Wherein I put words into my head…
Here’s my annual list of the books that accompanied my daily dose from various internet sources. If you’re curious, you can also see my list from 2021 or 2020. The links below lead to pages where you can choose various online retailers if you want to purchase; I earn an affiliate commission on some purchases.
If you would rather not check out the entire list, you can also see my five favorites in this video:
And now, the photography books, 2022 edition:
- Confessions of a Public Speaker by Scott Berkun. This is a re-read, going through it again as I continue to develop my skills as a speaker and with a different perspective than I had the first time I read it a few years ago. It’s an easy read with a lighthearted, direct approach to lessons the author has learned in his speaking career. Recommended for anyone who speaks or presents.
- Harrington on Hold ’em Expert Strategy for No Limit Tournaments, Vol. 1: Strategic Play by Dan Harrington and Bill Robertie. As part of my year of balance I am intentionally spending some time on non-business things, and improving my Texas Hold’em skills was part of that plan. This was a thorough look at game play and betting strategy for basic play and early stages of tournaments. Volume 2, to be read later (below).
- The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. Re-read. A fast read and a swift kick in the ass for those of us in creative fields who need some words on moving past the Resistance to create what we need to create. One of those books we should all re-read every few years.
- The Real Deal: Field Notes from the Life of a Working Photographer by Joe McNally. A look back at Joe’s 40-year career as an editorial photographer based in New York, with worldwide assignments ranging from coal miners to Presidents. While the photography was stunning as expected, I really enjoyed Joe’s fantastic writing as well. I got a chance to interview Joe about his book, and you can watch that conversation on YouTube.
- Harrington on Hold ’em Expert Strategy for No Limit Tournaments, Vol. 2: Endgame by Dan Harrington and Bill Robertie. Volume 2 of the book mentioned above.
- The Obstacle is The Way by Ryan Holiday. One of Holiday’s books based on stoicism; this is also one of those books where the entire premise of the book is contained in the title. Holiday certainly gives plenty of examples and support for that premise, but I also felt like this was a situation where a long essay got expanded into a book. There wasn’t really much more substance than could have fit into a long article.
- The Travel Photography Book by Scott Kelby. Regardless of what types of photos we usually make, everyone is a travel photographer when they go on vacation or another trip. I enjoyed Scott’s casual style, peppered with his usual sense of humor. Watch a conversation I had with him inspired by the book.
- Build: An Unorthodox Guide to Making Things Worth Making by Tony Fadell. As someone who led teams creating the iPod, iPhone, and Nest, how could one not be interested in Fadell’s opinions and thoughts about making stuff? This was a quick read, with short chapters that shared a range of highlights (and lowlights) of his experiences.
- The Mindful Photographer by David Ulrich. A lovely read about intention, purpose, and doing the right thing with our cameras. Ulrich’s PR folks sent me a copy for review and there were several fascinating bits. Topics include having long term projects with a purpose, how to review one’s own work, and why he feels that every photographer should learn both film and digital. View my interview with the author on YouTube.
- The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson. I found the first half of this book interesting as the title concept is unpacked into a variety of practical situations. Beyond that point, I found myself bored and lost all interest in finishing it.
- Extraordinary Women With Cameras: 35 Photographers Who Changed How We See The World by Darcy Reed, Illustrated by Vanessa Perez. Yes, this is a children’s book. But yes, it is fantastic. I learned a bunch as an adult about many great photographers, and I think it would be fantastic for any child. After reading my copy I gave it to my 5-year old niece. Watch my conversation with the author and illustrator and then get your own copy to read or give away.
- Building a Second Brain by Tiago Forte. Like many nerds over the past couple of years, I’ve gotten into the world of personal knowledge management (PKM). I felt I should read this highly anticipated book looking at how to supplement our wet squishy brain with a digital assistant. I found it interesting, yet light on any new material for me. If someone were fresh to the topic it would likely be a good primer but if you’ve followed the loud voices in the online space, you likely won’t gain much from this.
- Declutter Your Photo Life by Adam Pratt. Raise your hand if you have thousands of images and some of them are scattered in various places without a clear organization strategy? I think I just saw numerous hands go up, including mine. This is an easy-to-understand book that talks about general considerations for photo organization and then walks through a five-part process that the author has used with clients and photo collections of all sizes. Adam’s PR folks sent me a copy of this to read (which led to a discussion with him on YouTube).
- Put Your Ass Where Your Heart Wants to Be by Steven Pressfield. I read this one one quick sitting just over a week ago. It features Pressfield’s direct, fast-moving writing style with a theme of going all-in and committing to the creative goals you’re allegedly setting for yourself. I didn’t get as many takeaways from this as I have from The War of Art (above) or Turning Pro. It’s one point, hammered home through a variety of thoughts and anecdotes.
- The West Wing and Beyond: What I Saw Inside the Presidency by Pete Souza. A nicely narrated photographic look at the inside of the Obama Presidency as seen by Chief Official White House Photographer Pete Souza, who tells a great story with his words along with his images. While almost everything I’ve read this past year was an ebook, I highly recommend this one as a hardcover since it’s beautifully printed.
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