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Books I read in 2023

// A list of the books I read last year, with some ratings, quotes, and impressions.

⭐️ = A masterpiece / 😍 = I loved it

Fiction

  1. Zone One - Colson Whitehead
  2. The Martian Chronicles - Ray Bradbury ⭐️
  3. The Leviathan - Rose Andrew
  4. The Evolution Man, Once Upon an Ice Age, What We Did to Father - ‌Roy Lewis
  5. Death’s end - Liu Cixin 😍
  6. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - Mark Haddon
  7. Yoga - Emmanuel Carrère 😍
  8. Asylum - Patrick McGrath
  9. The Adversary - Emmanuel Carrère 😍
  10. The Kingdom - Emmanuel Carrère
  11. The Mustache - Emmanuel Carrère
  12. God of carnage - Yasmine Reza 😍
  13. UFO 78 - Wu Ming
  14. Red star - Alexander Bogdanov
  15. Proletkult - Wu Ming
  16. The Legend of the Holy Drinker - Joseph Roth ⭐️ 😍

Zone One

Colson Whitehead

I really didn’t like this one. Nothing stayed with me and, while writing this, I can’t find anything more to write about it…

2/5

The Martian Chronicles ⭐️

Ray Bradbury

It’s always fun to read old-fashion sci-fi and see how the world, and the way of writing about the future has evolved. This books still feels modern because it avoids all the technology behind space travel and exploration and focuses only on the clash between the human and martian cultures. It’s also a really easy read, so highly suggested.

4/5

The Leviathan

Rose Andrew

Nothing special: an easy-to-read novel about some mystery in the 17th century England. While the plot is ok, it felt like this book was written using a pre-defined method behind it (really descriptive, in kind of a repetitive way) and that makes it feel dull.

3/5

The Evolution Man, Once Upon an Ice Age, What We Did to Father

‌Roy Lewis

I remember this book being extremely funny but it looks like my sense of humor changed during the years… Still, a pretty good, easy, and short read.

3/5

Death’s End 😍

Liu Cixin

A mind-blowing ending to the Three-Body book series. It’s one of those books you keep thinking about for a long time after you finish reading it. Will definitely read the whole trilogy again.

4/5

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Mark Haddon

Curiously enough, I didn’t read this book when it came out and was, suddenly, everywhere. This summer, while on holiday, I found it in my wife’s old-house and took the occasion to dig into it. It’s definitely a good book but I would have enjoyed it more if I read it when I was younger.

4/5

Yoga 😍

Emmanuel Carrère

As a big fan of Carrère, I was a bit sceptical when approaching this book. I’m not into yoga and I was afraid this was going to be similar to a new-age self-help book, two categories I despise with all my self. Boy, was I wrong. What starts as a tale about a yoga retread, quickly becomes a deep exploration of Carrère’s mind and life, where the author opens completely in front of your eyes.

5/5

Asylum

Patrick McGrath

Started great but I found myself getting bored and hating the main characters (and some of their choices by the end of it).

3/5

The Adversary 😍

Emmanuel Carrère

Impossible to put down, it reminded me of In cold blood by Capote in the way it starts with the crime, to then dig deep into the mind and the life of the criminal. An absurd, horrifying story, told by a master at his craft.

4/5

The Kingdom

Emmanuel Carrère

Since I was down in the Carrère-black-hole, I decided to re-read his narration of Luke’s gospel. While I loved the first part (again, the most personal one), I have to say I found it unnecessary long (while still interesting).

3/5

The Moustache

Emmanuel Carrère

What better way to finish my Carrère’s run for the year than with his first novel? A simple, yet fascinating exploration of human mind, with a brilliant idea to drive the short book:

In Paris, a man shaves off his moustache for the first time in ten years. He is baffled when his wife reacts by saying that he never had a moustache. His world begins to crumble when she denies the existence of several people he knows and says his father is dead.

3/5

God of carnage 😍

Yasmine Reza

I really liked Polanski’s adaption of this short play but, I have to say, I liked the book even more. It’s beautiful to see how the author is able to play with and reproduce human emotions in such a brilliant way.

4/5

UFO 78

Wu Ming

Not as ambitious as other Wu Ming’s books (read Q if you never did), it’s still a really enjoyable experience that offers interesting insights into Italy’s recent history. Plus, it comes with a satisfying mystery included.

3/5

Red star

Alexander Bogdanov

Read this in preparation for Wu Ming’s book on Bogdanov’s life and, while I understand why the book focuses so much on Mars’ communist society (yes, you read that right1), it soon feels dated and, unfortunately, boring. Still, it has some great passages and ideas in there and it’s beautiful to explore the mind of Lenin’s most brilliant rival.

3/5

Proletkult

Wu Ming

Wu Ming’s take on Bogdanov’s life is a bit of a let down because of how they tried to combine his sci-fi work into it. I appreciate the idea, but feel like the realisation didn’t completely work out, as I was far more interested into Russia’s history immediately after the Bolshevik’s revolution and Bogdanov’s actual life than in the character they made up to drive the plot.

2/5

The legend of the Holy Drinker ⭐️ 😍

Joseph Roth

This short novella by the Austrian author is, undoubtedly, a masterpiece. While it takes only a few hours to read, it’ll stay with you for a much longer time. Roth’s death, caused by alcohol, shortly before this book was published makes it even more tragic.

Comic books

No sleep till Shengal

Zerocalcare

As always, a beautiful graphic novel from Zerocalcare, where the author doesn’t shy out from his personal feelings and exposes himself as few authors do.

The Incal

‌Jodorowky & Moebius

Unbelievable work of art from two masters at the top of their games. It’s probably not for everyone but, if you love science fiction from some decades ago, you’ll be amazed by what’s in here.

Non-Fiction

Dare to sketch

Felix Scheinberger

After watching Felix’s Domestika course, I decided to give his book a try as well since I really liked his approach at drawing without any worry about the result. Highly suggested if you love drawing but you feel blocked because you’re never satisfied with the result.

A guide to the good life

William B. Irvine

After re-reading De Crescenzo’s history of greek philosophy, I downloaded this book and, I don’t know… There’s something useful in there, but I feel like it’s better to just read the classic and come up with your own idea of things.

Make time

‌Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky

I re-read this book almost every year. It’s written in such an easy-to-scan and funny way that’s it’s just a pleasure to go through it over and over again. It’s also full of useful ideas, and its approach, not as constrictive or paternalistic as other similar books, makes it feel like a breeze of fresh air.

The 4-hour workweek

Tim Ferris

A bit dated and I didn’t really connect with the author’s know-it-all attitude. Still, some good ideas in there that can definitely serve as inspiration.


  1. After all, it’s the red planet for a reason, right?↩︎

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