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What Are You Reading in 2015?

January 9, 2015 | Kelli | Comments (2)

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is known for his challenging New Year's resolutions. In past years he has resolved to learn Mandarin, meet a new person every day and wear a tie daily. This year, after collecting suggestions from the Facebook community, he's decided to read a book every other week.  

He has invited everyone to join him in this challenge through his A Year of Books book club and to start with the first book, The End of Power: From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches to States, Why Being in Charge Isn't What it Used to Be by Moisés Naím.


End of power

In The End of Power, award-winning columnist and former Foreign Policy editor Moisés Naím, argues that power is shifting and changing in many areas of society and moving from large, established organizations to newer, smaller groups. Also, power is also becoming harder to use and easier to lose and the potential for upheaval is unprecedented. Drawing on original research and a lifetime of experience in global affairs, Naím investigates that the struggle between those who had power and the new forces challenging them and explains how the end of power is changing our world.

eBook (from OverDrive eBooks)
eBook (from Safari  Books Online- streaming only)


If Mark Zuckerberg's challenge is not for you, consider joining the Toronto Public Library's Online Book Club, BookBuzz.  It's easy to sign up.  All you need to do is go to the registration page, pick a user name and password and enter your email address.   Watch the short video to find out more.  

The BookBuzz book for January 2015 is The Painted Girls by Cathy Marie Buchanan. 

Painted girlsSet in late 19th-century Paris, the Van Goethem sisters find their lives turned upside down after their father's sudden death. Without his income, they may be evicted from their home. With few options for work, Marie and Antoinette begin work at the Paris Opera, Marie is to be trained to enter the ballet and Antoinette finds work as an extra. As Marie throws herself into learning dance, she is soon modelling in the studio of Edgar Degas. Meanwhile, Antoinette, derailed by love,  must choose between honest labour and the more profitable avenues open to a young woman.


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Talking Book (Restricted to print disabled patrons)

If you would prefer to add some variety in the books you read, have a look at the 2015 Book Buzz Reading Challenge. This year's challenge is to read 10 books from 10 different categories. These include: a book published in 2015, a book published in 1815, a book about sports, and a book set in your hometown/childhood home. There are 21 categories in total. You can find out what others are reading, and let the other challenge participants know how you are doing through the Challenge discussion. 

Keeping Track of Your Reading

If you simply want to read more books that in previous years, try using a website like Goodreads, LibraryThing or Shelfari to keep track of the books you read this year. Goodreads has an Apple and Android app, and their own Reading Challenge. Members can indicate how many books they want to read in 2015 and the website will help record them and will indicate if the reader is reading fast enough to complete the challenge on time.

Need Help Choosing Your Next Book?

Of course, we can certainly help you find something to read! Have a look at some of our recent blogs for ideas (listed below), our lists of Award Winners and Bestsellers, or our We Recommend page. You can ask for recommendations at your local branch or through the Ask A Bookhead service.

Don Mills Book Club Welcomes New Members!

December 24, 2014 | Book Buzz | Comments (0)

Don mills libraryThe Don Mills Book Club has been running successfully for many years now. The books are selected by an annual member vote. The majority of the books read are fiction, but we include at least 2 non-fiction titles a year.

When the book club began, the group met one Tuesday evening each month, however, due to the popularity and large size of the group, an additional Thursday afternoon session was added, in September 2009. Both sessions discuss the same book, so members can select which meeting is most convenient for them, since they are not expected to attend both sessions. Normally 14 to 15 members attend each meeting and new members are always welcome! There is no registration and the only requirement is that you read the book and come ready to discuss it.

Last year, author Suzanne Desrochers visited the book club to discuss her book Bride of New France. Everyone enjoyed her talk and a lively question and answer period followed.

The book club meets in the library auditorium on the third week of the month. The book club does not meet in July and August, giving members a break for the summer months.

Damned nations
The next Don Mills Book Club meetings will be held on Tuesday, January 20 from 7:00 – 8:00 pm and Thursday, January 22 from 2:00 – 3:00 pm when the group will discuss the non-fiction book, Damned Nations: Greed, Guns, Armies, and Aid by Samantha Nutt.

