February President’s Message


(Bacon NOT included!)

And now for the announcement you’ve all been waiting for: The League Book Club! (I know, I know, I promised you this weeks ago, but it’s budget season, and I’ve got two major vacancies, and yada, yada, yada.) Anyway, here we are! Our first book will be “21 Lessons for the 21st Century,” by Yuval Noah Harari.

Here’s the description from Goodreads: “How do computers and robots change the meaning of being human? How do we deal with the epidemic of fake news? Are nations and religions still relevant? What should we teach our children?

Yuval Noah Harari’s 21 Lessons for the 21st Century is a probing and visionary investigation into today’s most urgent issues as we move into the uncharted territory of the future. As technology advances faster than our understanding of it, hacking becomes a tactic of war, and the world feels more polarized than ever, Harari addresses the challenge of navigating life in the face of constant and disorienting change and raises the important questions we need to ask ourselves in order to survive.

In twenty-one accessible chapters that are both provocative and profound, Harari builds on the ideas explored in his previous books, untangling political, technological, social, and existential issues and offering advice on how to prepare for a very different future from the world we now live in: How can we retain freedom of choice when Big Data is watching us? What will the future workforce look like, and how should we ready ourselves for it? How should we deal with the threat of terrorism? Why is liberal democracy in crisis?  

Harari’s unique ability to make sense of where we have come from and where we are going has captured the imaginations of millions of readers. Here he invites us to consider values, meaning, and personal engagement in a world full of noise and uncertainty. When we are deluged with irrelevant information, clarity is power. Presenting complex contemporary challenges clearly and accessibly, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century is essential reading.”

I know, I know, you’re thinking “this isn’t a beach read.” But these are very important concepts that we, as local government professionals, need to know about, and we will have some excellent conversations about what all this means for democracy, for government, and for our communities. And I’ll make a deal with you: humor me and read this book, and in March, we’ll have a new book that is pure fiction and 100% beach read. Deal?

The League has a group on Goodreads, so join us there for discussions and other information. If you have a Goodreads account, you can search for us under “Groups.” To register and join the League group, CLICK HERE.

We’ll also post thought provoking quotes and questions related to the reading on our Facebook account. You should be able to find this book in your local libraries, but if you MUST own this book, and you might want to own this one so that you can write in it, please support independent bookstores! I’ll give you a week to get started, and then we’ll talk. Happy reading!

Ashley Jacobs, President