The Imperial Alumni Book Club is here

Try something new today: connect with fellow Imperial graduates online to read and discuss books. There is no cost to join, you just have to source a copy of the books.

How does it work?

The Club will connect through a private online forum where members can discuss the current book and network with each other. The group will spend about two months on each book, so you'll have plenty of time to read.

Why should you join?

You don't need a reason to pick up a book, but here are three advantages of choosing to read with us:

  1. Take time for yourself to learn something new or discover a book you might not have chosen.
  2. Connect with Imperial alumni over words and ideas, have a conversation and enjoy a good debate.
  3. Benefit from professional moderators and facilitators to make sure you have a great experience and so the chat stays on track.

Our current book:

The Myth of Normal: Trauma, Illness, and Healing in a Toxic Culture by Gabor Maté (January - March 2024).

By the acclaimed author of In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts, a groundbreaking investigation into the causes of illness, a bracing critique of how our society breeds disease, and a pathway to health and healing.

In this revolutionary book, renowned physician Gabor Maté eloquently dissects how in Western countries that pride themselves on their healthcare systems, chronic illness and general ill health are on the rise. Nearly 70 percent of Americans are on at least one prescription drug; more than half take two. In Canada, every fifth person has high blood pressure. In Europe, hypertension is diagnosed in more than 30 percent of the population. And everywhere, adolescent mental illness is on the rise. So what is really “normal” when it comes to health?

Over four decades of clinical experience, Maté has come to recognize the prevailing understanding of “normal” as false, neglecting the roles that trauma, stress and the pressures of modern-day living exert on our bodies and our minds at the expense of good health. For all our expertise and technological sophistication, Western medicine often fails to treat the whole person, ignoring how today’s culture stresses the body, burdens the immune system, and undermines emotional balance. Now Maté brings his perspective to the great untangling of common myths about what makes us sick, connects the dots between the maladies of individuals and the declining soundness of society—and offers a compassionate guide for health and healing. Co-written with his son Daniel, The Myth of Normal is Maté’s most ambitious and urgent book yet.