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2021 Reading Challenge - Part III

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Hi there, and welcome back to the blog.


To begin with, I would like to thank you all for taking the time to come by and read this week’s topic. I really appreciate it whether you are a first-time visitor here or are a regular to the blog by this stage. I hope you enjoy the topic I have for you this week.


This week is a continuation of my 2021 Reading Challenge, where I set myself the task of reading 40 books this year. My goal was to read these books and then relay what I thought of each book I picked up for your consideration to add to your own book collection.


In this post, I will discuss books 21-30 of my 40 books in a year challenge. These are my personal opinions on these books, and maybe you will see some books in this post that you may want to pick up and read.





21. How Rich People Think – Steve Siebold


This book does exactly what it says on the tin. It allows the reader to get inside the mind of how the greats think and how they lead their lives. This short book comprising thirty chapters of between 2-5 pages is set up for the reader to go over again and again. A perfect book for anyone looking for an insight into how rich people think.


22. Six Nations, Two Stories – Peter O’Reilly and Kate Rowan


This is the story of the 2015 Six Nations as told through interviews with the Ireland men’s international rugby team and by the Irish women’s international rugby team. The book is a telling of the highs and lows both teams experience as they navigate their way through the annual Six Nations Rugby tournament and the pressure that come from being an international rugby player for Ireland.


23. Flow – Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi


Flow is simply one of those classics. This book discusses the flow state that we experience when we are doing something we love. When time begins to just go by in the blink of an eye while enjoying the activity that brings you joy, this is one for those who would like to understand how flow works and how to experience more of it in your own life.


24. All Creatures Great and Small – James Herriot


This book by James Herriot discusses the author’s life’s work as a veterinary surgeon in Yorkshire in England. It goes into his early work after finishing school as he gets his start in the business with an older veterinary surgeon, Siegfried Farnon. The more senior vet who is prone to bouts of forgetfulness and sometimes rage with his own younger brother, who doesn’t seem to show the same passion for the business as Siegfried himself. The rest of the book details Herriot’s struggles as he adjusts to life as a veterinary surgeon in the Dales and how some clients are easier to deal with than others.


25. A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole


A great read that follows the story of Ignatius J. Reilly, an ambitious but unemployed man in his thirties who lives at home with his mother, Irene. A Confederacy of Dunces is the story of the many attempts Ignatius makes at becoming an employable adult, much to the annoyance of his mother; however, most of these attempts end in abject failure. The story is set in 1960’s New Orleans and follows the duo as they attempt to overcome their unfavourable circumstances and overcome the nosiness of their overbearing neighbours.


26. Invisible Monsters – Chuck Palahniuk


Invisible Monsters is the story of a young girl – a former model – who got involved in a bad accident that severely disfigured her face. The story follows the young girl who attempts to come to terms with her new situation, once the ‘it’ girl, who everyone wanted attention from, to now becoming an invisible monster after the accident. She also deals with the guilt she feels over the disappearance of her gay brother, who was thrown out of the family home by their parents and whom she refused to help in any way, instead preferring to think that he died of AIDS. But will their paths cross, just one more time?


27. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou


Another classic. This book by the fantastic writer Maya Angelou tells the story of her early life in Stamps, Arkansas, to her time spent with her mother in St. Louis, Missouri. As the young Maya grows up throughout the book, she deals with heavy issues such as racism, rape, literacy and, ultimately, self-identity. The book see’s Maya grow up as a timid child, unaware of the extent of the issues her older relatives have to deal with in terms of racial inequality until she becomes an independent, free-thinking woman by the end of the book, along with everything else in between. A great read that I would highly recommend.


28. The Glass Castle – Jeannette Walls


The Glass Castle explores the early life of Jeannette Walls. She goes through life with her nomad parents, moving from town to town across the United States. The story centres around her experience growing up with parents who were more than a little unusual in their ways and the experience of her sisters and brother too living the same nomad life. Anytime there was any trouble with the law, her father would decide it was time to up sticks and leave their home, allowing each of the children to bring just one item at a time, much to their frustration. It is a book about four children and how they cope living with an alcoholic father and a mother who deals with frequent bouts of self-pity and apathy towards her children and at times towards her own life.


29. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – Ken Kesey


This story centres around the experiences of a group of patients in a mental institution. The story is told through the eyes of the main narrator, Chief Bromden, who witnesses the arrival of a new eccentric patient named R.P McMurphy, who faked insanity to be allowed to serve out his prison sentence from battery and gambling in a mental institution instead of a prison work yard. The story follows the battle of wills between McMurphy and Nurse Ratched, the ‘Big Nurse’ and head of the ward, who stifles McMurphy’s attempts to gain more privileges for the ward patients throughout his time in the institution.


30. The Unbearable Lightness of Being – Milan Kundera


Finally, for this section, we come to number 30. The Unbearable Lightness of Being is a fantastic story, centring around the lives of Tomas, Tereza, Sabina and the love triangle they all find themselves in. The book is based in Prague during the late 1960s, and early 1970’s as the city deals with the occupation of the Soviet Union and other Warsaw pact nations. A great story of love, war and national identity. This book is guaranteed to be one you will remember for a long time.


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Now I am 75 per cent through Reading Challenge for 2021 with one month to go. Unfortunately, I am still behind schedule, and my account on Goodreads tells me I am four books behind schedule at the moment. I will write my final ten books of this series in part 4 when I have completed them; until then, I hope you have enjoyed the last three parts of our Reading Challenge series, and hopefully, you were able to pick out a book or two that would make a good fit for your own collection.


Once again, I would like to thank you for taking the time to read this week’s blog. I hope you enjoyed it. If you want to hear more from me and new updates to the blog, you can follow me at @MolloyWrites on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok.


Until next time.


Warmest Regards,


James.


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