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Book Club: S. Levitsky & D. Ziblatt,  How Democracies Die, Monday, November 2 at 2-4pm

The Club meets on the eve of the American election to discuss this blunt warning of threats to American democracy by leading Harvard experts drawing on experience from countries throughout the world. Here patterns of authoritarian undermining of liberal democracies are laid bare, and a litmus test conducted on Donald Trump. The Club will discuss […]

Book Club, December 7, David Reich, Who We Are and How We Got Here: Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past

December 7:David Reich, Who We Are and How We Got Here: Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past</p< Chair: Sara Shettleworth, with Anthropologist, Susan Pfeiffer The title says it all: this exciting and important book describes how humans spread across the planet, with a cast of characters ranging from Neanderthals, Denisovans, and […]

Book Club, Jan 4: Olga Tokarczuk, Drive your Plow over the Bones of the Dead

Book Club: Jan 4, Olga Tokarczuk, Drive your Plow over the Bones of the Dead Chair:  Linda Hutcheon Touted as a literary murder mystery, this noir novel by the Polish Nobel Prize-winning (2018) writer brings together themes of aging, animal cruelty, and politics of all kinds.  The Guardian review described it as "an astonishing amalgam […]

Book Club: Feb 1, Annette Gordon-Reed and Peter Onuf, Most Blessed of the Patriarchs: Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of the Imagination – For Fellows and External Fellows only

Book Club: Feb 1, Annette Gordon-Reed and Peter Onuf, Most Blessed of the Patriarchs: Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of the Imagination Chair: Marty Klein “With characteristic insight and intellectual rigor, Annette Gordon-Reed and Peter Onuf have produced a powerful and lasting portrait of the mind of Thomas Jefferson. This is an essential and brilliant […]

Book Club: April 6, 2021 at 2:00pm-4:00pm: Thomas King – Green Grass, Running Water – Fellows & External Fellows Only

Book Club: April 6, 2021 at 2:00pm-4:00pm: Thomas King - Green Grass, Running Water - Fellows & External Fellows Only Chair: Maggie Redekop As the author describes this now classic Canadian Indigenous novel: “Strong, sassy women and hard-luck hard-headed men, all searching for the middle ground between Native American tradition and the modern world, perform […]

Book Club: May 3, 2021 at 1:00pm-3:00pm: Edward Glaeser – The Triumph of the City -For Fellows and External Fellows only

Book Club: May 3, 2021 at 1:00pm-3:00pm: Edward Glaeser - The Triumph of the City - For Fellows and External Fellows only Chair: David Milne “Edward Glaeser is one of the world’s most brilliant economists, and Triumph of the City is a masterpiece. Seamlessly combining economics and history, he explains why cities are ‘our species’ […]

Book Club: June 7, 2021 at 2:00pm-4:00pm: James Robert Brown – Who Rules in Science? An Opiniated Guide to the Wars – Fellows & External Fellows Only

Book Club: June 7, 2021: James Robert Brown - Who Rules in Science? An Opiniated Guide to the Wars - Fellows & External Fellows Only. Chair: Phil Sullivan Author: James Robert Brown “This is a wonderful book: funny, learned, intelligent, strong-minded. In a clear and understanding fashion, James Robert Brown introduces us to the battles […]

Book Club: Aug 3, 2021: Northrop Frye – The Educated Imagination – Fellows & External Fellows Only

Book Club: Aug 3, 2021: Northrop Frye - The Educated Imagination Tuesday, August 3 (because of holiday weekend): a classic! Chair: Germaine Warkentin Host: Linda Hutcheon These four brief essays started life as the 1962 Massey Lectures and still stand today as Canada’s acclaimed literary scholar’s most accessible (and enjoyable) exploration of the value of […]

Book Club: September 7, 2021: Pekka Hämäläinen, Lakota America: A New History of Indigenous Power – Fellows & External Fellows Only

