OCTOBER: BRAIDING SWEETGRASS, BY ROBIN WALL KIMMERer

From Chapters indigo:
“A New York Times Bestseller A Washington Post Bestseller Named a Best Essay Collection of the Decade” by Literary Hub As a botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer has been trained to ask questions of nature with the tools of science. As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she embraces the notion that plants and animals are our oldest teachers. In Braiding Sweetgrass, Kimmerer brings these two lenses of knowledge together to take us on “a journey that is every bit as mythic as it is scientific, as sacred as it is historical, as clever as it is wise” (Elizabeth Gilbert). Drawing on her life as an indigenous scientist, and as a woman, Kimmerer shows how other living beings – asters and goldenrod, strawberries and squash, salamanders, algae, and sweetgrass – offer us gifts and lessons, even if we”ve forgotten how to hear their voices. In reflections that range from the creation of Turtle Island to the forces that threaten its flourishing today, she circles toward a central argument: that the awakening of ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgment and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world. For only when we can hear the languages of other beings will we be capable of understanding the generosity of the earth, and learn to give our own gifts in return.”

Come meet with us via Zoom. Two opportunities, both at 2 pm.
Thursday Oct 8: https://tinyurl.com/UFPbookclub1
Thursday Oct 22: 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 emai list. We look forward to welcoming new members.

SEPTEMBER: THE SKIN WE’RE IN: A YEAr of black resistance and power, by desmond cole

From Amazon: “A bracing, provocative, and perspective-shifting book from one of Canada’s most celebrated and uncompromising writers, Desmond Cole. The Skin We’re In will spark a national conversation, influence policy, and inspire activists.

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. The story quickly came to national prominence, shaking the country to its core and catapulting its author into the public sphere. Cole used his newfound profile to draw insistent, unyielding attention to the injustices faced by Black Canadians on a daily basis.

Both Cole’s activism and journalism find vibrant expression in his first book, The Skin We’re In. “

Come meet with us via Zoom. Two opportunities, both at 2 pm.
Thursday Sept 10  https://tinyurl.com/UFPbookclub1
Thursday Sept 25  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 emai list. We look forward to welcoming new members.

June: A Documentary About the Book “Assholes: A Theory”

This month is a documentary about a book, rather than the book itself. Both are called Assholes: A Theory. The book is by Aaron James; the documentary is by directory John Walker

The CBC writes, “With philistine politics and toxic tweets trashing civilization as we know it, the time has come for Assholes: A Theory.”

The documentary is here: https://gem.cbc.ca/media/documentary-specials/episode-98/38e815a-01292c4ead3

We’re meeting once this month, on June 11th, 2pm-4pm, here: 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 emai list. We look forward to welcoming new members.

May: A Paradise Built in Hell, by Rebecca Solnit

Why is it that in the aftermath of a disaster – whether manmade or natural – people suddenly become altruistic, resourceful, and brave? What makes the newfound communities and purpose many find in the ruins and crises after disaster so joyous? And what does this joy reveal about ordinarily unmet social desires and possibilities?

In A Paradise Built in Hell, award-winning author Rebecca Solnit explores these phenomena, looking at major calamities from the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco through the 1917 explosion that tore up Halifax, Nova Scotia, the 1985 Mexico City earthquake, 9/11, and Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. She examines how disaster throws people into a temporary utopia of changed states of mind and social possibilities, as well as looking at the cost of the widespread myths and rarer real cases of social deterioration during crisis. This is a timely and important book from an acclaimed author whose work consistently locates unseen patterns and meanings in broad cultural histories.

The May 14 meeting is here, from 2pm-4pm: https://tinyurl.com/UFPbookclub1

The May 28 meeting is here, from 2pm-4pm: 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 emai list. We look forward to welcoming new members.

April: I’m Right and You’re an Idiot: The Toxic State of Public Discourse and How to Clean It Up, by James Hoggan

The most pressing environmental problem we face today is pollution in the public square, where a smog of adversarial rhetoric, propaganda and polarization stifles discussion and debate, creating resistance to change and thwarting our ability to solve our collective problems.

In “I’m Right and You’re an Idiot”, author and David Suzuki Foundation chair James Hoggan grapples with this critical issue, conducting interviews with outstanding thinkers from the Himalaya to the House of Lords. Drawing on the wisdom of such notables as Thich Nhat Hanh, Noam Chomsky, and the Dalai Lama, his comprehensive analysis explores:

– How trust is undermined and misinformation thrives in today’s public dialogue
– Why facts alone fail — the manipulation of language and the silencing of dissent
– The importance of reframing our arguments with empathy and values to create compelling narratives and spur action.

Focusing on proven techniques to foster more powerful and effective communication, I’m Right and You’re an Idiot will appeal to readers looking for both deep insights and practical advice.

Barbara Herring and Joan Higginson, two of our members, read and recommend this book. Should be a good discussion.

Meetings on April 9 and 23, 2-4pm. April 23 meeting is here: https://tinyurl.com/UFPbookclub2

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