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  • Writer's pictureJames Molloy Writer

2021 Reading Challenge - Part I

Updated: Sep 14, 2021

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Hi there, and welcome back to the blog.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for taking the time to read this, as it really means a lot to me. Whether this is your first time on the website or you are a returning visitor, I always appreciate you choosing to visit the site to read this week’s topic.

This week I’d like to talk about my 2021 Reading Challenge I am doing on Goodreads and to talk about the first ten books I have read this year and give my opinion on them, in case you are looking for new book recommendations for your own collection.

In 2021 I set myself the target of reading 40 books throughout the year. I thought this challenge would be challenging enough that I might fail in getting through all forty but not so challenging that I would have no choice. As of right now, I have reached more than 50 per cent of my target, and I thought I would share with you over the next two weeks the first 20 books I’ve read in my challenge and give my honest opinion on each of the books I’ve gone through so far in 2021.

1. Odd Balls: The Funny Side of Rugby – John Scally

Let’s start with a sporty book. I thought this book by John Scally was a really funny book that talked about Irish rugby through the ages and discussed some hilarious anecdotes about our countries most brilliant players and characters throughout history. One for both the rugby aficionado and those new to the game. It is sure to give everyone a good laugh.

2. The Last Line: My Autobiography – Packie Bonner

Another sporty book. This time we switch to football, with former Celtic and Republic of Ireland Goalkeeper Packie Bonner. This book was interesting as it goes into a lot of the most important moments in recent Irish football history. Bonner talks about that save in his autobiography, qualifying for the first major international tournament with Ireland at Euro ’88 and the two World Cups Italia ’90 and USA ’94. A special mention is also given to the Saipan incident prior to the 2002 World Cup.

3. Dalymount Park – Colin White

Okay, I’ll admit that I feel I kind of cheated with this one. Historical is one word you can use to describe this ground, and much of this book consists of amazing photos from some top photographers from throughout the history of Dalymount Park. With insights from some of those lucky enough to grace the field their playing days, and contributions from some of the greatest legends of Irish football, I would say this book is one for the collections of any sports history buff.

4. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance – Robert M. Pirsig

As complicated as this book may seem to some, it is a fantastic journey of a father and son taking a cross-country trip on motorcycles, bonding through the highs and lows of the journey. On their journey, they meet and discuss old friends and talk about the philosophy of life. It is an epic read and will surely take you along on the journey throughout the highways and backroads of the United States.

5. Rich Dad, Poor Dad – Robert T. Kiyosaki

This one from Robert Kiyosaki is all about financial management and how to take personal responsibility for your finances. The book advocates for the reader to learn financial literacy, investing in the stock market and real estate, starting and maintaining a business and lifelong learning to master financial intelligence.

The story is about the life lessons shared by Kiyosaki’s “Rich Dad” who is his friend’s father, an entrepreneur and investor who teaches Robert and his friend about financial responsibility from a young age, and his “Poor Dad” who is Robert’s father, a man who worked hard all his life but never obtained financial security. This book is definitely a good read if you are thinking about improving your own financial IQ. It is never too late.

6. A Child Called “It” – Dave Pelzer

A Child Called “It” by Dave Pelzer is a simply heartbreaking read. The book tells the story of a young boy mistreated in the most savage way by a mother who is clearly suffering from some disturbance. It details the horrific abuse suffered by the child by the mother and his siblings, from not getting any food for days on end and having to search through the trash for leftovers to getting punished by scalding. This book was a difficult read but an important one as it details the kind of abuse that most can only imagine goes on behind a closed door, with the child being unable to ask for help.

7. The Science of Getting Rich – Wallace D. Wattles

Another great book if the goal is to accumulate money. This book talks about living life in a “certain way” and thinking in the same way. It is full of positivity and guidance for living and thinking about life if your goal is to make more money. It encourages the reader to feel like they deserve to get the riches they want and live life expecting those riches. It also encourages the reader only to do that which brings happiness to their life for work as it will help increase the amount of riches one receives when they are happy and peaceful in life.

8. Night – Elie Wiesel

Night by Elie Wiesel is a book about surviving the holocaust caused by the Nazi’s during World War II. This book is a tale of one of the most tragic events in our human history and tells us in graphic detail the horrors of being a prisoner of one of the concentration camps devised by the Nazi’s to enslave millions of Jewish people throughout the war.

It details the capture of Elie and his father and his mother and sister, as they were separated shortly after being taken prisoner. It tells the story of a human being who struggles through the most horrific circumstances, questioning his faith throughout, but holds on to hope that the good will always triumph over evil.

9. The Automatic Millionaire – David Bach

The Automatic Millionaire is another financial wellbeing book. This book gives the reader a toolkit on how to become rich and do it in an incremental and automated way, so it is hardly noticeable to the individual until they look at their bank account one day and realise they have accumulated a vast amount of wealth. In addition, the book advocates the ‘Pay Yourself First’ method of making money, which is to set aside 10 per cent of your pay and save it for yourself.

10. The Richest Man in Babylon – George S. Clason

This is the tenth and final book of this part. The Richest Man in Babylon is a series of stories of many characters in Ancient Babylon who tell stories about accumulating wealth. This book also teaches the reader the importance of the ‘Pay Yourself First’ rule of making money and advocates for the reader to quickly and effectively pay off any debts owed so they can have control over their own money and find ways to make their money earn more money. This book is an excellent read if you are beginning to learn about financial literacy and how to take care of your finances.

That’s it for the first ten books of my 2021 Reading Challenge. Next week, I hope you come back for part two, where I will discuss books 11-20 of my reading challenge for 2021.

I again just want to thank you for taking the time to read this weeks blog post. I hope you liked it. If you did and would like to read more like it, I hope you will go back over some of the recent topics covered on the blog and if you like those too, then maybe we’ll see you back here for more in the future.

If you want to keep up to date with myself and the blog, you can follow me @MolloyWrites on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, where you will be the first to see brand new posts going live on the website as well as other features coming soon.

Until next time.

Warmest regards,


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