Tuesday, September 7 (because of holiday weekend) Among New York Times Critics' Top Books of 2019, the top 10 Best History Books of 2019 by Smithsonian Magazine, and winner of the MPIBA reading of the West Book Award for narrative nonfiction, this is "brilliant, bold, gripping history."  "At first glance it is every inch a […]

Book Club October 4, 2021, at 2-4pm – Fellows & External Fellows Only

Book Club October 4, 2021, at 2-4pm – Fellows & External Fellows Only Walter Isaacson, The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing and the Future of the Human Race, 2021 Chair: Bill Logan We have also enclosed an abbreviated reading (our ‘Coles Notes’) so that those who are pressed for time in managing longer books […]

Book Club November 1, 2021, at 2-4pm – Fellows & External Fellows Only

Book Club November 1, 2021, at 2-4pm – Fellows & External Fellows Only Daniel Mendelsohn, An Odyssey: A Father, A Son, and an Epic, 2017 Chair: Linda Hutcheon (302 pp, available in e-book and audio-book format) Part family memoir, part a study of Homer’s Odyssey, part travelogue, it eloquently tells the story of the author’s […]

Book Club December 6, 2021, at 2-4pm – Fellows & External Fellows Only

Book Club December 6, 2021, at 2-4pm – Fellows & External Fellows Only Max and Monique Nemni,Young Trudeau, 1919-1944: Son of Quebec, Father of Canada, 2006 Chair: David Milne Guest Authors: Max and Monique Nemni (343 pp, Notes=32, available in e-book and audio-book format) “This book shines a light of devastating clarity on French-Canadian society […]

Book Club January  4, 2022, at 2-4pm – Fellows & External Fellows Only – Zoom Only

Tuesday, January 4th (because of New Year holiday) Richard Wrangham, The Goodness Paradox: The Strange Relationship between Virtue and Violence in Human Evolution Chair: Daphne Maurer (377 pp, Notes=80, available in e-book and audio-book format) A fascinating and accessible book on why we don’t kill each other, at least not as often as other primates. Written […]

Book Club February 7, 2022, at 2-4pm – Fellows & External Fellows Only on Zoom

Book Club February 7, 2022, at 2-4pm – Fellows & External Fellows Only   Mary Shelley,  Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus (1818) Chair: Mary Jane Ashley    (104 pp, available in e-book and audio-book format) You’ve seen the movie(s), but have you ever read the book? Medical science (of the 18th century) meets gothic fantasy fiction in a […]

SC Book Club: March 7, 2022, 2-4pm – Fellows & External Fellows Only – Zoom Only

Book Club March 7, 2022, at 2-4pm – Fellows & External Fellows Only Isabel Wilkerson, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents Chair: Marty Klein (476 pp, Notes=81, available in e-book, audio-book, and large print format) Published in 2020 amidst the turmoil of that year’s American election and before the Jan 6, 2021 assault on Congress, […]

SC Book Club: April 4, 2022, 2-4pm – Fellows & External Fellows Only – Zoom Only

Book Club April 4, 2022, at 2-4pm – Fellows & External Fellows Only Sue Roe, In Montmartre: Picasso, Matisse, and the Birth of Modernist Art, 1900-1910 Chair: Meg Fox (365 pp, available in e-book and audio-book format) “In Montmartre is a colorful history of the birth of Modernist art as it arose from one of […]

SC Book Club July 4, 2022, at 2-4pm – Fellows & External Fellows Only – Zoom Only

Zoom

Book Club July 4, 2022, at 2-4pm – Fellows & External Fellows Only Steven Price, Lampedusa (326 pp, available in e-book and audio-book format). Discussion leader: David Milne Brief background discussion leaders: Giuliana Katz (on Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa’s posthumously published 1958 novel, Il gattopardo ) & Linda Hutcheon (on Luchino Visconti’s 1963 film adaptation: […]

SC Book Club September 12, 2022, at 2-4pm – Fellows & External Fellows Only – Zoom Only

