I read about 20 books less than last year but with the move to a new country and a lot more travel I expected to read less. Reading should never be about numbers though and this year reading helped me as much as it has in recent years. I initially wanted to do a specific top ten list, but it feels restrictive, and I just decided highlight whatever stood out for me in the year.

I spent a lot of time traveling on buses to and from work which also meant that I consumed more audiobooks than I did last year. As far as discovering new books goes Prague has an extensive network of libraries that are practically free. While most of the books are in Czech the collection of English language books is large enough to keep me satisfied for a long while.

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These books did not necessarily come out in the year 2022

Origins of Art

A beautiful coffee table book that talks about a unique form of art from the Pardhan Gond community. A blend of art, photography, and social commentary. I found this in a bookstore in Pondicherry. A more detailed post about this book here

Origins of Art
The rich tradition of art from the Pardhan Gond community of central India is now internationally acclaimed. But what is not as well know...

The Bicycle Diaries

This was a delightful read from start to finish. Since the events that took place are from several decades ago there is only so much depth that the authors could delve into. At the end of it, all I was left wishing for was to go back in time and converse with these daredevils who set out on journeys unlike anything I have known, sitting on one of the most remarkable inventions of our time. The humble and everlasting bicycle.

A more detailed post I wrote about this book here. I got this book directly from the author via India post

The Bicycle Diaries
A century ago, twelve Indian cyclists undertook five separate global cycling journeys; eight of them succeeded. Each of these rides were ...

Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly

This was a tough one to read. Not because of the way it was written or the contents of the book. There was a constant sense of foreboding with every new chapter that I went through. A book like this is an insight into someone's soul.

The fact that a life like this eventually led to what now everyone knows about Anthony Bourdain was heartbreaking. There is one specific chapter in the book that is too eerie in its foreshadowing of the things that happened later. But in the spirit that it is written it doesn't feel that way at all.

While he often says that this book would appeal more to chefs and others from that world, it's an equally fascinating read for regular folks as well. He never shies away from laying the dark secrets of the industry bare and does it in the most entertaining way possible.

Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underb…
After twenty-five years of ’sex, drugs, bad behaviour a…

The Handmaid's Tale

The dystopian vision outlined in this book is absolutely chilling. I never saw the recent TV version of this, so I went into this one completely blind. It was hard to believe that this book was first written in 1985. Found this one in the Prague library.

The Handmaid’s Tale
It is the world of the near future, and Offred is a Han…

The Minimalist Entrepreneur

There are many start your own thing playbooks out there. Somehow this one felt almost relaxed and calming. Instead of making the idea of starting something on your own feel like a sometimes-insurmountable challenge, for the first time I began to feel like it is something achievable

I always felt I lacked the right mindset to start something of my own. This book won't make me start anything but reassured me in its simple messages that is a viable reality.

The Minimalist Entrepreneur
A new roadmap for building sustainable startups that last beyond the hype. As more and more cracks form in the myth of the VC-funded, IP...

Catch Me If You Can: The True Story of a Real Fake

At this point if you try and read about the saga of this man you will come across various reports of fake or exaggerated claims. By the time I was done hearing this audiobook it didn't really matter. It was simply an entertaining account of how one man gamed the system for years before he was finally caught. Fact or fiction? You won't care.

Catch Me If You Can: The True Story of a Real Fake
Frank W. Abagnale, alias Frank Williams, Robert Conrad,…

Where the Indus is Young & On a Shoestring to Coorg

The best travel writers make you feel like you were with them on every step of the journey. Dervla is certainly this and more. Her descriptions of places and people are unfettered and honest. This journey was undertaken with her six-year-old daughter in tow. Simply remarkable.

Where the Indus is Young
One winter, Dervla Murphy and her six-year-old daughter…
On a Shoestring to Coorg
From Bombay to the hippy beaches of Goa and on to the tropical tip of India, travelling by boat and bus, staying in fishermans huts and n...