Please contact the Don Mills Branch at 416-395-5710 for more information and a complete list of this year’s titles.

Non-Fiction Readers Wanted!

December 22, 2014 | Book Buzz | Comments (0)

S. walter stewartWhen people think of book clubs, they often imagine discussions about literary fiction but there are book clubs for everyone--even people who don't read fiction. 

S. Walter Stewart branch in East York has offered a book club for non-fiction readers for about two years. New members are welcome. This group has read some great books in the past and have a really fantastic schedule for 2015. 

The next meeting is Thursday January 8, 2015 where the book discussion will focus on Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.

Upcoming Reads

I know why the caged bird sings Omnivore's dilemma Into thin air Massey murder

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
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Talking Book: DAISY Format (Restricted to Print Disabled patrons)

The Omnivore's Dilemma: a Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan
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Into Thin Air: a Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster by Jon Krakauer

The Massey Murder: a Maid, Her Master and the Trial that Shocked a Country by Charlotte Gray

Past reads include:

Behind the beautiful forevers Silent spring Wild

Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo
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Talking Book: CD Format (restricted to Print Disabled patrons)

Silent Spring by Rachel Carson

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed
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Talking Book: CD Format (restricted to Print Disabled patrons)

If you need additional information please call 416-396-3975.

Do You Enjoy European Books? We Have the Perfect Book Club for You!

January 27, 2014 | Book Buzz | Comments (2)

Eunic canada

The EUNIC Book Club meets regularly to discuss contemporary European literature. It is a project of the European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC) in Toronto: The Alliance Française, the Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Camões Toronto, and the Goethe-Institut. The books are English translations, and the discussions are in English. This is a wonderful opportunity to discover new international authors.

The next meeting will be held at the Toronto Reference Library, Beeton Auditorium East, on January 28, 2014, from 6:30-7:30. Moderator Joao Pedro Faustino, Lecturer of Portuguese at the University of Toronto, will discuss Joseph Walser’s Machine by Portuguese author Goncalo M. Tavares.

Upcoming Events

Accabadora Lover2 Visitation

February 25, 2014, 6:30-7:30 PM
Toronto Reference Library, Elizabeth Beeton Auditorium
Moderator Alessio Galletti of the Istituto Italiano di Cultura will lead a discussion of Accabadora by Michela Murgia.
Available in:
English eBook
Italian Regular Print

March 19, 2014, 6:30-7:30 PM
Alliance Française de Toronto: Campus de Spadina
24 Spadina Road
Moderator Martha Baillie will host a discussion of L'Amant/The Lover by Marguerite Duras.
Available in:
English Regular Print
English Large Print
French Regular Print

April 17, 2014, 6:30-7:30 PM
Toronto Reference Library, Elizabeth Beeton Auditorium
A discussion of Jenny Erpenbeck's novel, The Visitation, will be moderated by Philipp Schnaase.
Available in:

All are welcome, no registration is required.

Shhh: Book Buzz is Reading Quiet

January 4, 2014 | Book Buzz | Comments (0)

Book Buzz is Toronto Public Library's online book club. It's a lot like a traditional book club except our members communicate online wherever and whenever it's convenient for them. Each month we read and discuss a specific book. We also have an Open Discussion where our members can talk about anything book related.

Quiet 243Our selected book for January 2014 is Quiet: the Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain.

Introverts make up one third of the population--perhaps you're one of them. A typical introvert prefers quiet contemplation to socializing and may feel lost in a world that places value on group collaboration and team work.

Cain attended Princeton and Harvard before becoming a lawyer. While working in the business world, she observed that society is biased towards extroverts while overlooking contributions of introverts. She also realized that her own introversion had a significant positive impact on her own academic and professional success. In Quiet Cain encourages introverts to remain true to their own personalities while providing suggestions for coping with a world that doesn't always appreciate them.

It's a fascinating book that will provide a lot of great discussion.

