Facilitating Discussion: Book Club General Questions

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We’ve all been there at book club, ready to talk about the story, the characters, the plot… then silence. How do you drive the conversation? What do you do for those awkward pauses? Here’s some questions that will help facilitate the discussion.

How would you cast the film version of the book?

What character did you hate/love the most in the book and why?

What emotion were you feeling the moment you finished the book? Sad? Satisfied? Searching?

Was there a part of the book you wish you had written? Do you have any favorite lines?

What outcome did you anticipate that didn’t come to light?

Did this book remind you of any others that you’ve read?

If you could talk to the author, what question would you most like to ask him or her?

Did you learn anything?

Have you read similar books and how does this one compare?

Would you recommend this book to others?

Were you immediately engaged with the book, or did it take you a while?

Does the book remind you of any other books or writers?

Who is your favorite character?

Describe the main characters’ personality traits:
-How has the past shaped their lives?
-Do you admire or disapprove of them?
-Do they remind you of people you know?

Discuss the plot:
-Is the story interesting?
-Is the story plot-driven?
-Is the book a “page turner” or does it unfold slowly?

Discuss the book’s structure:
-Does the timeline move forward chronologically?
-Is it a continuous story – or is it interlocking short stories?
-Is there a single viewpoint or shifting viewpoints?
-Why did the author tell the story this way?

What main ideas or themes does the author explore?

If you were to guess at a formative experience in the author’s life based on this book, what would you guess?

If you were to sum up this book in one tweet, what would you say in 140 characters?

Is the ending satisfying? Has the book changed you? Have you learned something?

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