What we’re reading at Easter Seals

My Lobotomy coverA few weeks ago I found myself talking with Erik Cook, one of my colleagues here at Easter Seals, about the books we are reading, and book clubs we belong to now or have belonged to in the past.

Erik and I agreed that having shared experiences around text is a wonderful way to connect with people and develop shared background experience. An article in The Guardian suggests book-reading groups could do this at a workplace, too:

For many people the biggest plus of working in an office — salary aside — is the chance to chat, exchange ideas and form friendships with those around you.

But if you’ve grown tired of office discussions revolving around negative equity and who said what on Paris Hilton’s British Best Friend, it might be time to make a dash for the cultural high ground — so why not start a book club?

Erik and I got to thinking. Maybe a book group at work would help us know more about our colleagues. We might even learn things from their life experiences to draw on in future collaborative work.

And so, Erik and I have launched the Easter Seals Book Reading Group. Interested readers will read the same book around the same time. We’ll start by reading My Lobotomy, a memoir by Howard Dully and co-authored by Charles Fleming.

Howard Dully is one of the youngest recipients of the transorbital lobotomy, a procedure performed on him when he was 12 years old. The book is about his experiences as a child, the effect of the procedure on his life, his efforts as an adult to discover why the medically-unnecessary procedure was performed on him, and the effect of a National Public Radio broadcast about all this that aired in 2005 on All Things Considered — that’s where I first heard of him, on NPR.

Depending on the interests of others in the reading group, we’ll have a sit-down discussion of the book, or we can just use the book to help build a background of shared experiences. We’ll be reading this first book in April and May, and if any of you blog readers have tried something similar in the workplace, please do leave a comment here. Erik and I are open to any suggestions or ideas that might help make our new Easter Seals reading group a success. Thanks!


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  1. Patrick Says:

    We did this at work, and my advice: order pizza when you get together. More people came when food was there.