Sharing the 2022 client community playlist brought it sharply to my attention how few blog posts I managed this year. I’ve got a good stack of content ideas to develop for 2023, but one I had to share before the end of December was my list of most of the books I’ve read this year. Nobody wants to read a 2022 round-up listicle in January!

There were in fact a few more than this below list, but these were my main reads in the long rests at the gym, between my heavy sets.

The Long Haul
 by Myles Horton – autobiography of the founder of the Highlander School. Myles is a big inspiration to me, as with the newly-founded co-operative We Got to Move we are aiming to ultimately create the UK’s version of the Highlander centre – with a squat rack.

Eat Like Your Ancestors by Liz Pearson Mann – a book about food local to the West Midlands region. This was a quick read and it didn’t leave me with as many takeaways or insights as I hoped it might.

Mutual Aid: building solidarity during this crisis (and the next) by Dean Spade. Dean had some great stuff to say about healthy vs unhealthy group cultures in the world of voluntary activism.

The Care Manifesto: the politics of interdependence by the Care Collective. A vision for expanding our concept of care, and re-imagining the world with care as a central organising principle.

The Tragedy of the Worker by the Salvage Collective. This was another short one but quite academic. It examines our inaction on irreversible climate collapse and proposes a left wing programme of restoration and reparation in response.

Feminist Antifascism: counterpublics of the common by Ewa Majewska. This one was also quite academic. A Polish writer mixing theoretical discussion with reflections on personal experiences in feminist movements.

A Planet to Win: why we need a green new deal by Kate Aronoff, Alyssa Battistoni, Daniel Aldana Cohen & Thea Riofrancos. This book explores the political potential and concrete first steps of a Green New Deal, in more everyday language than The Tragedy of the Worker.

The Extended Mind: the power of thinking outside the brain by Annie Murphy Paul. This book looks at how we use our entire body, our environment, and other people, be they peers or experts, to expanding our thinking powers. A lot of surprising relevance to my work and lots to chew on. I have a future blog post and maybe even a workshop in mind about interesting elements from this book.

Burnout by Emily & Amelia Nagoski. This book looks at how individuals can complete the stress cycle to avoid the impacts of chronic stress, but situates that massively within a social context, highlighting the structural and institutional causes for burnout – and what that means politically.

Holding Change by adrienne maree brown. A life-affirming and inspiring guide to facilitation and mediation, ‘in ways that align with nature, with pleasure, with our best imaginings of our future’, curated primarily from the wisdom of Black feminists.

Insurgent Heart: a Vipassana manual for the guerrilla yogi by Jesse Maceo Vega Frey (my second time reading this fave). An approach to meditation practice that mirrors (and is illustrated by) the principles, strategies, and tactics that powerless people have always used in their struggle against oppression: those of guerrilla warfare. You can read this book for free via the link.

Perimenopause Power by Maisie Hill. My first deep dive into learning about the perimenopause, and my key takeaway was that it’s a vast topic, with huge impacts… So this will be a reference book for me to return to.

The Outrun, a memoir of recovery from alcoholism in Orkney by Amy Liptrot. Extremely well-written. I forgot multiple times that it wasn’t prose. I was really transported to the islands.

And still in the middle of reading…

Beautiful Practice: a whole-life approach to health, performance and the human predicament by Frank Forencich (second time reading this one). A book about alienation, presence and the cultivation of a practice.

The Politics of Trauma: somatics, healing and social justice by Staci K. Haines. Described as ‘an essential tool for healers, therapists, activists, and trauma survivors who are interested in a justice-centred approach to somatic transformation’.

Conscious Coaching by Brett Bartholemew. This is a book for trainers that encourages self reflection and then examines some of the psychological archetypes we may encounter when working with athletes, so that we may better adapt to their needs.

Next to read – on the top of my pile…

Workers Can Win by Ian Allinson, a practical guide to organising at work (my previous field of focus for many years).

Health Communism by Beatrice Adler-Bolton and Artie Vierkant, an analysis of health, illness, life and death under capitalism, arguing for a new global left politics that severs the ties between capital and health. From the hosts of Death Panel podcast (which I will have to check out).

This list is honestly not sponsored by Verso books! But they do have very excellent 40% off sales.