The Best Books of 2022 to Read in 2023

Depending on the year (and if you are counting self-published vs. traditionally published books) there are anywhere from 500,000 to 4 million books published. So many books and not enough time to read them all! I read about 90 books this year and I am hoping to help you weed through the sheer volume of great books out there by sharing some of my favorites from 2022.

Remember, be purposeful about the books you choose. Is there a particular topic you want to know more about? Do you want to learn more about one of your favorite celebrities, business leaders, or historical figures? Do you want to explore the classics? Or get lost in a great beach read as part of a self-care routine? As Stephen King said, “Books are a uniquely portable magic.” Where do you want to go and grow in 2023?

Looking for your next book? Here are my favorites from 2022, in no particular order:

Four Thousand Weeks

Four Thousands Weeks: Time Management for Mortals by Oliver Burkeman

MY TAKE: For anyone who feels like they don’t have enough time and are looking for a new perspective on how to build a meaningful life.

FROM AMAZON: The average human lifespan is absurdly, insultingly brief. Assuming you live to be eighty, you have just over four thousand weeks.

Nobody needs telling there isn’t enough time. We’re obsessed with our lengthening to-do lists, our overfilled inboxes, work-life balance, and the ceaseless battle against distraction; and we’re deluged with advice on becoming more productive and efficient, and “life hacks” to optimize our days. But such techniques often end up making things worse. The sense of anxious hurry grows more intense, and still the most meaningful parts of life seem to lie just beyond the horizon. Still, we rarely make the connection between our daily struggles with time and the ultimate time management problem: the challenge of how best to use our four thousand weeks.

Drawing on the insights of both ancient and contemporary philosophers, psychologists, and spiritual teachers, Oliver Burkeman delivers an entertaining, humorous, practical, and ultimately profound guide to time and time management. Rejecting the futile modern fixation on “getting everything done,” Four Thousand Weeks introduces readers to tools for constructing a meaningful life by embracing finitude, showing how many of the unhelpful ways we’ve come to think about time aren’t inescapable, unchanging truths, but choices we’ve made as individuals and as a society―and that we could do things differently.

The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times by Michelle Obama

MY TAKE: For those who are looking for honest and insightful advice on how to navigate relationships with family, your partner, friends, co-workers, community, and strangers, while making sure to take care of yourself first. This book is also a reminder to stay open and engaged with the world around us to help us all move through uncertain times and come out stronger on the other side.

FROM AMAZON: There may be no tidy solutions or pithy answers to life’s big challenges, but Michelle Obama believes that we can all locate and lean on a set of tools to help us better navigate change and remain steady within flux. In The Light We Carry, she opens a frank and honest dialogue with readers, considering the questions many of us wrestle with: How do we build enduring and honest relationships? How can we discover strength and community inside our differences? What tools do we use to address feelings of self-doubt or helplessness? What do we do when it all starts to feel like too much?

Michelle Obama offers readers a series of fresh stories and insightful reflections on change, challenge, and power, including her belief that when we light up for others, we can illuminate the richness and potential of the world around us, discovering deeper truths and new pathways for progress. Drawing from her experiences as a mother, daughter, spouse, friend, and First Lady, she shares the habits and principles she has developed to successfully adapt to change and overcome various obstacles—the earned wisdom that helps her continue to “become.” She details her most valuable practices, like “starting kind,” “going high,” and assembling a “kitchen table” of trusted friends and mentors. With trademark humor, candor, and compassion, she also explores issues connected to race, gender, and visibility, encouraging readers to work through fear, find strength in community, and live with boldness.

Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business by Gino Wickman

MY TAKE: For the entrepreneur (and their Force Multiplier!) who is looking for a simple framework to build the foundation of their business and run a profitable company.

FROM AMAZON: All entrepreneurs and business leaders face similar frustrations—personnel conflict, profit woes, and inadequate growth. Decisions never seem to get made, or, once made, fail to be properly implemented. But there is a solution. It’s not complicated or theoretical. The Entrepreneurial Operating System® is a practical method for achieving the business success you have always envisioned. More than 80,000 companies have discovered what EOS can do.

In Traction, you’ll learn the secrets of strengthening the six key components of your business. You’ll discover simple yet powerful ways to run your company that will give you and your leadership team more focus, more growth, and more enjoyment. Successful companies are applying Traction every day to run profitable, frustration-free businesses—and you can too.

Living Untethered: Beyond the Human Predicament by Michael A. Singer

MY TAKE: For any leader or professional who is also a spiritual seeker looking to understand more about their inner world of thoughts, emotions, and energy, who wants to stop suffering, and wants to start living life to their fullest once and for all.

