George’s Top 10 Favorite Reads of 2022

For the past several years, I’ve been doing a summary of my top 10 books of the year (5 nonfiction & 5 fiction). Not all these books came out in 2022, but I read them all this year. These books aren’t all cybersecurity related, but you can skip to the end for that:)



    1. The Beastie Boys Book by Mike D and Ad—Rock – This book was my favorite non-fiction book of the year. I really didn’t know that the Beastie Boys started out as a punk rock band or even like 5% of the rest of the knowledge they drop. My biggest complaint was that it took a really long time to read…not because it was too long, but because they dropped so many references to great songs and artists that influenced them that I’d have to stop and go listen to that song before I kept reading!

    1. Operation Paperclip by Annie Jacobsen – Operation Paperclip was the US governments secret project to bring Nazi scientists into the United States to continue their work. Jacobsen did a crazy amount of research for the book and connects the dots to show not just that the events happened, but that it was done intentionally.

    1. Think Again by Adam Grant – We all have blindspots, and one of the biggest ones we have is that after we make a decision we usually stick with it no matter what other evidence may say it was a bad idea. Our brains will usually just filter away any evidence to the contrary that doesn’t fit our beliefs. This book is all about how we can overcome our cognitive biases in everything from firefighting to teaching and uses real stories about how these techniques saved lives and helped people live better lives.

    1. Stolen Focus by Jonann Hari – I quit most of my social media apps after reading this book. There’s so much out there about how harmful to humans social media really is that you might have heard bits and pieces of over the years, but Hari brings those things together and puts them together in a very personal way.

    1. All The Presidents Men by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein – This is the book that everybody talks about when they think about the Watergate Scandal that led to President Nixon to resign. From someone who only knows about the scandal from what I’ve heard in the media or read on Wikipedia, I was stunned at how personal the story was. There were really only a handful of things that a couple of people could have done differently and the full results of the scandal would have never come to light and the book highlights this.





    1. Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt – A good friend of mine recommended this one…I guess she knew somehow that I liked really dark horror stories and this is one of my favorites of the genre. There’s a literal witch that has had a curse on a small town in New England for 300 years. And every time you think it couldn’t get darker, it does. Definitely nightmare inducing.

    1. Babel 17 by Samuel Delaney – The idea of linguistics in science fiction is pretty common today (think Contact, The Arrival, etc.), but when this was written in 1966 nobody had that on their radar. Although the language is a bit dated, it still feels fresh and innovative. This book deserves the same love that other books of it’s age like The Foundation trilogy have already gotten.

    1. Snowcrash by Neil Stephenson – It had been a while since I had read this classic, so I decided to pick it up and see how well it had aged. Still a classic. But I’m pretty sure that Elon Musk is using the bad guy in the book playbook to pattern his empire on. It was eerie. If Musk starts funding archaeologists, we’d better start to worry.

    1. A Gentleman in Moscow – I picked this book up right around the same time that the Russian war against Ukraine was beginning. The events of the book take place about 100 years ago, but they give some context on what its like living in an authoritarian state and how humans still live their lives even in the face of oppression. Living your life as a true “gentleman” in the face of that oppression is what makes this book incredible.

    1. Contact by Carl Sagan – I had never read this, in part because the movie was so amazing I thought that I didn’t need to. I was totally wrong, I wish I had picked this book up 30 years ago. There were so many things that they couldn’t do in the movie that the book brings to life in fantastic ways, like how much of a role faith plays in science. It’s a cliche that books are always better than movies, and as great as the movie was, the book is still better.


 If you haven’t heard, my latest book just came out. It’s called Project Zero Trust, and I got to collaborate with the guy who created Zero Trust, John Kindervag, to create a story about a fictional company that begins their Zero Trust journey. Zero Trust can’t just be for us security nerds, and this story highlights how everyone in IT can be a part of the process. Oh, and the narrator for the audiobook is one of the actors from The Walking Dead…so go check it out now! Also, please post a review!

Double Bonus 

 My other book, Well Aware, came out in 2020 and won the Book of the Year award. It’s also about cybersecurity and it’s what I’ve based my security awareness company Well Aware Security around. Before you take our training, you take our cybersecurity personality test, and we customize the training based on your unique strengths in security to help you improve your security faster.


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