Ben Heels

Everything I do, all in one place.

The Books I Read in 2022

2022 was an excellent year of reading—a year of spontaneity, of curiosity, and of exploring new subjects. I went into 2022 with a list of “10 Books I Want to Read This Year” and read almost none of them. Most everything on my TO-READ list is older fiction titles; almost everything I read in 2022 was new and nonfiction. So much for that. That being said, the books I did read were very good.

I read a total of 17 books last year. I also read (listened to?) my first audiobook, read a small handful of graphic novels, and read obsessively about a subject I never thought I would be interested in.

I had lots and lots to say about each of them, so I made a video! As always, I’d love to hear what you think.

The complete list is below, followed by some secondary resources:

  1. Stephen Koldehoff and Tobias Timm – Art & Crime: The Fight Against Looters, Forgers, and Fraudsters in the High-Stakes Art World (2020, translated 2022)
  2. Steve Reich – Conversations (2022)
  3. David Sedaris – Happy-Go-Lucky (2022)
  4. A. J. Jacobs – The Puzzler (2022)
  5. W. Timothy Gallwey – The Inner Game of Tennis (1974)
  6. Thích Nhất Hạnh – How to Focus (2022)
  7. Johann Hari – Stolen Focus (2022)
  8. Cal Newport – Digital Minimalism (2019)
  9. Max Fisher – The Chaos Machine (2022)
  10. Jon Chad – Pinball (2022)
  11. Haro Aso – Alice in Borderland Vol. 1 (2022)
  12. Haro Aso – Alice in Borderland Vol. 2 (2022)
  13. Reggie Fils-Aimé – Disrupting the Game (2022) [Audio]
  14. Jonathan Franzen – Crossroads (2021)
  15. Blake Crouch – Upgrade (2022)
  16. Don DeLillo – White Noise (1985)
  17. Don DeLillo – Underworld (1997)

Without question, Underworld was my 2022 Book of the Year. If you’d like to know why (and if you want to know more about any of the above titles), watch my video. What did you read? Have you read any of these?

For 2023, I’ve abandoned all of my reading goals and have decided to lean into the spontaneous reading that drove much of this past year. Instead of setting goals like “Read 12 Books!” or whatever number, and instead of having vague goals like “Read more classics,” I’ve decided to just read what interests me now, always, and to read truly and deeply, and (most importantly) for myself.

I have exactly two books planned for this year: William T. Vollmann’s first novel, You Bright and Risen Angels (1987) which I’m reading along with some friends on Instagram in March, and a re-reading of Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow (1973) for its 50th anniversary. Everything else is up in the air.

See Also:

Don DeLillo Discusses “Underworld”:

Don DeLillo BBC Documentary:

IG @/wastemailinglist’s review of White Noise:

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