Blog 2023 12 20 The 3 best books I read in 2023

The 3 best books I read in 2023

Though I haven’t published a lot of book reviews this year and I didn’t even finish reading as many books as in other years, I didn’t spend less time on reading.

How is that possible then?

There are a couple of reasons for that: during the last few months, I spent my reading efforts proofreading two books about C++. Both of them have helped me learn a great deal of things and I have also helped make these books better. Besides, there were a couple of books that I put aside as I realized that they weren’t worth my time at the moment. Sometimes I finished books, but I decided not to write a review on them, because I didn’t like them that much, and I only share positive reviews. I also read a couple of Hungarian and French books and I only share reviews of them in exceptional cases if there is no translation available.

Last but not least, some books I read were just very long.

So in the end, I decided to highlight only 3 books this year.

Ordinary Men by Christopher Browning

This is a very depressive book with many brutal details. The author tells about how average people became killing machines in WWII. He doesn’t talk about the soldiers on the fronts, but about those people who helped the Third Empire to implement its “final solution” by murdering Jewish people (and other minorities).

Interestingly what made this book one of the best on this topic was to stop demonizing these people. In fact, it even tries to empathise with them at a certain level. “Empathise” might be a strong word, but don’t get me wrong, it’s not about ignoring the deeds. It’s about trying to understand what happened, how and why many people became killing machines and why others did not.

If you are interested in history, in human psychology and you’re not afraid of a depressive book, this is a particularly interesting read.

The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel

The subtitle of the book is “Timeless lessons on wealth, greed, and happiness”. As it suggests, The Psychology of Money approaches our financial matters from a bit different angle. If you consider personal finances and saving money from a purely mathematical standpoint, then it’s easy to come up with black-and-white, absolute recommendations.

But money problems are more difficult because emotions are heavily influencing our decisions. Therefore while the book makes some absolute recommendations, it’s also more emphatetic towards different solutions and accepts the validity of different approaches. The author recognizes that with a certain background, we might not understand the motives of those with another background.

The book discusses among others the differences between being wealthy and being rich, why it is more important to be reasonable than to be rational and it even offers some historical viewpoints on how the US consumer was created after WWII.

Nonconform by Gergely Böszörményi-Nagy

The main idea behind the book is that we are almost always facing the same ideas in the mainstream media and any differing opinions are either ridiculed or simply not presented. This book shares 28 conformist statements and presents the non-conform answers to them. Each answer has many references, the book obviously cannot go into deep details but you have plenty of materials to follow up on.

The ideas revolve around Evolution and politics, Climate and war, Identity and innovation, Against conformism with intelligence and belief. So many controversial topics, so many thought-provoking ideas.


These are probably the best books I read this year, I hope you’ll find interesting some of them. Oh, and don’t forget to share what books you liked the most this year!

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