About Jim Clair

Never did I imagine I’d be reading for a living. I thought right now I’d be running the once mighty Clair Motors empire. My grandfather started Clair Motors in 1964. He grew up in abject poverty, entered the car business as a teenager, fought in World War II, was a decorated war hero, and after the war returned to the car business with dreams of owning a dealership. He bought the dealership he worked for in 1964. Clair Motors grew from one Buick dealership in West Roxbury, Massachusetts, to 24 dealerships, selling 17 different automobile brands, along with used cars, collision centers, rental cars — a behemoth dominating the New England coastline. I was immersed in the car business as soon as I was born. And the car business imbued itself into every fiber of my identity. I had immense pride for Clair Motors. Even as a kid I dreamed of making Clair Motors the premier automobile dealership in the world.

When I finished college at the University of Denver, I stayed in Colorado an extra year for one more season of competitive freestyle skiing (the event with the moguls and jumps). I competed that extra season to see what I could do on the hill, and to keep considering law school. I had set my sights on law school early into my sophomore year of college. I wanted to go for the purpose of Clair Motors. And University of Denver Law School began recruiting me during my sophomore year, and continued to recruit me even after I graduated. But of all people, my mom talked me into coming back home to get started in the car business. She persuaded me on the money side and the family dynamic side. She insisted that if I got back home sooner I’d be better prepared to take over.

My dad said otherwise. He supported law school. He said, “Clair Motors will always be here for you. It’s not going anywhere.”

But I begrudgingly agreed to my mom’s pleading. When spring arrived and my competitive ski days ended, I packed up my truck, left Winter Park, Colorado, drove home to Boston, dumped all my ski gear into my parents’ garage (where it still sits), packed some clothes, and flew to Detroit, Michigan, to attend a car dealer school. I graduated a few months later and returned home, hungry for my Clair Motors future.

I was thrilled to work with my father. I wanted nothing more than to prove to him, to my uncles, and my grandfather’s legacy, that I could run Clair Motors. I yearned to prove that I could take it over and make it even better. And I held an even stronger desire to pass Clair Motors and its legacy to my future children. When I got home from Detroit I was poised and committed to making my dream into a reality.

My dad turned yellow five months later.

A day after he got back from a trip with his best friend, I walked into his office to say hello. His skin was yellow. After a few days of it getting worse and a pain intensifying in his stomach, he went to the emergency room. He had bile duct cancer and was given three weeks to live.

That triggered a manic race to find other medical opinions. We found a surgeon who said if my dad underwent a Whipple procedure he might have a small chance to prolong his life. The surgery worked, miraculously. My dad underwent chemotherapy and responded well to it. Tests showed he was cancer-free. He got his strength back and returned to work a few months later. The cancer scare amplified my desire to learn from my father and honor him by making Clair Motors better and bigger. Seven months after the scare he called me into his office.

Someone made an offer to buy Clair Motors, and he and his brothers had agreed to sell.

When he was given three weeks to live, he said my resolve and strength in the moment inspired him to keep fighting. Yet when he uttered those words, that Clair Motors was selling, the room spun. I felt faint; I felt nauseous. It felt like someone ripped my son from my hands and sold him to a stranger. I buried this whirlwind of emotions into the pit of my stomach. I pretended to look strong for Dad after the cancer scare. But those words I never expected. I took the sale as a statement of me. I took it as a statement that my father and his brothers had no faith in me to take over. I took it that I had failed the Clair name.

Yet maybe three months after my dad uttered those words, he said Toyota approached him with a plan to start a Toyota and Lexus dealership in Boise, Idaho, and another in Twin Falls, Idaho. He said he planned to send me to the National Automobile Dealer’s Association programs to prepare me. My sense of despair diminished. Hopes returned. A chance to run a franchise with my dad, a franchise he loved. I embraced a personal challenge: can we make a Clair Motors empire in Idaho and perhaps Mountain West?

