The goal of your book club meeting is to have a fantastic discussion. In order to do this you must be prepared. This goes beyond simply reading the book.
Once you have finished another member's selection, and are ready to prepare for the meeting, read over the book club questions.
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 book club questions as a guide, you'll create a focus for the group discussion.
Whether meeting in person or virtually, you can shape the meeting with the questions you ask. Some of these may overlap with the fiction and nonfictions lists (see columns) which is fine! We are presenting them to you in order of a typical meeting format so you can do the same if it fits your style.
For the Start of the Meeting:
1. Did the story pull you in immediately, or did you have a hard time getting into the book?
2. Did you like the author’s writing style?
3. How did this book make you feel?
4. Did this book make you think differently about anything? Did it introduce you to a new point of view, or any new concepts?
5. Was this book what you expected it would be, based on the summary?
To Ramp Up the Conversation & Engage Everyone:
1. Did any passages in particular stand out to you?
2. Did you relate to any of the characters?
3. Did any of the characters make you upset or angry?
4. How did the story’s setting and time period affect the story?
5. Do the characters have depth? Did you feel you knew them?
6. Was the story original? What makes this book different from other books in the same genre?
7. What was happening in the world when this book was published? Did that affect the book?
8. Do you think the author’s age, culture or upbringing had any impact on the book?
9. Why do you think the author chose to narrate this book the way they did (first person, third person, one viewpoint, multiple viewpoints, etc.)? Was the narrator reliable?
To Wrap-up Your Discussion:
1. Why do you think the author wrote this book? What do you think they wanted readers to get out of it?
2. What do you think was the biggest theme or message?
3. Would you recommend this book to someone else?
4. Would you read another book by this author?
5. Was the book the right length? Were there any parts you wanted the author to expand on, or sections you thought should be shorter?
6. Do you have questions for the author?
7. Did you like the book’s ending? Why or why not?
8. Did anyone else’s thoughts, or the discussion you just had change the way you felt about the book?
While previewing a potential book choice, do you think at least three of the questions have the potential to generate a good discussion?
If your answer is no, be careful about making it your book club selection. It may be a book you want to read on your own, but not one that is suitable for a reading group.
If your answer is yes, chances are the group discussion will be excellent and meaningful!
Check out more guidelines for choosing a book!
Are you looking for questions for a specific genre? If so, try our themed discussion questions.
Can't find a set of questions that fits your needs? Contact us and we can help!