26 April 2009

Book Club: Discussion Guide

Book clubs are great for stimulating conversation! As with any group though, the focus can shift a bit and frustration can set in if expectations are unmet. Any group can reinvent itself as it evolves over time, but to maintain your identity as a book club, consider a standard set of questions to apply to your reading and discussions.

The list of discussion questions for fiction

  1. Which character do you like the most and why? The least and why?
  2. What passage from the book stood out to you?
  3. Are there situations and/or characters you can identify with, if so how?
  4. Did you learn something you didn’t know before?
  5. Do you feel as if your views on a subject have changed by reading this text?
  6. Have you had a life changing revelation from reading this text?
  7. What major emotion did the story evoke in you as a reader?
  8. At what point in the book did you decide if you liked it or not? What helped make this decision?
  9. Name your favorite thing overall about the book. Your least favorite?
  10. If you could change something about the book what would it be and why?
  11. Describe what you liked or disliked about the writer’s style?
Which ones lend themselves best to the book you’ve just finished? Remember, you don’t have to ask and answer every single question! You may find that with some books you can answer them all and with others you may focus on only one or two. If you use the questions as a book club study guide, you’ll create a focus for the group discussion.

Nonfiction Book Club Discussion Questions
There are many different types of nonfiction book club reads so these questions will aim at the general nonfiction book.

  1. Did you admire or detest this person? Why? (Biography or Autobiography)
  2. What life lesson can be learned from this event or story? (General Nonfiction)
  3. Did the book read like a story, a newspaper article, a report, something else? Give examples. (General Nonfiction)
  4. What one new fact did you learn from reading this book? (General Nonfiction)
  5. What was the motivation for the writing of this book? (General but great for Bio or Auto Bio)
  6. Did you feel this book truly belonged in the nonfiction genre? (Memoir)
  7. Was the point of the book to share an opinion, explain a topic, tell about a personal journey, or something else? Did the author do it well? (General Nonfiction)
  8. What part of this book inspired you in some way? Explain. (Motivational, Self Help)
  9. Will you read other books by this author? Why or why not? (General Nonfiction)
  10. Did this book change your life in a positive or negative way? Explain (General Nonfiction)
Extracted from book-club-queen.com

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