Recommendations by Karen B.

Book clubs are some of our most popular library programs and rightfully belong on our "core programs" list. In fact, with this month's addition of a Teen Book Club we now have book clubs for every age from 9 to 99!

Most of the time, book clubs discuss fiction, and I'll admit, I'm most comfortable exploring literary and popular fiction with our Adult Book Club. I love talking about plot, literary style and themes, as well as personal insights that take hold as we dig into a new narrative each month. A novel can be a starting point for meaningful social connections, and the best part of leading a book club is seeing people reveal themselves through personal opinions and stories. This connection is what keeps book clubs going and why our fiction book club kits continue to be popular with private book clubs.

But fiction isn't for everyone, and we know that many readers out there love to explore true stories (I see you, true crime lovers!), as well as current affairs, self-help, history, science and religion. We've tried to address these interests by inserting a few non-fiction titles into our regular book clubs, but we've never really explored the breadth of non-fiction the publishing world has to offer.

Happily, we now have a book group for the rest of us--those readers who also like to explore books more grounded in fact. Our new Non-fiction Book Club is unique in that we don't all read the same book each month. Instead, we're focusing on various genres and subjects of interest and sending out reading suggestions each month. The topics for the next few months include Global Diversity Awareness, Personal Finance, and World Issues. We'll explore cautionary as well as inspirational titles, and encourage participants to share their insights and recommendations. I am excited to be able to delve a little deeper into these topics and look forward to hearing more about what our non-fiction readers are choosing. 

Our group has two meeting options: Thursday mornings at 9:30 am at the Peterborough Sport & Wellness Centre or Tuesday evenings at 7:00 pm at the Main Library. Visit our calendar to register.  Whether or not you join our discussions, you may want to challenge yourself to read a non-fiction title each month. Here are a few reading suggestions for Global Diversity Awareness Month in October and our Personal Finance focus in November.

Cover of The Skin We're InThe Skin We're In by Desmond Cole

In his 2015 cover story for Toronto Life magazine, Desmond Cole exposed the racist actions of the Toronto police force, detailing the dozens of times he had been stopped and interrogated under the controversial practice of carding.  This book draws insistent, unyielding attention to the injustices faced by Black Canadians on a daily basis, punctures the bubble of Canadian smugness and naive assumptions of a post-racial nation, and chronicles just one year--2017--in the struggle against racism in this country. 

Unreconciled by Jesse Wente

Unreconciled by Jesse Wente

Unreconciled is a stirring call to arms to put truth over the flawed concept of reconciliation, and to build a new, respectful relationship between the nation of Canada and Indigenous peoples.



Cover of Haben by Haben GirmaHaben: the deafblind woman who conquered Harvard Law by Girma Haben

Haben documents the story of the first deaf and blind graduate of Harvard Law School, tracing her refugee parents' harrowing experiences in the Eritrea-Ethiopian war and her development of innovations that enabled her remarkable achievements. This title definitely belongs on your "inspirational" bookshelf!


Cover of Biased by Jennifer L. EberhardtBiased by Jennifer Eberhardt

With a perspective that is at once scientific, investigative, and informed by personal experience, Dr. Jennifer Eberhardt offers us the language and courage we need to face one of the biggest and most troubling issues of our time. She exposes racial bias at all levels of society—in our neighborhoods, schools, workplaces, and criminal justice system. Yet she also offers us tools to address it.


Cover of The Year of LessThe Year of Less: how I stopped shopping, gave away my belongings, and discovered life is worth more than anything you can buy in a store by Cait Flanders

Flanders, a millennial blogger, recounts her yearlong shopping ban in a memoir that inspires readers to radically simplify their own lives and redefine what it means to have, and be, "enough."


Cover of 55, Underemployed, and faking normal55, Underemployed, and Faking Normal by Elizabeth White

A practical plan for the millions of people in their fifties and sixties who find themselves out of work, unable to find a job, and financially incapable of retiring, Elizabeth White shows how to get past any blame or shame, overcome denial, and find a path to a new normal. With many people facing retirement underprepared, this book is a realistic look at finances for the 50+ crowd.


Cover of Talk Money to MeTalk Money to Me by Kelley Keehn

In this new and updated emergency and pandemic-focused edition, Kelley Keehn tackles how to spend, save, and plan for your future, even in times of economic uncertainty. I like the Canadian content of this book and that Keehn often focuses on women's issues related to personal finance. Keehn is a personal finance educator, media personality, and the author of ten books. She is the financial educator for The Marilyn Denis Show and previously hosted Burn My Mortgage on the W Network.


A final note for adult readers of young adult (YA) fiction: you'll be pleased to know that we're adding our Teen Book Club titles to our book club kits, and you'll soon be able to expand your own book club reading choices to the YA category.