The plans turned stillborn.

Dad began struggling to get out of bed in the morning. His cancer returned. And it was spreading fast. He was given a few months to live.

My uncle, my godfather, died a week after the sale of Clair Motors. He got into a fistfight in his brand new mansion and died of a massive heart attack. On the day of my uncle’s wake, the new owners of Clair, now called Prime Motors came into the Toyota franchise where I worked and grilled me with questions. At this point, one of my dad’s lungs had collapsed. He could barely speak and was physically weak. I was dealing with that. My uncle had just died in a bizarre and unbecoming incident. I was dealing with that. And here the new owner was grilling me with questions. The writing was on the wall. I was the last Clair standing. They even bought the Clair Motors name just to get rid of it. In the middle of the pestering, I said I’m done.

I didn’t even own a car, I had a demo. I called a cab; I called my dad. I told him I quit and was sitting in a cab headed to Bernardi. His best friend owned Bernardi, one of the biggest and most legendary dealers in the country. He called his friend, his friend called one of his right-hand men and told him to give me an interview. My dad called back and told me to go to Bernardi Honda in Framingham.

I walked into the showroom, went to the managers, and asked for the name my dad gave me. A man gestured for me to follow him, and we went into an empty office.

In his southern drawl, he asked about my background. After about twenty minutes, he decided to put me in the box. The box means F&I, Finance and Insurance. Translated, when you buy a car, the person you sit with after your salesperson. That person sells you warranties, interest rates and financing, or leasing, or handles the cash for your car purchase. It was a proving ground. It was an arena. Over 1,000 cars a month were sold through this particular Honda store, 700 new and 300 used, and only four F&I managers handled it. We also needed to hit a baseline of $600 per car or we were fired. The national average was $300 per car. But we weren’t the average. And no exceptions were made for dealer friend’s kids. The other three F&I managers were complete pros. No weak link was allowed. I had never done F&I. It is fast selling. I was told to mirror someone for a week. Then I was tossed into the big leagues.

I excelled. I beyond excelled. I averaged over $1,000 per car.

My performance put a feather in my dad’s cap. I was proud. I proved to myself too that I could do it, that I wasn’t in the category of “dumb dealer kid.” I hit my stride.

My dad died.

We knew he was going to die. But his final hours were tortuous chaos. We didn’t know what was killing him during his final hours, yet we found out later that it was a rare flesh-eating virus. It was ghastly. It came out of nowhere. The night before he had dinner with a bunch of his close friends, and the next morning, the horror began when his right leg swelled up to the size of a tree trunk. I wish for no son or daughter to see their father die in the manner mine did before my eyes.

I stayed in the car business. But family lawsuits exploded.

To handle my dad’s death and my family’s implosion, I hid myself at work. I nearly lived at a dealership. I’d get in at 8:00 am and often leave around 1:00 am. I came in on my days off. I weighed 140 pounds. I barely slept. I barely ate. I looked like a sickly ghost. My performance began suffering. I needed a break. I took it and expected to return to work in the fall. I expected to return after I put some meat back on my bones, get some sleep, and take a little time to reflect on my dad and family.

When I took that intended break from the car business, while catching up on sleep, getting my physical health back, and enjoying a gorgeous Boston summer, I met a woman. Raymond Chandler would describe her as, “A blonde to make a bishop kick a hole in a stained glass window.”

Looking back now, I was a reeling twenty-seven-year-old. I was aimless without the car business. When Clair Motors sold, my identity went with it. Some nights, I drove the VFW Parkway, pulled into the parking lot of the businesses across the street from the former headquarters of Clair Motors, its birth spot, and ruminated. I looked at the Toyota store, where I had worked. I didn’t know what to make of it all as I ruminated. I tried burying the loss of my father, Clair Motors, and now a torn-apart family into recesses of my mind. As I looked at the former birth spot of Clair Motors on those humid summer nights, it felt like I was looking at my child, now sold and ripped from my arms. I wanted to reach out, take him back, but I couldn’t. I looked across the VFW Parkway, looked upon what my grandfather had started and asked, “What am I doing with my life? Why didn’t I go to law school? Did they sell because they had no faith in me?”

