A selection of books for 2023


At the beginning of the year, many have a habit of making a reading plan. But in 2022, Ukrainians did not want to read. I hope that the victories of the Armed Forces of Ukraine will bring the reader back to the bookstore

For the last fifteen years, I have been engaged in the selection and publishing of books. The Laboratory team and I analyze hundreds of books a year and select the most interesting ones for our readers. I myself read a little – about 10-20 books a year. I make a reading plan for the New Year holidays, when there is more free time, and then I read it gradually.

I completed the first part — deciding what to read — and made a plan at the beginning of 2022. And in February, the great war began, and it was no longer worth reading.

In the second half of 2022, we observed an active surge in reading among Ukrainians. Book sales are increasing, and this is a very pleasant trend. There are several reasons: tiredness from the news, a decrease in business activity, more free time. In February-March, the situation was different, but the Ukrainian army stopped the enemy and now you can more or less calmly pick up a book.

We continue to collect the most interesting things from around the world and publish them in Ukrainian translation. And since this year, we started actively working with domestic authors and we want to present them on the Western markets — we have ideas on how to do it.

The will of Ukrainians cannot be broken by rocket fire. I have no doubt that we will win, so making plans for 2023 does not seem like something detached from reality, on the contrary.

I don’t really like giving out book recommendations, because it’s too tied to individual tastes, but it’s always interesting to see what other people are reading. My reading list for the first half of 2023 includes the following five books:

“There is land beyond Perekop” is a great novel by the Ukrainian writer Anastasia Levkova about Crimea

About how an ethnic Russian woman becomes a political Ukrainian. The book will be published in the spring of 2023. I was tempted by the publisher’s announcement: “This is an ode to Crimea. Not to natural beauty and uniqueness, but to people. This is an attempt to open the mainland for Crimea, and Crimea for the mainland. After all, there is land both there and there. It is worth getting to know and sewing it together.”

“The Great Silk Road. New History of the World” by Peter Frankopan

This book is very popular in the West and is sold in all airports around the world, because it explains important things in an accessible way. The author is the director of the Oxford Center for Byzantine Studies. He reveals the phenomenon of the rapid development of Asia and conducts an interesting tour of ancient trade routes.

When you read this book, you find yourself inside a historical series. Kipling wrote that the East is the East and the West is the West, and they will never meet, but in fact they have always fertilized each other with ideas. This book won me over with its historical scope and good style.

“How to create an emotion. Nike Creative Leadership Lessons” by Greg Hoffman

The author of the book worked all his life in creative positions at the Nike company. Under his eyes and through his efforts, sneakers from sports shoes turned into a phenomenon of mass culture.

In the post-material world, everyone has more or less everything, so now it’s not enough just to produce a product — you need to create an “object of desire.” This course develops modern business, and this book has ideas that you can put into practice.

“Revolutionary. Samuel Adams” by Pulitzer Prize winner Stacey Schiff

A brilliant example of the biographical genre and at the same time an interesting history of ideas. The fact that the United States of America is now the number 1 country and the largest economy in the world is the result of the ideas embedded in its construction. Sam Adams, one of the organizers of the liberation movement of the North American colonies against England, was a very controversial person, unlike other founding fathers of the United States, he did not appear on dollar bills, but it is all the more interesting to read.

The American Revolution is a personal favorite of mine. Taras Shevchenko asked rhetorically: “Are we waiting for Washington with a new and righteous law?”. Adams did not wait, but built the supporting walls of the republican system of America himself. The Boston Tea Party and the famous principle of “no taxation without political representation” are his creations.

“Rationalism. What is it, why is it for us and why is it not enough” by Steven Pinker

The author of the book is one of the most famous cognitive scientists and popularizers of science, a Harvard professor. Humanity has achieved incredible technological and scientific development, but at the same time, it seems, it has lost its mind. Maybe we are irrational by nature? Or does rationality not exist?

Pinker proves that people in any society, even in primitive tribes, are born completely intelligent and rational. We simply forget about the toolkit, which was painfully discovered over millennia: logic, critical thinking, probability assessment, cause-and-effect relationships. I’ll read it, because it’s a book from the gentleman’s collection of modern popular science literature — a mandatory program, like for figure skaters.

These five books will be published in the first half of 2023 by the “Laboratory” publishing house.

Author: Anton Martynov

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