Six Engrossing Winter Reads + One To Look Forward To

Karen Sherman
3 min readDec 21, 2020

2020 is drawing to a close and not a moment too soon! I know we’re all ready to put this challenging and painful year behind us.

If you’re looking for some good reads to add light and interest to the winter months ahead, I’m pleased to share these six books I read recently and loved. All of these would make great gifts if you’re scrambling for good, last-minute ideas for anyone on your list.

And, ahem, please don’t forget that Brick By Brick is also available in hardcover, ebook and audiobook if you’re looking for holiday gifts or winter reads. My publisher is offering 30% off copies using this code at checkout: RLFANDF30. And although stock is sold out at some retailers, you can still buy it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books a Million.

Coates, Noah, Obama, Larson, Gladwell and Power offer six excellent reads for the winter months ahead.
  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. A deeply reflective and personal “this is how it is” series of letters to his teenage son about race in America. Loved it.
  • The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz by Erik Larson. A truly fantastic read. Like all of his books, it’s exhaustively, impeccably researched. It was a delight to read about a savvy, devoted, and highly competent leader like Churchill. I loved it so much that I actually read all of the endnotes!
  • Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know by Malcolm Gladwell. I found this eye-opening and insightful. Felt especially relevant to learn about the ways we misunderstand one another and fail to communicate in this highly polarized moment of American society. Gladwell always delivers an incisive peek behind the curtain of human behavior.
  • Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah. He is a gifted storyteller and funny without trying too hard. I particularly appreciated learning about his origins, his mother, and his personal experience with apartheid.
  • Becoming by Michelle Obama. Her memoir was more candid and reflective than I had expected it to be. As a woman, mother, wife, leader, speaker and changemaker, she sets a very high bar in so many respects.
  • The Education of an Idealist by Samantha Power. This is a sweeping and candid autobiography that provides a very interesting window into the Obama administration’s foreign policy decisions. I found the first part about her childhood in Ireland and the section about her time as a journalist during the Balkan War particularly compelling.
Gayle Tzemach Lemmon’s new book will be out in February.
Coming in February 2021!

I’ll leave you with a heads up that best-selling author, Gayle Tzemach Lemmon’s new book, The Daughters of Kobani is coming out on February 16, 2021. Gayle is an amazing writer and storyteller who brings women’s voices and courageous lives to the forefront. The Daughters of Kobani is one of Oprah Magazine’s most anticipated books of 2021. I would be excited to read it even if Gayle had not said such nice things about Brick By Brick :)



Karen Sherman

President of @akilahinstitute. AUTHOR. ADVOCATE. UPSTANDER. 2020 Book Release: “Brick by Brick: Building Hope and Opportunity for Women Survivors Everywhere”