In June my company decided to relocate our offices into downtown Salt Lake City. As a result I got sweet new digs such as a new desk, fancy cubicle, a new desk chair, etc. Also as a result of the move the people I am sitting by on a daily basis are much different from before. At the old office it was simply myself and my good friend Matt sitting in our adjoined cubicles sort of tucked into a back corner all by ourselves. At the new downtown location the cubicles are much more open and Matt changed jobs, so he no longer sits next to me.
The end result of all that change is that I now sit right next to the internal development team and when they hired a new user experience guru he was assigned to sit in the seat next to mine. As it turns out, we both are big on reading and happen to like a fair amount of the same type of books. Clearly we hit it off in that regard.
Shortly after that, Mike, the head of internal development began to join in on our book discussions from time to time and the book club was born. We’ve read a handful of novels over the past few months and have talked about them fairly extensively. We don’t have any sort of formal meeting process, mostly we just start talking about the books when the moment strikes us. Although sometimes we head to the local Barbacoa for more structured discussion.
Books we’ve read so far as part of our group:
We recently added another member to our little group of book club folks, Brad, another of the internal development programmers. Now we stand at 4 members in total and I like to think we’ve had some pretty good discussions. Mike doesn’t like much of what the other three of us pick to read though, but that’s alright, he fits into his own category when it comes to what he likes. As he likes to say, “I’m really not ever going to be anyone’s target audience.”
So, the four of us recently came up with a list of 12 books to read for 2013, one per month or so, with selections from each of us for the most part. Here’s the list as it currently stands (although it is subject to random and unannounced change):
- And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
- The Unincorporated Man by Dani and Eytan Kollin
- 11/22/63 by Stephen King
- The Chrysalids by John Wyndham
- Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
- Devil in the White City by Eric Larson
- Psycho by Robert Bloch
- Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson
- Phantoms in the Brain: Probing the Mysteries of the Human Mind by V.S. Ramachandran
- The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester
- The House on the Borderland by William Hope Hodgson
- The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Obviously looking at that list we’ve got a pretty good mix of books. There is some science fiction, hard science fiction, horror, mystery, non-fiction, a biography, and a little bit of other stuff too. I think it’s going to be fun to see what the four of us have to say about these books as we make our way through the list.
I like having this small group of friends at the office with which to discuss books. Each of us comes at reading with a very different approach and it means that no book seems to be quite the right fit for all four of us at the same time. Needless to say, that makes the discussions about the book incredibly dynamic and exciting.