Starting a Book Club? Ask These Questions to Keep the Discussion Moving
by Karen Green
Congratulations! You’ve done all the leg work that starting a book club requires, from putting together a member list to setting out the refreshments for your group to enjoy, and finally the time for your inaugural meeting has come.
The first meeting of a book club sets the expectation for where and when you’d like to continue meeting but it also gives you an opportunity to set the tone and pacing of the meeting. And with a new group comes the possibility of hitting a few obstacles: getting to know one another and how you each relate to a book might be an easy and natural conversation, but there might be some stilted moments—that’s ok!
Here are some questions to ask your book club members to get the discussion going or keep it moving if a conversational kick is needed. Best of all, they apply to pretty much any book you’ll read regardless of genre, so keep this list handy for future reference—though we suspect, like most clubs, you’ll soon find that you run out of time to talk long before you run out of things to talk about.
- Was this book in your reading comfort zone, or was it something you normally wouldn’t have picked up?
- If you could ask the author any question about the book, what would it be?
- What other books did this one remind you of?
- Have you read any other books by this author? Was this book indicative of their style and talent?
- If this book were to be turned into a movie, who would lead your dream casting?
- Was there a particular passage in the book that you know will stay with you?
- If you had to recommend this book to somebody to read, who would it be and why?
- Would this book have been relevant fifty years ago? Will it be relevant 50 years from now?
And if your book club is looking for suggestions for its next read, check out these classic rereleases that will give you plenty to talk about!
Seize the Wind by Heather Graham
Originally published in a 1995 anthology
In this historical romance set north of London, highwaymen attack Kate’s envoy, and Kate is kidnapped. The masked bandits’ leader is a man named Shadow, who is determined to use Kate as a ransom against the Duke of Manning. When she tries to flee, Shadow imprisons her, and makes it clear that he’s in charge. But is her future with a Duke she’s never met? Or with Shadow?
The Hero (Thunder Point) by Robyn Carr
Originally published in 2013
When Devon McAllister takes her daughter and flees to Thunder Point, she has no idea what the future has in store but knows it will be safer than the life they left behind. Widower and single father Spencer Lawson has thrown his energy into his new role as the high school football coach and enjoys his friendship with Devon, but he’s not looking for anything else—even though he is just the kind of man who could heal Devon’s wounded heart.
Man of Fate (The Best Men) by Rochelle Alers
Originally published in 2009
A fender bender seems like a stroke of lousy luck, until attorney Kyle Chatham glimpses the woman who just put a dent in his vintage Jag. The fact that social worker Ava Warrick wants little to do with him only piques his interest. What starts out as simple friendship gives way to blissful, breathless nights—until Ava brings their relationship to a screeching halt. Now that Kyle is ready to commit, he has to convince Ava that their connection is no accident.
Convincing Alex (The Stanislaskis) by Nora Roberts
Originally published in 1994
Soap-opera writer Bess McNee figured the only way to understand a character was to stand in her shoes—even if they were a streetwalker’s stiletto heels. But when Alex Stanislaski arrests her for soliciting, she has a change of heart. She decides to follow the sexy detective around to get “ideas” for her show. Nick is absolutely perfect for her research—and maybe for herself as well. Now all she has to do is convince him she’s right.
The Vanishing (Mystere Parish) by Jana Deleon
Originally published in 2012
Certain death awaits outsiders who enter Cache, a mythical city said to disappear when intruders threaten. But P.I. Max Duhon won’t let the Cajun superstition stop him from going there. He’ll do anything to help Colette Guidry and close this missing person’s case, even admit how attracted he is to his client. But as their investigation deepens, it seems they may have come too close to Cache and its eerie secrets—and dangerously close to each other.
Do you belong to a book club? Tell us about it!