So you want to host an office book club-themed event? You’ve come to the right place! We are thrilled when we choose a book club topic that sparks engaging conversation about a topic that is of crucial importance to workplace dynamics.
The beauty of a fantastic fictional book is the ability to both engage and entertain, which is why we chose Whisper Network as our IRL book club choice and then threw an office book club party to compliment it!
While the event pictures below feature Whisper Network, we’ve also compiled over a dozen other books about women in the workplace that will generate equally great discussions.
Everything we’ve done to make hosting our Whisper Network Book Club a success can be applied to any of the office books below.
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Hosting a Whisper Network Book Club
Jackie and I decided to read Whisper Network with our book club. The book came to our attention after Reese Witherspoon picked it as her book club choice back in July. We heard TONS of mixed reviews on Instagram which made us strangely excited to read it. I often find that books that garner divided opinions make for the best discussions.
Whisper Network touched on lots of different discussion points among our group of friends. We talked extensively about sexual harassment, choosing to try to define what it meant to be sexually harassed. We also talked about inter-office romantic relationships as well as inter-office friendships. We chose to share our own experiences with sexual harassment and gender inequality as well which made for an intimate discussion.
Hosting an Office Themed Book Club about Women in the Workplace
Office Book Club Decor
The majority of the books on the list below take place in a traditional office setting which made for easy decorating. We opted for a classic boardroom set-up with coffee cups, notepads, and pens. I wish I had thought to provide tiny bottles of water too, but I’m too eco-friendly to have them on hand.
Decide among yourselves how you want to play this. Do you want to show up in your own office outfits? Would you like to channel a specific character from the book? Or maybe you’ve got an old Mad Men costume laying around that you wish to wear again.
Personally, I don’t get the chance to dress up much as a stay-at-home mom, so I embrace the curtain office trends when I get dressed. I’ve been feeling puffy sleeves, pleated skirts, and colorful suits. No boring black for me!
Office Book Club-Themed Food
We decided to make dinner easy for everyone. We ordered in just like employees working late would do. We opted for sushi and Chinese food, but feel free to poll your book club for what everyone would want.
We also opted for coffee and donuts for dessert. Many an office employee will claim that the constant presence of donuts and other office goodies have lead to a few added pounds. Coffee is a no-brainer as well. A fully caffeinated brain is working 101!
Games for Your Office Book Club
We find that sometimes with heavier topics it’s better to play a game or two to lighten the mood. To come up with ideas we turned to the dreaded office ice-breaker. Games like Two Truths and a lie or Bowl of Questions work here. Or maybe your group wants a more hands-on activity like paper airplane racing or a Trust Fall. We also love the idea of playing Whisper Down the Lane – it’s particularly relevant if you’ve chosen the Whisper Network.
Once you establish camaraderie among the members of your book club, it will be a lot easier to discuss some of the harder topics that these books might generate.
Music for Your Office Book Club
I loved making this playlist featuring songs about female empowerment. Taylor Swift’s song, The Man, helped inspire this month’s reading challenge topic, so it was only appropriate to lead with her tune. Beyonce, Cher, Shania Twain, Dolly Parton, and Katy Perry also have songs on the list. Listen to the Office Book Club Spotify playlist here.
Office Book Club Book Recommendations
All of these books below should touch on topics like sexual harassment, gender inequality, inter-office relationships, female innovators, and the struggles of being a mother in the workforce. For more than the few listed below, head to this post featuring books about women in the workplace.
This nonfiction old Hollywood book sheds light on the talent of Disney’s pioneering female animators and the struggles they faced in a male-dominated field. I loved learning about these incredible women – like Mary Blair who created the art for the “It’s a Small World” ride.
I was appalled by the disparate treatment female in the animation field received, but I was also impressed by their gumption. The author does a tremendous job of showing their struggles but also how these women shaped animation as we know it. If you are looking for non-fiction books like Lessons in Chemistry, this is a fantastic pick.
I was heartened to see just how far they have come. The book ends with Frozen and you could clearly see the studio’s growth. This is an amazing, non-fiction book about art.
May 2022 Read with Jenna Book Club Pick
I haven’t read a novel with as much heart as this one in quite some time.
Elderly, recently widowed Tova loves her job cleaning the aquarium in town in the quiet of the night, especially because of her fondness for Marcellus, the octopus. She finds solace in the aquarium as it makes her feel closer to her son, Erik – a marine life lover – who disappeared on a boat when he was 18.
But when she hurts herself and is unable to return to work at full capacity, she grows close with her replacement, Cameron, a young man who newly arrived in town looking for his birth mother.
Meanwhile, Marcellus knows what happened to Erik and he wants to help Tova find the closure she needs. His narration is interspersed with Tova and Cameron’s for a story that is compelling, heartwarming, and utterly unique.
I will be shoving this book into the hands of everyone who asks for a book recommendation because it’s my favorite book of 2022 and my pick as one of the best audiobooks of 2022. And if you are looking for more family drama books like this, check out the Ultimate List of Feel-Good Books. This contemporary fiction book is a 5-star read and a book club book everyone will love.
Sloane, Ardie, Grace, and Rosalita have worked at Truviv, Inc. for years. The sudden death of Truviv’s CEO means their boss, Ames, will likely take over the entire company. Each of the women has a different relationship with Ames, who has always been surrounded by whispers about how he treats women. Those whispers have been ignored, swept under the rug, and hidden away by those in charge.
But the world has changed, and women are watching this promotion differently. This time, when they find out Ames is making an inappropriate move on a colleague, they aren’t willing to let it go. This time, they’ve decided enough is enough.
This contemporary fiction pick is perfect for our list of books similar to Lessons in Chemistry and is also on our list of best books for book clubs.
June 2021 GMA Book Club Pick
Wow. I’m still processing this genre-defying novel. It’s a social commentary and a thriller all in one. It makes me want to sit down and discuss it with everyone.
Nella is the only black girl at her publishing house until Hazel is hired. Thinking she’s found an ally, instead, she begins to wonder if Hazel might be an enemy instead.
As Hazel’s career soars, Nella is left questioning her identity, her ideals, and what it means to be a black woman in the business world while trying to uncover who is behind the scary notes she keeps receiving.