Books to Read in 2024

Jan Vermeulen: Still Life with an Open Book // Public domain

The gluttony of the holidays marks not only the end of your capacity to feast more but also the end of the year. Your stocks I am sure are full of presents, and you want to catch up with your reading list. Lest you are too efficient and devour all your books here are a couple of recommendations for the next year:

Codeword – Golden Fleece by Dennis Wheatley

Starting with an obscure one, albeit from the same author I have already recommended a couple of years ago.

The novel is relevant today in depicting the importance of complex systems during war. Now, when attacks on trading vessels in the Red Sea threaten a disruption in the global supply chain, understanding the intricate web of a globalized world is paramount in gaining advantage- The Iran-backed Houthis cause delays in the transport of energy supplies used to substitute Russian sources, thus hiking the price, which benefits the Kremlin. Russian-Iran relations are tightening against the common enemy: The USA, Europe, and the Western liberal world.

The reason this is relevant to the book recommendation is because The Golden Fleece is about a group of friends who at the beginning of World War II decided to help Britain by disrupting the German energy supply. They attempt to achieve it by buying up the barges that transport gas from Romania to Germany on the Danube. There are obvious similarities between the current attack on the energy supply and the adventures in the book, but to make it more interesting Codeword – Golden Fleece is based on a true story.

Turning Back the Clock by Umberto Eco

Staying with the topic of Russia and its influence, often using populism and populists to sow discord among European countries and the US, my second recommendation is the works of Umberto Eco, or more specifically Turning Back the Clock. Although, true to its title it deals with politicians of the past, it takes no great leap of imagination to substitute new names for similar situations. The book is a witty collection of essays about the media, populism, and all those things that affected the world in the early 00s, which are relevant today many times over. It explains the success of the media campaign of pro-Kremlin propagandists, and Palestinian terrorists. There are lighter topics as well, such as Harry Potter.

Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea by Charles Seife

If you have zero ideas about what other books to read, why not read about the history of the number zero, in Charles Seife’s well-written book? It is not a new book, nor is it more relevant for the year 2024 than any other year, it is an important book nonetheless. Zero was shunned by mathematicians, philosophers, and theologians for a long time. However, the trade made its adoption from India to Europe through the Arabs necessary. The concept of nothing changed art, religion, trade, philosophy, and humankind forever. It is a worthwhile read showing the importance of trade in the transfer of ideas, and a prime example of how seemingly trivial ideas like zero can change how people see the whole world. Review

The holiday season is a time for self-reflection and looking inward. This is what the Review does, it reflects on the positives and negatives of the EU, and the Central and Eastern European region. It is an unapologetic self-promotion to recommend the magazine, where I often write, I am an avid reader of its articles myself and as such found it prudent to include it.

Poems of Liberty

On the same note, let me recommend Poems of Liberty, which I have the honor of editing. This collection of poems by talented young people around the world will help you get over the cheesy songs of Christmas and help you make sense of the mayhem that has happened in 2023.

Have a good one!

Continue exploring: 

10 Books to Read During Holidays

Shifting Identities: Russian Speakers in Latvia

Mate Hajba
Free Market Foundation