I Read 45 Books in 2021. Here Are My 4 Non-Fiction Favorites.

Books to inspire, educate, and give you the push you didn’t know you needed.

I Read 45 Books in 2021. Here Are My 4 Non-Fiction Favorites.
Image from author’s Instagram.

Books to inspire, educate, and give you the push you didn’t know you needed.

When I look back on my life at fifty, I know 2021 will be a turning point.

This has been a year of huge change. I quit my job to become a full-time writer, shifted cities to live with the love of my life, adopted a puppy, and started on entrepreneurial ventures that still scare the shit out of me.

But I’m winging it, one day at a time.

As someone who’s been an avid reader all her life, books have definitely helped make this transition less scary. I didn’t read as many books this year as I usually do, but I’ve read some pretty amazing ones.

This post covers the 4 best non-fiction books among the 45 I’ve read this year. These books cover various genres, but each of them impacted my life in its own unique way.

Read on, and if you’ve read any of the books I mentioned here, do let me know your views in the comments. To those of you wondering how I read 46 books so far, here’s an article for you:

What It Takes To Read 1 Book Every 4 Days
The habits that helped me read 81 books in one year

(Note: This article contains affiliate links. If you choose to purchase the books through these links, it will help me earn a small amount of money — at no extra cost to you. Thanks!)

1. Age Later: Secrets of the Healthiest, Sharpest Centenarians by Nir Barzilai

Image: Goodreads

How can you live longer, have a healthier life, and be more productive even in your 80s? If you’ve ever wondered about the secrets of prolonging your healthspan, this book is for you.

The author and his team of researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva have been working with a group of centenarians to understand why some people live healthy, happy lives until age 120+, while some fall sick and die before they hit 60.

In this book, he shares the story of how his research has shaped over the years and the fascinating discoveries his team made along the way.

Being from an academic background myself (I have a masters degree in civil engineering, have pursued several research papers in reputed journals), I find a lot of the stories relatable, especially the lackadaisical attitude of the government towards research and how hard it’s to convince the authorities to get funding for a project.

What to expect from the book

The author discusses some fascinating concepts, but the most interesting was how by practicing certain habits, we can reverse the biological clock and actually become “younger.” These include:

  • Eating less, either through caloric restriction or intermittent fasting.
  • Making sure you get 5 hours of exercise every week.
  • Not letting your body get too used to comfort.

There are several other aspects involved in aging later, but I’m not qualified enough to write a detailed summary. Read the book and find out for yourself.

2. Unfinished by Priyanka Chopra Jonas

Image: Goodreads

Always known for her insane articulation skills, Priyanka Chopra doesn’t disappoint in her much-awaited memoir “Unfinished”.

Priyanka is someone who’s always been a role model for me since childhood. Though she was the Miss India World in 2000 — the first runner-up in a competition every teenage girl in my time ardently followed, PC was the one who held on to her own and managed to build an empire around that one success, while everyone else fizzled out.

This book reads like an intimate look into PC’s life — most of the events we already know about from tabloids and various media appearances, but now, we get a glimpse into PC’s brain and what was going on in her head while the rest of the world was reading about her life in glossy magazines.

She talks about the nomadic childhood she had, moving from school to school, country to country, family to family, and the huge role her extended family, cousins, aunts, and uncles had in her upbringing. This drilled into her the importance of having people to fall back upon and impressed on her the value of having a loving, close-knit family.

The time she spent in boarding school brought tears to my eyes, as I’d faced many of the emotions she talked about. I admire her courage in being so transparent about her struggle and telling her story without putting herself on a pedestal.

As expected, a lot of the juicy details are held back to “protect their privacy”, but this book is still a refreshing look into the mind of a woman who always wanted to push boundaries. No matter what she does, PC always makes sure she gives her 100% and stands out from the crowd — a trait I’m trying to incorporate into my life.

What to expect from the book

No matter which angle you look at it from, PC’s life is not a fairy tale, and this book is a testament to that.

It’s a light, refreshing, and inspiring read.

It’s the story of a woman who isn’t perfect. A woman who’s made mistakes — terrible ones — but isn’t afraid to own up responsibility for them and apologize when she was at fault. Read her story if you’ve ever doubted yourself and need a push to dream big.

3. May Cause Miracles: A 40-Day Guidebook of Subtle Shifts for Radical Change and Unlimited Happiness by Gabrielle Bernstein

Image: Goodreads

Spiritual leader Gabrielle Bernstein has always been an advocate of how simple, consistent shifts in our thinking and actions can lead to miracles in all aspects of our daily lives, including our relationships, finances, bodies, and self-image.

This book is an actionable 40-day guide on how to make miracles happen in your life by rewiring your mindset and working on your darkest fears.

I’m not a firm believer in affirmations, but Gabby’s conversational tone and persuasive anecdotes forced me to try her methods. I maintained a journal and religiously followed all the steps outlined here for 40 days. After I was done, I saw incredible shifts in my relationships (both personal and professional, and my relationship with myself).

I didn’t expect this book to be such a transformative journey, but I was taken by surprise.

What to expect from the book

Yes, this book will cause miracles in your life, but if you’re an absolute beginner in self-work, some exercises mentioned here can be triggering.

As Gabby has stated time and again, “We can change fear-based patterns in our life only if we acknowledge the fear’s existence.”

You’ll be forced to face your innermost demons. After all, you can welcome abundance and gratitude only after letting them go. If that sounds like something you can do, gift yourself this book today.

4. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

Image: Goodreads

Published in 1937, during the Great Depression, the ideas presented in this book are still relevant for people who want to make their lives better.

At its core is the concept that you can really convince yourself to become wealthy.

The author outlines the steps you need to take and everything you’ve to avoid.

I truly believe this is the best self-help book any ambitious person could read. Perhaps, the only one they ever need to.

What to expect from the book

More than simply getting rich, this book will teach you how you can get what you want. While some points might sound too simplistic, Hill’s recipe essentially boils down to this: to get what you want you must —

  1. Desire it strongly enough,
  2. Believe it will come true,
  3. Act on it and do everything in your power, and
  4. Persist even in the face of initial failures.

Sounds simple, but how do you know it won’t work unless you try it? Purchase this book here.

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