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The 11 Books I’ve Read in 2021’s Second Quarter

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I made a reading goal to read 40 books during the year. To keep myself accountable, I’ve been sharing the books I’ve completed on social media, keeping track on my Goodreads account and I’ve been working on this list. From April through June, these are the eleven books I’ve completed!

1. The Defining Decade by Meg Jay

This book was so good that I couldn’t put it down. I am sad that I didn’t read this one when I was in my twenties. It is full of conversations between a therapist and her twenty-something clients on why our twenties matter – its not a time to idly pass by or push through. Basically, your life means something, so make the best of it – at any age – but especially in your twenties.

2. King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard

This is the third book in the Red Queen series – and it wasn’t that good. The chapters flip between different characters from their point of view.

3. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

I wasn’t in the correct headspace when I started this audiobook – I couldn’t get into it. I decided to start over (and slow down the audio speed) to give it another chance. I made 44% of the way through, but then my loan was due back. Then I had to get it on my holds list before I could check it out again.

4. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Other Don’t by James C. Collins

My biggest takeaway from this book is that you “need the right people on the bus” in order for a good company to become a great company. Having the people with the drive, initiative, passion to keep moving forward with the changing times. Building upon the core values discussed in Built to Last, having the right people in place to lead the company through challenges that align with core values can, indeed, make a company go from good to great.

5. Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Company by James C. Collins

This book is the prequel to the Good to Great book mentioned above. By the time Collins had recorded the audiobook he had included extra content that relates both books. If you do find this one on your reading list, I recommend the audio version. My biggest takeaway from this book is to make sure any decisions within a company stay aligned with core values.

6. Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World by Cal Newport

Some practical advice to obtain digital minimalism is to leave your phone at home, go for long walks and write in a journal. The book wasn’t a pill, but it wasn’t the enthralling either.

7. The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles

This book moves between the life of younger Odile working at the American Library in Paris during the Nazi-overtaking of Paris. Then the book moves onto the character of young Lily, a teenager in Montana in 1983, who seeks out her neighbor, the older Odile, for a school assignment. I really enjoyed this historical fiction book for the topics of family and friendship and the hardships and struggles during WWII.

8. The Comeback by Ella Berman

This book made me sad. The story follows Grace Turner, a child actress whose family uprooted their lives to move to LA. Controlled by the very man who made her famous, she becomes estranged from her family. After living a life full of alcohol, drugs and partying, she disappears for a year. Then she decides to come back to reclaim her acting career, but is faced with confronting her controller.

9. Yolk by Mary H.K. Choi

This book also made me sad. Jayne lives with a fuck-boy in NYC while attending fashion school. Estranged from her sister June, she asks to move in. Later, she finds out that June has cancer. It was a rollercoaster of emotions at the end, but the biggest hurdle is following Jayne on her journey through her eating disorder at every turn of anguish.

10. The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

A murder mystery with a twist! Every day, our protagonist wakes up in a body of a different guest at Blackheath Manor. He is tasked to find out why Evelyn Hardcastle dies. The story kept me on my toes to guess what happens next, and no idea where the secrets would spill out of others with every chapter.

11. Measure What Matters by John E. Doerr

This one was a little dry to begin, so I had to check it out twice, but it picked up about half-way through. It got on my reading list after I read Measure What Matter, but I liked that book a lot more. This book outlines what Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) are and how they bring about goal-setting in business practices.

Wrap Up

You can review the books I read in the first quarter of this year. At this point I’m at my goal of 63%, which is 25/40 for the year! I am six books ahead of schedule. What’s on your reading list?

Photo by Taryn Elliott from Pexels

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