Then I’d always linger on the words my dad said to me, “Clair Motors will always be here for you, it’s yours to take over.”

I was in a state of limbo. Aimless. Lost. Purposeless. But when I met my sultry bombshell who checked every box plus some, my internal compass somewhat pointed me back in the right direction. I wanted a family. I wanted to re-establish myself professionally. We got engaged eight months after our first date. The relationship was better than any red-blooded man could ever dream up.

My mom noticed that my fiancé had buttoned her shirt wrong. Mom felt the small mistake was not one a Certified Public Accountant — what my fiancée said she did for work — would make. Mom thought that it looked calculated due to my fiancée being quite the eyeful. And Mom noticed other little mistakes like this as well. It wasn’t that she dressed trashy, but that she made little mistakes in all the right spots. Unbeknownst to me, those little mistakes prompted my mom hire to a private investigator.

My fiancée turned out to be a professional confidence artist. A legit professional.

That’s a whole other can of worms. But the short of it is, at least what is believed among lawyers, judges, and private investigators: when I met her, the Clair family was mired in a big and very public lawsuit — Boston media outlets had ranked it as one of the top family lawsuits in the last few decades — and with all that press, the lawyers, judges, and investigators told me I was likely targeted.

My life turned upside down, again.

That turn, coupled with family lawsuits — I felt Boston had too much bad juju for me. I moved to Colorado to spread my wings. But the loss of my dad, the loss of Clair Motors, the disintegration of my family, and being the mark of a professional confidence artist, had me twisted in personal limbo.

When I got to Colorado, I coached my old ski team and had fun, but it wasn’t going to be my career. The car business came calling again, and it came calling from Boston.

I walked into a dingy, moldy basement and began my second career.

Before I walked into that dank basement in an old house shoved against I-25 North in Denver, I had tried my hand working as an auto-broker in Colorado. I was there for maybe a month. I hated it from the minute I started. One day, bored and miserable, I was looking through my emails and noticed an email from The Tao of Badass. It was from a pickup company I had liked when I was studying game. I had read the infamous bestseller, The Game after my dad died. I had made wonky relationship choices until then and was rather shy when it came to meeting girls. Game is a lot of things, but studying it helped me get over my fear of approaching, and I started getting good at getting a lot of dates. And I thought the Tao book, which I had read, was good. They were looking to hire someone in the Denver area. I had no idea what the gig was, but out of curiosity, I replied to the email. They replied telling me to write a letter as if I had to sell them their course. I did. They told me to show up.

I walked to the front door of an old house. Someone answered and said go around back. I walked around, saw a basement door open, walked in, and saw pale creatures sloppily dressed. The pale creatures didn’t say much to me. I thought no way this is a business. I thought it was a joke. But pure curiosity made me show up again the next day. That next day, they asked me to write emails on something called Dreamweaver. I had no idea how to do it. They said, “Just write something that will make someone want to click a link to buy this seduction course.” I sat down and wrote. Someone else loaded it into the email software. I went home, doubling down that it had to be a joke and not business.

As I was undergoing this curious exercise in the basement, I was also talking to an old car connection. He wanted to start a marketing agency that worked with dealers. It was promising. He knew I spoke the language of dealers. And I knew him to be a great guy, and professionally talented. He wanted to partner with me. It would have required a move back east, but even for a new company, it had a lot of promise and stability. I was unsure, however, of returning to Boston to get back into the car business. The ball seemed to be rolling for me in Denver — I had a girlfriend, and I had a good social circle. I also knew I was still reeling from everything that happened in Boston. My family was at war with each other; Clair Motors was gone; and a confidence artist turned my life upside down. That mess, that juju, didn’t sit well with me. As I deliberated that mess, out of boredom and curiosity, I kept returning to that basement.

