“What did you read last year?”

I play a fun game at the end of the year. I ask my well read mates to recommend their best reads for me. The book recommendations came pouring in. A curated list resides at the end of this edition, as a gesture of my gratitude. In the spirit of this column, I’ve recalled my preferred story telling pal – visual art – for fun insights into what everyone recommended this year.


Top genres?

Recommendations by Genre: Colour and size reflect interest (yellow: highest, red: lowest)

Top Genres

I wonder if the present state of affairs around the world had some bearing on dystopia taking top spot. Biographies and anthropology too put their hands up. Many of you seemed to be engrossed in lifeless people and potentially lifeless futures. Most of you, I’m glad, are alive and well.


Top authors? 

Recommendations by Author: Colour and size reflect interest (yellow: highest, red: lowest)

Top Authors

George Orwell’s classics were dusted off bookshelves. Sapiens and Homo Deus pushed Yuval Noah Harari to battle with Orwell, but dystopia triumphed. Many of you were interested in lies. I’m fairly certain that several dashed off to quench their thirst for fibs in the fountain of Google. Your lies sent Seth Stephens’ breezy read into top 5. Dawkins and Ramachandran reignited interest in evolution and our brains.



Books by Genre, Page Length, Rating (yellow: highest, red: lowest)


Low Goodreads ratings could be a function of low readership, and/or inferior content quality of books. The red fest indicates that you read gems off the beaten path. Or perhaps, your books were quite unreadable. I hope it is the former.

Humour, philosophy, sports were among the shortest in length; war, politics and biographies were the longest. I’d rather the opposite.

For those that missed being part of this book fest, it is never too late to send in your book recommendations.

Finally, my fun forecasting game. What genres will top in 2018?

Happy 2017 and, to a hopefully happier, 2018!

2017 Reading List

2 thoughts on ““What did you read last year?”

  1. Pretty impressive. You are doing a book a week. Half of them seem to be classified as Finance. Is it because it could be related to your “work”? Also, while sending you a “friend” request on Goodreads, realised there are many other Halins in the world 🙂

    1. As much as I’d like to read a book a week, I didn’t! I managed 12 last year, a book a month. The list of 54 books is my reading list for the coming year. Do share your best recommendations as well.

      As for Halins populating Goodreads, we are a growing tribe. 🙂

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