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Montreal Freethinkers Book Club

  • May 18, 2014 · 12:00 PM


Hello fellow freethinkers. This month we were going to be reading "Stumbling on Happiness" by Daniel Gilbert. This book was suggested by Tim Skene. I am hoping since this is Tim's suggested book, he would not mind leading us into the discussion at the book club.  Below is a description of the book.

A smart and funny book by a prominent Harvard psychologist, which uses groundbreaking research and (often hilarious) anecdotes to show us why we’re so lousy at predicting what will make us happy – and what we can do about it.

Most of us spend our lives steering ourselves toward the best of all possible futures, only to find that tomorrow rarely turns out as we had expected. Why? As Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert explains, when people try to imagine what the future will hold, they make some basic and consistent mistakes. Just as memory plays tricks on us when we try to look backward in time, so does imagination play tricks when we try to look forward.

Using cutting-edge research, much of it original, Gilbert shakes, cajoles, persuades, tricks and jokes us into accepting the fact that happiness is not really what or where we thought it was. Among the unexpected questions he poses: Why are conjoined twins no less happy than the general population? When you go out to eat, is it better to order your favourite dish every time, or to try something new? If Ingrid Bergman hadn’t gotten on the plane at the end of Casablanca, would she and Bogey have been better off?

Smart, witty, accessible and laugh-out-loud funny, Stumbling on Happiness brilliantly describes all that science has to tell us about the uniquely human ability to envision the future, and how likely we are to enjoy it when we get there.

I think we all have our own Idea of what constitutes happiness in our own lives. This book should provide great conversations at this months book club. Tim has also sent me a link to a talk given by the author. If people do not have time to read the book, I would advise watching the video so you can be caught up on the information in the book to make for better discussion.


Come Join your local CFI Montreal Freethinkers at Vego ( Metro station Berri-UQaM), where a book title will be selected for each one of us to read, and then engage in discussions and debates afterward.

Feel free to contact Andrew Cody if you have any questions or suggestions. We will be meeting every third Sunday of the month. If you're not a CFI member yet, please consider joining us today! Click on

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  • Mili

    I'm sorry I have to cancel. I'll be out of town for the week end

    May 16, 2014

  • Ghazal

    What a shame! I will be in Toronto then... I will get the book though! Sounds interesting.

    May 12, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Have begun reading, and am already quite intrigued by the topic.

    May 5, 2014

  • Rena

    I just started reading this book yesterday, what a coincidence :) Looking forward to discussing it.

    April 28, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Won't be able to make it to this once, since I'll still be in Germany. Enjoy!

    April 28, 2014

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