I read fifty two books this year, slightly above average and with a solid hit rate of four and five star books.

Top picks are below, and you can find the full list over at the index. If you only read one, make it Anxious People.

1 0
2 1
3 11
4 26
5 14
100 0
200 4
300 11
400 19
500 11
600 4
700 3
800 0
900 0
1000 0
Histogram of ratings (left) and length in pages (right).


Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez

A trove of research across multiple domains comprehensively documenting the “data gap” when it comes to women, and the harm that causes. Much supported intutitions I already had (e.g. use of “generic masculine” isn’t neutral, discrepancy in performance reviews), but many new insights as well (e.g. snow-clearing streets “pedestrian-first”, a need that is often hidden in transport studies, reduces overall injury rates, the impact of various quota systems in political representation.) A big takeaway for me was the importance of sex-disaggregating data.

Invisible Women

The Wife Drought by Annabelle Crabb

A look at the data and drivers of under-representation of women in the workplace … and of men at home. I hadn’t thought much about “glass fire-escapes” – social pressures and norms making it hard for men to leave the workforce.

How We Love by Clementine Ford

Beautiful read, raw and honest.

But one of the many lessons I’m learning as a mother is how to accept that my love cannot be an anchor that drags him beneath the waves. Rather, it must be the deep water itself, buoyant and clear, for him to float in, to swim through, to carry him in its currents to shore when it is time for him to leave it as he surely one day will, as he surely one day must.

Noise by Daniel Kahneman

Important reading if you manage in an industry that routinely applies judgement. Reducing noise can be just as effective at improving decision quality as reducing bias: they affect the math in the same way, and noise is often a larger contributor and easier to address.

I wrote a more detailed summary.

Good For A Girl by Lauren Fleshman

The perfect autobiography. Addresses important issues facing women in sport, uses her story to illustrate data and research, addresses her own history plainly. More detailed review here.

I ignored my loneliness and called it independence.


Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

Only book to ever make me both laugh out loud but also cry. Kept going where I didn’t expect.

Because everyone loves someone, and anyone who loves someone has had those desperate nights where we lie awake trying to figure out how we can afford to carry on being human beings. Sometimes that makes us do things that seem ridiculous in hindsight, but which felt like the only way out at the time.

Honorable mention to Beartown by the same author, which has a similar style and is also excellent.

The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne

Story of an adoptee growing up (and then old) gay in Ireland. Tragic at times, hilarious throughout.

Heat 2 by Michael Mann

A straight continuation of the original movie Heat, which you definitely need to have watched before reading. Great scenes and tension.

Head 2


Exhalation by Ted Chiang

A unique short story collection. Surprising and thoughtful.

The Collapsing Empire Trilogy by John Scalzi

Was turned off Scalzi a while ago so was reluctant to pick this up, but I’m glad I did. I really enjoy political/economic sci-fi and this delivers, with a surprising and satisfying conclusion.

Confidence isn’t about knowing you’re right. Confidence is about knowing you can make it right.

Valuable Humans In Transit by qntm

A new release since I read his back-catalog in 2022. Fantastic collection of short stories, very distinctive. Particularly enjoyed Frame by Frame.

Valuable Humans In Transit