Q1 2023 Book Club

Miylie Roan | March 1, 2023

Calling all bookworms! Our recent company-wide book club sessions took us on a thrilling adventure and navigated us through impactful conversations using 2 captivating reads. At Lawline, we believe that reading is not only fun but it’s a fantastic way to get to know each other more and bring us all together. 

Mike Sullivan, Web Developer, lead us through the book “Less (Winner of the Pulitzer Prize): A Novel (The Arthur Less Books, 1)” by Andrew Greer and Miylie Roan, HR Generalist, lead us through the book “What If- Short Stories to Spark Inclusion & Diversity Dialogue” by Steve Robbins. We kicked off the new year with sessions that explored and connected us in exciting new ways. Keep reading to see what the facilitators, Mike and Miylie, had to say about leading these sessions. 

Mike Sullivan- Web Developer’s Book Choice

  • Why did you choose the book Less (Winner of the Pulitzer Prize): A Novel (The Arthur Less Books, 1) for the book club?
    I picked Less for the book club after listening to a podcast in which three of my favorite comedians were discussing it. I don't remember how it came up in the conversation but all of them seemed to have enjoyed it and agreed that it was a quick and easy read. It seemed like something that would be good for the quarterly "fun" book. I hadn't heard of it before and I was not aware that it was a Pulitzer Prize winner or a popular book club book at the time I nominated it.

  • How was your experience leading the session?
    I enjoyed leading the session. You can view the presentation here. I based some of my discussion prompts on suggested questions in various articles, including in the New York Times books section. Some of them were perhaps a bit too focused on supposed hidden meanings and symbolism in the book, which does deal with some serious themes but is in the end more of a playful and joyful meditation on the absurdity of the human condition. During the session we often abandoned the prepared questions to discuss lines or passages that made us laugh or to discuss topics that I hadn't even planned on covering.

  • What is 1 thing you have learned from the book?
    One thing that has stuck with me was something that I got only a vague sense of from the book but was articulated by the author in a separate article. It has to do with the misconception that every author of a character-driven story primarily spends their time developing and "living" with those characters, trying to bring them to life and fill in the details of their pasts, as if the story will just write itself once the characters are fully fleshed-out. Instead, the real work is in the writing itself, and not necessarily in building and imagining the personalities and rich inner lives of the characters. Andrew Sean Greer writes 'The love affair (meaning the passions, struggles, betrayals, and reconciliations) I have in writing a novel is not with the “people” who inhabit it; it is with words.'

Miylie Roan- HR Generalist’s Book Choice

  • Why did you choose the book What If- Short Stories to Spark Inclusion & Diversity Dialogue for the book club? 
      • I chose this book because as a Lawline Minority Employee Resource Group (MERG) leader, I wanted to create more meaningful conversations around diversity and inclusion. I knew choosing this book would start a dialogue between employees that reveal commonalities and differences amongst us and by doing so, learning more about each other. 
  • How was your experience leading the session?
      • I don’t think it could have been any better! I was nervous leading my first book club session but by creating a powerpoint presentation which you can view here, I knew it would ensure a productive conversation flow as each chapter was a different topic with specific questions. Although we were not able to get through all of the chapters I planned for, the conversations happening during the chat were enlightening.  
  • What is 1 thing you have learned from the book?
    • I learned that everyone has a story. Everyone has different views based on their beliefs and own personal experiences so, we shouldn’t judge a book by the cover. It’s cliche but very true!



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