Awesome Books I Read In 2021

 

I’ve managed to read a total of 79 books in 2021. Not too bad since my goal was to read a hundred books.

Actually, that is my goal for every year, and I still haven’t cracked that tough nut, because of the everlasting dilemma of every book enthusiast.

Y’all know what I’m talking about, right? Too many great books to read, not enough time to go through all of them. The ‘to-read’ pile is completely out of control, and some books are way too good that you must read them again which sets your schedule back in time for reading other books… and the madness continues!

I’m telling you all of this with the full awareness that the number of books you read is a mere vanity metric, and that what you read is way more important than how many books you read.

But let me tell you this. Upgrading your mind requires a contact influx of good solid information and books are the distillation of boundless knowledge. Keeping up the habit by whatever means necessary is vital, and if you need to motivate yourself by keeping track of how many books you read, then why not?

So, these are my absolute favorite books in 2021 with a light summary of the book accompanied by my own personal rating.

 

Awesome Non-Fiction Books

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1-  The Search: Finding Your Inner Power, Your Potential – Osho (Amazon.com) (Amazon.ae)

 

 

Goodreads Review: “The best book I have ever read, period. This book offers the ultimate answer to… everything. I read this book and my immediate thoughts are that I really need to read it many times over. To absorb the knowledge in this book a certain basic level of openness and awareness is required. You finish reading this book and you are a changed person. You are not the same person who started… and then, you are.”

Personal Rating: ∞/10

No words could express how profound the teachings in this book have affected my mind. I think I will always try to go back to it and read it over and over and over again. It’s this good, and it’s definitely making the list of my favorite books EVER.

 

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2- Skip the line: The 10,000 Experiments Rule And Other Surprising Advice For Reaching Your Goals – James Altucher (Amazon.com) (Amazon.ae)

 

 

Blog Review: I have already posted an in-depth review of the lessons in this book that you can check out here “Skip The Line: A One-Way Ticket To Personal Sovereignty.”

Personal Rating: 10/10

This is the be-all-end-all self-development book I wanted to write to sum up most of the lessons I’ve learned throughout my life. James Altucher is one of my favorite authors and entrepreneurs. His writing is first-class, his ideas are top-tier and his advice is always on point. I’ve read his first book “Choose Yourself” and I consider this book the souped-up upgraded version of that book.

 

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3- How To Fight A Hydra: Face Your Fears, Pursue Your Ambitions, And Become The Hero You Are Destined To Be – Josh Kaufman (Amazon.com)

 

 

Personal Rating: 9/10

Great Book about the Hero’s Journey. The original Hero’s Journey by Joseph Campbell is one of the major blueprints for storytelling and psychology. Jordan Peterson is also obsessed with the psychology of how it affects our character, and his YouTube Channel is an absolute treasure trove to anyone who wants to dive deeper into the subject. His two books “12 Rules For Life: An Antidote To Chaos” and “Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life” are extremely good at explaining certain aspects of the Hero’s journey. The allegory of fighting a Hydra is about whatever we need to set out to do in life and how we should think about the journey. It’s a pretty profound story if you really listen to it with your heart. It’s not a bedtime store, it’s your story.

 

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4- Daring Greatly: How The Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms The Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead – Brené Brown (Amazon.com) (Amazon.ae)

 

 

Personal Rating: 10/10

This is an entire book about this verse out of the most famous Theodore Roosevelt speech “Citizenship in The Republic,” now called “The Man in The Arena” speech.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; . . . who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”

—Theodore Roosevelt

It’s one of the most solid pillars of logic on how to accept criticism. It’s more relevant now since the advent of the internet where we all face a torrent of unbelievably cruel and negative comments that try to tear down at our every accomplishment or act of self-expression. You can’t simply accept the opinion of people who aren’t actually in the same arena as you, fighting the same demons, same enemies, struggling with the same challenges, and overcoming similar obstacles. Armchair quarterbacks and backseat drivers don’t get a voice in the validity, merit, or value of your ideas, or the methodology you choose to employ to deliver your creative work. A truly life-changing book. I recommend this book to all my friends on a constant basis.

 

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5- The Decision: Overcoming Today’s BS for Tomorrow’s Success – Kevin Hart (Amazon.com)

 

 

Personal Rating: 10/10

It’s was really surprising to me how good is this book. Kevin Hart is not just a world-famous stand-up comedian and actor, but also a success philosopher. I have come to the firm belief that everyone who has reached extremely high levels of success must have their philosopher streak. You will read this book or rather listen to it on Audible and you will laugh very very hard.

