In 2022 I read 20 books. This was 8 more than the goal I set in 2021 and the second-lowest number of books I’ve read since I started keeping track back in 2018 (you can find the list here). I had originally set a goal of 12 books, a modest increase from the 9 that I read in 2021. A big reason for the increase was regaining a commute into the office in mid-2022 as well as a vacation without kids for the first time in several years. Having this dedicated time to read helped out.
How to Take Over the World: Practical Schemes and Scientific Solutions for the Aspiring Supervillain - Ryan North
This was a really fun read. Ryan walks us through a lot of the science on how to take over the world as a supervillian. Most of the schemes would actually help improve the world. The sense of humour, fun facts and science really spoke to me.
Technically Wrong: Sexist Apps, Biased Algorithms, and Other Threats of Toxic Tech - Sara Wachter-Boettcher
Honestly, if you work in tech or tech-adjacent this is a must read. Sara does a good job covering both the visible and invisible biases we have and how that impacts the technology that we build. There’s a number of real-world examples that are used from the length of form fields for names, how default settings can be deceptive to certain groups of people and how AI/Big Data is built with our own biases and how that can impact people.
What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions - Randall Munroe
Another really easy read that had me laughing. I listened to this book but would suggest to others that you buy/borrow a physical copy so you can view all of comics that come with it. I also listened to the sequel, What If? 2: Additional Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions and highly recommend both
Becoming Bulletproof: Protect Yourself, Read People, Influence Situations, and Live Fearlessly - Evy Poumpouras
I read this at the beginning of the year so my memory is a little iffy but it was a really interested read. It was part memoir with interesting stories of her experience as a secret service agent and part self help on how to handle your fears and protect yourself.
Last year I read/listened to 20 books. You can find the full list here. I listened to 17 audiobooks (at 1.5x speed) for a total of 92 hours of listening time (3.8 days). On average it took me 13.8 days to get through an audiobook vs 6.66 days to get through a hard copy. This was mainly because I only read 3 books and two were on vacation where I went through them in less than a day. Of the 3 physical books, I read a total of 1057 pages.
Of the 20 books, 5 were written by women (25%). This was a significant increase from last year (11%) but a decrease from 2020 and 2019 (40% and 35% respectively). My goal in 2023 is to bring this back up to 40%.
For the second year in a row, my average rating was below the average (4.00 vs 4.1435).
Technology and Business surpassed Science Fiction as my favourite genre for the first time.
Five Year Summary
2022 marks the fifth year of collecting statistics around my reading habits so I thought I’d do a rough summary of some of the data. In total I’ve read 122 books, broken out into 30 physical books, 89 audiobooks and 3 eBooks. I’ve read 7296 pages and listened for 21.28 days.
On average, it takes me 60 days to finish a book with the longest being 161 days and the shortest being finished in a single day. I read the most books in January and the least in May. This makes sense since I always start a new reading challenge at the beginning of the year. I think by the time spring comes I’ve burnt myself out.
I already have a couple of goals for 2023 and honestly, they’re exactly the same as previous years. I want to continue being mindful of the books I’m reading and who’s writing them and I want to make sure that I’m reading books from a diverse set of authors. My goal is to read at least 40% of my books from female authors.
The second goal is to read at least 15 books. This is a slight increase from last year (12) but less than I ended up reading. As with last year, I want to be more consistent with the number of books I read in a month. I often get on a roll and then burn out. Basically, from 2019 onwards you can see when I burn myself out reading (generally April) and I don’t pick it up again until November when I realize I have a goal to hit.
Here’s to 2023 and hopefully many more books!