NOVEMBER: IAN WILLIAMS’ DISORIENTATION: BEING BLACK IN THE WORLD

Bestselling, Scotiabank Giller Award-winning writer Ian Williams brings fresh eyes and new insights to today’s urgent conversation on race and racism in startling, illuminating essays that grow out of his own experience as a Black man moving through the world.

Inspired by the essays of James Baldwin, in which the personal becomes the gateway to larger ideas, Williams explores such things as the unmistakable moment when a child realizes they are Black; the ten characteristics of institutional whiteness; how friendship forms a bulwark against being a target of racism; the meaning and uses of a Black person’s smile; and blame culture—or how do we make meaningful change when no one feels responsible for the systemic structures of the past. With these essays, Williams wants to reach a multi-racial audience of people who believe that civil conversation on even the most charged subjects is possible. Examining the past and the present in order to speak to the future, he offers new thinking, honest feeling, and his astonishing, piercing gift of language.

The Non-Fiction Bookclub is open to all, and meets twice each month to talk about that month’s book. We meet on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays at 2pm. 
2nd Thursday: https://tinyurl.com/UFPbookclub1
4th Thursday: https://tinyurl.com/UFPbookclub2

 

OCTOBER: Isabel Wilkerson’s Caste: The Origins of our Discontents

A portrait of an unseen phenomenon in America, exploring through an immersive, deeply researched narrative and stories about real people, how America today and throughout its history has been shaped by a hidden caste system, a rigid hierarchy of human rankings. Beyond race, class, or other factors, there is a powerful caste system that influences people’s lives and behavior and the nation’s fate. Linking the caste systems of America, India, and Nazi Germany, Wilkerson explores eight pillars that underlie caste systems across civilizations, including divine will, bloodlines, stigma, and more.

Thursday October 14 at 2pm: https://tinyurl.com/UFPbookclub1
Thursday October 28 at 2pm: https://tinyurl.com/UFPbookclub2

September: PEMA CHODRON’s WELCOMING THE UNWELCOME

Insights on how to find common ground, even when we disagree, and influence our environment in positive ways. Sharing never-before told personal stories from her remarkable life, simple and powerful everyday practices, and directly relatable advice, Pema encourages us all to become triumphant bodhisattvas–compassionate beings–in times of hardship.

Thursday September 9 at 2pm: https://tinyurl.com/UFPbookclub1
Thursday September 23 at 2pm: https://tinyurl.com/UFPbookclub2

JUNE: DEEP PLAY, BY DIANE ACKERMAN

This book invites people to look closely at the human saga, and consider how much of it revolves around play. Simple play, elaborate play, crude play, sophisticated play, violent play, casual play. Most animals play. Evolution itself plays with lifeforms. Whole cultures play with customs, ideas, belief systems, and fashions. But it’s a special caliber of play, deep play, that makes thrill-seeking understandable, creativity possible, and religion inevitable. Deep play awakens the most creative, sentient, and joyful aspects of our inner selves. More than anything else, our passion for deep play has made us the puzzling and resplendent beings we are.

There is one gathering this month:
Thursday June 10: https://tinyurl.com/UFPbookclub1

If you are a member, you will also receive the Zoom link in the week of the meeting. If you are a new member, contact Julie to get on the email list. We look forward to welcoming new members.

MAY: DIE WISE, BY sTEPHEN jENKINSON

With lyrical prose, deep wisdom, and stories from his two decades of working with dying people and their families, Stephen Jenkinson places death at the center of the page and asks us to behold it in all its painful beauty. Die Wise teaches the skills of dying, skills that have to be learned in the course of living deeply and well. Die Wise is for those who will fail to live forever.
 
Dying well, Jenkinson writes, is a right and responsibility of everyone. It is not a lifestyle option. It is a moral, political, and spiritual obligation each person owes their ancestors and their heirs. Die Wise dreams such a dream, and plots such an uprising. How we die, how we care for dying people, and how we carry our dead: this work makes our capacity for a village-mindedness, or breaks it.

Thursday May 13 at 2pm: https://tinyurl.com/UFPbookclub1
Thursday May 27 at 2pm: https://tinyurl.com/UFPbookclub2

If you are a member, you will also receive the Zoom link in the week of the meeting. If you are a new member, contact Julie to get on the email list. We look forward to welcoming new members.

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