FROM AMAZON: Now more than ever, we’re all looking to feel more joy, happiness, and deeper meaning in our lives. But are we looking in all the wrong places? When our sense of wholeness depends on things or people outside ourselves—whether it’s a coveted job, a new house, a lavish vacation, or even a new relationship—sooner or later we’re bound to feel unsatisfied. That’s why we must look inside for real freedom, love, and inspiration. But how do we embark on this inner journey?

Living Untethered is the book to reach for. At once profoundly transcendent and powerfully practical, it provides clear guidance for moving beyond the thoughts, feelings, and habits that keep you stuck—so you can heal the pain of the past and let your spirit soar. On each page, you’ll discover a deeper understanding of where your thoughts and emotions come from, and how they affect your natural energy flow. Finally, you’ll find freedom from the psychological scars, or samskaras, that block you and keep you from reaching your highest potential.

It’s time to stop struggling and start experiencing. This miraculous book will show you how to put the spiritual teachings of Michael A. Singer into practice every day, and propel you toward a life of liberation, serenity, openness, and self-knowledge.

Isn’t it time you started Living Untethered?

Impact Players: How to Take the Lead, Play Bigger, and Multiply Your Impact by Liz Wiseman

MY TAKE: For the Force Multiplier who wants to take their career to the next level by growing their influential leadership, optimizing their mindset, and contributing at their best.

FROM AMAZON: Why do some people break through and make an impact while others get stuck going through the motions?

In every organization there are Impact Players—those indispensable colleagues who can be counted on in critical situations and who consistently receive high-profile assignments and new opportunities. Whether they are on center stage or behind the scenes, managers know who these top players are, understand their worth, and want more of them on their team. While their impact is obvious, it’s not always clear what actually makes these professionals different from their peers.

In Impact PlayersNew York Times bestselling author and researcher Liz Wiseman reveals the secrets of these stellar professionals who play the game at a higher level. Drawing on insights from leaders at top companies, Wiseman explains what the most influential players are doing differently, how small and seemingly insignificant differences in how we think and act can make an enormous impact, and why—with a little coaching—this mindset is available to everyone who wants to contribute at their highest level.  

Never Finished: Unshackle Your Mind and Win the War Within by David Goggins

MY TAKE: For anyone who feels stuck or has been playing below their potential and needs a wake up call, a little kick in the ass, and a reminder that we are all capable of so much more than we think. Get the Audible version for three extra hours of insights and incredible stories from David Goggins.

FROM AMAZON: In Never Finished, Goggins takes you inside his Mental Lab, where he developed the philosophy, psychology, and strategies that enabled him to learn that what he thought was his limit was only his beginning and that the quest for greatness is unending.

The stories and lessons in this raw, revealing, unflinching memoir offer the listener a blueprint they can use to climb from the bottom of the barrel into a whole new stratosphere that once seemed unattainable. Whether you feel off-course in life, are looking to maximize your potential or drain your soul to break through your so-called glass ceiling, this is the only book you will ever need.

Mindset Matters: Developing Mental Agility and Resilience to Thrive in Uncertainty by Gemma Leigh Roberts

MY TAKE: For leaders, Force Multipliers, and any professional who wants to master the future of work. No, it’s not a new technology, it’s mindset – resilience and mental agility. It is what will give you a competitive edge in the years ahead.

FROM AMAZON: Resilience is the skill to master for the future of work. The capacity to overcome adversity and, crucially, to learn from experiences and grow, resilience is the tool to have in your business leadership arsenal. From an individual perspective, it will lead to better performance and wellbeing, and for your team, you can positively affect change and build a culture of resilience that permeates your business. In Mindset Matters chartered psychologist and star LinkedIn Learning instructor, Gemma Leigh Roberts, teaches you why mental agility is the key ingredient to developing resilience and how to achieve it.

This book will teach you the principles of thriving in uncertainty. From changing perspectives, emotional flexibility and achieving a growth mindset, to cementing your mindset shift in others and your team, you will learn research-backed strategies that will allow you to grow your resilience and use change to your advantage. With energy and speed, you can embrace moments of pivots and ensure you and your business bounce back from whatever the world throws at you next.

The Almanack of Naval Ravikant: A Guide to Wealth and Happiness by Eric Jorgenson

MY TAKE: For anyone who wants to understand the mindset, practices, and principles of living a wealthy (not rich!) life from an entrepreneur and investor who walks the walk.