Zoom

September 12, 2022, 2-4pm - Fellows and External Fellows Dorothy L. Sayers, Gaudy Night (1935) Discussion Leader:  Germaine Warkentin This distinguished and beautifully written mystery-cum-novel – beloved by academics – is the second-last of Dorothy L. Sayers' eleven mysteries and many stories centering on Lord Peter Wimsey, brilliant second son of a ducal family, shell-shocked hero of […]

SC Book Club October 3, 2022, at 2-4pm – Fellows & External Fellows Only – Zoom Only

Zoom

October 3, 2022, 2-4pm – Fellows and External Fellows Tom Wolfe, From Bauhaus to Our House (1981) Discussion Leader: Lisa Steele After critiquing and infuriating the art world with The Painted Word, award winning author Tom Wolfe shared his less than favourable thoughts about modern architecture in this insightful and witty book. In an examination […]

SC Book Club December 5, 2022, at 2-4pm – Fellows & External Fellows Only – Zoom Only

Zoom

December 5, 2022, 2-4pm – Fellows and External Fellows  Yasha Mounk, The Great Experiment: Why Diverse Democracies Fall Apart and How They Can Endure (2022) Discussion Leader: Max Nemni In this most interesting, well-researched and well-written book noted political philosopher Yasha Mounk, asks two questions: 1) why are many democracies falling apart and 2) how […]

SC Book Club January 9, 2023, at 2-4pm – Fellows & External Fellows Only – Zoom Only

Zoom

January 9, 2023, 2-4pm – Fellows and External Fellows Maggie O’Farrell, Hamnet (also published as Hamnet and Judith) (2021) Discussion Leader: Molly Wills Winner of the National Book Critics Circle award and a New York Times bestseller, this is a fictionalized version of the love and family of Shakespeare (who is never named!) and Anne […]

SC Book Club February 6, 2023, at 2-4pm – Fellows & External Fellows Only – Zoom Only

Zoom

February 6, 2023, 2-4pm - Fellows and External Fellows  Erna Paris, Long Shadows: Truth, Lies and History (2000) Discussion Leader: Monique Nemni                                                                                               We can all read official narratives about certain horrible events that took place in some countries. But how do ordinary people, […]

SC Book Club March 6, 2023, at 2-4pm – Fellows & External Fellows Only – Zoom Only

March 6, 2021, 2-4pm – Fellows and External Fellows Scott Weidensaul, A World on the Wing: The Global Odyssey of Migratory Birds (2021) Discussion Leader:  Sara Shettleworth The author is an accomplished nature writer who has become deeply personally involved in the scientific study of migratory birds, helping to document migratory patterns all over the […]

SC Book Club May 1, 2023, at 2-4pm – Fellows & External Fellows Only – Zoom Only

Zoom

May 1, 2023, 2-4pm – Fellows and External Fellows Kyle Harper, From Shame to Sin: The Christian Transformation of Sexual Morality in Late Antiquity (2013) Discussion Leader: David Milne It is rare event for the Book Club to favour two books by the same author in its Program. Here the honour goes to the remarkable […]

SC Book Club June 5, 2023, at 2-4pm – Fellows & External Fellows Only – Zoom Only

Zoom

June 5, 2023, 2-4pm, - Fellows and External Fellows Steven Johnson, The Ghost Map: The Story of London’s Most Terrifying Epidemic – and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World (2006) Discussion Leader: William Logan The Ghost Map is a gripping multi disciplinary account of London’s cholera epidemic in the 1850s and how […]

SC Book Club September 11, 2023, at 2-4pm – Fellows & External Fellows Only – Zoom Only

Zoom

Book Club: September 11, 2023, 2023, 2-4pm – Fellows and External Fellows - Zoom only.  David Graeber and David Wengrow, The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity (2021) Discussion Leaders: Daphne Maurer, Susan Pfeiffer. This book is a trailblazing account of humans through time, challenging our most fundamental assumptions about our remote ancestors […]

