leader by Daniel Goleman.
As a bonus, here’s a great Swedish book about labour law: ‘Arbetsrätt i praktiken’ by Lars Viklund, Martin Wästfelt.
When developing products (such as software products), it is also important to understand the specific needs for organising that well. Here, both product management and agile practices are important. Some great books:
- Empowered by Marty Cagan.
- The Lean Product Playbook by Dan Olsen.
- The Influential Product Manager by Ken Sandy.
- Doing Agile Right by Darrell Rigby, Sarah Elk, Steve Berez.
- Sprint by Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky, Brad Kowitz.
Other business books
Here are a few more business (in a wide sense) books worth mentioning:
- Measure What Matters by John Doerr.
- Mindset by Carol S. Dweck.
- The Culture Map by Erin Meyer.
- Value: The Four Cornerstones of Corporate Finance by McKinsey & Company.
- Talent, Strategy, Risk by Bill McNabb, Dennis Carey, Ram Charan.
These 5 are great, but this is by far only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. See my reading list linked above for more recommendations!
Regardless of role, knowledge of software development matters a whole lot when working with that. A few highly recommended books about software development at a high level:
- Effective Software Testing by Mauricio Aniche.
- Observability Engineering by Charity Majors, Liz Fong-Jones, George Miranda.
- Software Engineering at Google by Titus Winters, Tom Manshreck, Hyrum Wright.
- Designing Data-Intensive Applications by Martin Kleppmann.
No year of reading is complete for me without any mathematics. These two are accessible without much prior knowledge even and absolutely wonderful:
- An Introduction to Mathematical Proofs by Nicholas A Loehr.
- Gödel’s Proof by Ernest Nagel, James Roy Newman, Douglas R. Hofstadter.
I read a lot about healthy eating during 2022 too. I have two other blog posts about this. Here are my top reading recommendations:
- How Not to Die by Michael Greger, Gene Stone.
- Fiber Fueled by Will Bulsiewicz.
- A Grain of Salt by Joe Schwarcz.
- The Mind-Gut Connection by Emeran Mayer.
- The China Study by T. Colin Campbell.
On a lighter note
I also highly enjoyed these books that gave some new perspectives:
- What Is Populism? by Jan-Werner Müller.
- Free Market: The History of an Idea by Jacob Soll.
- Becoming Bulletproof by Evy Poumpouras.
This year, I even read some fiction, including a few books of Harry Potter! The first few books are well worth reading (or listening to).