Taken from: http://www.thereadingclub.co.uk/discussion-points-for-book-clubs.html
One of the main aims of book clubs is to provide a forum for book
lovers to talk about books they have recently read or all-time
favourites; to discuss and compare interpretations and opinions, and to
gain a better understanding and appreciation of the books through a
communal analysis of characters, themes, setting, plot and background.
it can sometimes be hard to get a good, stimulating discussion going,
no matter how good the book may be and no matter how keen members are.
This is where having a list of good discussion points can be very
helpful in keeping things focused and interesting, while still moving
the discussion forward.
Here are some general discussion points which work well for a variety of novels:
Did the book have any particular themes? - How were the themes
highlighted? - Do you agree with the author’s take on the themes?- Do
the themes blend well together?- Do the themes arise naturally out of
the story or did they seem to be contrived?
- What was different or unique about the story’s setting?- Did the setting enhance or detract from the story?
Were the characters realistic – could you relate to them? E.g. do they
speak in the right voice for their age group or the time period of the
novel?- Did you empathise with the character sand their plight?- Do the
characters evolve or change in the course of the novel? Were the changes
ersonal Impression- Did the book affect you in a
personal way? Did you relate to the characters or circumstances on a
personal level?- Did the book make you question your views on certain
topics? Did you revise any opinions?- Did you gain a new awareness or a
better understanding of certain topics? – - What sort of person do you
think would enjoy this book?- Did you like the book’s cover design – do
you think it suited the book? - Is this book a “keeper”? Would you read
- What do you like or dislike about
the author’s style? - Would you class the style as lyrical, descriptive,
objective or minimalist? - Do you think the story could have been told
better if it was written from a different perspective (e.g.. first
person narrative Vs third person Vs multiple viewpoints? - Did the
author use imagery and symbolism? - Do you think that any literary
devices used enhanced the book or were they just distracting?
- Could this book classified in a ‘genre’?- If so, does it challenge the genre stereotypes in any way?
What kind of historical time period was the story set in? Was it a
realistic image of the past? - How do you think you would have behaved
if you had been faced with those issues, in those times? - Do you feel
the book has dated well? - If the time period is set in the future, was
the book’s vision of the future credible? - Is it an optimistic or
pessimistic vision of the future?
- Do you agree with the reviews of the book? - Did you think it lived up to positive reviews or challenged negative ones?
- Does the story reflect the author’s own life?
Is the story autobiographical in any way?- Is the book better because
the author was able to draw on his own experiences?