Lucas Beattie

I Read 60 Books in 2022, Here's What I Learned

Scroll down to the end of the post for a list of the books that were read, including my rating from 1 to 5.

Near the end of 2020 I got on a big lifestyle design and self-improvement kick. Whether it was from stewing at home during the pandemic or knowing that my wife and I had our first kid on the way, I’m not sure. I’ve done or tried many things since then, one of which was to start reading nonfiction books. I’ve always been an avid reader, but was exclusively interested in fiction, usually either sci-fi/fantasy or classic novels. However with this newfound motivation, I took the plunge into reading about the real world.

When 2022 rolled around, I decided to take it a step further and aimed to read 52 books over the course of the year (1 per week), which soon changed to 60 books (5 per month). I was successful in that goal, relying heavily on listening to audiobooks while doing chores or driving, and learned a lot! In this article I’ll outline some of my main lessons, takeaways, or action items resulting from this reading binge. I will also highlight my top few favorites and what they were about. Let’s jump in.



Most of the books I read fell into the following broad genres, with a few examples each.

General self-improvement was a large portion of the reading list, comprising books such as Atomic Habits, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, and Miracle Morning.

I also have a strong interest in personal finance and love a lot of the concepts in the financial independence community (a likely topic for future posts). Some books I read in the genre include The Richest Man in Babylon, Wealth Can’t Wait, and The Psychology of Money.

I read several real estate books such as The Book on Rental Property Investing, Building Wealth One House at a Time, and Landlording on Autopilot. I closed on my first house to rent in March of 2022, which I plan to write a bit about in the future.

I would call of the other genres productivity. These are mostly about how you approach getting work done and what you should focus on when doing so. Some examples are The ONE Thing, The War of Art, and The Compound Effect.

I read some business books this year as well. Some were books on business ownership and some were on management. I have no current plans to open a business, but the books make a great addition to personal finance self-study, and management topics can be advantageous in my current career. A few of those books include The E-Myth Revisited, The Lean Startup, and Managing Oneself.

Psychology is the subject of a good number of the books in the list. Topics such as happiness, motivation, mindset, and persuasion were all present. Mindset, The Happiness Advantage, and Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us are among these.

Finally, my favorite genre is what I would call lifestyle design. These books focus on the choices and assumptions we make about the way we live our lives and provide thoughts, examples, and frameworks to evaluate how we think about them. Some of these were The 4-Hour Workweek, Set For Life, Essentialism, and Designing Your Life.

Top 3 Favorites

Die With Zero by Bill Perkins - As someone who places a high value on frugality, I thought I would scoff at the opulence of a poker-loving hedge fund manager telling me I should be sure to spend all my money before I die. But I was wrong.

My lessons from this book boil down to living intentionally, and making sure to “invest” in unforgettable experiences, which pay a “memory dividend”. And it inspired me to want to take the money I would to set aside for my children or for charity, and give it to them well before I die.

The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks - This is a more touchy-feely self-help book, and I was into it. Two of the main ideas in it are to constantly work toward avoiding your “Upper Limit Problems”, and working in your “Zone of Genius” as much as possible.

The Upper Limit Problem is a form of self-sabotage we all unwittingly fall into when things are going well. So instead we have to learn to accept good feelings and allow ourselves to stay happy, rather than crashing after realizing a success.

Moving up from your “Zone of Competence” to working more in your “Zone of Genius” is exactly what it sounds like. I found it inspiring me to want to really dig deep and focus on what I find fascinating and invigorating in my profession.

So Good They Can’t Ignore You by Cal Newport - This is a book about developing a satisfying and inspiring career. Some of the primary points as I see them are as follows.

I must say I was glad the “anti-passion” aspect of it was tempered a bit for me by having read books like The Big Leap, and The Power of Starting Something Stupid earlier in the year. But I loved it and it left me exceedingly motivated to practice my skills.

Biggest Lessons and Takeaways

  1. Live intentionally: This is really the crux of it all. Make sure to spend your time and money on things you value. It’s worth the time and effort to improve your life. Work toward your actions and habits pointing toward an exciting future. Don’t spend time on autopilot, just reacting to the world.
  2. Say no to the deferred life plan: I came across this term in The Monk and the Riddle. People often just try to get through the week in hopes of enjoying the weekend, or even just try get through their careers in hopes of enjoying retirement. These are examples of deferred life plans. Instead I want the journey to be exciting throughout.
  3. Always do the few important things: Little actions and habits stack up and can often forecast where your life will lead. And there are relatively few truly important things you need to do to keep yourself pointed in a positive direction. Always do those things consistently forever, and always get one important thing done every day.
  4. Do mini-experiments: I’m prone to sitting around and thinking and analyzing far too long and often. A better use of time is conducting mini-experiments. Prototype a small version of an idea, put it out in the world, get feedback, and iterate. Don’t be afraid to fail, it’s the best way to make progress. But it does make sense to fail fast and fail small. These little projects are one of the best ways to discover what direction to take life in, while providing plenty of fun and fulfillment in their own right.
  5. Open yourself up to the world: Much like the previous point, putting yourself out there and receiving feedback is one of the best ways to grow. It’s also one of the best ways to increase your luck and experience serendipity, perhaps meeting awesome people or finding unexpected opportunities. Be brave and cheerful. The future is bright.
  6. Know about self-determination theory: Autonomy, competency (mastery), and relatedness (quality social connections) make up what is called self-determination theory in psychology. Purpose is often added to the mix as well. These can lead to happiness and engaging work. They should be sought and valued highly.

