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These Are the Books I Enjoyed in 2021

These books I enjoyed this year.

Just like any other year, I read a lot this year as well. What can I do? I have an endless appetite of reading things. Yes, I might end up dropping some books if I didn’t like them. But I’ll always give chance for the first few chapters or so.

But this article isn’t about those books which were dropped. It is about those books which I’ll remember for a long time to come, which I enjoyed reading a lot. Some of which I even reviewed for this blog. When talking about such books, I’ll link to their reviews.

So, let’s start with…

Fictional books:

There were a lot of those this year, (Just like every other year.) after all, fictional books are easier to read compare to academic books.

Here are the ones which I most enjoyed.

Discworld, from book 7 to 12: I’ve been reading this series since 2020, and have only managed to read twelve of the books. But I enjoyed most of them. Especially Wyrd Sisters, the first two books, Mort, and Pyramids.

Dresden Files: I’ve been reading Harry Dresden’s adventures since 2017. And have only now managed to catch up with all the books.

But to be honest, this series strained my patience a lot at the later books. There is only so much of clothing description I can take, and especially if they are clothing descriptions of female characters.

Hurog Duology (Review here): I’ll always remember this book for its wonderful characters, its disturbing nobles, fights, and emotional depth of the story.

And above all, I’ll always remember how Ward wanting to marry a woman who has spine to oppose him if he abuses his children.

World War Z (Review here): maybe I shouldn’t have read this book during the worldwide pandemic. But I did it. and I was very disturbed just how much of the public reaction resembled this book. Needless to say, I won’t be forgetting this one any time soon.

And fuck that movie. Seriously. It doesn’t deserve this book’s name.

The Black Company Series (Review of the first book here): I never thought I’ll end up becoming the fan of a band of mercenaries. While I’ve only published the review of the first book, the review for the rest of the series will come quick. (How quick though? I don’t know. But quick.)

Traveler’s Gate Trilogy (Review here): I’m really glad that I picked up this trilogy. Given that I ended up liking Will wight’s books, since he writes in the style of Chinese web novels. That guy writes some of the best fight scenes.

Now, speaking of Will wight, Traveler’s Gate isn’t the only trilogy I read of his.

Elder Empire Trilogy (Review here): honestly, I’ll remember it for how hard it was to write the review for this trilogy. This also made me realize that I’m not much of a fan of concurrent stories. I won’t be trying that any time soon.

The Saint Perpetuus Club of Buenos Aires (Review here): oh hell, this.

Don’t be put off by my reaction. It is a great book, and the fact that it takes place in Buenos Aires instead of some other popular city of the world is a bonus. I just remember that orgy of bureaucrat scene… yeah, and that saint? He’s not a saint.

I hope he got crushed when the building was demolished. it is the least he deserves.

The Crafting of Chess (Review here): I like this book for two reasons. first, it has a great story. Very entertaining.

Second, it is my most liked fictional book reviews, at the time of this writing.

Also, since a paralyzed man ends up as an assassin in that MMO, just imagine what I could do in that world, once I got used to seeing that is. Wishful thinking? Certainly. But I don’t see anything wrong with it, as long as I’m not letting that one problem dominate my life.

Biographies:

Admittedly, biographies are something which I only started to read this year. Before then, I mostly ignored them, because I didn’t used to have much interest in them.

But then again, it’s not like I picked up the biographies of some famous person, who would end up leaving me with profound thoughts or something like that. I began reading biographies by starting reading the biographies of professional wrestlers. Here are the biographies I’d enjoyed this year, wrestling and non-wrestling alike.

Grappler Memoirs of a Masked Madman: now, what is special about this wrestler is that he never was a popular one like Hulk Hogan. In fact, he never wrestled for WWE at all. Though he definitely interacted with legends a lot, and also served as a bodyguard for Rowdy Piper.

The Eighth Wonder of The World: The True Story of Andre the Giant: it is still true that there is no better giant wrestler than Andre the giant. This book tells all. From the stories which are fabricated, to the stories which are true, how his career began, how his own body became his own worst enemy.

In the process, it also covers a lot of history of wrestling, from 1930’s to the 1990’s.

Bobby the Brain: Wrestling’s Bad Boy Tells All: when it comes to villains in wrestling, there are those who are considered monsters. Those who are so strong, so big, that they would end up hospitalizing their opponents.

Then, there are people like Bobby Heenan. Talking big, pissing people off, and then begging for mercy when the beating comes. In this biography, Bobby reveals a lot of his career, but a lot of people feel that he went light on details sometimes.

Which is fine, after all, how many books have the stories of working with a bear in a wrestling match, and explaining what to do next in a match to the bear?

Please note: it does not mean that I support bears being captured and brought in the wrestling ring.

Backlund: From All-American Boy to Professional Wrestling’s World Champion: before there was Hulk Hogan, there was Bob Backlund. He held the WWF world championship for nearly 6 years. Which is impressive, since the schedule of a champion is brutal. And back in the day, he often has to wrestle matches which went to 60 minutes or 90 minutes draws, because the time ran out.

It also details how he became irrelevant after the rise of Hulk Hogan. Leaving aside the attitude of “Work Hard, and good things will happen to you.” Or the Napoleon Hill quotes at the start of every chapter, it is a decent book.

