I have always loved reading because I have felt it makes me a better person.
I find that reading broadens my horizon, deepens my insights, and exposes me to unique perspectives that differ from my own experience.
In fact, as I have come to study vertical development and vertical developed people/leaders, I have come to learn that it is essentially impossible to vertically develop without reading books.
By the end of 2022, I will have read/listened to 90 books during 2022.
To close the year, I want to share the top five books I have read across three genres and the value I have gained from reading them:
- Fiction (12/20)
- Non-Fiction (12/27)
- Business/Leadership (1/3)
Interesting to note: Research is finding that reading fiction helps improve peoples’ emotional intelligence. Books allow you to step into the lives of others and gives you a greater capacity to get in touch with your own emotions as well as those of others.
The Five Best Fiction Books I Read in 2022
I am not sure why, but I love reading historical non-fiction and historical fiction from the WWII time period. Most of the historical fiction that I read in this genre is based on true stories. This book is no exception. This book isn’t the “craziest” book I have read in this genre, but it was a fun and well-written read. It takes place in France, near the Swiss border, and involves the efforts of people in a community to help Jewish children escape German-occupied France and seek refuge in Switzerland.
Stephen King is a masterful writer. While he is known for writing horror, many of his books are not horror books. While I wouldn’t say that this book involves an amazing story, King’s ability to build characters and paint the scenes sucked me into this book and transported me to a different place. This was a really fun read.
This was the winner of the Goodreads Choice Award for Fiction. The main character, Nora Seed, finds herself in a library with an infinite number of books that represent different lives she could have lived. As she picks the book, she gets to live that life. It is a journal of the soul for Nora, and it left me, the reader, on my own journey of the soul, wondering about the life I am yet to live and now to make the most of it. It felt a lot like The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom or The Traveler’s Gift by Andy Andrews.
Kate Quinn has become one of my most favorite authors. I love all of her books. She does historical fiction from the WWII time period. This one, based on a true story, focuses on the world’s most deadly female sniper, a Russian woman known as “Lady Death.” The story is remarkable. Given her nickname, I expected the book to feature a cold-hearted killer, but found a person, Mila Pavlichenko, a mother and history-changer, instead.
Mark Sullivan wrote perhaps my most favorite historical non-fiction that I have ever read: Beneath a Scarlet Sky. So, when he came out with a new historical non-fiction, I knew I had to pick it up. This book involves an unreal story of a family of German descent, who were living in Ukraine, and their journey to move west as Russia and Germany began fighting during WWII. It is moving, heart-breaking, and soul-wrenching. But, it is also so good!