I have always loved reading because I have felt it make me a better person.

Books make me a better person because they broaden my horizon, deepen my insights, and expose me to perspectives that are different from my own.

In fact, as I have been writing a book on vertical development and helping organizations vertically develop, I have come to the belief that it is essentially impossible to vertically develop without reading books.

(PS. I just decided on the title for the book and it will be: The Elevated Leader: Leveling Up Your Leadership Through Vertical Development)

During 2021, I was able to read or listen to 70 books.

To close out the year, I want to share the top five books I read across three categories and why I value having read them:
1. Non-Fiction Business/Self-Help (last week)
2. Fiction (today)
3. Non-Fiction Other (next week)

The Five Best Fiction Books I Read in 2021

T-4. Code Name Hélène by Ariel Lawhon

Code Name Helene: A Novel

I am not sure what it is, but I love World War II time-period books. This is a historical fiction book based on the true story of a woman leader in the French resistance in German-occupied France. I found the story rather remarkable and the writing good.

T-4. The Warsaw Orphan by Kelly Rimmer

The Warsaw Orphan

This is another World War II historical fiction based on a true story. I had never read a book on the events related to the Jewish Ghetto in Warsaw Poland during the early days of World War II, and this provided a moving perspective from both within and outside the Ghetto.

There is a tie between these two books because I couldn’t decide which one I liked more. They were both good.

3. Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

Project Hail Mary

This was Audible’s book of the year. We got it to listen to on a road trip and our kids even got into it. It was a really great book for a road trip. You get lost in the story and you’re excited to get back in the car 😉.

2. The Stranger in the Lifeboat by Mitch Albom

The Stranger in the Lifeboat: A Novel

Mitch Albom is one of a few authors where I will read anything they write. I love Albom’s books because I always walk away from them feeling like a better person. They speak to my heart. And, while this isn’t my most favorite Mitch Albom book, I still loved it.

1. The Boy, The Mole, The Fox, and The Horse by Charlie Mackesy

The Boy the Mole the Fox and the HorseThis may be the most beautiful book I have ever read. Honestly! It reads like a children’s book, but it is for people of all ages. It has meaning and humor. As I read it to my children, I had tears in my eyes and it made me feel like the very act of reading this book to my kids may be the most important thing I do as a parent.