The car business is full of all types of characters from all walks of life, but you still have to show up and look professional. That plus my elite prep-school education, elite college education, growing up wealthy, and all the cultural decorum comprising that background had never quite seen something like what I saw in that basement. Pale creatures sloppily dressed and having not seen a shower in months. They had no organization. No hours. Their business methods could be described as an amorphous blob. They spoke a ton of motivational language and spoke of life hacks. I began wondering if this was some kind of reality show where I was going to get punked. I even went so far as to call an old high school classmate who worked for MTV casting to ask if I was getting punked. Then the two owners of Tao showed up. I met one owner briefly on the first day but hadn’t seen him since then. But they both showed up randomly and began talking numbers. They claimed they were doing a few million a month. I didn’t believe it. Not in a million years was this group of swamp creatures in a dank, moldy basement doing millions of dollars.

One owner came up to me and told me I was the new copywriter. I initially thought copywriting was copyrighting, rather, copyrights. I found out my emails generated over $80,000 in sales. He told me to go home and check out the Halbert Letters by Gary Halbert.

The Halbert Letters were a bolt of lightning. My dad was a bit of a prepper. And as a kid, I used to read some of the mailers that came with his prepper magazines. I loved the “defeat any man with one punch” stuff. And I recognized those headlines while reading the Halbert Letters. I decided this was a new path for me to try. I felt that it would be healthy to break myself free from the car business. The next morning I made the difficult call to my car business connection back in Boston, telling him I would not be partnering with him (his company went on to be, and still is, a massive success).

I was now the copywriter for The Tao of Badass. I plunged into Digital Marketing. I engrossed myself into the Affiliate Marketing arena. Seeing how quickly I got good at copy, seeing the money mentioned and claimed in this world, I believed I had found my ticket to a new Clair legacy.

I told myself I could out-earn my grandfather and father combined from the copy I wrote. An impractically hopeful belief fueled by spiritual limbo. That limbo, however, had me ripe for this new religion, this new compass, this new way forward: Digital Marketing + Self-development. A world some call Hustle Culture. And to define that further, the motivational, self-development, life-coaching, professional development world; the world of Tony Robbins, Ted Talks, Tim Ferris, Jay Shetty, Grant Cardone, and the other paint-by-numbers gurus promising personal and professional utopia, and spiritual enlightenment.

I went all in. I went to masterminds, events, bought countless courses, I bought and inhaled all the listicle books. I adhered to all the methods, routines, mantras, all of it and plus some. I out-hustle cultured the hustle culture.

Internal chaos, immaturity, and disorganization destroyed the Tao of Badass.

Tao lacked any semblance of a business model. It lacked a financial model. The owner chased a cynical New Age “ego destruction” rabbit hole after reading the nonsense and delusions of Jed McKenna. And he tried enforcing McKenna’s puerile, smarmy “ego destruction” on everybody. The employees spiraled into laziness, childishness, and entitlement. I wanted out. Tai Lopez bought the company, and despite Tai’s best efforts to keep me, and despite my efforts to shake off the intuition that he was a skeezeball, I turned him down and said I wanted to write in a different niche.

The number one offer on Clickbank (at that time), most famously known then as Venus Factor (they had about 15 other offers too) snapped me up. It was a fitness, supplement, and weight loss direct-marketing company. It was still affiliate marketing like Tao of Badass. I helped manage the email lists and then after proving myself they let me work on copy. I did well and got pulled into the inner, inner circle of the guy who ran it. I just about lived at his house in St. Petersburg, Florida.

