Here are the best books TechCrunch has read this year TechCrunch
While the TechCrunch team appreciates a tweet and a post once in a while, we also enjoy reading longer docs. So much so that we’re compiling an end-of-year review of our favorite reads.
This is not just a list of serious business books, nor is it just a piece of fiction published this year.
Instead, we’ve put together a list of our favorite stuff we’ve read this year. Some of them will come as no surprise; I hope some of them do – but given how literate the average TechCrunch reader is, I might be happily disappointed.
The following list is in no particular order. And while we might earn a buck or two on commissions if you buy any of the books below, we’re not doing it for the money. We love books and reading, and we want to share some of our joy with you. (TechCrunch also has recommended lists of founders and venture capitalists coming later this month!)
Kisses, happy holidays, and may your 2023 reading harvest be fruitful.
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The best books TechCrunch has read in 2022
Each recommender’s books are grouped together, links go to Amazon. Summaries are via the TechCruncher in the questions, sometimes slightly edited for clarity and format.
- The secret life of the grocery store: A super fun and interesting book about the history of grocery stores and what their supply chain looks like today. Yes, I’m a big nerd.
- Crying in H Mart: A beautiful memoir that made me cry at Goa airport.
From Harri: “My two picks are rereads that gently approach existential spirals with self-assurance, through self-love in the case of You Are Here, and through writing in the case of Writing Down the Bones.”
- Anno Dracula: It’s 1888 and Dracula has won the fight against Van Helsing & Co., married Queen Victoria and turned much of London into vampires. And Jack the Ripper is a human who cuts up young vampire girls. A dark and austere thriller featuring a variety of popular fiction characters as well as real historical figures from the era.
- Little Gods: I love seeing cultural dynamics represented through new lenses. The experiences of educated immigrants in the United States often go unwritten. The chapters swing between timelines and characters, making reading the book absolutely addictive.
- Atomic Habits: OK OK. I know this is old and basic, but I needed to establish better physical and mental habits coming out of a deep pandemic. Recognizing that making 1% changes regularly can lead to big dividends, it’s easier to make day-to-day decisions consistent with long-term goals.
- Savage: A must read, especially for people who have felt the constraints of society. An autobiographical collection of stories, the author breaks down toxic norms and encourages readers to identify and pursue their own true vision of happiness
- The prince: At a time when people believe that principles should be politics, it’s a good reminder of the political *science* involved in governance and learning from the mistakes of the past.
Dominique Madori Davis:
- The color of the law: An interesting look at how the federal government has indirectly aided and supported illegal housing discrimination in the United States, and the impact this has had on the black community in terms of wealth creation, access to educational and civic resources; and the stereotypes still associated with many Black neighborhoods today.
- Black Girl Token: An honest memoir by a former black fashion editor as she grapples with her childhood and eventual professional life trying to assimilate and find acceptance in rich, white environments. She talks about the psychological impact this has had on her, the mental journey she is still unlearning self-hatred on, and how she comes to terms with loving her natural black self.
- Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow: I have a feeling this is one of those perfectly constructed novels that will be studied in weird (appreciative) fiction classes at liberal arts schools in fifty years (or, like, fifty days). It’s hard to pull off the kind of story that follows the characters from young children through fully grown adults, but it’s a joy (and sometimes nerve-wracking) to watch these two friends grow from teenagers clumsy artists at a niche. -celebrity game developers who use their art to navigate arcane questions about how and why we make art and how it affects people. Even if you’re not a fan of video games, there’s a lot to like about this book, as long as you care about…um…. art and people.
- True Biz: I always get annoyed when people think you can only learn things by reading non-fiction – for example, True Biz taught me a lot about deaf culture, disability, and the ever-present threat of eugenic science. I love when fiction can help me empathize with people who are different from me, but this book is more than that. It’s just an amazing story in itself, alternating between the viewpoints of various characters from different perspectives in the deaf community: angsty teenagers fighting for their right to deaf education, a teacher navigating her rocky marraige , a hearing parent of a deaf child who must accept his prejudices. It was the kind of book that I was sad to finish, because I wanted to spend more time with the characters I so quickly rooted for and loved.
- Ministry for the Future: Fiction of the near future extrapolated directly from the present can be very weak, but Robinson is both unwavering and imaginative of what a climate crisis would look like, how it might play out, and what kind of crazy moonshots might be needed for that we continued to live on Earth.
- Abolish Silicon Valley: This book is an honest and engaging first-person story that showcases the hubris of Silicon Valley’s corporate culture. Wendy Liu depicts situations that are sometimes so absurd that they will make you laugh. She also takes a step back and looks at the political implications of startup culture and Silicon Valley.
Anna didn’t provide comment on her picks, so I’ve decided the way to be good is to spend four thousand weeks every year having a very British Christmas.
- The Golden Enclaves: Third book in a fantastic series with one of the best protagonists I have had the pleasure of knowing and encouraging. I will re-read the whole series, again, I think in this holiday period.
- Orange Tree Priory: You know how they say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover? I bought this beast strictly by the tooth of its weight. More or less, it was an extremely large paperback, and I thought to myself, well, I like fantasy, and this book must be good to be published for this long, right? Turns out I was right! Huge, interesting, good and with characters that I loved in the end. And the dragons.