Ryan Holiday
9 min readJan 20, 2022

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If You Only Read a Few Books in 2022, Read These

It’d be wonderful if a new year magically marked a new beginning. But 2021, like all years, reminds us that the same things keep happening, that world events continue on in their own unpredictable way and that in the end, we control very little but our own actions and opinions.

One of my favorite quotes — enough that I have it inscribed on the wall across the back of my bookstore — comes from the novelist Walter Mosley. “I’m not saying that you have to be a reader to save your soul in the modern world,” he said. “I’m saying it helps.”

2022 stands before us promising nothing but the same difficulties and opportunities that last year and every year before it promised. What are you going to do about it? Will you be ready for it? Can you handle it?

Books are an investment in yourself — investments that come in many forms: novels, nonfiction, how-to, poetry, classics, biographies. They help you think more clearly, be kinder, see the bigger picture, and improve at the things that matter to you. Books are a tradition that stretches back thousands of years and stretches forward to today, where people are still publishing distillations of countless hours of hard thinking on hard topics. Why wouldn’t you avail yourself of this wisdom?

With that in mind, here are 16 books — some new, some old — that will help you meet the goals that matter for 2022, that will help you live better and be better.

The Daily Laws: 366 Meditations on Power, Seduction, Mastery, Strategy, and Human Nature by Robert Greene

I’ve always loved the “daily read” format, I’ve recommended some of my favorites here before, I’ve been lucky enough to publish one of my own, and now I feel even luckier to have been able to help Robert bring this book into existence. People ask me all the time, Where should I start with Robert Greene? What book should I read first? It’s been impossible to answer, so I suggested he do a book that was a kind of greatest hits album, a book that captures the totality of his brilliant, life-changing thinking. And now that book exists! Even though I’ve read and reread all of Robert’s books, this book has not left my desk since I got my copy. Here’s my hour long video with Robert, filmed in LA.

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Ryan Holiday

Bestselling author of ‘Conspiracy,’ ‘Ego is the Enemy’ & ‘The Obstacle Is The Way’ http://amzn.to/24qKRWR