FROM AMAZON: Getting rich is not just about luck; happiness is not just a trait we are born with. These aspirations may seem out of reach, but building wealth and being happy are skills we can learn.

So what are these skills, and how do we learn them? What are the principles that should guide our efforts? What does progress really look like?

Naval Ravikant is an entrepreneur, philosopher, and investor who has captivated the world with his principles for building wealth and creating long-term happiness. The Almanack of Naval Ravikant is a collection of Naval’s wisdom and experience from the last 10 years, shared as a curation of his most insightful interviews and poignant reflections. This isn’t a how-to book, or a step-by-step gimmick. Instead, through Naval’s own words, you will learn how to walk your own unique path toward a happier, wealthier life.

Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience by Brene Brown

MY TAKE: For anyone who could use some help tapping into their emotions and learning the language around those experiences that make us human, while giving us great definitions and understanding to better operate in the world and with others.

FROM AMAZON: In Atlas of the Heart, Brown takes us on a journey through eighty-seven of the emotions and experiences that define what it means to be human. As she maps the necessary skills and an actionable framework for meaningful connection, she gives us the language and tools to access a universe of new choices and second chances—a universe where we can share and steward the stories of our bravest and most heartbreaking moments with one another in a way that builds connection.

Over the past two decades, Brown’s extensive research into the experiences that make us who we are has shaped the cultural conversation and helped define what it means to be courageous with our lives. Atlas of the Heart draws on this research, as well as on Brown’s singular skills as a storyteller, to show us how accurately naming an experience doesn’t give the experience more power—it gives us the power of understanding, meaning, and choice.

Discipline is Destiny: The Power of Self-Control by Ryan Holiday

MY TAKE: For those who are looking for reasons and examples of why discipline really does equal freedom. For those who know they are capable of more, but who need a reminder of how important it is to master ourselves first before we can truly serve others and contribute at our highest level.

FROM AMAZON: To master anything, one must first master themselves–one’s emotions, one’s thoughts, one’s actions. Eisenhower famously said that freedom is really the opportunity to practice self-discipline. Cicero called the virtue of temperance the polish of life. Without boundaries and restraint, we risk not only failing to meet our full potential and jeopardizing what we have achieved, but we ensure misery and shame. In a world of temptation and excess, this ancient idea is more urgent than ever.

In Discipline is Destiny, Holiday draws on the stories of historical figures we can emulate as pillars of self-discipline, including Lou Gehrig, Queen Elizabeth II, boxer Floyd Patterson, Marcus Aurelius and writer Toni Morrison, as well as the cautionary tales of Napoleon, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Babe Ruth. Through these engaging examples, Holiday teaches listeners the power of self-discipline and balance, and cautions against the perils of extravagance and hedonism.

BONUS: Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey

MY TAKE: This book will never get old and is one that I will likely listen to year after year. For anyone who has their own questions about life and is perhaps looking for a little unconventional wisdom and hard-learned lessons to help guide them on their own path to catching greenlights.

FROM AMAZON: I’ve been in this life for 50 years, been trying to work out its riddle for 42, and been keeping diaries of clues to that riddle for the last 35. Notes about successes and failures, joys and sorrows, things that made me marvel, and things that made me laugh out loud. How to be fair. How to have less stress. How to have fun. How to hurt people less. How to get hurt less. How to be a good man. How to have meaning in life. How to be more me.

Recently, I worked up the courage to sit down with those diaries. I found stories I experienced, lessons I learned and forgot, poems, prayers, prescriptions, beliefs about what matters, some great photographs, and a whole bunch of bumper stickers. I found a reliable theme, an approach to living that gave me more satisfaction, at the time, and still: If you know how, and when, to deal with life’s challenges – how to get relative with the inevitable – you can enjoy a state of success I call “catching greenlights.”

So I took a one-way ticket to the desert and wrote this book: an album, a record, a story of my life so far. This is fifty years of my sights and seens, felts and figured-outs, cools and shamefuls. Graces, truths, and beauties of brutality. Getting away withs, getting caughts, and getting wets while trying to dance between the raindrops.

Hopefully, it’s medicine that tastes good, a couple of aspirin instead of the infirmary, a spaceship to Mars without needing your pilot’s license, going to church without having to be born again, and laughing through the tears.

It’s a love letter. To life.

It’s also a guide to catching more greenlights – and to realizing that the yellows and reds eventually turn green, too.

What were your favorite books of 2022?

If you’re looking for even more book recommendations, check out my list from 2021 here, or join the Founder & the Force Multiplier community to see what other members are reading.

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