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: June

Please note: the group is meeting one week earlier than usual this month. Join us Saturday, June 12, 2021 at 10:00 AM via Zoom video conference as the Nonfiction Book Group discusses: 

In The Comedians, comedy historian Kliph Nesteroff brings to life a century of American comedy with real-life characters, forgotten stars, mainstream heroes and counterculture iconoclasts. Nesteroff's groundbreaking work is a narrative exploration of the way comedians have reflected, shaped, and changed American culture over the past one hundred years. 

Starting with the vaudeville circuit at the turn of the last century, Nesteroff introduces the first stand-up comedian - an emcee who abandoned physical shtick for straight jokes. After the repeal of Prohibition, Mafia-run supper clubs replaced speakeasies, and mobsters replaced vaudeville impresarios as the comedian's primary employer. In the 1950s, the late-night talk show brought stand-up to a wide public, while Lenny Bruce, Mort Sahl, and Jonathan Winters attacked conformity and staged a comedy rebellion in coffeehouses. 

From comedy's part in the Civil Rights movement and the social upheaval of the late 1960s, to the first comedy clubs of the 1970s and the cocaine-fueled comedy boom of  the 1980s,  The Comedians culminates with a new era of media-driven celebrity in the twenty-first century.

This book is immediately available on Hoopla in e-book format. If you would like to reserve a print copy, call us at 734-397-0999 to place a copy on hold. 

Registered participants will receive an email two days before the program with a link to attend the discussion. To help you make the most of your virtual program experience we have compiled some tips and resources.

Upcoming sessions

Saturday, June 12 - 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM Online The Comedians: Drunks, Thieves, Scoundrels, and the History of American Comedy

Nonfiction Book Group: May

Join us Saturday, May 15, 2021 at 10:00 AM via Zoom video conference as the Nonfiction Book Group discusses: 

Also available in: e-book | e-audiobook

Why do our headaches persist after we take a one-cent aspirin but disappear when we take a fifty-cent aspirin? Why do we splurge on a lavish meal but cut coupons to save twenty-five cents on a can of soup? When it comes to making decisions in our lives, we think we're making smart, rational choices. But are we? In this newly revised and expanded edition of the groundbreaking New York Times bestseller, Dan Ariely refutes the common assumption that we behave in fundamentally rational ways. From drinking coffee to losing weight, from buying a car to choosing a romantic partner, we consistently overpay, underestimate, and procrastinate. Yet these misguided behaviors are neither random nor senseless. They're systematic and predictable-making us predictably irrational.

This book is immediately available on Hoopla in e-book format. If you would like to reserve a print copy, you may stop in to pick one up. Curbside pick up of materials is also available.

Registered participants will receive an email two days before the program with a link to attend the discussion. To help you make the most of your virtual program experience we have compiled some tips and resources.

Upcoming sessions

Saturday, May 15 - 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM Online

Nonfiction Book Group: April

Join us Saturday, April 17, 2021 at 10:00 AM via Zoom video conference as the Nonfiction Book Group discusses:   

Also available in: e-book | audiobook

A sensational and entertaining memoir of the world's most notorious jewel thief--a woman who defied society's prejudices and norms to carve her own path, stealing from elite jewelers to live her dreams. 

Growing up during the Depression in the segregated coal town of Slab Fork, West Virginia, Doris Payne was told her dreams were unattainable for poor black girls like her. Surrounded by people who sought to limit her potential, Doris vowed to turn the tables after the owner of a jewelry store threw her out when a white customer arrived. Neither racism nor poverty would hold her back; she would get what she wanted and help her mother escape an abusive relationship. Using her southern charm, quick wit, and fascination with magic as her tools, Payne began shoplifting small pieces of jewelry from local stores. Over the course of six decades, her talents grew with each heist. Becoming an expert world-class jewel thief, she daringly pulled off numerous diamond robberies and her Jewish boyfriend fenced the stolen gems to Hollywood celebrities. Doris's criminal exploits went unsolved well into the 1970s--partly because the stores did not want to admit that they were duped by a black woman. Eventually realizing Doris was using him, her boyfriend turned her in. She was arrested after stealing a diamond ring in Monte Carlo that was valued at more than half a million dollars. But even prison couldn't contain this larger-than-life personality who cleverly used nuns as well as various ruses to help her break out. 