Greenlights

It's hard to describe what Greenlights the memoir of Matthew McConaughey is about. It's part autobiography, part wisdom guide and just the soul of its author laid bare. Not just written in a style where you can hear his voice come through to you but also extremely playful in its visual presentation, by the end of it I could really feel what the man went through up to that point in his life.

Greenlights
From the Academy Award®–winning actor, an unconventional memoir filled with raucous stories, outlaw wisdom, and lessons learned the hard ...

Artemis

This was the first novel I read by Andy Weir. It's funny, fast paced and doesn't itself too seriously. The primary protagonist is female and is surprisingly unabashed about its portrayal of her as an attractive one not averse to using her charms to get what she wants. While I initially felt it was cliched in the end it worked because of its commitment to this particular personality of the character.

Found this in the Prague Public Library

Artemis
Jazz Bashara is a criminal. Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you’re not a rich tourist ...

Die with Zero: Getting All You Can from Your Money and Your Life

The title of the book really should give it all away. This quote from the book should tell you why you need to think about this topic.

Look, if all you want is to have a pile of money at the end, well, I guess that’s your choice. But bear in mind that I have never seen somebody’s total net worth posted on their tombstone.
Die with Zero: Getting All You Can from Your Money and …
A Common-Sense Guide to Living Rich….Instead of Dying R…

Cloud Cuckoo Land

This large tome is a lovely fable connecting characters across space and time. It's quite different from the author's previous novel "All the Light We Cannot See". It is hopeful and wondrous and mostly a joy to read.

Found this in the Prague Public Library

Cloud Cuckoo Land
When everything is lost, it’s our stories that survive. How do we weather the end of things? Cloud Cuckoo Land brings together an unforg...

The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World

Hilarious and profound at the same. Reading this truly made me happy 😃

The Geography of Bliss: One Grump’s Search for the Happ…
Weiner spent a decade as a foreign correspondent report…

The Dictionary of Lost Words

A period piece that revolves around words and women's empowerment told from a unique perspective.

The Dictionary of Lost Words
‘If you only read one book this year, let it be this one!’ FIVE STAR NETGALLEY READER REVIEW ’An extraordinary, charming novel... Willia...

Strange Weather in Tokyo

It's like a Murakami book written by another author. Something about Japanese settings and relationships between the unlikeliest of characters makes for a delightful read.

Strange Weather in Tokyo
Tsukiko is in her late 30s and living alone when one night she happens to meet one of her former high school teachers, ‘Sensei’, in a bar...

Murder in Old Bombay

I picked it up for the setting. A detective story set in British India. While the central mystery lost a bit of its steam by the end what mattered was the primary character playing detective. A bit unconventional but also sometimes succumbing to cliches it was still a wonderful start to a potential series.

Murder in Old Bombay
In 1892, Bombay is the center of British India. Nearby,…

No Full Stops In India

A nice set of essays set in the 80s and 90s of India. Easy read that gave some much needed insights into a different Indian era. The selection is diverse and the viewpoints of the author are reasonably open.

No Full Stops In India
India’s Westernized elite, cut off from local tradition…

The Lights of Prague

I bought this book India but waited to read it until I moved to Prague. I'm not specifically into the vampire genre but the novel sets up its atmosphere perfectly and it was joy to read about parts of the city that I had by then become familiar with.

The Lights of Prague
For readers of VE Schwab and The Witcher, science and m…

To Sleep in a Sea of Stars

I had attempted and given up on the Eragon series many years ago. So, I wasn't sure what to expect from the author's first adult book. The best way to describe my experience reading this was that I remained motivated enough to make it to the end. And it took a while to get to the end of this 880 page monster.

To Sleep in a Sea of Stars
Kira Navárez dreamed of life on new worlds. Now she’s a…

Better To Have Gone: Love, Death and the Quest for Utopia in Auroville

Dutifully researched and beautifully written, this was an incredible personal story about the lives of the people of this community.

Better To Have Gone
From Whiting Award winner Akash Kapur, a transfixing and deeply researched masterwork that blends the investigation into an unsolved fami...