 

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6- Unfu*k Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and Into Your Life- Gary John Bishop (Amazon.com)(Amazon.ae)

 

 

Goodreads Review: “Unbelievably powerful. This kind of book needs to meet you on the edge of your personal transformation to provide you with that extra push (or rather kick) forward towards what you need to do to change your life. This book is all about taking ownership of your life and starting to do all that you were thinking about all of those years. Action, right now, not just thought. This is a book of action. Brilliantly written. The Audiobook version is absolutely phenomenal with Gary’s own narration. Get this book, but most importantly, use it. Get moving. Do what you already know needs to be done… right now!”

Personal Rating: 10/10

This is one of the books I have marked for a serious re-read in the future. It’s really a good dose of tough love.

 

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7- Act Like a Success Think Like a Success – Steve Harvey (Amazon.com)(Amazon.ae)

 

 

Goodreads Review: “Excellent book. Basic self-improvement stuff, but excellent nonetheless.”

Personal Rating: 9/10

It’s really amazing how the funniest comedians possess such deeply introspective intellect and a keen eye for human nature. I guess it is a secret weapon for standup comedians of that high caliber of Steve Harvey that propels them straight to the top.

 

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8- Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter – By 50 Cent, Curtis Jackson (Amazon.com)(Amazon.ae)

 

 

Goodreads Review: “This book is amazing. I consider it to be the equivalent to a complete MBA course concentrated into a single book. The concepts and mindsets are timeless and valuable. Great book.”

Personal Rating: 10/10

This is in a way Part II of his book with Robert GreeneThe 50th Law.” In this book, Curtis “50Cent” Jackson walks us through her arsenal of mental models and his unshakable self-driven iron will. He plows into the future with more fervor than before, and he lets you know full well what happens when you truly and deeply believe in yourself and your abilities. It’s really something to build a reputation as a fearless person, and Curtis “50Cent” Curtis has such a reputation.

 

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9- Shut Up And Listen – Tilman Fertitta (Amazon.com) (Amazon.ae)

 

 

Goodreads Review: “Great insights from a top self-made business leader. He provides plenty of straight-to-the-point advice on how to succeed in business from his experience. Pretty inspiring really.”

Personal Rating 8/10

I really loved this book. I think his tone is a little bit on the self-righteous side of things, but again, the guy’s track record and his accomplishments afford him this tone. His way may be a little gruff but he delivers results, and results trump form every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

 

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10- The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster – Darren Hardy (Amazon.com)(Amazon.ae)

 

 

Personal Rating: 10/10

Solid Entrepreneurship book. Read it to know what you’re up against. Darren Hardy has a way with his books to dissect the topic in a surgical manner and delivers the layers of the ideas one on top of the other in an effective way. His other famous book “The Compound Effect: Jump Start Your Income, Your Life, Your Success” is an extremely good book on self-development.

 

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11- You’re Too Good To Feel This Bad: An Orthodox Approach to Living an Unaurthodox Life – Nate Dallas (Amazon.com)(Amazon.ae)

 

 

Personal Rating 10/10

Nate Dallas does a great job explaining the perfect package for wellness in an extremely accessible way. I got the audiobook, which was narrated by him personally and that added a lot of substance to the book. There’s always something really special when an author narrates their own books and Nate definitely does a great job with that.

 

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12- The Almanack of Naval Ravikant – Eric Jorgenson (Amazon.com)(Amazon.ae)(Website)

 

 

Goodreads Review: “A distillation of the amazingly enlightened wisdom of Naval Ravikant. Great mental models, heuristics, insights into business, self-improvement, health, and philosophy. You should listen to his podcast interviews with Tim Ferriss, Shane Parrish, and Joe Rogan as well as his live sessions on Periscope. One of my favorite thinkers and virtual mentors in the digital world.”

Personal Rating: 20/10

I believe that Naval Ravikant has had an astounding influence on me personally just from listening to his interviews and reading his thoughts, big ideas, and philosophy on Twitter. He is one of the Greatest Of All Time in terms of mindset. I consume everything he creates immediately and automatically, which is something I do for a very special group of virtual mentors I follow, like Robert Greene, Ryan Holiday, Jordan Peterson, Tim Ferriss, and many more. The book is actually free on his website, you can download it for free from the link above, and you’d be doing yourself a huge favor. If you have never heard of Naval Ravikant before, you’d better start paying attention now, and this book is your initiation into the mind of an extremely powerful human being mindset-wise.

 

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13- Nobody Wants To Read Your Sh*t – Steven Pressfield (Amazon.com)(Amazon.ae)

 

 

Goodreads Review: “A Masterclass in Writing. This is the ultimate masterclass in writing that anyone who wants to be an author or writer of any sort should read and study. It’s very short, very on point and it observes the application of the very lessons in the book to its very own material. Steven Pressfield is well known for the War of Art, which I have not read just yet, and it’s being discussed through a behind-the-scenes look at how it came to be and how it was put together. I believe anyone who wants to learn to write well, should read everything Pressfield has ever written on the tools of his craft.”