This book is immediately available on Hoopla in e-book format. If you would like to reserve a print copy, you may stop in to pick one up or call 734-397-0999 and select option 4. Curbside pick up of materials is also available.

Registered participants will receive an email two days before the program with a link to attend the discussion. To help you make the most of your virtual program experience we have compiled some tips and resources.

Upcoming sessions

There are no upcoming sessions available.

Nonfiction Book Group: March

Join us Saturday, March 20, 2021 at 10:00 AM via Zoom video conference as the Nonfiction Book Group discusses:   

 

You and I eat the same [electronic resource] by Chris Ying and René Redzepi
Also available in: e-book

Good food is the common ground shared by all of us, and immigration is fundamental to good food. In eighteen thoughtful and engaging essays and stories, You and I Eat the Same explores the ways in which cooking and eating connect us across cultural and political borders, making the case that we should think about cuisine as a collective human effort in which we all benefit from the movement of people, ingredients, and ideas. An awful lot of attention is paid to the differences and distinctions between us, especially when it comes to food. But the truth is that food is that rare thing that connects all people, slipping past real and imaginary barriers to unify humanity through deliciousness. Don't believe it? Read on to discover more about the subtle (and not so subtle) bonds created by the ways we eat. 

This book is immediately available on Hoopla in e-book formatIf you would like to reserve a print copy, you may stop in to pick one up or call 734-397-0999 and select option 4. Curbside pick up of materials is also available.

Registered participants will receive an email two days before the program with a link to attend the discussion. To help you make the most of your virtual program experience we have compiled some tips and resources.

Upcoming sessions

There are no upcoming sessions available.

Nonfiction Book Group: February

Join us Saturday, February 20, 2021 at 10:00 AM via Zoom video conference as the Nonfiction Book Group discusses:   

 

Also available in: e-book | audiobook

Once in a great while a book comes along that changes the way we see the world and helps to fuel a nationwide social movement. The New Jim Crow is such a book. This book directly challenges the notion that the election of Barack Obama signals a new era of colorblindness. With dazzling candor, legal scholar Michelle Alexander argues that 'we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it.' By targeting black men through the War on Drugs and decimating communities of color, the U.S. criminal justice system functions as a contemporary system of racial control-relegating millions to a permanent second-class status-even as it formally adheres to the principle of colorblindness. In the words of Benjamin Todd Jealous, president and CEO of the NAACP, this book is a 'call to action.'

This book is immediately available on Hoopla in e-book and e-audiobook formats. If you would like to reserve a print copy, you may stop in to pick one up or call 734-397-0999 and select option 4. Curbside pick up of materials is also available.

Registered participants will receive an email one day before the program with a link to attend the discussion. To help you make the most of your virtual program experience we have compiled some tips and resources.

Upcoming sessions

There are no upcoming sessions available.

Nonfiction Book Group: January

Join us Saturday, January 16, 2021 at 10:00 AM via Zoom video conference as the Nonfiction Book Group discusses: 

Also available in: e-book | audiobook

In our unique genomes, every one of us carries the story of our species - births, deaths, disease, war, famine, migration, and a lot of sex. But those stories have always been locked away-until now. Who are our ancestors? Where did they come from? Geneticists have suddenly become historians, and the hard evidence in our DNA has blown the lid off what we thought we knew. Acclaimed science writer Adam Rutherford explains exactly how genomics is completely rewriting the human story - from 100,000 years ago to the present.

This book is immediately available on Hoopla in e-book and e-audiobook formats. If you would like to reserve a print copy, you may stop in to pick one up or call 734-397-0999 and select option 4. Curbside pick up of materials is also available.

Registration ends on January 14th.  Registered participants will receive an email one day before the program with a link to attend the discussion. To help you make the most of your virtual program experience we have compiled some tips and resources.

Upcoming sessions

There are no upcoming sessions available.