I read both of the biographies of Jim ross, Under the Black Hat, and Slobberknocker: and these books caused me to ask a question. What the hell was wrong with the fathers of the children born in fifties? I mean I thought only wrestlers and MMA fighters have a tough home life. But apparently, Jim Ross is no different either.

Rowdy The Roddy Piper Story: this one is written by the children of Rowdy after Piper died before he could complete this book. And through each page, their love for their father shines through.

SABU: Scars, Silence, and Superglue: I’m not sure what to make of this book. Sabu has definitely has made his name in the wrestling world. And this book gives a peak on his mind, and his thoughts. It is clear that he idolized The Sheik. It goes through his career in 90’s in the America and Japan.

And it also details his struggles to fit in in the WWE of the mid 2000’s. and apparently, he and his uncle had some troubles with Jim Ross, and it is clear that Sabu does not get along with a lot of the people involved within the wrestling business, especially the promoters.

more than just hardcore: This is the biography of Terry Funk, who left his mark on the wrestling for the last fifty or so years. It details how the world champion of NWA became a hardcore wrestler, stories of gruesome matches in Japan, how Terry could have made more money if he paid attention at the right time, days of the territories, and their disappearance.

Also, this one left me with a good feeling, as oppose to the most of the wrestling books.

Hitman: My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling: When I read about Brett’s life in the book, I kind of feel awed. But I also feel sad.

He could have been a great cartoonist.

A lot of people said that I should avoid this book, since apparently, it contains some unflattering things about India. But when I read this, the only thing which I found was the crazy and dangerous driving, and beggars in the Mumbai. To be honest, rather than unflattering, it is more like the truth. People get offended so easily these days.

Also, I was wrong. It wasn’t just American fathers. Apparently, this problem runs in the Canada as well. judging by reading Piper and Brett’s experiences. Also, watch out for the injury list.

Hooker: it is the biography of Lou Thesz, who was on the top of the wrestling world from 1940’s to early 1960’s. first the title of this book. Yes, it brings a giggle when you think about it. but hooker was the title of those wrestlers who weren’t just showmen. They had real skill.

The championship belts were often put on them, so if someone decided not to follow the script, and turned the fight real, the champion can quickly gain control over his opponent. Lou Thesz is said to be one of the greatest at it. which is why NWA kept their top belt on him for a long time.

One thing which strikes me horrifying is the story of George Tragos, one of the wrestlers Lou admired. Apparently, some promoter was boasting about this bright kid. George agreed to face him in a match to test his skill.

And promptly proceeded to break his arm so badly that it has to be amputated. And according to the point of view of Lou, this was a good thing.

I mean what the hell? Humiliation is one thing. But virtually destroying someone life and limb like that? weren’t these people given enough hugs by their parents in the childhood or something?

The book goes into Lou’s visit to India, where apparently, he had some matches with Dara Singh, a legendary wrestler from India. For all the press coverage they received, I can’t seem to find any traces of it online when searching for it.

Probably because they didn’t keep the archive back in the day.

Shamrock The World’s Most Dangerous Man: This is the biography of Ken Shamrock, one of the early pioneers of the MMA. He participated in the first ever UFC event, which is now the biggest organization in the MMA. And by reading this book, I realize just how much MMA got influenced by Japanese wrestling in the early 1990’s.

Uncaged: My Life as a Champion MMA Fighter: this one is the biography of Frank Shamrock, the adaptive brother of Ken. While most of the time these brothers did their own thing, they did ended up butting heads once in a while, which you can read in this book.

On Writing by Steven King: this serves as a biography of Steven King, but also a writing advice book. Generally, I run from the “How to write” type of books, because I believe that reading and writing are the only way of improving your own writing skill. But I really liked this one, and didn’t regret a single page.

And the best advice I got from this book was to write daily. Don’t wait for the muse, don’t wait for the zone. Just write every day. It’ll improve your skill, and you would have less chances of having a writer’s block.

Having said that, taking an off once in a while doesn’t hurt either.

Nonfictional books:

Truck de India! (Review here): ah, I’ll always have fond memories of this book. The author traveled all over the India with truck drivers, recording their lives, their struggles. He even managed to make friends who still called him after the whole thing ended.

Debt: The First 5000 Years: this book changed my thoughts regarding money and debt, and made me realize the deeper connection to the societal behavior linked with it.

Also violence, can’t forget the violence.

So there you have it. the books which I enjoyed this year. I admit, all those wrestling and MMA biographies might get on your nerves. But it wouldn’t be fare if I didn’t put them in this article. After all, I did enjoyed those books.

Anyway, please follow me on twitter, even though I am a failure in the art of tweating:

My twitter.

And follow this blog for more articles.

Published by Tanish Shrivastava

I'm a guy who likes programming, chess, and writing.

4 thoughts on “These Are the Books I Enjoyed in 2021

  1. Wow, you certainly do read a lot, just like Hetty said. Yay for Discworld. I jump between stories so I don’t know what I’ve read if I don’t consult Goodreads, but Pratchett is my main writing inspiration. I’ve heard of Dresden Files but have never gotten around to that. May check that out soon too.

    May I also entice you in the Dungeon Crawler Carl series? It’s almost Pratchett-esque, about some guy who ends up in a real-life RPG game after the aliens take over our world. Pretty fun.

    Liked by 1 person

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