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Hey, guys. Working on two things: the HR Books website and our selections for next month’s #HRBookClub.

The HR Books site is coming along. I believe readers are leaders, and there’s no single place to get decent book reviews on HR books. If you want the best HR books, you have to navigate through sponsored content and spammy websites. There’s a tendency to elevate complex, condescending leadership books and pretend it’s cool for outsiders to hate HR. 

I feel like hating HR is my thing, and it’s also very 2012. 

As we’re building the model and website for HR Books, I’m working on selecting two books for the #HRBookClub in February. The theme is African-American History Month. Until 1976, the month-long observance was only a week. President Ford formalized the month-long celebration in a proclamation:

The last quarter-century has finally witnessed significant strides in the full integration of black people into every area of national life. In celebrating Black History Month, we can take satisfaction from this recent progress in the realization of the ideals envisioned by our Founding Fathers. But, even more than this, we can seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.

Never thought President Ford would look so good, did you?

America has a tough time saying thanks to black people. And sometimes our ideas on how to recognize the month-long observance of African-American History Month show our values and biases. For example, I polled my friends and asking them to suggest book club selections for February. The goal of my book club is to help HR professionals read 12 books a year. It’s an audacious goal because most adults don’t pick up a book after college.

My progressive friends are like, “Have your book club read something by Ta-Nehisi Coates.”

Good suggestion, but one doe not simply read Ta-Nehisi Coates. Nobody will ever just pick up Between the World and Me and dive right into the book if they struggle to read 12 books a year. That’s not how this works.

Other people have suggested topics on Jim Crow, the broken justice system, and books on socio-economic problems in our society. Lots of suggestions relating to civil rights, gun violence and poverty. Just a few recommendations on careers, identity, passion, purpose, and vocation. 

The most important goal of the club? Develop a reading habit in 2018, and I don’t care what you read if I’m being honest. Just read. With that in mind, I made a few choices for February. I will announce the selections next week on HR Books (if it’s up and running, fingers crossed). Stay tuned, and I hope you’ve been enjoying the January selections.

Join me on January 31st at 2 PM ET on Facebook for the first official meeting of #HRBookClub.

Don’t have Facebook? Read the books, anyway. I’ll share the video of our meeting so you can enjoy it later! 

4 Responses to HR Books: Launching Next Week, New Book Selections
  1. Richard P Kurth

    Between the World and Me is not a bad choice because it is also a book about education and how disorienting good education can be.

    • Laurie Ruettimann

      Great book and great choice. Agree with your recommendation. Not sure it’s for busy HR professionals who don’t struggle to read a book each month.

  2. Richard P Kurth

    Well I’m not an HR professional and trust your judgement.

  3. April Dowling

    It breaks my heart that people just don’t read anymore. Books are such a vital part of my life. Everyone should read. Thank you for organizing this and encouraging our HR people to read a flipping book.