Book clubs can be a key component of an organization focusing on building community, and fostering a culture of inclusion and belonging for employees. We include a book recommendation each week in our newsletter. Our recommendations below will be added to over time.
You could choose something business-oriented as a case study to examine which isn’t so closely tied to your own business, or a book with more human themes. If your book group is online, everyone should have access to the book – either borrowing from a library’s online app, or by your organization providing copies.
The New Jim Crow
“In this incisive critique, former litigator-turned-legal-scholar Michelle Alexander provocatively argues that we have not ended racial caste in America: we have simply redesigned it. Alexander shows that, by targeting black men and decimating communities of color, the U.S. criminal justice system functions as a contemporary system of racial control, even as it formally adheres to the principle of color blindness. The New Jim Crow challenges the civil rights community–and all of us–to place mass incarceration at the forefront of a new movement for racial justice in America.”
What Is an American Muslim?: Embracing Faith and Citizenship
Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na’im
“Since 2001, there has been a tremendous backlash against the very idea that it is possible to be both American and Muslim. Even within the Muslim community many leaders urge believers to integrate more fully into the mainstream of American life. Is it possible to be both fully American and devoutly Muslim?
An American citizen born and raised in the Sudan, an internationally recognized scholar of Islam, and a human rights activist, Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na’im brings a unique perspective to this crucial question.“
“ADHD. dyslexia. autism. the number of illness categories listed by the American Psychiatric Association has tripled in the last fifty years. With so many people affected, it is time to revisit our perceptions on this “culture of disabilities.” Bestselling author, psychologist, and educator Thomas Armstrong illuminates a new understanding of neuropsychological disorders. He argues that if they are a part of the natural diversity of the human brain, they cannot simply be defined as illnesses. Armstrong explores the evolutionary advantages, special skills, and other positive dimensions of these conditions.”
Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People
Mahzarin R. Banaji and Anthony G. Greenwald
“Blindspot is a book that will challenge and change readers for years to come. Accessible and research-based, the book shows can help you uncover your own blindspots, and the factors that shape our likes and dislikes and our judgments about people’s character, abilities, and potential.”
“Nevada is the darkly comedic story of Maria Griffiths, a young trans woman living in New York City and trying to stay true to her punk values while working retail. When she finds out her girlfriend has lied to her, the world she thought she’d carefully built for herself begins to unravel, and Maria sets out on a journey that will most certainly change her forever.”
The Best We Could Do
“The Best We Could Do, the debut graphic novel memoir by Thi Bui, is an intimate look at one family’s journey from their war-torn Vietnam to their new lives in America. Exploring the anguish of immigration and the lasting effects that displacement has on a child and her family, Bui documents the story of her family’s daring escape after the fall of South Vietnam in the 1970s, and the difficulties they faced building new lives for themselves. In what Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen calls “a book to break your heart and heal it,” The Best We Could Do brings to life Thi Sui’s journey of understanding, and provides inspiration to all of those who search for a better future while longing for a simpler past.”
Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race
“In 2014, award-winning journalist Reni Eddo-Lodge wrote about her frustration with the way that discussions of race and racism in Britain were being led by those who weren’t affected by it. She posted a piece on her blog, entitled: ‘Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race’ that led to this book. Exploring issues from eradicated black history to the political purpose of white dominance, whitewashed feminism to the inextricable link between class and race, Reni Eddo-Lodge offers a timely and essential new framework for how to see, acknowledge and counter racism. It is a searing, illuminating, absolutely necessary exploration of what it is to be a person of colour in Britain today.”
John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell
“March can help a new generation understand that the arc of the moral universe doesn’t just bend toward justice; humans must struggle to bend it. To read Lewis’s graphic memoir… is to be reminded that what so many have taken for granted in American life today was hard fought and recently won. March calls on all of us to keep our eyes on the prize.” — Drew Gilpin Faust, Historian and Former President of Harvard University
Listen In: Crucial Conversations in the Workplace
Listen In is perfect for a workplace book group exploring employees’ unique experiences and blind spots. This is a 120-page novel following five African-American characters as well as their white colleagues, and their experiences in the workplace.
“Janet Mock’s groundbreaking book is testimony to the remarkable progress trans people have achieved over the last decade– and shines a bright light on the work that still needs to be done. Mock’s clear, lucid prose will open hearts and minds, and further the goals of equality and justice–not just for trans people, but for everyone. Redefining Realness is loving, searing, and true.” — Jennifer Finney Boylan, author of She’s Not There and Stuck in the Middle With You
Organizations undermine sustainable high performance by forever seeking to get more out of their people. Instead they should seek systematically to meet their four core needs so they’re freed, fueled, and inspired to bring the best of themselves to work every day.
The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working offers individuals, leaders, and organizations a highly practical, proven set of strategies to better manage the relentlessly rising demands we all face in an increasingly complex world.”