Final 2022 Reading List

I missed Summer and Fall this year, but I have definitedly been reading. It has been that kind of year, with so many changes on multiple…

Final 2022 Reading List
Single digit temps on Christmas Eve after 3 days of rain in Maryland. The sump pump works!

I missed Summer and Fall this year, but I have definitedly been reading. It has been that kind of year, with so many changes on multiple fronts. Late March, when I last posted a book list, seems a lifetime away. 2022 can’t end soon enough. I still have time to finish up many of books below. I do not want to go back in time and certainly not to the journal I started keeping a year ago as I prepared for what I thought would be an awesome opportunity at CrowdStrike.

For the first time since 2000, I left a job in under a year. Even in the age of “The Great Resignation” (or “Quiet Quitting”) it was still not easy. You want to stick it out for all sorts of reasons, but perserving through “a rough patch that will probably get better” is a completely different story from multiple levels of personal and professional mis-alignment that cause you to hate opening up your Mac every single day. Maybe you can do this early in your career, but with a still a hot job market in the Spring, why? So I didn’t. And, probably just lucky, but I certainly got far better RSU outcome with the collapose of CRWD and the TB aquisition in Q4. I also have to laugh that TROW (where I still have ESPP) has held up.

Travel was back. I took three trips this year, flying for the first time since January 2020. The whole family went to a funeral in Mississippi in June. I avoided a physical altercation with a Trump supporter with a megaphone in the French Quarter before we flew out. Next, Denver in July, where the heat was truly “dry” and a 2nd trip in early November. Somehow, my wife and I have still managed to avoid COVID (that we know of) despite 2 of of our 3 kids getting sick multiple times. Both my parents finally got it in December, but are on the mend. We will see what the travel budget is for next year but I hope to make it out of the country for the first time since April 2019, possibly to Canada where I’m expanding my team.

My passport is ready. Too much to chronicle. The stock market collapse the week I gave notice without a final offer in May. My staycation detox before I started the new role at Ping. Layoffs and the biggest Tech Crash since the early 2000s. Our daughter’s first semester at UMBC. The Ukranian counter offensive. Twitter as we know it is gone. Yep, I’m all in on Mastodon. The Crypto Winter and collapse of FTX. (I wonder what happened at the two Crypto Security startups I was interviewing at earlier in the year, but not enough to look up the company names.)

Enron and WorldCom and Dr. Koop all over again. Zelenksy’s speech to Congress this week. An seasonably correct Winter like we used to have in the early 80s in Maryland.

But let’s get to the books. With the war in Ukraine, I took a detour reading about the Ottoman Empire with The Fall of the Ottomans. How much of late 20th Century history was set by what happened in the decade around the Great War. And Colonialism. This is the first time I read much about the Armenian Genocide.

I love Laura Shin’s podcasts, but I could only make it through half for The Cryptopians. In December, I discovered Adam Tooze and I hope to finish Crashed by the end of the year. I will probably read some more of his books. Who knew economics can actually be interesting?

Learning War applied systems thinking to the U.S. Navy to bust some myths about how and why the Navy was able to turn things around so quickly after Pearl Harbor. As soon as the price drops, I’ll read Hone’s newist book on Nimitz. This was not the only Naval history book this year. I was familiar with Hornfischer’s books on the Pacific before, but after learning that he passed away in 2022 and with the geopolitical changes with Russia, I felt the topic was relevant and important. I should be able to finish up Who Can Hold the Sea by New Years.

My wife encouraged me to read some fiction for a change. The Passenger has been a tough read but I’ll try to finish it but I don’t find it as accessible as The Road.

Like many of the books this year, I discovered Connected Soldiers on a podcast and the mix of research and reflection and the blend of organizational, technical, and cultural aspects of what makes effective teams makes it one of the best books of the year that I read. I finally finished it yesterday and is one of the best books of the year. Maybe an odd choice, it hits all my criteria. An honest voice. It is grounded in research but is based on personal experience. Most of all it hits at the impact of Big Tech and the Internet on the how we live, which something that more and more I’ve thought about in 2022 and where things would have ended up if the utopian Internet of the 90s really came true.

None of the tech & leadership books really stand out the way the way those I mentioned in my last blog do. The Ideal Team Player is not nearly as memorable (or impactful) as The Motive — let alone The Advantage. I’ve read parts of Communication for Engineers and Engineering Management for the Rest of Us and may skim the rest of them. The Security Culture Playbook was worth the price, because it was free but I’m not sure really made a difference in how I think about the problem-solution space with the exception of this diagram below.

Which quadrant is compliance in?


  • The Passenger by Cormac McCarthy (2022)

Intelligence & Security

  • The Security Culture Playbook: An Executive Guide To Reducing Risk and Developing Your Human Defense Layer by Perry Carpenter, Kai Roer (2022)
  • Spies, Lies, and Algorithms: The History and Future of American Intelligence by Amy B. Zegart (2022)
  • The Cryptopians: Idealism, Greed, Lies, and the Making of the First Big Cryptocurrency Craze by Laura Shin (2022)

Business, Tech, and Management

  • Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World by Adam Tooze (2018)
  • Engineering Management for the Rest of Us by Sarah Drasner (2022)
  • Continuous Discovery Habits: Discover Products that Create Customer Value and Business Value by Teresa Torres (2021)
  • The Ideal Team Player: How to Recognize and Cultivate The Three Essential Virtues by Patrick M. Lencioni (2016)
  • Communication for Engineers: A framework for software developers to become better communicators and increase their happiness, productivity, and impact by Chris Laffra (2021)

Military History

  • Who Can Hold the Sea: The U.S. Navy in the Cold War 1945–1960 by
    James D. Hornfischer (2022)
  • Learning War: The Evolution of Fighting Doctrine in the U.S. Navy, 1898–1945 (Studies in Naval History and Sea Power) by Trent Hone (2018)
  • Connected Soldiers: Life, Leadership, and Social Connections in Modern War by John Spencer (2022)
  • The Fall of the Ottomans: The Great War in the Middle East by Eugene L. Rogan (2015)
  • Opening the Black Box: The Turkish Military Before and After July 2016 (Wolverhampton Military Studies) by Metin Gurcan (2019)