On the surface, life looked great. Tons of money, made a name for myself, and rose the ranks fast. Yet the higher I rose in the affiliate marketing world, the more I confronted outright scams. The more I confronted the predatory model of Clickbank and its pushy affiliate marketing the more I realized Clickbank’s marketplace offers valueless, shoddy products — products offering zero benefit to the consumer. And many products were plagiarized from a simple Google search. A scant number of good products do exist on Clickbank, but the hyper-aggressive method of selling the customer other converting affiliate offers instantly after that customer bought a product, drained any good from a solid product because the customer would get too swamped with other promises of miracle cures and fixes.

Bluntly, I knew I was in a profession of lying, scamming, and bilking.

I tried “trusting the process” and “investing in myself” via coaching, masterminds, life hacks, bio-hacks, morning routines — the whole self-indulgent spiel. I didn’t want to be “a hater.” I woke up to affirmations, books on 2x speed, cold showers (I liked these before as a wake-up call, but now I thought it could make me money), and more woo-woo guff. I did Ayahuasca journeys, San Pedro journeys, and DMT journeys (I had never done a drug before in my life, not even pot; my first drug, ever, was a massive dose of San Pedro). And the stronger my reputation got, the higher up and the closer I moved inside the inner circles of these marketing and self-development gurus. People invited and paid me to be the guest expert at masterminds. I was speaking on panels with legendary copywriters. I was making money hand over fist. But no matter how hard I “blindsided my goals” I turned into a shell of myself.

I began waking up hating each day. I hated knowing that on a given day, I may be tasked with inventing a person who lost a bunch of weight, making outrageous claims, and morphing it into something to pass a legal check. And then after submitting the sales letter to legal, outright lie to the person from legal who was fact-checking the advertisement, and hoped that this person would never talk to me again.
I was burning out.

And personally knowing the gurus who claimed to be millionaires and who coached others on how to become millionaires, seeing their car get repossessed at events like Traffic and Conversion in San Diego, and witnessing how broken their personal lives were, all that kept screaming to me the delusions of Hustle Culture. For over a year, I literally couldn’t look at myself in the mirror. But I kept subjugating myself. I kept telling myself I needed a beginner mindset. I kept buying into the Hustle Culture hero’s journey tale of overcoming the haters and getting stinking rich. I ignored that I already was stinking rich. I ignored my background, my experience. I instead learned to undersell and undervalue myself.

I got called a retard.

I checked my phone while having lunch in one of Deer Valley’s ski lodges. I was on a ski trip with my cousin. I noticed several frantic emails from my company’s tech team. A glitch had occurred. I got on a call with the offer owner, the man who brought me into his inner circle; the man who had a bedroom for me in his house in St. Petersburg, where I had practically lived; the man who brought me around his family, and he started the call calling me a retard and said, “I could hire someone with downs syndrome, a mentally retarded fuck, to do what you do.”

A small glitch occurred on one of the email lists I managed. On one of our traffic channels, a cart disconnected from putting new buyers into the email marketing sequence. About fifteen thousand customers didn’t get the normal deluge of affiliate email marketing for a period of two or three days after they purchased the initial product. The tech team noticed. It was a tech fault, but I didn’t see the missing fifteen thousand customers on our affiliate email list. It happened probably around when I took off on a plane for Salt Lake City. But the glitch was fixed quickly. The customers started getting hammered and spammed with affiliate marketing emails, and it was making money. Yet the man I worked with had infantile temper tantrums. He’d slam his palms on the table during calls. He’d scream and yell. It was just something to deal with. But when he threw his ire at someone, he threw it maliciously and sophomorically. He never directed his tantrums at me until this day.

I had had enough. The retard comments were one thing, but the inability to look at myself in the mirror, literally, had me ready to exit. This incident gave me my excuse. I knew I was walking away from a ton of money. I was walking away from millions of dollars. But I wanted to look at myself in the mirror versus having my soul owned by cash. I plotted my exit. His birthday was July 4th. He’s Canadian. I’m American. I figured that was a good day to eject from his company. Maybe I should have dropped the mentally retarded fuck comment and let it go. But my dad said to punch bullies in the nose, so I figured I would.

