It is that time of year again. Time for my top five reads of the year. I read the same amount of fiction as non-fiction this year. Usually, I read more non-fiction. I needed to escape more into stories this year.

The books are not in any particular order but if I had to pick the one that taught me the most and kept my attention the best, I would say Far from the Tree by Andrew Solomon. The fictional Into Thin Air, is a close second.


  1. Far from the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity by Andrew Solomon: This is a lengthy, detailed read about raising children with special needs. They cover everything from autism to schizophrenia. I found it fascinating, but I also work in special education.
  2. The Person You Mean to Be by Dolly Chugh: My first read explicitly about implicit bias. Ms. Chugh introduced me to aspects of racial injustice and white privilege that I had never learned before. In particular, she explained white people’s accumulation of wealth versus black people’s. Enlightening.
  3. A Woman’s Book of Life: The Biology, Psychology and Spirituality of the Feminine Life Cycle by Joan Borysenko: Dr. Borysenko breaks down a woman’s life cycle into seven stages. She talks about the psychological, spiritual and biological elements of each stage.


4. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles: A stranger recommended this to me and I bought it. It is an elegant, historical and fictional story of one of the last remaining aristocrats in post czar Russia. He is sentenced to house arrest in one of the most revered hotels in Moscow. It is a story about community and resilience. Perfect quarantine reading.

5. Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer: A true story about a harrowing climb of Mt. Everest. The author is one of a doomed expedition that climbed the mountain in 1996. I learned a lot about the Himalayan region, its people and the art of mountain climbing. A real page turner.