Please join us this month on Book Buzz.

Victoria Village Book Club

December 29, 2013 | Book Buzz | Comments (0)

Victoria-village-library-01Victoria Village Branch has one of the newest book clubs in the library system. Since its first meeting in October 2013, the club has attracted an enthusiastic group and featured lively discussions about books.

It meets on the first Thursday of the month at both 2 pm and 7 pm. Members can attend either meeting.

2014 promises to be an eventful year for the club with a fascinating lineup of books on the schedule.

January 2, 2014

Train in winter

A Train in Winter: an Extraordinary Story of Women, Friendship and Survival in World War Two by Caroline Moorehead
Talking Book (restricted to Print Disabled patrons)

February 6, 2014

Half blood blues

Half Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan
Talking Book (restricted to Print Disabled patrons)

March 6, 2014

Best laid plans
High road
Up and down

2 PM: Special guest Joseph Romain will be on hand to discuss Toronto Public Library's Spring eh List programs.

7 PM: Author Terry Fallis will talk about his unexpected arrival on the Canadian literary scene and his bestselling novels--The Best Laid Plans, The High Road and Up and Down. His latest novel No Relation will be published in May 2014.

All are welcome to attend this author visit.

April 3, 2014

Emperor of paris

The Emperor of Paris by C.S. Richardson


Toronto Public Library's Keep Toronto Reading One Book selection (to be announced)

Victoria Village Branch is located at 184 Sloan Ave. in North York, close to the Victoria Park Ave. and Lawrence Ave. East intersection.

For more information contact branch staff: 416-395-5950

Winter Contest on Book Buzz

December 19, 2013 | Book Buzz | Comments (0)

Do you like books? Do you like winning prizes? Do you like winning books as prizes? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you should enter the Winter Contest on Book Buzz--Toronto Public Library's online book club.

It's easy to enter. The first thing you need to do is become a member of Book Buzz. Sign up on our registration page. All you need to do is pick a user name, password, and provide us with a valid email address.

The process is quick and easy. This video shows you how it's done.


Once you've become a member, make your way to the Winter Contest 2013 forum. All you need to do is post a message describing the best book you read in 2013. You'll be entered in our draw for one of 10 prize packages. Each prize contains 3 books. If you're one of the winners, you'll be able to select your books from a list of available prizes.

The contest is open to everyone although the prizes available are most suited to adult readers.

Sunshine sketches of a little town Quiet 243

Each month Book Buzz members read and discuss a specific book. This month we're talking about Stephen Leacock's Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town and in January our discussion will centre around the book Quiet: the Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain. 

Please join us and have your say on Book Buzz!

Readers Welcome! Bloor Gladstone's LGBTQ Bookclub

November 30, 2013 | Book Buzz | Comments (3)

Just kidsOne of the newest book clubs in the library system is the LGBTQ Book Club at the Bloor Gladstone Branch.

It was launched in September 2013 and is actively welcoming new members. Featured books are selected by participants with the member who suggested the chosen book taking an active role leading the discussion.

The club meets on the first Wednesday of the month; the next meeting is December 4 at 7 PM. This month's book is the National Book Award winning Just Kids by Patti Smith.

This description from Harper Collins Publishers illustrates why it is one of the most loved books of the past year:

It was the summer Coltrane died, the summer of love and riots, and the summer when a chance encounter in Brooklyn led two young people on a path of art, devotion, and initiation.

Patti Smith would evolve as a poet and performer, and Robert Mapplethorpe would direct his highly provocative style toward photography. Bound in innocence and enthusiasm, they traversed the city from Coney Island to Forty-second Street, and eventually to the celebrated round table of Max's Kansas City, where the Andy Warhol contingent held court. In 1969, the pair set up camp at the Hotel Chelsea and soon entered a community of the famous and infamous—the influential artists of the day and the colorful fringe. It was a time of heightened awareness, when the worlds of poetry, rock and roll, art, and sexual politics were colliding and exploding. In this milieu, two kids made a pact to take care of each other. Scrappy, romantic, committed to create, and fueled by their mutual dreams and drives, they would prod and provide for one another during the hungry years.

