What I read in 2022

My key takeaways from my 2022 books

In 2021, I read just 24 books. Going into 2022, I wanted to read more and managed to read 57 books. Many of these were fiction books I read for fun, often alongside my wife who got back into reading in 2022.

In 2021, my learning focus was Leadership and Personal Efficiencies. I expanded on these learning, in 2022 with books like The Mentor Leader, Personal MBA, and Building a Second Brain.

In 2022, I added two more learning focuses, Mindfulness and Software Development books. This includes books such as The Obstacle is the Way and Team Topologies.

I also read a number of history books and a few other non-fictional books including The Road to Disaster and Can’t Even.

How to get your point across in 30 Seconds or less

Attention spans are shortening, the author Milo O’ Frank wrote in 1986. The World of Tik Tok and X (apparently people didn’t have long enough attention spans for even the name Twitter) would not here surprised the author of this book.

When talking or writing, to make our point, we must make our pitch short. Start with a hook to bring the listener in. Have a single objective for your pitch. Know your audience and tailor your pitch to them. And finally, find the right approach, given all the above, to lead you to your objective.

6 Thinking Hats

The 6 Thinking, Hats introduces a useful tool for conversations for when a decision needs to be made. All too often, we lead to endless debate or a topic, pitting people against eachother. By inviting everyone to approach the problem by looking at it from the 6 different thinking hats together, one at a time, a group can engage in a collaborative effort instead of a combative one.

The 6 thinking hats are:

  • White Hat - Based in Fact
  • Red - Concerned with Emotions
  • Black - What can go wrong?
  • Yellow - What can go right?
  • Green - Breeding ground for Creativity
  • Blue - Concerned with Organization

Talking to Strangers

Talking to people we don’t know is not as simple as we think. We cannot tell what they want, when they are lying, nor if they have good or bad intentions. Our approaches often lead to conflict, and so we need to re-examine our strategies of talking to others.

To me, this book was more focused on highlighting the problem and a bit light on offering solutions or advice.

The Mentor Leader

Part memoir, part leadership book, the Mentor Leader follows Tony Dungy, former head coach of the Indianapolis Colts through the rise and culmination of his career with winning the Super Bowl in 2007. Interspersed with his personal history, this book lays out Tony Dungy’s leadership style, which he dubs the mentor leader. A mentor leader must have strong character, put others above themselves, strive for significance, and keep a lay term perspective.

Road to Disaster

The Road to Disaster is a history that provides an insider look into book the political workings behind the Vietnam war. What is an interesting view is how self-confidence and inaccurate data contributed to the escalations of the conflict.

Success Under Stress

Stress is an emotional reaction to threats in our environment. Evolution has evolved these stress responses to enable us to survive, but they are poorly adapted to modern life. This book provides a few techniques for us to succeed with our stressors.

The key tool I took away from this beak is the story log. If you struggle with taking things personally, capture the stories you are telling yourself in a story log. Jot down the event, and the story you are telling yourself about the event. Then, brainstorm three alternative stories that could be possible. Then, with perspective, consider how you want to respond, or it the event has passed, what a better response would have been.

Team Topologies

In Software engineering, Conway’s Law states that the architecture of our systems takes on the shape of the communication paths of our architecture. If we want to change an architecture then we must change how we are structured.

Team topologies offers an in depth look at how we might organize teams in order to build the architectures we went while trying to limit the cognitive load of our teams - that is the mental effort we must exert to do our job and all of the things we must remember to do it well.

Can’t Even

Many people, myself included, tend to only read books with which we agree with the premise or which build on our world view. Rarely do I seek at books that argue something counter to my view of the world. Can’t Even, which describes how millennials became the burnout generation, falls into the latter category. The author lays down all of the reasons why millennials have it so much worse than previous generations and how society and how our parents raised us are to blame. This book sits in stark contrast to the next book on my reading list…

The Obstacle is the Way

Everyone, millennials included, face challenges. Rockefeller started his career during a recession and saw it as blessing, as he was made stronger. Compare this with the title of the previous book, “Can’t Even”. This book is divided into 3 elements, Perception, or how we perceive a situation, Action, or how we choose to respond to what we perceive, and our Will, or the internal drive that says when we will give up.

The author provides examples From many people yet leans heavily on Stoic philosophy including this quote from Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius “Choose not to be harmed - and you won’t feel harmed. Don’t feel harmed - and you haven’t been.”


Written by John C Maxwell, Leadershit shares the 11 mental shifts a leader must make in their career, such as when an individual is promoted to a leadership position, they must make the shift froma soloist to a conductor.

Building a Second Brain

In “Getting Things Done”, David Allen stated that “your brain is for thinking of ideas, not remembering them”. This is where a “Second Brain” comes in. How can we save all of the interesting bits of information, knowledge, and artifacts we build in a way that we can easily access it and leverage it when we need it?

At its core, the system consists of a common folder structure for your electronic documents, wherever they are that is called the PARA method:

  • Projects
  • Areas of Focus
  • Resources
  • Archive


Strategize deals how to define and execute a product strategy. A successful strategy lies at the Center of business goals, market needs, and the key feature differentiators of the product.

Art of Business Value

Art of Business Valve explores what the elusive ‘Business helve’ that many agile frameworks and practices refer to. If the role of development teams is to deliver and maximize business velve, we must understand and articulate what the business values.

What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

We develop many habits on our way to success and significance. But many of these habits hold us back and prevent us from making the next jump in our career. This book presents many of the most common habits that hold people back and how to overcome them.

Personal MBA

An MBA is expensive in both time and money. The Personal MBA aims to give the reader all of the knowledge of an MBA without the expensive price tag. Even if you do pursue an MBA, the Personal MBA provides Clift notes for most of the topics covered and is a great resource to point to other books tht die deeper on the topic.