The 6 best books I read in 2016

Hillbilly Elegy – J.D. Vance
Moving, painful and funny account of modern ‘hillbilly’ life in the US: one of the best ways to better understand what we have become to know as Trump-country.

A little life – Hany Yanagihara
Friendship equals love. Jude, the main character has made a lasting impression on me: no week has passed since reading his cruel story without thinking about him and his friends.

Sapiens – Yuval Noah Harari
Although sometimes far-fetched and pompous, a very interesting book – simply because it raises important questions. Harari really tries to understand humanity on a deeper level.

China & de Barbaren – Henk Schulte Nordholt
To better understand China, its role and motives turn to this great read, based on years of in-country experience of the author.

Ik was een van hen – Maarten Zeegers
This is how investigative journalism should look like. This book on the pockets of Islamist no-go zones in the Netherlands needs to be on every policy maker’s desk.

Het Rijk der Kleine Koningen – Derk Jan Eppink
Europe has fallen prey to believers and little kings. Insider account of the European machinery: a great antidote to the visionary firework from federalists we normally get to read.  And a at times very funny.

And – what the heck –  two runner-ups: a fascinating book about the rise and attraction of ISIS and one important essay by Scheffer on the need for European borders.