Why We Launched Into 2022 by Reading Over 1.5 Million Words

We’ve been reading a ton this year. Combined, according to my extremely inaccurate estimates, we’ve read just about 1,600,000 words (40,000 words per book X 40 books read). 

Miranda has taken on gigantuan novels such as Jane Eyre and Anna Karenina so likely this total is much higher.

I share in every book I’ve written how important reading is. But I knew I needed to heed a bit of my own advice this year. 

So, I read. And read. And read… It’s been my primary mission to consume. 

Reading lifts up the soul. 

Reading nourishes the mind. 

Reading positively pulsates your heart. 

When life gets you down, read. When you’re not sure where to turn, read. If you’re so sick of hearing about COVID-19, listening to hapless politicians, viewing horrors on the news, or once again scrolling mindlessly on Facebook or Insta, grab a book. 

The first three months of 2022 Miranda (my lovely wife) and I read a combined total of forty books across a wide variety of genres. 

Before we get to the full list, I’ll spoil our favorites first. Here are the three books I’ve added to my must-read list after much discussion with Miranda:


  1. Breath by James Nestor.
  2. The Puffin in Bloom Collection by various authors.
  3. The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry by John Mark Comer.

These wonderful books fit the bill on exactly what I’m seeking every time I read a new book. I want to know that more is possible. I want to be inspired by our capacity to grow, adapt, and change. 

Breath taught us the importance of ensuring every breath we take is used to the fullest. 

The Puffin in Bloom Collection gave us an enriched and wholesome experience.

The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry gave us new life by suggesting the ancient practice of Sabbath and turning off our phones. (We’ve tried it, and it’s now a weekend necessity.)

When I read, I want someone to tell me what I don’t know and fill in gaps I didn’t know I had! 

Let me share my full reading list before I divulge my final thoughts on why reading has got me so pumped:

  1. The Fellowship of The Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
  2. Captivating by Stasi And John Eldredge
  3. Fallout by Craig Alanson
  4. How To Write Copy That Sells by Ray Edwards
  5. Ruthless Elim Of Hurry by JMC
  6. Ultralearning – Scott H. Young
  7. Navigating Polarities by Brian Emmerson
  8. Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
  9. Starlight Enclave by R.A. Salvatore
  10. How Successful People Think – John Maxwell
  11. Boom Where You’re Planted by Jason Liller
  12. Brian’s Winter by Gary Paulsen
  13. Essentialism by Greg Mceown
  14. Courage Is Calling – Ryan Holiday
  15. Searching For Enough by Tyler Staton
  16. Breath by James Nestor
  17. The Dip by Seth Godin
  18. The Post Quarantine Church by Thom Rainer

Here’s what Miranda curled up to (Puffin in Bloom Collection in bold):

  1. The Midnight Library – Matt Haig
  2. Captivating – John & Stasi Eldredge
  3. Winterhouse – Ben Guterson
  4. Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
  5. Anne of Green Gables – Lucy Maud Montgomery
  6. Wild at Heart – John Eldredge
  7. The Two Towers – J.R.R. Tolkien
  8. Pride & Prejudice – Jane Austen
  9. The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry – John Mark Comer
  10. A Little Princess – Frances Hodgson Burnett
  11. Courage is Calling – Ryan Holiday
  12. Heidi – Johanna Spyri
  13. Ultralearning – Scott H. Young
  14. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
  15. Hyperfocus – Chris Bailey
  16. The Return of the King – J.R.R. Tolkien
  17. Why the Germans Do it Better – John Kampfner
  18. Brisingr – Christopher Paolini
  19. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
  20. Breath – James Nestor
  21. Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
  22. Raised From The Ground – Jose Saramago

As you can tell, our genres varied quite considerably. My favorites tend to be science-fiction, personal growth and development, and various Christian titles. Miranda has been on a binge of classics, but loves fantasy and non-fiction too. 

I don’t think any specific genre is better than any other. What I do believe strongly is that we should vary our reading and experience multiple different genres. It means I should read a few classics even though I’m bored at the mere thought ;).

What are you reading lately? What books have changed your life? 

Comment here and let me know what we should read next. We’re game for anything that doesn’t outright suck and has at least one good nugget of new information or entertains. 

Thanks for reading, 

-Jordan and Miranda

PS: I have a few dishonorable mentions I didn’t feel warranted a part in the main post. These are the books I started but just couldn’t get into and thus didn’t count them in the books read list:

  1. Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson. The book was difficult to understand. I love the potential of stories in virtual reality, but it wasn’t clear at any point what the author was talking about. Maybe I should have put on my virtual reality goggles…

    Part of me doesn’t like to admit I didn’t understand a book. However, I do strongly feel it’s incumbent upon the author to clearly articulate the story. A story CAN be convoluted and confusing if it comes back around, but there were several times in the book I felt the author assumed I knew what had happened when it was just poorly written.
  2. Star Maker by Olaf Stapledon. One of the oddest books I’ve read. It felt like a history book explaining what had happened while this guy had traveled amongst the stars. If you ever need an example to show how to write in TELL vs. SHOW, this is the book you should use. Nothing happens, it’s just a recap of various races and other existence across the galaxies.