Nonfiction Book Group

Nonfiction titles selected cover a wide variety of topics. We meet the third Saturday of the month from 10:00 to 11:00 AM.

Nonfiction Book Group April 2017

Please join the Nonfiction Book Group to discuss:

Also available in: e-book | audiobook | e-audiobook

An eye-opening vision of how our relationship to information has transformed the very nature of human consciousness. A fascinating intellectual journey through the history of communication and information, from the language of Africa's talking drums to the invention of written alphabets; from the electronic transmission of code to the origins of information theory, into the new information age and the current deluge of news, tweets, images, and blogs.

Upcoming sessions

Saturday, April 15 -
10:00 PM to 11:00 PM
Community Room

Nonfiction Book Group March 2017

Please join the Nonfiction Book Group to discuss:

Also available in: e-book | audiobook | e-audiobook

What moves the world is what moves each of us: desire. Jewelry—which has long served as a stand-in for wealth and power, glamor and success—has birthed cultural movements, launched political dynasties, and started wars. Masterfully weaving together pop science and history, Stoned explains what the diamond on your finger has to do with the GI Bill, why green-tinted jewelry has been exalted by so many cultures, why the glass beads that bought Manhattan for the Dutch were initially considered a fair trade, and how the French Revolution started over a coveted necklace.

Upcoming sessions

There are no upcoming sessions available.

Nonfiction Book Group February 2017

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Also available in: e-audiobook

In Dead Presidents, Carlson takes readers on an epic trip to presidential gravesites, monuments, and memorials from sea to shining sea. With an engaging mix of history and contemporary reporting, Carlson recounts the surprising origin stories of the Washington Monument, Mount Rushmore, Grant’s Tomb, and JFK’s Eternal Flame.

Upcoming sessions

There are no upcoming sessions available.

Nonfiction Book Group January 2017

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A room of one's own by Virginia Woolf
Also available in: e-book

In A Room of One's Own, Virginia Woolf imagines that Shakespeare had a sister: a sister equal to Shakespeare in talent, equal in genius, but whose legacy is radically different.This imaginary woman never writes a word and dies by her own hand, her genius unexpressed. But if only she had found the means to create, urges Woolf, she would have reached the same heights as her immortal sibling. In this classic essay, Virginia Woolf takes on the establishment, using her gift of language to dissect the world around her and give a voice to those who have none.

Upcoming sessions

There are no upcoming sessions available.

Nonfiction Book Group December 2016

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Also available in: e-book | audiobook | e-audiobook

Bestselling author Atul Gawande tackles the hardest challenge of his profession: how medicine can not only improve life but also the process of its ending. Medicine has triumphed in modern times, transforming birth, injury, and infectious disease from harrowing to manageable. But in the inevitable condition of aging and death, the goals of medicine seem too frequently to run counter to the interest of the human spirit. Full of eye-opening research and riveting storytelling, Being Mortal asserts that medicine can comfort and enhance our experience even to the end, providing not only a good life but also a good end.

Upcoming sessions

There are no upcoming sessions available.

Nonfiction Book Group October 2016

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The Vanderbilt family patriarch, the Commodore, built a fortune that made him the world's richest man by 1877. Less than 50 years after his death, not a single Vanderbilt descendent was counted among the world's richest people. As Publisher's Weekly noted in the review of this book, "Stories about the author's ancestors have been told before, but not so vividly as in his evocations of the snobbery, ostentation and profligacy.Today's Vanderbilts are not rich-rich; the money is gone with the clan's grand homes, felled by wrecking balls in New York and elsewhere, leaving only memories of a singular time in the American past."

Upcoming sessions

There are no upcoming sessions available.

Nonfiction Book Group September 2016

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Also available in: e-book | audiobook | large print

A loving and hilarious--if occasionally spiky--valentine to Bill Bryson's adopted country, Great Britain. Twenty years ago, Bill Bryson went on a trip around Britain to discover that green and pleasant land. The result was Notes from a Small Island, a true classic and one of the bestselling travel books ever written. Now he has traveled about Britain again, by bus and train and rental car and on foot, to see what has changed--and what hasn't. Following (but not too closely) a route he dubs the Bryson Line, from Bognor Regis in the south to Cape Wrath in the north Bryson rediscovers the wondrously beautiful, magnificently eccentric, endearingly singular country.

Upcoming sessions

There are no upcoming sessions available.

Nonfiction Book Group August 2016

This post contains suggestions for how to earn your Great Outdoors: On the Scene badge.
Learn more and earn badges on the Connect Your Summer page.
Also available in: e-book | audiobook | e-audiobook

Henry David Thoreau's account of his adventure in self-reliance on the shores of a pond in Massachusetts--part social experiment, part spiritual quest--is an enduringly influential American classic. In 1845, Thoreau began building a cabin at Walden Pond near Concord, Massachusetts. The inspiring and lyrical book that resulted is both a record of the two years Thoreau spent in withdrawal from society and a declaration of personal independence. By virtue of its casual, offhandedly brilliant wisdom and the easy splendor of its nature writing, Thoreau's account of his immersion in solitude has become a signpost for the modern mind in an increasingly bewildering world.

Upcoming sessions

There are no upcoming sessions available.

Nonfiction Book Group July 2016

This post contains suggestions for how to earn your Explore History: On the Scene badge.
Learn more and earn badges on the Connect Your Summer page.
Also available in: e-book

The idea that "home" is a special place, a separate place, a place where we can be our true selves, is so obvious to us today that we barely pause to think about it. But, as Judith Flanders shows in her most ambitious work to date, "home" is a relatively new idea. Flanders traces the evolution of the house from the sixteenth to the early twentieth century across northern Europe and America, showing how the homes we know today bear only a faint resemblance to homes though history. Flanders uncovers the fascinating development of ordinary household items--from cutlery, chairs and curtains, to fitted kitchens, plumbing and windows--while also dismantling many domestic myths. 

Upcoming sessions

There are no upcoming sessions available.

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