My year in books (2022)

Some brief comments and quotes from the books I’ve read in 2022, in the order I completed them during the year.

Note that I prefixed the ones only available in Greek language at the time of writing with 🇬🇷.

Previous years: 2021, 2020.

The Comfort Book

Love becomes grief. Grief becomes memory. Wounds become scars.

A beautiful and comforting book, so... exactly what it says on the tin!

⭐️ 5/5


A brand is a person's gut feeling about a product, service, or company.

A very short book on branding, specifically about how brands can harness the power of differentiation. More thought provoking than actionable. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

⭐️ 5/5

When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times

Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.

I don’t consider myself spiritual. I only read this book because it was mentioned in the The Comfort Book that I read earlier in the year, but I’m glad that I did.

⭐️ 5/5

The Little Book of Mindfulness: 10 Minutes a Day to Less Stress, More Peace

Simple 5 to 10-minute practices into bringing mindfulness into your life. Mostly related to meditation and yoga. Great for beginners into that world (as I am) and very easy to read and follow. It probably won’t add much value to someone already familiar with the space.

⭐️ 4.5/5

Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before?

An extremely good read which helped me understand and put in perspective a lot of things related to how our mind works. Highly recommended.

⭐️ 5/5

Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity

I love the easy-to-read (and digest) style of books that consist of small chapters resembling short blog posts. Brutally honest and realistic in some cases. I personally found it inspirational and helped me reaffirm certain ideas, but some people might find it demotivating in certain cases. Not a masterpiece but definitely worth a read.

⭐️ 4/5

Letters to a Young Poet

In 1903, a student at a military academy sent some of his verses to a well-known Austrian poet, which kicked off a correspondence that lasted a few years. In the book, we’re only reading Rainer Maria Rilke’s responses to the novice poet, which provide insight into his thinking and advice on how — according to Rilke — a poet should feel, love and seek truth in trying to understand and experience the world around them and engage the world of art.

⭐️ 5/5

Jonathan Livingston Seagull

Extremely quick to read, a relaxing and motivational fable in novella form about Jonathan Livingston Seagull, a — you guessed it — seagull that is not like the others in his flock.

⭐️ 5/5

Kinshu: Autumn Brocade

One of the books I discovered while reading Hideo Kojima’s The Creative Gene. Kinshu is an epistolary novel made up of fourteen letters exchanged over a period of about ten months, between a divorced couple that meet again by chance and start a correspondence writing about their unhealed wounds. A beautiful love story which gave me a glimpse into the Japanese culture.

⭐️ 5/5

🇬🇷 Ρωγμή στον τοίχο

The debut novella of a new Greek author. I picked it up randomly in a bookstore during my most recent trip to Greece, read in an afternoon, and really enjoyed it! I particularly like the way it’s written as a story within a story.

⭐️ 5/5

The Simplest Gift

Every day is a gift. Open it. Don't throw it away.

A collection of around 100 short stories on what is important in life and ways to make the most out of our days. Highly relatable and easy to read as you would expect from a bestseller self-improvement book. Note that I’ve read the original Greek version (Το δώρο) so not sure how the English translation reads.

⭐️ 5/5

Ask Iwata: Words of Wisdom from Satoru Iwata, Nintendo's Legendary CEO

The story of Satoru Iwata, former CEO of Nintendo, through the eyes of people who knew him and an amalgamation of stories published elsewhere. A nice story which contains some inspirational parts and some good business leadership ideas. Overall an enjoyable read.

⭐ 4/5

Sum: Tales From the Afterlives

40 very short fictional stories (vignettes) about what could happen when you die. Funny at times, sad and scary at others, but always thought-provoking; a truly dazzling book.

⭐ 5/5

Anything you want (2022 version)

Derek Sivers’ tales of starting, building, and selling his business (CD Baby), compressed into an entertaining and useful short read. Contains unconventional business advise you will resonate with. Customer service über alles!

⭐ 5/5

The whole-brain child

Phycology book on dealing with challenging situations affecting children & help them to understand their feelings. Simplified, so easy to read and follow. Includes interesting concepts, some of which I tried successfully with my kids. Some parts felt repetitive, so it could be a bit shorter.

⭐ 4.5/5

How to Live: 27 conflicting answers and one weird conclusion

Heavily inspired by Sum, How to Live is a beautiful and thought-provoking book. I really like the content Derek Sivers produces on his blog and books, and this one didn’t fall short. If you pick it up, read it slowly, one line at a time, as the author asks for. 😉

⭐ 5/5

How to make a video game all by yourself

Surprisingly inspirational; contains great high-level advise that is applicable to other software projects as well. A quick and great read, especially for beginners in the software development world.

⭐ 5/5

Blood, Sweat, and Pixels: The Triumphant, Turbulent Stories Behind How Video Games Are Made

Behind the scenes turbulent stories of how certain (mostly AAA) games came to life; i.e. with various problems such as lack of organisation, change of direction, etc. that eventually led to crunch.

