A pile of five books on the table. Photo by dlxmedia.hu on Unsplash
Book Review

My top 5 books of 2023


What a year full of books! As I did the previous years, I wanted to dedicate the last post of the year to the top 5 books of 2023. They are not necessarily from 2023, but I read them in 2023. I did some reviews of them this year, but not for all. Where I can, I will link also to the review.

Before I go, let me wish you a great 2024! Keep save! See you next year!

5. The Divide

This years top list features two books that are not archaeology and are both written by Jason Hickel. In “The Divide”, Hickel shows the difference between rich and poor and why these inequalities exist in the first place. I really enjoyed reading it as it clearly challenges our perspectives on the world.

Read my full review here

4. Less is More: How degrowth

The second recommendation is again a book by Jason Hickel in which he actually proposes a solution to the inequality described in his book “The Divide”. “Less is more” describes how we could live in alternative economic models and explores how they could be implemented in order to achieve greater equity and sustainability.

Read my full review here

3. Homo Ludens. A Study of the Play-Element in Culture

I did not do an official review on this one, but it was a very interesting read indeed. “Homo Ludens” by Johan Huizinga describes how humanity developed its culture through play and still does. It is a bit challenging to read but offers a unique insight into how Huizinga saw cultural development and how we can argue when doing archaeology of games.

2. Staub, Steine, Scherben

This was a good book. Sure, it is more for people not too much into archaeology yet, but for this purpose, I think it is a really good book. It gives you a nearly complete overview of what archaeology is about and how we work at different stages of an excavation. The perfect present for anyone interested in archaeology.

Read my full review here

1. The mystery of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon

This book was one of my favourites this year. I was already familiar with the paper by S. Dalley, but in her book, she describes the mystery of the Hanging Gardens and why they most probably weren’t located in Babylon very well. It is an entertaining book that also has its depths. I really enjoyed reading it and can without a doubt recommend it to everyone else.

Read my full review here



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Sebastian Hageneuer

Hi! My name is Sebastian. I am an archaeologist, a university lecturer, freelancer, guitarist, and father. You could say I am quiet busy, so I learned to manage my time and energy to build good habits and still have space for myself and my family. Sounds difficult? Read here how I do it. Every Friday.

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