On July 4th, 2017, I left the copywriting world.

Well, kinda.

I consulted for a while. I tried my hand at various affiliate marketing projects. I still attended masterminds and events. I came close to partnering with someone. A famous porn star approached me. She wanted to create a fitness product with her as the personality and me handling all the marketing. She hoped it to be her exit from the adult industry. I’m confident the business would have worked. We spent three or more months building it and figuring it out, but it kept dawning on me — this opportunity was not how I wanted to go forward. I needed to exit digital marketing. I exited.

I felt embarrassed.

My second career, if you could call it that, I felt it as infra dig. And I wondered how the heck did I get so caught up in that world of unethical behavior and self-development nonsense. I kept beating myself up for jumping into this second career, falling for all the nonsense, and exploiting egregious forms of predatory marketing. I also blew a shameful amount of money on masterminds, events, coaching, and all the other hustle accouterments. I had lived inside a chain of reactions since Clair Motors sold and my dad passed. I was beating myself up for all of it. Yet I had the fortunate ability to undergo serious soul searching.

I went radio silent for two years.

I underwent a catharsis. Each day I woke up, sat down, and for three to four hours, I’d write. Despite years of writing copy and writing it every day, and getting good at it, I had no idea how to write. During the early days of that catharsis, when I sat down to write the words lurched towards sales page formulas. My grammar, which I had excelled at in prep school after copywriting had degraded to appalling. I couldn’t get over how I had no voice of my own. I felt lost. Lost that I couldn’t write anything outside of a scammy sales letter. But I wrote each day to find my voice. I did writing exercises. I wrote whatever came to mind. Each day, I wrote.

When I entered this woodshed of writing, I turned to my bookshelf and looked at the books I had read during those hustle years and realized I had no clue what I had read. I spent hours looking at the notes I had written during that time and realized none of the notes contained depth or substance. It looked like I underwent a reading practice with the aim of smoothing my brain.

I grew up in a house with zero bookshelves.

My parents were not big readers. But from an early age, I loved reading. My grandparents noticed that. They spoiled me with books. My grandmother noticed I couldn’t put down the Hardy Boys. Each time I saw her she had a new one for me. My grandfather noticed I liked history, he got me history books. In high school and college, I kept up the habit. It declined post-college, but I would still dip into a few books a year. And I was a pretty good reader as far as engaging with a book. My history major had served me well with that.

When I got into digital marketing, I fell for the seductive reading hacks. I tried the fashionable speed reading tricks. I applied all of the commonplace book methods taught by Ryan Holiday. I tried fancy indexing methods, all to “extract wisdom from the greats.” I had notebooks full of the “applicable lessons.” I did this for years. When I came to the fact that speed reading was bunk, I quietly turned to all the other reading tricks. After years of doing this, and accumulating tons of notes, excuse me, “lessons”, there was that day of reckoning when I looked at my bookshelf. I perused the carefully indexed notes, the commonplace notes, and looked at all the recaps I had done. It dawned on me: I had reduced every book into trite guff. I looked at my notes from William Manchester’s iconic Winston Churchill biography, and saw astroturfed wisdom:

  • Churchill ignored the haters
  • Churchill took risks
  • Churchill spotted trends
  • Churchill wrote hooks
  • Churchill applied the 43rd Law from the 48 Laws of Power

I faced a reality, I had no idea what I had read. I sucked the life out of reading in the name of seeking the applicable lessons that all the gurus told me to look for and to apply. I committed a Hustle eisegesis. I wrecked my reading. I adhered to the advice of the best “experts” and had trained myself into an awful reader. I trained myself into a high performer in diminishing books into fashionable platitudes.

Along with the writing woodshed, I entered a woodshed of reading. I reread Mortimer Adler’s classic, How To Read a Book. I followed his method. I read Francine Prose’s How To Read Like a Writer. I followed her method for fiction. As my reading improved so did my writing. My thinking got better and clearer. I enjoyed books again versus treating them as a life hack.