Future Reading Plans

I had a lot of fun and learned a great deal from this project. However, I don’t plan to read quite as much this year. I tend to have a pretty high analysis to production ratio, as mentioned in point 4 above. Right now while I’m feeling motivated and excited by my work and my side projects, I think I should take in less input and focus on production, as well as savoring what I have.

I do still plan to keep reading or listening to nonfiction in general. It has been an excellent addition to my life so far, and at the very least, I will keep my audible subscription well used!

List of Nonfiction Books Read in 2022

No Book Title Author Rating/5
1 Atomic Habits Clear, James 5
2 The Book on Rental Property Investing Turner, Brandon 5
3 The 4-Hour Workweek Ferriss, Tim 5
4 The Magic of Thinking Big Schwartz, David 5
5 Financial Freedom with Real Estate Investing Blank, Michael 3
6 Building Wealth One House at a Time Schaub, John 5
7 Extreme Ownership Willink, Jocko 3
8 Retire Early with Real Estate Carson, Chad 5
9 The 10X Rule Cardone, Grant 4
10 The ONE Thing Keller, Gary 5
11 Recession-Proof Real Estate Investing Scott, J 3
12 The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People Covey, Stephen 5
13 Man’s Search for Meaning Frankl, Viktor 5
14 Set For Life Trench, Scott 5
15 Miracle Morning Elrod, Hal 4
16 Shoe Dog Knight, Phil 4
17 Think and Grow Rich Hill, Napoleon 5
18 Die With Zero Perkins, Bill 5
19 Anything You Want Sivers, Derek 5
20 Thinking in Bets Duke, Annie 3
21 Managing Oneself Drucker, Peter 5
22 Essentialism McKeown, Greg 5
23 Who Moved My Cheese Johnson, Spencer 4
24 The Richest Man in Babylon Clason, George 5
25 Landlording on Autopilot Butler, Mike 5
26 Wealth Can’t Wait Osborne & Morris 5
27 The Total Money Makeover Ramsey, Dave 4
28 Ben Franklin Autobiography Franklin, Benjamin 1
29 The Millionaire Fastlane DeMarco, MJ 5
30 The E-Myth Revisited Gerber, Michael 5
31 Flow: Living at the Peak of Your Abilities Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly 2
32 One Million in the Bank Slavin, Michael 4
33 The Lean Startup Ries, Eric 5
34 Influence Cialdini, Robert 3
35 Vagabonding Potts, Rolf 3
36 The Big Leap Hendricks, Gay 5
37 Mindset Dweck, Carol 4
38 The Compound Effect Hardy, Darren 5
39 Entreleadership Ramsey, Dave 4
40 The New One Minute Manager Blanchard & Johnson 4
41 The War of Art Pressfield, Steven 5
42 Start Small, Stay Small Walling, Rob 5
43 $100M Offers Hormozi, Alex 4
44 The Happiness Advantage Achor, Shawn 5
45 Lifeonaire Cook, Steve 4
46 (Relisten) Die With Zero Perkins, Bill 5
47 Designing Your Life Burnett & Evans 5
48 The 5 Love Languages Chapman, Gary 4
49 The Psychology of Money Housel, Morgan 4
50 The Power of Starting Something Stupid Norton, Richie 4
51 Fair Play Rodsky, Eve 4
52 Stumbling on Happiness Gilbert, Daniel 2
53 The Monk and the Riddle Komisar, Randy 4
54 The Millionaire Mind Stanley, Thomas 4
55 Effortless McKeown, Greg 4
56 So Good They Can’t Ignore You Newport, Cal 5
57 The Simple Path to Wealth Collins, JL 5
58 Born for This Guillebeau, Chris 3
59 Time Smart Whillans, Ashley 4
60 Drive Pink, Daniel 5
61 How to Lose at Almost Everything and Still… Adams, Scott 5
62 The Happiness Hypothesis Haidt, Jonathan 5
63 Deep Work Newport, Cal 3