Almost six months ago I wrote my first blog post about the life-changing power of reading books. I have one thing to add. I love the way that books provide the opportunity for human connection. I’m grateful for the discussions that have been born out of sharing my thoughts with others. I’m grateful for the strengthened friendships that have come from those meaningful conversations. Often books put into words the thoughts and feelings of our hearts. They can validate our hopes and our dreams. They can give us the strength to move forward in difficult times. And you never know when a simple conversation about a book you love can impact the life of a friend in need. It happened again this year for me. So, in 2023 I hope you will read and I hope you will share your thoughts with others. There’s power in sharing your reading journey!

With that I wanted to share with you the books I’ve read this year with a couple of awards. I fell a little short of my goal because of a couple podcasts I binge-listened ūüôā

Non-Fiction Book of the Year: 

  • Four Thousand Weeks; Time Management for Mortals¬†by Oliver Burkeman. Cannot recommend this book highly enough. See my previous blog post.

Fiction Book of the Year: 

  • East of Eden¬†by John Steinbeck. Steinbeck was a master of the English language and truly understood the human condition. Read my thoughts here.

Spiritual/Religious Book of the Year:

  • Falling Upward by Richard Rohr. I haven’t written about this book yet, but it was the most important book for me this year in my spiritual growth and development.¬†If you are looking for a different way to view the complexity of life through a religious lens, this book is a must.

Memoir of the Year: 

  • Finding Me: A Memoir¬†by Viola Davis. I knew nothing about Viola Davis before this book. I loved learning about her life and her story of resilience and perseverance. She truly rose from the depths of poverty to become one of the most successful actors of our time.

Here’s the rest of the list of books I would recommend:

  • The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. This was a fun book that I would recommend. See my blog post here
  • Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty by Patrick Radden Keefe.¬†Excellent investigative reporting on the Sackler Family who played a key role in the expansion of opioid use and deadly opioid epidemic that continues to plague our country.
  • Think Like a Monk by Jay Shetty. Really liked this book. Check out my thoughts on fear and my thoughts on happiness from his book
  • No More Goodbyes: Circling the Wagons Around Our Gay Loved Ones by Carol Lynn Pearson. This book was written written in 2007, so obviously much has changed with how the LGBTQ community is viewed in society. I wish I had been exposed to the thoughts and ideas in this book when it was published. Carol Lynn shares some heart-wrenching stories that brought tears to my eyes and filled me with compassion for those who have been rejected for their sexuality.
  • How the Word is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America by Clint Smith. I don’t know if I agreed with everything the author wrote but I always enjoy books on black history. This is a very sobering account of the atrocities that occurred during slavery.
  • From Strength to Strength by Arthur Brooks.¬†Absolutely recommend this book. Please read my blog post here.
  • Stolen Focus:Why You Can’t Pay Attention – And How to Think Deeply Again by Johann Hari. Yes. You absolutely must read this book. Read my blog post here.
  • The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi.¬†I thought this book was well-written. Such great insight into the life of a woman in India in the 1950s. If we are to understand the present moment, we must study history and how we got here. For me this book gives great insight into how women have been treated throughout history and why there is much work to do!
  • The Woman They Could Not Silence by Kate Moore.¬†¬†It is unbelievable the way that women have been treated throughout our history.¬†Elizabeth Packard is an absolute hero. She is a pioneer of the women’s rights movement and an inspiration to me.
  • The Comfort Crisis by Michael Easter.¬†See previous post
  • The Winners by Fredrik Backman.¬†Third book in The Beartown Series. Compelling trilogy. At times some very challenging subject matter. Backman is a great writer.
  • Oil and Marble by Stephanie Storey.¬†I don’t reread too many books. But this is one of my all time favorites.

The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you will go.

Dr Seuss

Thank you for a great year. I hope you have found some books that have changed you life. I’d love to hear about them!

  • Whitney
    1 year ago
    Wow… I think I’ve only read 4 of the above mentioned… I guess I have a lot more reading to do! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and ideas with me so I can become a better human!
    • Nate
      1 year ago
      You are already a great human Whit!
  • Adam
    1 year ago
    Amen!