Nonfiction Book Group: December

 

Join us Saturday December 19, 2020 at 10:00 AM via Zoom video conference as the Nonfiction Book Group discusses: 

We often think of our capacity to experience the suffering of others as the ultimate source of goodness. Many of our wisest policy-makers, activists, scientists, and philosophers agree that the only problem with empathy is that we don't have enough of it. Nothing could be farther from the truth, argues Yale researcher Paul Bloom. In Against Empathy, Bloom reveals empathy to be one of the leading motivators of inequality and immorality in society. Far from helping us to improve the lives of others, empathy is a capricious and irrational emotion that appeals to our narrow prejudices. It muddles our judgment and, ironically, often leads to cruelty. We are at our best when we are smart enough not to rely on it, but to draw instead upon a more distanced compassion. Without empathy, Bloom insists, our decisions would be clearer, fairer, and-yes-ultimately more moral. 

This book is immediately available on Hoopla in e-book format. If you would like to reserve a print copy, you may stop in to pick one up or call 734-397-0999 and select option 4. Curbside pick up of materials is also available.

Registered participants will receive an email one day before the program with a link to attend the discussion. To help you make the most of your virtual program experience we have compiled some tips and resources.

 

Upcoming sessions

There are no upcoming sessions available.

Nonfiction Book Group: November

 

Join us Saturday, November 21, 2020 at 10:00 AM via Zoom video conference as the Nonfiction Book Group discusses: 

Also available in: e-book

By the end of an average day in the early twenty-first century, human beings searching the internet will amass eight trillion gigabytes of data. This staggering amount of information--unprecedented in history--can tell us a great deal about who we are--the fears, desires, and behaviors that drive us, and the conscious and unconscious decisions we make. From the profound to the mundane, we can gain astonishing knowledge about the human psyche that less than twenty years ago, seemed unfathomable. Everybody Lies offers fascinating, surprising, and sometimes laugh-out-loud insights into everything from economics to ethics to sports to race to sex, gender and more, all drawn from the world of big data.

This book is immediately available on Hoopla in e-book format. If you would like to reserve a print copy, you may stop in to pick one up or call 734-397-0999 and select option 4. Curbside pick up of materials is also available.

Registered participants will receive an email one day before the program with a link to attend the discussion. To help you make the most of your virtual program experience we have compiled some tips and resources.

Upcoming sessions

There are no upcoming sessions available.

Nonfiction Book Group: October

Join us for a live virtual program on Saturday, October 17, 2020, at 10:00AM via Zoom video conference as the Nonfiction Book Group discusses: 

Also available in: e-book

A Rift in the Earth tells the remarkable story of the ferocious "art war" that raged between 1979 and 1984 over what kind of memorial should be built to honor the men and women who died in the Vietnam War. The story intertwines art, politics, historical memory, patriotism, racism, and a fascinating set of characters, from those who fought in the conflict and those who resisted it to politicians at the highest level. At its center are two enduring figures: Maya Lin, a young, Asian-American architecture student at Yale whose abstract design won the international competition but triggered a fierce backlash among powerful figures; and Frederick Hart, an innovative sculptor of humble origins on the cusp of stardom.

This book is available immediately on Hoopla in e-book format. If you would like to reserve a print copy, please call 734-397-0999 and select option 4.

Registered participants will receive an email one day before the program with a link to attend the discussion. To help you make the most of your virtual program experience we have compiled some tips and resources.

Upcoming sessions

There are no upcoming sessions available.

Nonfiction Book Group: September

Join us for a live virtual program on Saturday, September 19, 2020 at 10:00AM via Zoom video conference as the Nonfiction Book Group discusses: 

Also available in: e-book | e-audiobook

When Jennifer McGaha discovered that she and her husband owed back taxes-a lot of back taxes-her world changed. Now desperate to save money, they foreclosed on their beloved suburban home and moved their family to a one-hundred-year-old cabin in a North Carolina holler. Soon enough, Jennifer's life began to more closely resemble the lives of her Appalachian ancestors than the life she experienced in her middle class upbringing. But what started as a last-ditch effort to settle debts became a journey that revealed both the joys and challenges of living close to the land.

This book is immediately available on Hoopla in e-book and e-audiobook formats. If you have registered for the program and would like to reserve a print copy, please call 734-397-0999 and select option 4. 

Registered participants will receive an email one day before the program with a link to attend the discussion. To help you make the most of your virtual program experience we have compiled some tips and resources.  

Upcoming sessions

There are no upcoming sessions available.

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