What we're about

The Non-Fiction Book Club is for people looking to read thoughtful intelligent books. If you like to read non-fiction this is the place.

Members suggest titles through the discussion board and when first joining. All non-fiction books are eligible: the authors and books selected do not represent the views of the organizers or members. We learn and develop our critical thinking skills by meeting in respectful dialogue books, people and ideas with which we may disagree. And we like to have fun.

Books selected generally must have 10 copies available in the Toronto Public Library and be under 400 pages. Each month, the group votes on a selection of books through an on-line poll. You can see past polls here (https://www.meetup.com/Non-fictionBookclubToronto/polls/?op=pastlist).

The Non-Fiction Book Club meets at the Toronto Reference Library –which hosts and co- sponsors the group. We also have a satellite club in Mississauga. At the meeting, one or more volunteer facilitators presents a prepared list of questions for discussion.

An optional small donation ($2) is requested to cover the Meetup website costs however meetings are open to the public. The discussions are based on having read the book (there is no presentation or summary), but even if you have not read the book you are more than welcome to come and check out the group. See Discussion Groundrules (https://www.meetup.com/Non-fictionBookclubToronto/messages/boards/thread/28765172).

Books selected cover a wide range of non-fiction topics. Member often share reviews and short related materials before the in-person meetings, which are often followed by lively discussions afterwards at a nearby pub where we have refreshments, socialize and usually digress about more non-fiction books.

Upcoming events (4+)

In the realm of hungry ghosts: close encounters with addiction -- by Gabor Maté

Link visible for attendees

In this timely and profoundly original new book, bestselling writer and physician Gabor Maté looks at the epidemic of addictions in our society, tells us why we are so prone to them and what is needed to liberate ourselves from their hold on our emotions and behaviours. For over seven years Gabor Maté has been the staff physician at the Portland Hotel, a residence and harm reduction facility in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. His patients are challenged by life-threatening drug addictions, mental illness, Hepatitis C or HIV and, in many cases, all four. But if Dr. Maté’s patients are at the far end of the spectrum, there are many others among us who are also struggling with addictions. Drugs, alcohol, tobacco, work, food, sex, gambling and excessive inappropriate spending: what is amiss with our lives that we seek such self-destructive ways to comfort ourselves? And why is it so difficult to stop these habits, even as they threaten our health, jeopardize our relationships and corrode our lives? Beginning with a dramatically close view of his drug addicted patients, Dr. Maté looks at his own history of compulsive behaviour. He weaves the stories of real people who have struggled with addiction with the latest research on addiction and the brain. Providing a bold synthesis of clinical experience, insight and cutting edge scientific findings, Dr. Maté sheds light on this most puzzling of human frailties. He proposes a compassionate approach to helping drug addicts and, for the many behaviour addicts among us, to addressing the void addiction is meant to fill.

═════ Discussion questions:

TBD
Facilitator: Paul Meyer

═════ $$ Donations:

Our events are free but donations are much appreciated. Your money will support our subscriptions to Meetup.com and Zoom. Please consider an e-transfer to [masked], using either https://www.paypal.com or Interac (suggested $2 per event or PWYC). Thanks!

═════ Meeting format:

  • A Zoom link will be sent to registered participants 1-2 days prior to the meeting.
  • Please check your communication settings at https://www.meetup.com/account/comm/Non-fictionBookclubToronto/ to receive updates.
  • We meet to discuss the book after having read it beforehand.
  • A facilitator guides the discussion ensuring that everyone has a chance to speak, one person at a time.
  • Please read our Discussion Groundrules: https://www.meetup.com/Non-fictionBookclubToronto/messages/boards/thread/28765172
  • Warning: Participation in a book club is a dangerous activity. You may encounter opinions different from yours. By joining the group you agree to assume all risks.

═════ Land Acknowledgement:

Toronto is part of the traditional territory of many Indigenous nations and is covered by Treaty 13 with the Mississaugas of the Credit. Learn more:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mississaugas
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toronto_Purchase

1
WestGTA - Travels with Epicurus by Daniel Klein

Link visible for attendees

RSVP is not available for the WestGTA group. If you would like to join us please contact the host, Helen who will send you a Zoom link prior to the meeting.

