Book Club Past Month Picks

June & July

Beartown – Fredrik Backman

432 pages

“I wasn’t sure I would love a novel centred on hockey – but as with Friday Night Lights this is actually a story about people – about strength and tribal loyalty and what we unwittingly do when trying to show our boys how to be men. I utterly believed in the residents of Beartown, and felt ripped apart by the events in the book.” – Jojo Moyes


“Hate can be a deeply stimulating emotion. The world becomes easier to understand and much less terrifying if you divide everything and everyone into friends and enemies, we and they, good and evil. The easiest way to unite a group isn’t through love, because love is hard, It makes demands. Hate is simple. So the first thing that happens in a conflict is that we choose a side, because that’s easier than trying to hold two thoughts in our heads at the same time. The second thing that happens is that we seek out facts that confirm what we want to believe – comforting facts, ones that permit life to go on as normal. The third is that we dehumanize our enemy.”

Beartown – Fredrik Backman

Synopsis:

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Overeturns with a dazzling, profound novel about a small town with a big dream—and the price required to make it come true.

People say Beartown is finished. A tiny community nestled deep in the forest, it is slowly losing ground to the ever encroaching trees. But down by the lake stands an old ice rink, built generations ago by the working men who founded this town. And in that ice rink is the reason people in Beartown believe tomorrow will be better than today. Their junior ice hockey team is about to compete in the national semi-finals, and they actually have a shot at winning. All the hopes and dreams of this place now rest on the shoulders of a handful of teenage boys.

Being responsible for the hopes of an entire town is a heavy burden, and the semi-final match is the catalyst for a violent act that will leave a young girl traumatized and a town in turmoil. Accusations are made and, like ripples on a pond, they travel through all of Beartown, leaving no resident unaffected.

Beartown explores the hopes that bring a small community together, the secrets that tear it apart, and the courage it takes for an individual to go against the grain. In this story of a small forest town, Fredrik Backman has found the entire world.

MAY

In her #1 NYT bestsellers, Brené Brown taught us what it means to dare greatly, rise strong and brave the wilderness. Now, based on new research conducted with leaders, change makers and culture shifters, she’s showing us how to put those ideas into practice so we can step up and lead.- Google Reviews

352 pages


“The courage to be vulnerable is not about winning or losing, it’s about the courage to show up when you can’t predict or control the outcome.”

Dare to Lead, Brene Brown

Synopsis:

In her #1 NYT bestsellers, Brené Brown taught us what it means to dare greatly, rise strong and brave the wilderness. Now, based on new research conducted with leaders, change makers and culture shifters, she’s showing us how to put those ideas into practice so we can step up and lead. 

Leadership is not about titles, status and power over people. Leaders are people who hold themselves accountable for recognising the potential in people and ideas, and developing that potential. This is a book for everyone who is ready to choose courage over comfort, make a difference and lead.

When we dare to lead, we don’t pretend to have the right answers; we stay curious and ask the right questions. We don’t see power as finite and hoard it; we know that power becomes infinite when we share it and work to align authority and accountability. We don’t avoid difficult conversations and situations; we lean into the vulnerability that’s necessary to do good work.

But daring leadership in a culture that’s defined by scarcity, fear and uncertainty requires building courage skills, which are uniquely human. The irony is that we’re choosing not to invest in developing the hearts and minds of leaders at the same time we’re scrambling to figure out what we have to offer that machines can’t do better and faster. What can we do better? Empathy, connection and courage to start.

Brené Brown spent the past two decades researching the emotions that give meaning to our lives. Over the past seven years, she found that leaders in organisations ranging from small entrepreneurial start-ups and family-owned businesses to non-profits, civic organisations and Fortune 50 companies, are asking the same questions:

How do you cultivate braver, more daring leaders? And, how do you embed the value of courage in your culture?

Dare to Lead answers these questions and gives us actionable strategies and real examples from her new research-based, courage-building programme.

Brené writes, ‘One of the most important findings of my career is that courage can be taught, developed and measured. Courage is a collection of four skill sets supported by twenty-eight behaviours. All it requires is a commitment to doing bold work, having tough conversations and showing up with our whole hearts. Easy? No. Choosing courage over comfort is not easy. Worth it? Always. We want to be brave with our lives and work. It’s why we’re here.’


The Ted Talk that changed the landscape for vulnerability.

Some of our favourite podcast conversations are these three between Brené and Oprah;



Through the Amazon affiliate program, for every book purchased through a link on humankindbookclub.com, a small percentage of the sale goes back into the book club! If you like to buy your books online, consider purchasing through one of our links. Proceeds go directly back into the book club for meet up events, software and giveaways.


If you are interested in learning more and getting the most out of Dare to Lead, check out the Dare to Lead Hub on the Brené Brown website!


APRIL

There There – Tommy Orange
Educated – Tara Westover

UPDATE: for April we changed up the format and had one book be the Book Club Discussion book, and one book be the Bonus Book!

This is to allow for a full scale discussion at the meet up, and to avoid any spoilers for those who attend and haven’t read both books!

To read a summary of how the book club for April went, click here

MARCH

Becoming – Michelle Obama When Breath Becomes Air – Paul Kalanithi

March was the inaugural month of Human Kind Book Club. We explored two incredible memoirs written by spectacular human beings.

Becoming – Michelle Obama

When Breath Becomes Air – Paul Kalanithi