Book Group

The Swerve (HAT book discussion)

The HAT Book reading group will be discussing the following book on Saturday April 25 2015 at 2:30 at our regular location:

The Swerve: How the World Became Modern

Year/Format: 2011, Book, 356 p., [8] p. of plates
14 holds / 41 copies
Summary/Review:
In this work, the author has crafted both a work of history and a story of discovery, in which one manuscript, plucked from a thousand years of neglect, changed the course of human thought and made possible the world as we know it. Nearly six hundred years ago, a short, genial, cannily alert man in his late thirties took a very old manuscript off a library shelf, saw with excitement what he had discovered, and ordered that it be copied. That book was the last surviving manuscript of an ancient Roman philosophical epic, On the Nature of Things, by Lucretius, a beautiful poem of the most dangerous ideas: that the universe functioned without the aid of gods, that religious fear was damaging to human life, and that matter was made up of very small particles in eternal motion, colliding and swerving in new directions. The copying and translation of this ancient book, fueled the Renaissance, inspiring artists such as Botticelli and thinkers such as Giordano Bruno; shaped the thought of Galileo and Freud, Darwin and Einstein; and had a revolutionary influence on writers such as Montaigne and Shakespeare and even Thomas Jefferson.

If you wish to join us please contact Jodi at 416-925-3395 or HATcoord@gmail.com.

HAT Book Club: Belonging, by Adrienne Clarkson

The HAT Book  group will be discussing the following book on
 Saturday March 21 2015 at 2:30

Call 416-966-1361 or email HATcoord@gmail.com for location

Belonging: the paradox of citizenship

by Adrienne Clarkson

Summary
Never has the world experienced greater movement of peoples from one country to another, from one continent to another. These seismic shifts in population have brought about huge challenges for all societies. In this year's Massey Lectures, Canada's twenty-sixth Governor General and bestselling author Adrienne Clarkson argues that a sense of belonging is a necessary mediation between an individual and a society. She masterfully chronicles the evolution of citizenship throughout the ages: from the genesis of the idea of the citizen in ancient Greece, to the medieval structures of guilds and class; from the revolutionary period which gave birth to the modern nation-state, to present-day citizenship based on shared values, consensus, and pluralism. Clarkson places particular emphasis on the Canadian model, which promotes immigration, parliamentary democracy, and the rule of law, and the First Nations circle, which embodies notions of expansion and equality. She concludes by looking forward, using the Bhutanese example of Gross National Happiness to determine how we measure up today and how far we have to go to bring into being the citizen, and the society, of tomorrow.

Book Discussion: The Caged Virgin

HAT's monthly book group will meet on Saturday, February 7 at 2:30 PM to discuss

The caged virgin: an emancipation proclamation for women and Islam

by Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Email the coordinator or leave a phone message (see HAT contact info) for location.

"Hard-hitting, outspoken, and controversial,The Caged Virginis a call to arms for the emancipation of women from a brutal religious and cultural oppression and from an outdated cult of virginity. It is a defiant call for clear thinking and for an Islamic Enlightenment." -- from the summary in the library catalogue.

HAT Book Club: A Year in Provence

HAT Book Club

A Year in Provence, by Peter Mayle
Discussion on Saturday, December 6th, 2:30 PM
Call 416-966-1361 or email HATcoord@gmail.com for location

Book summary:
Here is the month-by-month account of the charms and frustrations that Peter Mayle and his wife -- and their two large dogs -- experience their first year in the remote country of the Luberon restoring a two-centuries-old stone farmhouse that they bought on sight. From coping in January with the first mistral, which comes howling down from the Rhone Valley and wreaks havoc with the pipes, to dealing as the months go by with the disarming promises and procrastination of the local masons and plumbers, Peter Mayle delights us with his strategies for survival. He manages to transport us info all the earthy pleasures of Provencal life and lets us live vicariously in a tempo governed by seasons, not by days.