Personal Rating 10/10

 

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14- Copywriting Secrets – Jim Edwards (Amazon.com)(Amazon.ae)

 

 

Personal Rating 10/10

If you’ve ever wondered about Copywriting and how it’s done professionally, look no further. This book from a master copywriter is THE go-to book to teach you every trick in the book. It’s so masterful that the book is actually a brilliant real-life practical application for the ideas within its fold and it shamelessly acts as a sales device for a sales software package and service where you will basically pay for a tool that will apply these lessons for you automatically. It’s outstanding work. I can’t rave about it nearly enough for I was impressed. This is definitely a book to be studied by would-be professional copywriters.

 

 

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15- Anatomy of the State – Murray N. Rothbard (Amazon.com)

 

 

Goodreads Review: “Very short book that punches way above its weight class. It crystallizes key concepts of human society and the development of its governments. Extremely enlightening.”

Blog Review: I have already posted an in-depth review of the lessons in this book that you can check out here The Anatomy of the State Review.

Personal Rating 10/10

 

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16- American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind The Silk Road (Amazon.com)(Amazon.ae)

 

 

Goodreads Review & Blog Review: I have already posted an in-depth review of the lessons in this book that you can check out here The Silk Road And The Tragic End of Ross Ulbricht.

Personal Rating 10/10

I am still following Ross Ulbricht on Twitter and I can’t help but hope he gets out of prison to live the rest of his life. I am a sucker for intelligent people who are down on their luck, especially after such a steep fall from grace.

 

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17- MBS: The Rise to Power of Mohammed bin Salman – Ben Hubbard (Amazon.com)(Amazon.ae)

 

 

Personal Rating 10/10

Review: Check the next book*

 

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18- Blood And Oil: Mohammed bin Salman’s Ruthless Quest for Global Power – Bradley Hope, Justin Scheck (Amazon.com)(Amazon.ae)

 

 

Personal Rating 10/10 

Anyone who knows anything about the middle-east in general and Saudi Arabia, in particular, knows full well how complicated the situation in Saudi Arabia is and how the power dynamics between the major player and huge powerhouse and other powers within the region are nothing but complicated. The dynamics with the USA, Russia, OPEC, China, other Gulf countries, and the major players like Egypt, Iran, Turkey, are constantly changing. The Al-Saud ruling family has always chosen a rather conservative role in the main field of world power except for a few main and pivotal historical events. But now with King Salman things have started to be shaken up quite a lot. These two books provide a play-by-play and quite astonishing view behind the curtains on what is happening behind the palace walls and how Prince Mohammed bin Salman seems to be the main instigator of swift and major changes to the way the Kingdom operates both on the internal front with surprising bans on personal freedom suddenly lifted, and on the regional political playing field with the Kingdom assuming a major leading role and having a decisive word over how events shape up. The Kingdom is starting, and for quite a few years now, to flex its political and capital muscles not just within the region but on a major world scale. These books are instrumental to anyone who wants to understand the situation in Saudi Arabia right now and how the Middle East has seen the rise of a strong charismatic and self-motivated political figure from the heart of the desert of oil fields and the immense wealth and power it affords the ruler who wields it.

 

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19- The Killing in the Consulate: The Life and Death of Jamal Khashoggi – Jonathan Rugman (Amazon.com)

 

 

Personal Rating 10/10

The murder of Jamal Khashoggi is one of the biggest political embarrassments in the history of the Kingdom. That major intelligence fiasco was vastly detrimental to the public image the Kingdom has been trying to export to the world. The story of how the scandal unfolded, the planning, the background of events are all mentioned in this piece of excellent journalistic reporting. The telling of the events and facts is so well written you would actually feel the flow of events as if weaved by a master movie director in your head. This is a book that my dad, may he rest in peace, might have enjoyed a lot.

 

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20- The Lion’s Gate: On the Front Lines of the Six Day War – Steven Pressfield (Amazon.com)

 

 

Personal Rating: 8/10

This was a significantly difficult book to read for me personally for one huge obvious reason and that is I am Egyptian. This book depicts a war by a nation that decided to launch a pre-emptive war on my country out of fear first and foremost, and based on the historical and religious narrative upon which the nation of Israel was founded. I was extremely uncomfortable hearing about the Israeli point of view and how they were successful in their endeavors to kill my countrymen. For the reader who is not from the middle-east and who has never learned anything about the Arab-Israeli wars, you must know that the wars were extended over long years and the death toll in my country Egypt was so vast that it is told that there was no house in the country without a family member who was a hero and a martyr in the wars against the aggressors. The history is complicated. There were huge political miscalculations made on all sides, and everyone paid the price. Wars are a terrible thing. With that said, the book is full of nuggets of wisdom and it offers a unique perspective that is rarely known in my own country. The historical context has been set up beautifully, and the words of the historical figures we’ve known all our lives are coming to life in the great writing of Pressfield. I love Steven Pressfield and his writing and he’s done a masterful job with this book.

