Posted: 12/20/2022 | December 20th, 2022
For the last five years, I’ve terminated the year with a list of my favorite reads. As a writer, reading comes with the territory. Writers just tend to read a lot. Then again, I’ve unchangingly been into reading overly since I was a little kid. I devour books. In a good year, I’ll read tropical to 80.
This year was not one of those years. I only read well-nigh 50 books.
As I compiled this list, I couldn’t help but notice that I gravitated a lot increasingly to history, literature, and self-improvement than I had in the past. Though this is a travel website and I like to read a lot of travel books, I’ve found that so many fall into the same narrative arc that I just needed a unravel from another typesetting on someone quitting their job to travel.
Instead, I’ve gotten a lot increasingly into destination-specific travelogues rather than personal travelogues. That got me lanugo a history rabbit slum and it’s where I’ve stayed most of the year.
I wonder if that will transpiration in the new year. What will next year bring? Who knows!
Here’s what I loved this year though:
1. Sahara Unveiled, by William Langewiesche
Written by journalist William Langewiesche in the 1990s, this typesetting is beautifully detailed and wonderfully written. I was hooked by the punchy prose from page one. Langewiesche travels from Algeria through Niger and Mali surpassing finishing in Dakar. Along the way, he offers deep insight into the culture and history of the region at a time when there was a lot of transpiration happening. A fascinating snapshot in time.
2. Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage, by Alfred Lansing
This iconic typesetting is well-nigh Ernest Shackleton’s epic journey to navigate Antarctica in 1914. While trying to reach the South Pole, his wend got stuck in the ice and he and his hairdo were forced to welsh ship and walk north in hope of stuff rescued by a passing whaling boat. This typesetting highlights their journey and survival as they spend over a year on the ice. It was veritably riveting to read and a testament to the strong will and skill of the men involved.
3. The Deepest South of All: True Stories from Natchez, Mississippi, by Richard Grant
Richard Grant is a UK writer who moved to Missisppi and has been writing some unconfined stuff well-nigh the state for years (check out his last book, which is one of my all time favorites). This typesetting is well-nigh the trappy town of Natchez, a place I visited well-nigh six years when and really loved. In it, he talks well-nigh this weird quirky town and how it’s grappling with its past. He interviews all sorts of unique people and dives into the city’s history and customs. It’s travel writing at its best.
4. The Far Land: 200 Years of Murder, Mania, and Wildcat in the South Pacific, by Brandon Presser
This typesetting recaps the famous Mutiny on the Bounty from the 1700s. The Royal navy mutineers ended up on the modern-day island of Pitcairn and the typesetting traces the mutiny. I never really knew much well-nigh this incident and it was really interesting to see what happened to the hairdo who made it home and what happened to those who mutinied (and the island culture they created).
5. Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals, by Oliver Burkeman
I liked this typesetting so much that I read it twice. It utterly reverted my life and how I view time. The gist is this: there will never be unbearable time to do everything, so don’t try. Get used to the fact that some things just won’t get done, and that when you do “master email” all you do is add increasingly emails to your list. It is an anti-time-management typesetting and has profoundly influenced the way I now squint at time and what I do with it. I can’t recommend it enough. It was my favorite typesetting of the year.
6. Do Nothing: How to Unravel Away from Overworking, Overdoing, and Underliving, by Celeste Headlee
This typesetting was recommended to me by a friend who moreover read my new favorite book, Four Thousand Weeks (see above). Do Nothing, rather than stuff a typesetting on the nature of time, is increasingly well-nigh how we need to separate work and play and have increasingly room to be “bored.” We view busyness as a good thing but this typesetting says creating holes in our timetable allows us to process our thoughts and be creative. It’s a lot increasingly focused on work/life wastefulness and very much a good second read without Four Thousand Weeks.
7. Wanting: The Power of Mimetic Desire in Everyday Life, by Luke Burgis
This typesetting is well-nigh how, whether we realize it or not, we mimic all policies we see and how there’s really no such thing as self-sustaining thought. We are all influenced, consciously and subconsciously, by models in our lives (think well-nigh how you didn’t finger like pizza until you saw someone else eating it) and we then mimic that behavior. It was a fascinating squint at how we all make decisions.