Just Kids begins as a love story and ends as an elegy. It serves as a salute to New York City during the late sixties and seventies and to its rich and poor, its hustlers and hellions. A true fable, it is a portrait of two young artists' ascent, a prelude to fame.

To register for the club or to get more information, call Bloor Gladstone Branch at 416-393-7674.

A Book Club for Non-Fiction Readers

November 16, 2013 | Book Buzz | Comments (0)

The Non-Fiction Book Club is for people looking to read thoughtful intelligent books. If you like to read non-fiction this is the place.

Members are notified of meeting dates through the Meetup website. They suggest titles through their Meetup discussion board and also when first joining.

Each month, the group votes on a selection of books through an on-line poll. You can still see past polls here. Books must be available in the Toronto Public Library.

The Non-Fiction Book Club meets at the Toronto Reference Library—which hosts and co- sponsors the group—at the Beeton Auditorium on the first floor. At the meeting, one or more moderators presents a prepared list of questions for discussion.

Meetings are open to the public, however an optional small donation is requested to cover the Meetup website costs. The discussions are based on having read the book, but even if you have not read the book you are more than welcome to come and check out the group.

Books selected cover a wide range of non-fiction topics. The club members’ broad range of experience and interests can lead to some excellent (and surprising) choices. One member exclaims “Our voting system assures that the very best books get picked for discussion - sometimes books I've never heard of, but am delighted to discover.”

Member often share reviews and short related materials before the in-person meetings. You can see from the members' comments that lively discussions usually follow. They sometimes even continue into  the group's online forums.

Past selections include:

               9780307455772_custom-fba7ccb0ce7b42867a246fcac57023e059ab570d-s6-c30          Nafisi_reading[1]

              Filthy-Lucre-Book-Cover        Guns


Non-fiction Book Club

6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Thu Nov 28  
Elizabeth Beeton Auditorium
Toronto Reference Library


North York Central Book Club

December 30, 2012 | Book Buzz | Comments (0)

Toronto Public Library offers book clubs in many of its branches, as well as Book Buzz, the online book club. There is a book club suitable for every reader.

If you're looking for stimulating conversation about books, the North York Central Library Book Club may be just what you need. This club has been running for about a decade and has a committed membership of knowledgeable informed readers.The members who attend are serious readers who enjoy in-depth discussions of the books they read.

This book club discusses recent literary fiction and occasionally non-fiction. The next three books featured are:

January 29, 2013
Hare withthe amber eyes
The Hare with the Amber Eyes: a Family's Century of Art and Loss by Edmund de Waal
Acclaimed British potter Edmund de Waal inherits his Great Uncle Iggie's netsuke collection. This group of 264 little Japanese wood and ivory carvings, first acquired from a Parisian dealer's rooms in the 1870s by a distant relative, becomes the catalyst for de Waal's inquiry into his father's family who had once been wealthy Jewish bankers but lost almost everything under the Nazis.

February 19, 2013


Half Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan
Eighty-three-year-old Sid Griffiths remembers his time during WWII playing in a Berlin jazz band called the Hot Time Swingers. When jazz music is denounced by the Nazis, Sid and his bandmates flee to Paris--a move that put Hieronymous, the band's brilliantly talented trumpeter, in constant danger due to his Afro-German heritage.


March 26, 2013


Fauna by Alissa York
A wide Toronto ravine that bisects the city is home to countless species of urban wildlife, including human waifs and strays. When Edal Jones can't cope with the casual cruelty she encounters in her job as a federal wildlife officer, she finds herself drawn to a beacon of solace nestled in the valley under the unlikely banner of an auto-wreckers yard where the handsome proprietor Guy Howell offers sanctuary to animals and people alike.

The North York Central Book Club meets monthly on Tuesday evenings at 7 pm.

Welcome to The Buzz...About Books -- the official blog of Book Buzz, Toronto Public Library's online book club.