One of the bestselling authors of Plato and a Platypus travels to Greece with a suitcase full of philosophy books, seeking the best way to achieve a fulfilling old age. Daniel Klein journeys to the Greek island Hydra to discover the secrets of aging happily. Drawing on the lives of his Greek friends, as well as philosophers ranging from Epicurus to Sartre, Klein learns to appreciate old age as a distinct and extraordinarily valuable stage of life. He uncovers simple pleasures that are uniquely available late in life, as well as headier pleasures that only a mature mind can fully appreciate. A travel book, a witty and accessible meditation, and an optimistic guide to living well, Travels with Epicurus is a delightful jaunt to the Aegean and through the terrain of old age led by a droll philosopher.

Blood and daring : how Canada fought the American Civil War and forged a nation

Link visible for attendees

Blood and Daring will change our views not just of Canada's relationship with the United States, but of the Civil War, Confederation and Canada itself.

In Blood and Daring, lauded historian John Boyko makes a compelling argument that Confederation occurred when and as it did largely because of the pressures of the Civil War. Many readers will be shocked by Canada's deep connection to the war--Canadians fought in every major battle, supplied arms to the South, and many key Confederate meetings took place on Canadian soil. Boyko gives Americans a new understanding of the North American context of the war, and also shows how the political climate of the time created a more unified Canada, one that was able to successfully oppose American expansion.

Filled with engaging stories and astonishing facts from previously unaccessed primary sources, Boyko's fascinating new interpretation of the war will appeal to all readers of history. Blood and Daring will change our views not just of Canada's relationship with the United States, but of Confederation itself.

═════ Discussion questions:

TBD
Facilitator: Lyn

═════ $$ Donations:

Our events are free but donations are much appreciated. Your money will support our subscriptions to Meetup.com and Zoom. Please consider an e-transfer to [masked], using either https://www.paypal.com or Interac (suggested $2 per event or PWYC). Thanks!

═════ Meeting format:

  • A Zoom link will be sent to registered participants 1-2 days prior to the meeting.
  • Please check your communication settings at https://www.meetup.com/account/comm/Non-fictionBookclubToronto/ to receive updates.
  • We meet to discuss the book after having read it beforehand.
  • A facilitator guides the discussion ensuring that everyone has a chance to speak, one person at a time.
  • Please read our Discussion Groundrules: https://www.meetup.com/Non-fictionBookclubToronto/messages/boards/thread/28765172
  • Warning: Participation in a book club is a dangerous activity. You may encounter opinions different from yours. By joining the group you agree to assume all risks.

═════ Land Acknowledgement:

Toronto is part of the traditional territory of many Indigenous nations and is covered by Treaty 13 with the Mississaugas of the Credit. Learn more:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mississaugas
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toronto_Purchase

WestGTA - China Unbound by Joanna Chiu

Link visible for attendees

RSVP is not available for the WestGTA group. If you would like to join us please contact the host, Helen who will send you a Zoom link prior to the meeting.
While the United States stumbles, an award-winning foreign correspondent chronicles China’s dramatic moves to become a dominant power.
As the world’s second-largest economy, China is extending its influence across the globe with the complicity of democratic nations. Joanna Chiu has spent a decade tracking China’s propulsive rise, from the political aspects of the multi-billion-dollar “New Silk Road” global investment project to a growing sway on foreign countries and multilateral institutions through “United Front” efforts. Chiu offers readers background on the protests in Hong Kong, underground churches in Beijing, and exile Uyghur communities in Turkey, and exposes Beijing’s high-tech surveillance and aggressive measures that result in human rights violations against those who challenge its power. The new world disorder documented in China Unbound lays out the disturbing implications for global stability, prosperity, and civil rights everywhere.

Past events (266)

WestGTA - Helgoland by Carlo Rovelli

Needs a location

Photos (184)