History

Read with Jess for a 2022 book club

I admitted earlier this week that I missed my goal of reading a book a month in 2021. I invite you to join me in a refresh for 2022. I have curated a list of twelve books and 3,366 pages to get through in 365 days of 2022.

3,366 pages is less than 10 pages a day. You can do this with me.

All of the books are currently available on Amazon from $8-$17 and I found the best deals available as of November 25, 2021 on this list. On the first Tuesday of each month, I’ll host book club discussions on Clubhouse. In some cases, I may have a special guest join the discussion.

I’ll share a bit about how each book ended up on my reading list. To read the description of each book, click on the images for the Amazon link.

January

Atomic Habits by James Clear

Atomic Habits was recommended to me by Sarah Anderegg while I was a guest on the Muddied Waters of Freedom podcast when Sarah took over as host one night. We talked about the ways entrepreneurs can make best use of their time. I hope you’ll consider buying a copy and kicking off the book club discussion on Clubhouse with me on Tuesday, February 1, 2022 at 8:00 pm ET.

February

Peril by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa

When I matched with Robert Costa on Bumble (a dating app), I thought the timing was terrible. I was in the process of preparing for a high pressure job interview. I asked Robert to join me after my interview on January 6, 2021 to celebrate and go on a first date. He agreed and after my job interview wrapped about 1 pm ET on January 6th, I knew our plans for a date were not happening. Knowing that Robert was on leave from his political news show on ABC to co-author a book about the end of the Trump presidency, I decided to take a nap after my interview. I knew the chance of him breaking from the news coverage to go on a date with me was not happening.

Peril seemed very fitting to add to my reading list for the upcoming year. After the 2020 presidential election, I took a break from political coverage and I am interested in finding out what I can learn in these pages. The discussion on Peril will be held the first Tuesday in March.

March

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

I’ve had this book since I lived in Florida and worked at the Lakewood Ranch Town Hall. We had a community book room and I picked this one up when I noticed there were multiple copies in the lending library, obviously the sign of a good read, right? A passenger next to me on a recent flight was reading All the Light We Cannot See and I decided it would be on the list. The book club discussion for All the Light We Cannot See will be held the first Tuesday in April.

April

The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday

When I told my friend Gordon Cummings that I love deep and revealing questions in conversations, he recommended I read The Obstacle is the Way for uncomfortable questions to ask myself. The book club discussion on The Obstacle is the Way will be held the first Tuesday in May.

May

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

Can you imagine how many leadership challenges I faced while serving as the deputy campaign manager for a presidential campaign? I was 32 years old last year and the Jorgensen Cohen campaign presented me with a leadership opportunity and I went with it. In the end, the campaign hosted 180 events in 49 states with no transmission of COVID-19. I leaned into the experience with everything I had and we came so close to reaching my goal of earning 2,000,000 votes. After 2020, I have the confidence to do anything but I don’t have a good idea of how my dreams can come to life if I also choose to raise children while going after moonshot goals.

Grace Morgan recommended I read Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg. The book club discussion will be held the first Tuesday in June.

June

How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World by Harry Browne

You’ve made it this far without a libertarian book recommendation. You’re either proud or disappointed. Dr. Jo Jorgensen was Harry Browne’s running mate in 1996 and I have yet to read one of his books. My former colleague from the Libertarian Party’s staff, Bob Johnston, told me that this book made him realize that he is a libertarian. Considering my personal motto is “the most productive thing you can do for individual liberty is to live your life as freely, authentically, and joyfully as you possibly can,” this book seems perfectly in line with my philosophy.

The book club discussion for How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World will be held on the first Tuesday in July.

July

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

My neighbor Tanya from when I lived in Sarasota, FL recommended this book many years ago and I like so many Eckhart Tolle quotes so let’s go.

The Power of Now book club discussion will be held the first Tuesday in August.

August

Talking to Strangers by Malcom Gladwell

While I was recently on a work trip in Montana, I worked with Marianne Wiest photography for a holiday card photo. I had such a great time meeting her and she recommended Talking to Strangers for a really good read. Added!

The book club discussion for Talking to Strangers will be held the first Tuesday in September.

September

Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt

If you’re like me and you prefer to live liberty more than read it, you probably also haven’t read Economics in One Lesson yet. It’s time for you and me. Let’s go. Also Jason Weidner recommended it on Twitter.

The book club discussion for Economics in One Lesson will be held the first Tuesday in October.

October

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

I love crowdsourcing ideas from social media. On Twitter, Bryson Kearl recommended The Road and it happened to be in the neighborhood book box so I grabbed it and put this post-apocalyptic novel on my October reading list.

The book club discussion on The Road will be on the first Tuesday in November.

November

Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick

Someone I dated gave me this book as a gift because they thought I would appreciate it as a libertarian. I live in the United States where I am an advocate for criminal justice reform because the status quo is oppressive. I plan to spend Thanksgiving in 2022 reading Nothing to Envy to immerse myself in the stories of the least free place on Earth.

The book club discussion for Nothing to Envy will be held the first Tuesday in December.

December

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

This is another find from the Lakewood Ranch Town Hall lending library. Amor Towles has a new title that I am seeing all over the airports right now. Rules of Civility will end the reading list for 2022 with a piece of fiction.

The book club discussion for Rules of Civility will be held the first Tuesday in January 2023.

Thoughts on my list? Leave a comment and I look forward to reading with you.

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