A little over a year ago, a fellow Southwest Employee started a book club. Colleen Campbell, our Book Club Founder, has the daunting day job of Manager of Financial Control here at Southwest. As you can imagine, her responsibilities are quite different from my duties as a Culture Chick! Although our jobs may be worlds apart, we both enjoy reading and have assembled an incredibly fun and successful group.
Some of our "members" use our book club as a great excuse to get together with a fun bunch of women and drink wine; others take our book selections quite seriously and always read the selection of the month. Having people with both viewpoints allows us to have some terrific book discussions without taking ourselves too seriously. Since starting our club last October, we've also added a couple of other Southwest Employees to the group: Julie North is a Senior Benefits Design Analyst for SWA; and Karie O'Keefe is our Manager of Emergency Response. We've all invited friends outside of SWA to join, as well, and we now have two teachers (kindergarten and third grade); a dentist; a nurse; an event planner; an assitant controller; and a corporate trainer.
Book Club night is one of my favorite social nights each month. What a neat group of diverse, smart, and funny women we've brought together! One of my favorite things about my book club (besides the company, of course) is the fact that we sometimes pick books that I never would have chosen myself. We've tackled everything from Blindness to Little Earthquakes, and just about everything in between.
Right now, we're reading Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. It might take us a while, but we're a determined bunch, and our plan is to finish it before Colleen's wedding on May 19. (If we don't hit that goal, our secondary deadline is to complete the book before the movie (starring Angelina Jolie) is released! Some of the other titles we've read over the past year include: Breakfast at Tiffany's; Blink; The Kite Runner; My Sister's Keeper; Julie & Julia; I Know This Much Is True; The Memory Keeper's Daughter; Freakonomics; The Time Traveler's Wife; and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (just to name a few!).
I love having a fun group of people with whom to discuss books; and I especially love having a good excuse to go to dinner and have a glass of wine with some of my favorite gals!