SC Book Club October 2, 2023, at 2-4pm – Fellows & External Fellows Only – Zoom Only

Zoom

Book Club: October 2, 2023, 2023, 2-4pm – Fellows and External Fellows - Zoom only.  Tom Stoppard, Arcadia (1993) Discussion leader: Alexander Leggatt Even if you haven’t read a play for a while (Shakespeare, perhaps?), the Book Club’s first dramatic work, Arcadia, will prove an absorbing and hilarious bringing together on stage of the past […]

Book Club November 6, 2023, 2-4pm – Fellows and External Fellows – Zoom only

Zoom

November 6, 2023, 2-4pm – Fellows and External Fellows Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species (1859) Discussion Leader: Sara Shettleworth Widely regarded as one of the most important books ever published, ‘The Origin’ sold out on the day of publication. It sold 3800 copies in its first year and in Darwin’s lifetime was reprinted […]

Book Club: December 4, 2023, 2-4pm – Fellows and External Fellows – Zoom only

Zoom

December 4, 2023, 2-4pm – Fellows and External Fellows Jennifer Raff, Origin: A Genetic History of the Americas (2022) Discussion Leader: Susan Pfeiffer Where did the Indigenous people of the Americas come from and what were the patterns of migration by which they came to populate the continents? Although the title refers to genetics, such […]

Book Club: January 8, 2024, 2-4pm – Fellows and External Fellows Zoom only

Zoom

January 8, 2024, 2-4pm – Fellows and External Fellows Kevin Rudd, The Avoidable War: The Dangers of a Catastrophic Conflict between US and Xi Jinping's China (2022) Discussion Leaders: Max Nemni and David Milne This book written by China expert and well-known former Australian PM Kevin Rudd is widely regarded as the best analysis of […]

Book Club: February 12, 2024, 2-4pm – Fellows and External Fellows- Zoom only – new date*

Zoom

February 12, 2024, 2-4pm - Fellows and External Fellows Alistair MacLeod, No Great Mischief (1999) Discussion Leader: Meg Fox The first (and only) novel by a great Canadian short story writer, No Great Mischief (1999) was published when Alistair MacLeod was in his mid-sixties. Chronicling the lives of several generations of Scottish immigrants on Cape […]

Book Club: March 4, 2024, 2-4pm – Fellows and External Fellows

Zoom

March 4, 2024, 2-4pm – Fellows and External Fellows Ed Yong, An Immense World: How Animal Senses Reveal the Hidden Realms Around Us (2022) Discussion Leader: Sara Shettleworth This book is filled with strange creatures and strange experiments; Yong is interested in what animals perceive, what they might communicate to us if they could. Humans […]

Book Club: April  1, 2024, 2-4pm – Fellows and External Fellows – Zoom only

Zoom

April  1, 2024, 2-4pm – Fellows and External Fellows  William Carlsen, Jungle of Stone: The Extraordinary Journey of John L. Stephens and Frederick Catherwood and The Discovery of the Lost Civilization of the Maya (2017) Discussion Leader: Jim Gurd This book by journalist and Pulitzer Prize finalist William Carlsen, who follows in the footsteps of […]

Book Club: May 6, 2024, 2-4pm – Fellows and External Fellows – Zoom only

Zoom

May 6, 2024, 2-4pm – Fellows and External Fellows  Siddhartha Mukherjee, The Song of the Cell: An Exploration of Medicine and The New Human (2022) Discussion Leader: William Logan Mukherjee is an accomplished and engaging writer and an oncologist who won a Pulitzer Prize for his earlier book on cancer. Here he presents the history […]

Book Club: June 3, 2024, 2-4pm, – Fellows and External Fellows

Zoom

June 3, 2024, 2-4pm, - Fellows and External Fellows Helen Macdonald, H Is for Hawk (2014) Discussion leader: Peter Alberti Are you ready for a strange but compelling read? Already a classic of nature writing, this award-winning work is also the unflinchingly honest memoir of a young British poet and historian who retreats from the […]