Skip to content
Archive of posts tagged Nonfiction

Smile at Strangers, And Other Lessons in the Art of Living Fearlessly by Susan Schorn

Discussion topics, questions, and activities for book clubs and reading groups from author Susan Schorn: Safety information and misinformation 1. In an early chapter of Smile at Strangers, I describe some not-very-helpful self defense emails I have received, and why they are counter-productive to our safety. What kinds of self defense advice (helpful or not!) [...]

Beyond Religion by His Holiness the Dalai Lama

In his latest book, His Holiness the Dalai Lama proposes a system of secular ethics to fit the demands of the modern world. With respect for religious and global diversity and careful observance of the benefits of religious faith, he calls for us to move beyond religion in order to cultivate a universal system of [...]

The Tigress of Forli by Elizabeth Lev

About the Book The astonishing life of a long-misunderstood Renaissance virago Wife, mother, leader, warrior. Caterina Riario Sforza was one of the most prominent women in Renaissance Italy—and one of the most vilified. In this glittering biography, Elizabeth Lev reexamines her extraordinary life and accomplishments. Raised in the court of Milan and wed at age [...]

Eating for Beginners by Melanie Rehak

Introduction Melanie Rehak was always a passionate cook and food lover. After reading the likes of Michael Pollan, Eric Schlosser, and Wendell Berry, she tried to eat thoughtfully as well. But after the birth of her son, Jules, she wanted to know more: What mattered most, organic or local? Who were these local farmers? Was [...]

Whatever It Takes by Paul Tough

What would it take? That was the question that Geoffrey Canada found himself asking. What would it take to change the lives of poor children—not one by one, through heroic interventions and occasional miracles, but in big numbers, and in a way that could be replicated nationwide? The question led him to create the Harlem [...]

The Pattern in the Carpet by Margaret Drabble

  Introduction The Pattern in the Carpet: A Personal History with Jigsaws is an original and brilliant work. Margaret Drabble weaves her own story into a history of games, in particular jigsaws, which have offered her and many others relief from melancholy and depression. Alongside curious facts and discoveries about jigsaw puzzles—did you know that [...]

Saddled by Susan Richards

Reading Group Guide for Saddled by Susan Richards Introduction One day, at the age of thirty-one, Susan Richards realized that she was an alcoholic. She wrote it down in her journal, struck by the fact that it had taken nine years of waking up hung-over to name her illness. What had changed? Susan had a [...]

The Sisters Antipodes by Jane Alison

Introduction When Jane Alison was a child, her family met another that seemed like its mirror: a father in the Foreign Service, a beautiful mother, and two little girls. The youngest girls from each family — one of them Jane — even shared a birthday. With so much in common, the two families became almost [...]

Hungry Monkey by Matthew Amster-Burton

Introduction Hungry Monkey is the story of one man’s coming to realize that kids don’t need puree in a jar or special menus at restaurants and that raising an adventurous eater is about exposure, invention, and patience. A restaurant critic and food writer, now a stay-at-home dad, Amster-Burton writes of the highs and lows of [...]

Scent of the Missing by Susannah Charleson

Introduction In the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing, Susannah Charleson clipped a photo from the newspaper: an exhausted canine handler, face buried in the fur of his search-and-rescue dog. A dog lover and pilot with search experience herself, Susannah was so moved by the image that she decided to volunteer with a local canine [...]