The 10 books challenge

7:58 AM

I just ticked off one of my 2021 goals peeps! 

Back on January 1st, I wrote down "Read at least 10 books this year" on my goal list and I just completed that one. 10 books might not sound like a whole lot, and in truth there has been years I read a lot more than that. 
2020 had been a sucky book year and I think I only read about 3, the whole pandemic and getting used to our new reality (I refuse to call it normal) had sucked the will to read out of me. 

This year I set a goal I knew I could reach even if the year threw us a few curve balls (and it did). With my goal completed a whole 5 months ahead of schedule, I decided to list all the books I read and let you know about them, and I added a new line to my goal list : "Read 5 more books).

All the links below are Amazon affiliate links, so if you click on them and buy anything, I get paid a commission at no extra cost to you. 

Shark tales by Barbara Corcoran

I love watching Shark Tank and Barbara is one of the Shark I really like, I also sometimes listen to her Podcasts. That book had been on my reading list for a while and that is the first book I finished this year. This is a candid, biography where she talks about her journey from her childhood to the first season of Shark Tank, giving us tips and lessons she learned from her mom along the way. It's a fun, easy read with great insight into what it takes to run a business. 

Contagious by Jonah Berger

This one is a marketing book explaining what it takes for content to go viral and make an impact on people's. 
It explains why certain stories spread faster than others and what are the psychological mechanisms behind the drive. 
Even if you are not in sales, content creation or marketing, I URGE anybody to read this book to understand how we are getting influenced by the media and why. Critical analysis of what we read and watch is the need of the hour. 

The Powershift by Daymond John

I bought this book as Kindle book back in April 2020 and it was one of the books I tried to read all year long but really couldn't get into because there was simply way too much to process. 
I went back to it this year and finally finished reading it in February.
Daymond John is another shark from Shark Tank and his book is about turn situations to your advantage  in business and life. He gives valuable tips about making connections, closing a deal, and leveraging the power of what you have. 
It's a dense book, and as interesting as it is, it is one that I found hard to get into even in 2021. I suspect the fact I was reading it on Kindle made me find it a bit harder to follow as e-books aren't my favourite. Back in 2020 I bought it during the lockdown that made buying books in their physical form impossible and it was a just released book anyway so the price was quite high. It's now available as a paperback and that is the link I gave you guys. 

The things you can see only when you slow down by Haemin Sunim

Haemin Sunim is a Zen Buddhist monk and teacher from South Korea, this book compiles a lot of the quotes and teachings he gave to people over the years. It's one of those books you don't have to read all in one go. It's also a book you can keep on your night stand to read through anytime you need a little warmth and wisdom. The quotes and stories are sorted out by themes, so it's easy to find a pick me up for a particular situation. 
The illustrations in this book are amazing too. 

Lucky Bitch by Denise Duffield-Thomas

I first bought the paperback version, which took 3 weeks to be deliverable, only for the vendor in India to call me 3 days before the estimated delivery date to inform me that they had received it from a shipment that got damaged in transit and that they would initiate a refund and not deliver it to me. I ended up buying the kindle version after that instead of placing a fresh order and wait another 3 weeks. 

The book is a self-help book explaining the law of attraction in a simpler more practical way than "The Secret" and Denise is an author that feels relatable, when you read her book you get access to bonus content online, and do sign up for her newsletters because they have tons of tips for women entrepreneurs. 

Reading it on Kindle took me time, more time that I probably would if it was a physical book. Did I mention I have a love/hate relationship with ebooks and the Kindle? 

The psychology of money by Morgan Housel

This book came recommended from friends and followers on Instagram and months later, I only remember it's giving an insight into investing money and how we are all quite irrational and that it's ok. It also gives a very good insight in what drove the economy in the 20th century. 
I think the biggest takeaway I have from this book is that the compounding effect is a very important factor in everything. You need to build momentum, and building momentum takes time, not just in finance but in everything, I found that tip a useful reminder as far as marketing and building my audience is. 

Get rich Lucky Bitch by Denise Duffield-Thomas

I bought this book in April, as a Kindle edition because we were back in lockdown and books had been deemed non essential and banned from sales, beside like the previous book from that author, it would have taken 3 weeks to be delivered in normal circumstances. 
Because it was a e-book, it took me weeks to read, and I only finished it in June. It offeres a few good tips, gives access to great bonus content online, but I didn't particularly think it gave much more than the first book, so if you read Lucky Bitch, this one might feel a bit redundant. 

One of the biggest takeaway from it though was to no longer settle for things and instead make a practical plan to work toward a goal. The compounding effect from the psychology of money is explained toward a step by step way to your own first class life. 

It's a lesson you find in a lot of business books, courses and law of attraction really. It's just nice to have it broken down in a relatable way. The principle is that you may have a big goal, but instead of trying to aim directly at just reaching that which would make it discouraging, you just find small steps to implements along the way. 
In her book Denise ask us to write down what we feel should our first class life be like. What would we do if we had our dream income? Then once we have that written down, simply start figuring what next small step we can take toward that within our current budget. 
For example that could mean "I would wear quality branded lounge wear if I were rich" and in the immediate the next step would be to get rid of the frumpy outfits that have holes and simply buy new not branded but quality ones and no longer accept wearing rags. 

The midnight library by Matt Haig

I took a break from business and self-help books and decided to read this one as it came HIGHLY recommended by several friends. 

And you know what? I HIGHLY recommend you read it because it's probably the most awesome book I have read in years. 
It's a story of a woman who decide to commit suicide, and end up in a world between life and death called the midnight library where she gets to try out alternate lives she could have had if she made different choices throughout her life. The deal being that if she truly likes one of her alternate lives, she gets to stay in it, but the instant she express a regret in her new life, she gets sent back to library to try another. 
It's a book that goes on showing we all make choices all through our lives that lead us where we are and that shows us a "what if..." possibilities if we made different choices. 

The humans by Matt Haig

Right after I finished the midnight library I dove straight into another book by the same author. This one is about an alien that find himself shipped into the body of a human his kind just killed in order to prevent a scientific breakthrough from happening. 
Along the way our alien discovers our human primitive imperfect ways and learn that his more advanced perfect race might be missing out on things. 

A fun read that put certain things back into perspective. I highly recommend it too. 

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

This is the first book in what is called the Winternight Trilogy and takes place in medieval Russia at a time when Christianity was establishing itself over old Pagan way. 

The heroine descends from a lineage of witches and finds herself at odds between being who she is, wild and free and doing what is right as far as society goes : be a good obedient God fearing girl. 

The story while interesting, is a bit sluggish, I am torn between just leaving it at what it is after book one and reading the next one to know what happens next. It's the 3rd fiction novel I've been reading in a row, so I think I need to take a break from it and read a few other books before diving in book 2 of that trilogy. 

These are the 10 books read in 2021 so far, I now added "5 more books" to my reading goal for the year, and I discovered a few barely started but never finished books in my bookshelves that I want to give a second chance to. If I really can't get past the first 2-3 chapters again, I will just get rid of them once and for all. 

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