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 (http://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 (http://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)

WestGTA - Adults in the Room by Yanis Varoufakis

Panera Bread

You are welcome to join us - no RSVP is required for your first WestGTA meetup and the wait list is not monitored. If you have any questions about the WestGTA meetings, contact Helen. Adults in the Room: My Battle with Europe's Deep Establishment by Varoufakis sparked one of the most spectacular and controversial battles in recent political history when, as finance minister of Greece, he attempted to renegotiate his country’s relationship with the EU. Despite the mass support of the Greek people and the simple logic of his arguments, he succeeded only in provoking the fury of Europe’s political, financial and media elite. But the true story of what happened is almost entirely unknown – not least because so much of the EU’s real business takes place behind closed doors. In this fearless account, Varoufakis reveals all: an extraordinary tale of brinkmanship, hypocrisy, collusion and betrayal that will shake the deep establishment to its foundations.

Predictably irrational : the hidden forces that shape our decisions - Dan Ariely

Why do our headaches persist after taking a one-cent aspirin but disappear when we take a 50-cent aspirin? Why does recalling the Ten Commandments reduce our tendency to lie, even when we couldn't possibly be caught? Why do we splurge on a lavish meal but cut coupons to save twenty-five cents on a can of soup? Why do we go back for second helpings at the unlimited buffet, even when our stomachs are already full? And how did we ever start spending $4.15 on a cup of coffee when, just a few years ago, we used to pay less than a dollar? When it comes to making decisions in our lives, we think we're in control. We think we're making smart, rational choices. But are we? In a series of illuminating, often surprising experiments, MIT behavioral economist Dan Ariely refutes the common assumption that we behave in fundamentally rational ways. Blending everyday experience with groundbreaking research, Ariely explains how expectations, emotions, social norms, and other invisible, seemingly illogical forces skew our reasoning abilities. Not only do we make astonishingly simple mistakes every day, but we make the same types of mistakes, Ariely discovers. We consistently overpay, underestimate, and procrastinate. We fail to understand the profound effects of our emotions on what we want, and we overvalue what we already own. Yet these misguided behaviors are neither random nor senseless. They're systematic and predictable-making us predictably irrational. From drinking coffee to losing weight, from buying a car to choosing a romantic partner, Ariely explains how to break through these systematic patterns of thought to make better decisions. Predictably Irrational will change the way we interact with the world-one small decision at a time. Meeting format: * 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. * Afterwards we may enjoy non-fictional food & drinks at a nearby establishment. * 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.

WestGTA - Factfulness by Hans Rosling

Panera Bread

You are welcome to join us - no RSVP is required for your first WestGTA meetup and the wait list is not monitored. If you have any questions about the WestGTA meetings, contact Helen. When asked simple questions about global trends—what percentage of the world’s population live in poverty; why the world’s population is increasing; how many girls finish school—we systematically get the answers wrong. Factfulness offers a radical new explanation of why this happens. It reveals the ten instincts that distort our perspective—from our tendency to divide the world into two camps (usually some version of us and them) to the way we consume media (where fear rules) to how we perceive progress (believing that most things are getting worse).

Voices from Chernobyl : the oral history -- by Svetlana Aleksievich

Toronto Reference Library

Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award On April 26, 1986, the worst nuclear reactor accident in history occurred in Chernobyl and contaminated as much as three quarters of Europe.Voices from Chernobyl is the first book to present personal accounts of the tragedy. Journalist Svetlana Alexievich interviewed hundreds of people affected by the meltdown---from innocent citizens to firefighters to those called in to clean up the disaster---and their stories reveal the fear, anger, and uncertainty with which they still live. Comprised of interviews in monologue form,Voices from Chernobyl is a crucially important work, unforgettable in its emotional power and honesty. Meeting format: * 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. * Afterwards we may enjoy non-fictional food & drinks at a nearby establishment. * 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.

Photos (146)