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Staff Council Book Club: Choose one of three books


Brandi Liantonio

July 18, 2021

As we embark on a summer after a complex year, Staff Council would like to keep everyone connected and engaged with our next round of book club options. The club will again offer three book options under different genres: personal development, nonfiction, and fiction. Then each group will meet at noon Friday, Aug. 20, on Google Meet to discuss the book they read.

Fill out the Staff Council Book Club form once you decide which book you’d like to read, and we will send a virtual discussion invite. We will also provide two copies of each book at the Hedberg Library for staff to borrow if needed.

Book Options

Personal Development

Title: “No Hard Feelings: The Secret Power of Embracing Emotions at Work” by Liz Fosslien and Mollie West Duffy
Synopsis: A hilarious guide to effectively expressing your emotions at the office, finding fulfillment, and defining work-life balance on your own terms. As both organizational consultants and regular people, the authors know what it’s like to experience uncomfortable emotions at work — everything from mild jealousy and insecurity to panic and rage. Ignoring or suppressing what you feel hurts your health and productivity — but so does letting your emotions run wild. The goal in this book is to teach you how to figure out which emotions to toss, which to keep to yourself, and which to express in order to be both happier and more effective.


Title: “Minor Feelings” by Cathy Park Hong
Synopsis: Seamlessly moving between cultural criticism and her own stories, poet Cathy Park Hong dissects her experiences as the American daughter of Korean immigrants in her searing essay collection, “Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning.” She mines both personal and collective adversity in a series of narratives that ask urgent questions about the impact of racism against Asian Americans. Hong’s essays are as impressive in their sharp nuance as they are in their breadth: she writes of her revelations watching Richard Pryor’s stand-up, reflects on how she treats the English language in her poetry, and explores the space made for minorities in American literature, among other subjects. In unpacking the indignity and isolation that she can be made to feel like an Asian American — feelings too often dismissed as “minor” — Hong reclaims her sense of self and calls for compassion.


Title: “Before the Coffee Gets Cold” by Toshikazu Kawaguchi and Geoffrey Trousselot (translator) 
Synopsis: What would you change if you could go back in time? In a small back alley in Tokyo, there is a café that has been serving carefully brewed coffee for more than one hundred years. But this coffee shop offers its customers a unique experience: the chance to travel back in time. In “Before the Coffee Gets Cold,” we meet four visitors, each of whom is hoping to make use of the café’s time-traveling offer, in order to confront the man who left them, receive a letter from their husband whose memory has been taken by early-onset Alzheimer’s, to see their sister one last time, and to meet the daughter they never got the chance to know. But the journey into the past does not come without risks: customers must sit in a particular seat, they cannot leave the café, and finally, they must return to the present before the coffee gets cold. Toshikazu Kawaguchi’s beautiful, moving story explores the age-old question: what would you change if you could travel back in time? More importantly, who would you want to meet, maybe for one last time?

Purchasing or accessing books online

Interested readers can gain free access to these books via ebook or audiobook on Overdrive or Libby at A library card is needed.

You can also support a local business by purchasing the books online or in-store at Blue House Books.

Blue House Books (online ordering available)
5615 7th Ave, Kenosha, WI
Hours: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday-Sunday


Staff Council


Staff Council, Brandi Liantonio