The books I read in 2021

I made a list last December of the books that I wanted to read this year. When I was thinking of what books I wanted to read, I mainly focused on travel books as I believed we would be exiting the Pandemic and I would start recouping the missed travel opportunities this year [optimistic I know...]. My initial goal [resolution] was to get 12 books in over the year. I just finished my 16th book of the year and figure I'd throw together this list.

I will take this month to find the books I would like to read next year. I am already thinking of Sci-Fi, CyberPunk, Fantasy, and other stories to pull me out of reality and escape for a bit. Maybe get that Hobbit book under my belt.

The way I was able to pull off 16 books is that I made a point to wake up, get coffee, and then read for 30-45 minutes before showering and going to work every single day no matter what. Some of the books pulled me in and I ended up reading them at weird hours or just when I had the Kindle around. I think that it started as a New Year's resolution but ended up growing. So that would make this year a success regardless if I didn't get my travel plans in, maybe next year right?!?

You can look the books up on Amazon or Goodreads to get a book report. I just am going to leave some thoughts here for my future self.

Down Under: Travels in a Sunburned Country

Great reading I enjoyed Bill Bryson's funny commentary on traveling through Australia. Find more books by him and read them.

ColdFusion Presents: New Thinking: From Einstein to Artificial Intelligence, the Science and Technology That Transformed Our World by Dagogo Altraide

One of my favorite YouTube channels and worth a read if into Science and Technology. While I knew some of the things in the book Dagogo filled in my gaps in knowledge with this book.

Post Corona: From Crisis to Opportunity by Scott Galloway

Here's to me thinking we would get past Corona this year. Sheesh. Great insights thought by the Professor.

MicroAdventures by Alistair Humpheries

This one was OK, but I felt it was like some guy's blog formatted into a book. Fun reading, but very light and focused on the UK.

Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts

This book was one of my top reads this year. I loved the world building and characters. I even teared up when one of them died. Good stuff if you can pull that off in a book. Debating on reading the sequel, I may just leave it as this book ended nicely and I just don't want to ruin the experience.

The Lost City of the Monkey God by Douglas Preston

This book really made me want to pull on a fedora, break out the whip and go into archeology full time. I know it's not supposed to be a book that makes you want to turn into Indiana Jones, but hey that's just me I guess.

The Alchemist: A Fable About Following Your Dream by Paulo Coelho

At first I did not know what I was getting into with this one. I kept up with it and it turned into another of my favorite reads this year. I liked it so much that bought the physical book for the family. I should find other books by this author.

Into Neon: A Cyberpunk Saga by Matthew A. Goodwin

This one was tough. I liked the book, but felt like I was reading popcorn, meaning it was just enough of a story to be read, but nothing I'd retain. I started to read the second book in the series and gave up after the first few pages after realizing I did not care about any of the characters or the universe in general.

A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush by Eric Newby *

I really wanted to get into this book, but I ended up abandoning it about half way through. I just felt like it wasn't going anywhere, not that I needed it to, but you'd think about half way through the book I'd be at least traveling or something. If you are in the mood for slow burners this may be it. I am marking this in the read column as I wasted enough time on it.

Winning: The Unforgiving Race to Greatness by Tim S. Grover

I always end up reading some sort of self help book that gets me super motivated. Tim was Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant's coach. It was great and I really recommend it. As a amateur athlete, I should have read this book when it came out. Pickup one of his other books before summer next year.

Marching Powder: A True Story of Friendship, Cocaine, and South America's Strangest Jail by Thomas McFadden, Rusty Young

Wow. Just wow. This book really stuck with me. You'd think it couldn't happen, but sure enough reality is stranger than fiction most of the time. Maybe worth it to pickup one of Rusty Young's other books.

The Fourth Turning: What the Cycles of History Tell Us About America's Next Rendezvous with Destiny by William Strauss, Neil Howe

Where to start with this book... Well, we are heading into or alreaady are in a "Winter" and they always end up with war... Maybe watching a video from one of the authors will help.

Thanks to the Spirited Man YouTube channel for recommending and doing a phenomenal book report:

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

After all that deep reading I needed something really fun. I am really glad I grabbed the book. I remember when the movie originally came out and I went to go see it I did not understanding any of it. After reading the book this year I watched the movie and everything made a lot more sense. So, read the book and then watch the movie. Afterwared I became a fan of Douglas Adams' writing.

Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams

I really wanted more absurd writing, so the Dirk Gently series is a good place to start. I will try and read more of this type of book in the next year.

The Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific by J. Maarten Troost

This would have been an awesome travel book for siting on a beach or in a campsite. Either way, I definitely enjoyed it.  As it brought out my innate desires to go off and explore.

Endurance: My Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery by Scott Kelly

This was the last book I will read this year [well officially on the list]. Scott's journey through life and journey to the ISS was well documented in the book. I learned a lot about how to become a NASA astronaut, and what they deal with. I have even more respect for them that I did before, which was a lot.

OK, on to next year!