The Five Best Non-Fiction Books I Read in 2022

Ryan Gottfredson

by Ryan Gottfredson

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The Five Best Non-Fiction Books I Read in 2022

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:

  1. Fiction (12/20)
  2. Non-Fiction (12/27)
  3. Business/Leadership (1/3)

The Five Best Non-Fiction Books I Read in 2022

5. Awareness: Conversations with the Masters by Anthony de Mello


The basic premise of this book is powerful: There is not a single person who ever gave time to being aware who’s quality of life didn’t change. This book helped me more fully learn that we are all “asleep” to different degrees, and that we can always awaken more. And, the more we can awaken to ourselves, the better and more effectively we will navigate our lives and world. This book was originally published in 1992, but feels fresh and arguably more important now than ever before.

4. Stolen Focus by Johann Hari

Stolen Focus

Johann Hari takes on big societal-changing questions, and I consider each of his books “must reads.” He took on depression with Lost Connections and the war on drugs in Chasing the Scream. In this book, he takes on the growing problem of people struggling to pay attention and stay focused (something I think almost everyone struggles with). After engaging in a massive amount of research and personal experimentation, Hari identifies the major factors that are stealing our focus (e.g., technology, poor diets), and discusses (1) how societies need to make cultural changes and (2) people need to make personal changes to retain their most valuable resource: their attention.

3. The Last Rhinos by Lawrence Anthony

The Last Rhinos

Lawrence Anthony was a conservationist who established Thula Thula game reserve in to help protect and save endangered animals. I wish I could convey how magical his books are. While I think I liked his second book, The Elephant Whisperer, slightly more than this book, the story involved in this book is unreal and something that I don’t think anyone could ever make up. To make a long story short, Anthony, a conservationist, ends up becoming a peace broker between warring nations as he goes about his efforts to save the last of the northern white rhinos.

2. I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy

I’m Glad My Mom Died

This book came out in August and has been rated 240,000 times on Goodreads and has a 4.60/5.00 rating. Seeing these stats and knowing this book is a memoir related a topic I have been studying (trauma), I knew I had to read this. It was an incredibly raw, insightful, and insightful book. McCurdy was a child actress, most known for her role on iCarly. Her upbringing was filled with abuse and neglect, and this book is really about her journey awakening to this abuse and the impact it had on her life. She conveys her journey in a way that is simultaneously funny and heartbreaking.

1. What My Bones Know by Stephanie Foo

What My Bones Know

This book is also a memoir about a woman’s experience awakening to the extreme abuse she experienced and the impact it had on her life. It is a fantastic overview of how she (1) leveraged her terrible childhood to become successful professionally, (2) struggled with panic attacks, (3) awakened to the fact that she had complex PTSD and how it was affecting her (there is a lot of great research that she cites), and (4) her efforts to heal, detailing what worked and what didn’t. After all the reading and research I have done on trauma, and even stepping into my own healing journey, I have come believe that everyone needs to become trauma-informed, and this is one of the best books to help do that. Other books I would highly recommend are What Happened to You and The Body Keeps the Score.

Best Books from Prior Years

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