 

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21- The Jewish State – Theodor Herzl (Amazon.com)(Amazon.ae)

 

 

Personal Rating 8/10

I was pretty much transfixed by reading Steven Pressfield’s book on the Six Day War and decided to read a little about the origin of the State of Israel and man, was I in for a surprise. The plans of Theodor Herzl were successful beyond his own dreams, for he had passed away long before Jewish visionaries decided to build on his plans. It’s really surprising how well they have managed to accomplish almost 90% of his original theory for a Jewish State. Very enlightening book.

 

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22- Permanent Record – Edward Snowden (Amazon.com) (Amazon.ae)

 

 

Goodreads Review: “Revealing. That’s the only word I have to describe the book. Although I wasn’t initially enthused to read it because ‘I’ve watched the movie’ but I talked myself into going through it during a conversation with my wife when I told her that without exception the book is always better than the movie adaptation. I’ve learned a few new things and perhaps gained a better perspective on how things work in the ‘big picture.’ I also gained a new appreciation for the sustainably of human nature that still hasn’t changed no matter the latest technological advances in the world. A must-read. The bottom line is that everyone must reassess their privacy in the digital world and be extremely wary of how to protect it.

Personal Rating 8/10

This was a little bit of an eye-opener and a whole lot of scary.

 

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Awesome Fiction Books

 

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23- Artemis – Andy Weir (Amazon.com)(Amazon.ae)

GoodReads Review: “Please Make This Into A Movie! Ok… I get the negative reviews because people probably wanted a sequel to The Martian and didn’t get one. But this is an awesome Sci-Fi novel and it’s fun to read. I fell in love with Jazz just as much as I did with Mark Watney (and Ryland Grace, for that matter). Andy Weir is one of my favorite Science Fiction novelists.”

Personal Rating 10/10

 

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24- Project Hail Mary – Andy Weir (Amazon.com)(Amazon.ae)

Goodreads Review: “Great Sci-Fi Novel. Loved it. Another impressive hit by Andy Weir. I do hope they turn this one into a movie. It’s bound to be spectacular.”

Personal Rating: 10/10

 

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25- Pygmalion – George Bernard Shaw (Amazon.com)(Amazon.ae)

Personal Rating: 10/10

I spent a great time reading a few of Geroge Bernard Shaw’s plays. They’re magnificent. Pygmalion remains the very best of his work. Perhaps I have my very own sentimental reasons for this but it is really a great play.

 

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26- The Queen’s Gambit – Walter Tevis  (Amazon.com)(Amazon.ae)

 

 

Personal Rating: 10/10

I’ve watched the Netflix series first, didn’t even know it was a novel until later. The book actually enriched the series. I have to say that I had watched the Netflix show one more time after reading the novel and enjoyed it at the same level of enjoying the book, and THAT is rare.

 

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27- Ready Player Two – Ernest Cline (Amazon.com)(Amazon.ae)

 

 

Goodreads Review: “A snapshot from a possible future. I went in with my thoughts anchored to the negative reviews I’ve seen online. Some people decried the novel and did not think it lives up to the first one. I beg to differ, if anything I admire the audacity of the author to go through with a part two to the book that made his name, fame, and ‘I assume’ fortune. It must’ve been very demanding to work up the courage necessary. The book starts a little slow-paced, as it transitions the reader from the first novel glamorous ending into a closer to real-life dampening of the excitement that surely follows all great achievements. I’d say to bite the bullet and stick with it and 30% in you’ll be sucked into the new story. I loved it and I think it’s brilliant and that Ernest Cline is a damn good storyteller. Great job. It’s also a glimpse into one of the possible futures that we, as the human race, can face moving forward from a world where people are entrapped into their electronic devices and the virtual worlds they’ve created for themselves. It’s really enlightening and it pushes the boundaries of imagination and potential for everyone who reads it. Great work.”

Bog Review: I have already posted an in-depth review of the lessons in this book that you can check out here Ready Player Two: The Oasis, The Matrix, And The New Virtual Governments.

Personal Rating 8/10

 

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28- The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini (Amazon.com)(Amazon.ae)

 

 

Personal Rating 10/10

This, perhaps, takes the prize for the most emotional read of 2021. The story is so touching on so many levels that you can’t help being moved by the chapters of the novel and how they correspond to the chapters in each person’s life. The protagonist takes us along a life journey filled with love, hate, jealousy, loyalty, betrayal, and forgiveness. An emotional roller coaster that will leave you on the edge of your seat at times, and afraid to open the book and read the next chapter at other times. It is really good.

 

 

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