8. From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home, by Tembi Locke
Set in the lush Sicilian countryside, Tembi discovers the healing powers of food, family, and unexpected grace without her husband dies. From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home is a captivating story of love lost and found (it was a New York Times bestseller too). I veritably loved the powerful imagery and emotion of this book. I teared up so many times. It’s an incredible read.
9. How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States, by Daniel Immerwahr
This typesetting chronicles the history of the United States empire. It covers how the country grew, uninventive overseas expansions, how “mainland” Americans felt well-nigh it, and how US dominance without World War II influenced the world map. Even today, the US has lots of territories and overseas possessions that we never really think well-nigh (see Doug Mack’s The Not-Quite States of America for a travel version of this). While dense, the typesetting illuminates a lot of history that we don’t really talk about.
10. Northland: A 4,000-Mile Journey Along America’s Forgotten Border, by Porter Fox
Porter Fox grew up in Maine and, without a life of travel, decides to learn increasingly well-nigh the US/Canada border. So, starting in Maine, he heads west tracing the border, learning well-nigh its history and meeting interesting people all the way to Washington. With a lot of vivid descriptions and historical background, Fox weaves together a really wonderful travel book.
11. The Song of Achilles, by Madeline Miller
Last year, I read Circe by Madeline Miller and many of you recommended picking up her first book, The Song of Achilles, which tells the tale of Achilles from the perspective of his love, Patroclus. While I didn’t like this as much as Circe (mostly considering she wide so much as a writer in her second book), this typesetting was still phenomenally written. It’s an wondrous first book. If you haven’t read anything by Miller, definitely pick up both considering you won’t be disappointed.
12. How to Be a Family: The Year I Dragged My Kids Virtually the World to Find a New Way to Be Together, by Dan Kois
Dan Kois and his family are in a rut in their suburban life. So, he and his wife decide to take their two daughters on a trip virtually the world in hopes of finding ways to be closer as a family. I found this typesetting to be really insightful with hilarious prose and wise observations. In unrepealable parts, you get to hear from his kids too on their version of the stories he tells.
13. The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey, by Candice Millard
This typesetting traces Theodore Roosevelt’s journey through the River of Doubt. Without he lost the Presidential referendum in 1912, he had the opportunity to go lanugo to Brazil. Originally supposed to be an easy trip, he opts to map the River of Doubt with Cndido Rondon, a Brazilian Colonel put in tuition of him. Along the way, they get sick, have frightening encounters with natives, have to deal with murder, and wits a lack of provisions as they map this never-before-mapped river. It was an eye-opening read.
14. 30 Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice from the Wisest Americans, by Karl Pillemer
This typesetting focuses on 30 lessons learned from people at the end of their life. Pillemer interviews hundreds of seniors to find out what their biggest lessons in life were and then distills it lanugo to 30 that cut wideness work, life, relationships, marriage, money, success, friendship, and more. At 41, I have learned a lot of these lessons once but it was a good reminder of what is important and what is worth spending my time and energy on. It’s definitely a typesetting anyone, expressly those who are young, should read.
15. The Vagabond’s Way: 366 Meditations on Wanderlust, Discovery, and the Art of Travel, by Rolf Potts
Rolf is one of the original upkeep travel experts and his first typesetting Vagabonding is a travel classic. His newest typesetting is all well-nigh bringing your adventurous, curious, and open-minded travel mindset home with you. With insightful quotes and reflections, the typesetting showcases just how much travel is a way of life and not just the act of “going somewhere.” Without years of limited travel due to COVID, this typesetting is the perfect reminder that travel is a mindset that should be embraced anywhere and everywhere you go.
There you have it! My favorite books of 2022. If you’re looking for a new read, trammels out one of these books! And, if you’re looking for something else, click here to see previous weightier typesetting lists I’ve written! Now that I am settled in Austin for the next few months, I squint forward to ramping up my reading again. So many books, so little time!