Although that's the concept of the book, I'd still prefer a happy ending with a game where everything went relatively as expected, versus (spoiler alert) a cancellation.

Nevertheless, a well-written book definitely worth reading by everyone interested in how games are made.

⭐ 4.5/5

Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative

It's a quick read that you can finish in one sitting, but the ideas and advice it contains will stay with you long after you've put it down. Highly inspirational and definitely recommended.

⭐ 5/5

The Celebrity CEO

Book focused on personal branding, although a lot of the content is applicable to corporate branding as well. Contains some good advice, but it’s probably more suitable for beginners since a lot of the content felt common sense or that I have read elsewhere. It could be way shorter and still convey the same message; a lot of the sections dragged a lot containing unnecessary examples etc. Overall, not a bad read, but nothing exceptional.

Although focused on personal branding, a lot of the content is applicable to corporate branding too. Contains some good advice, but nothing really new. It felt unnecessarily long. Overall, not a bad read, but nothing exceptional.

⭐ 3/5

Remote: Office Not Required

The book contains some useful ideas if you are running (or thinking of running) a remote team, but a lot of content is focused on persuading people to try remote working, which especially in the post-COVID era feels unnecessary.

I landed my first remote gig about 15 years ago and in the last decade I have assembled and managed multiple remote (or hybrid) teams.

It contains some useful ideas if you are running (or thinking of running) a remote team, but a lot of the content is focused on persuading people to try remote working, which nowadays feels unnecessary.

⭐ 3/5

🇬🇷 Το δόντι του καρχαρία

Μία ωμή και συνάμα χαοτική διήγηση ιστοριών που φαντάζουν υπερβολικές εκ πρώτης όψεως, αλλά δυστυχώς με τις κτηνωδίες που έχουμε βιώσει σε μια κοινωνία που έβαζε και βάζει τη γυναίκα σε δεύτερη μοίρα ακούγονται πραγματικές.

⭐ 5/5

Snow Crash

A sci-fi novel which coined the term metaverse and popularised the use of the term avatar. It starts a bit slow, but the second half has a good flow. If I had read it in the early 00’s when I was first exploring such books, I would have been blown away by it. Now it felt as an enjoyable read.

⭐ 4/5

🇬🇷 Το καΐκι

A very short but enjoyable story, written as a homage to traditional Greek fishing boats, which are being discontinued.

⭐ 4/5


A bittersweet love story taking place in the 1860s, written and presented in a very interesting, almost poetic way. Originally written in Italian, I read the Greek translation in almost one seating.

⭐ 5/5

The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Keeping Your Sh*t Together: How to Run Your Business Without Letting it Run You

A must-read for everyone running, or aspiring to run a business.

⭐ 5/5

🇬🇷 Ανθολόγιο κειμένων για την αγάπη

Σύντομα αποσπάσματα συγγραφέων και φιλοσόφων που έχουν να κάνουν με την αγάπη. Κάπως ασύνδετα αλλά περιείχε 2-3 ενδιαφέροντα μέρη, όπως και ένα ενδιαφέρον μικρό διήγημα.

⭐ 2/5

The Man Who Planted Trees

A beautiful short story about a man who lived in an almost abandoned wasteland and slowly but meticulously transformed it into a magnificent forest. The version I read contains a quite entertaining story by the author's daughter, about the publishing efforts of the story.

⭐ 5/5

The Shielding of Mrs Forbes

A short story about a man's sexuality and his relationship with his mother, and how these affected his decisions and his relationship with the rest of his family.

⭐ 3.5/5

Valve: Handbook for New Employees

The unconventional way Valve expects their employees to think and operate. Highly unlikely to be applicable to most businesses, but still an excellent read.

⭐ 5/5

The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly

The story of a hen named Sprout, who had a dream; not to fly as the title suggests, but to be free and hatch an egg of her own. A beautiful and emotional fable/allegory, which praises maternal love.

⭐ 5/5

The Creative Gene

A world without books is inconceivable.

A collection of essays that explore some of Hideo Kojima’s favourite books and movies. I love the way they are written, connecting the theme of the “meme” with his experiences and memories of his past; they even triggered some memories of mine. Apart from being enjoyable to read, they helped me discover some new gems.

⭐ 5/5

Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future

I really like books that are not huge manuals or records of knowledge, but instead short exercises of thinking, and this is one of them. I agreed with some of its topics and disagreed with others, but it was definitely worth reading. My main criticism would be that in some cases it tries a bit too hard to feel contrarian, and that it is too US-centric (albeit understandable).

⭐ 4/5

The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living

A collection of quotes from Stoic philosophers, with a short commentary on each from the author, contained on a single page for each day of the year. Reading it ended up being part of my morning routine and I enjoyed it. In some cases the commentary doesn’t work, either it’s too weak or on the contrary overshadows the quote itself, but it’s still a worthwhile read and a good introduction to Stoicism.

⭐ 4/5

Published on December 30th, 2022