Great Books Lecture Series

The Great Books Lecture Series is an annual speaker series that explores books based on a theme. The lecture series, delivered by academics, explores humanity, diverse views and possibilities through independent presentations on important literary titles as they relate to the series’ annual theme. The series is curated by Paul Chafe of Toronto Metropolitan University.

The theme of Toronto Public Library's 2023 Great Books Lecture Series is Novel Adaptations.

In The Walrus article, Books on TV: Is the Boom in Adaptations a Boon for Authors?, Richard Trapunski writes, "Today, books and TV are part of the same ecosystem, feeding off each other like never before."

Novel Adaptations will take an in-depth look at books and their screen adaptations. What is lost or gained when a book is adapted for film or TV? How does this reinvention change the way books are created, read and valued? With the line between literary and visual arts being crossed and blurred, have tastes and expectations for stories changed?

Upcoming programs

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Past Programs

Watch replays of Great Books Lecture Series programs

Great Books Reading List

Interested in reading some literary classics?

This reading list includes titles referenced by academic presenters in the 2023 Great Books Lecture Series.