Best of all, when I got my grasp back on reading well, color returned to my world. I found my values. I found my identity.

I resurfaced after two years of the writing and reading woodshed.

I wrote articles exposing the scams of affiliate marketing and exposing gurus. The famed Coffeezilla asked me to appear on his show, and it put me on the map. I got praise; I scorn. I critiqued Hustle Culture, gurus, predatory marketing, and the vacuous ideologies of professional and personal self-development.

Initially, calling out the nonsense seemed like my lane. Yet my writing about reading struck a chord. It struck a chord with professional writers, avid readers, and professionals who enjoyed reading but were annoyed with the #readinghacks shtick of gurus.

And for the last few years, my focus has shifted from exposing scams to reading. I’m called to reading.

A noted copywriter called me the “Liberal Arts Professor” of Money Twitter. An esteemed psychologist and noted thought leader said my articles about reading bridge a gap between intellectuals and salt of the earth people — that I bridge a gap and make big ideas or heady books fun and accessible. I’m not even sure how to label or call or define what I do, but people like it.

People have developed insecurities around reading. They fear they read too slowly; they don’t know what books to read; they fret over forgetting what they’ve read, literature scares them. And when people look to read better and for what books to read, they get hit with gurus peddling a form of reading that looks active — “index your notes to retain and then apply the best lessons” — but in reality those methods reduce books into forgettable, fortune cookie wisdom. Or they run across compensating dorks who wish to impress people by claiming they’re going to read the Western Canon in six months and will drop a Twitter thread on the biggest takeaways. Then you have sciolists saying fiction is a waste of time. Or ultracrepidarians who say no book is fiction. And let’s not forget the hustle-porn hustlers claiming a certain listicle offers miraculous results. And when you walk into most bookstores today, you get battered by progressive activism.

Enough is enough.

Our reading abilities have been sapped by a lowering of standards in education, and sapped even further by all the Digital Marketing, TedTalk, Lifehack, and guru tips from personal and professional self-development. Reading does offer benefits and it offers enjoyment. Good reading colors your world. And good reading is engagement between you and the author, or you and the story. And that’s what I hope to convey here, better engagement.

Yes, I will talk Hustle Culture. Hustle Culture needs questioning due to how much it misleads, and I can’t help but do it. But reading is my purpose. Call it literary analysis. Call it long-form book reviews. I call it conversations with reading.

Reading helped me gain perspective on my past.

Reading helped me grasp the aftermath of Clair Motors selling and my dad dying. It helped me grasp how I reacted to my life’s choices. It helped me recognize that my reactions were natural. Reading pointed out that I’ve lived a lot of life and traveled down some colorful avenues. When I read Edmund Burke in the summer of 2020, it not only cemented my Conservative worldview, but he helped me grasp the qualities and values I wanted in a wife. And Burke opened the door to find Thomas Sowell, my intellectual hero. And that opened doors to my faith and spiritual character. Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe character breathed life into my convictions. The list continues with each new book.

A book will not make you a better person. But reading well can color your world, provide depth, offer meaning, and, most importantly, give enjoyment.

My vision and purpose for this site is to get people reading better, and reading with more depth.

As I said, I will discuss Hustle Culture. It’s so bizarre and so formulaically self-indulgent that it needs some poking. But I’m here for that person who wants to read deeper, who wants to go beyond listicles and homogenized motivational books. I’m here for the person who wants substance, depth, and enjoyment with what they read. Better reading will lead me to cover various topics, as reading has that habit. I’m sure I’ll cover culture, arts, Hustle Culture, politics, history, personal musings, and wherever else the conversation leads.

I’m not trying to create the world’s best book club. I’m here for that round table feeling of discussing books (and maybe the occasional roast of gurus and hustle culture).