Book Club Discussion: A Man Called Ove

Welcome to the Book Club discussion for A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. Below is a list of discussion questions to get the conversation started. We are excited to hear your thoughts in the comments section below. Feel free to answer all the questions, or pick and choose a few questions to discuss!

  • How does the opening scene, in which Ove attempts to purchase a computer, succinctly express the main points of Ove’s ongoing battle with the stupidities of the modern world?
  • As readers, we get to know Ove slowly, with his past only being revealed piece by piece. What surprised you about Ove’s past? Why do you think the author revealed Ove’s past the way that he did?
  • What do you think of Ove’s relationship with the mangy cat he adopts? What does the cat allow him to express that he couldn’t otherwise say?
  • On page 246, the author muses that when people don’t share sorrow, it can drive them apart. Do you agree with this? Why or why not?
  • Ove and Sonja’s love story is one of the most affecting, tender parts of the book. What is the key to their romance? Why do they fit so well together?

Questions from publisher’s website

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Book Club Discussion: Homegoing

Welcome to the Book Club discussion for Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. Below is a list of discussion questions to get the conversation started. We are excited to hear your thoughts in the comments section below. Feel free to answer all the questions, or pick and choose a few questions to discuss!

  • Why do you think that the author chose the word Homegoing for the title? What is a homegoing and where does it appear in the novel?
  • What role does marriage play within the cultures represented in the novel and how are the women treated as a result?  In its depiction of the collective experiences of the female characters, what does the book seem to reveal about womanhood?
  • Why do you think the author assigned a chapter to each of the major characters? Does any single point of view seem to stand out among the rest or do you believe that the author presented a balanced point of view?
  • What significance does naming have in the book? Why do some of the characters have to change or give up their names?

 

Questions from publisher’s website.

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Book Club Discussion: Winter Garden

Welcome to the Book Club discussion for Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah. Below is a list of discussion questions to get the conversation started. We are excited to hear your thoughts in the comments section below. Feel free to answer all the questions, or pick and choose a few questions to discuss!

 

  • This novel explores a complicated and strained relationship between two sisters. Do you think Meredith is justified in being so angry with Nina? In what ways are the sisters different and in what ways are they alike?
  • Anya Whitson is color blind and cannot see the colors in her winter garden. Why do you think the author gave the character this particular trait? In what ways is it a metaphor for what Anya has gone through in her life? Do you believe it is a physiological blindness or a psychological one?
  • Food is an important element in this novel. Obviously, Anya loves to cook. Why doesn’t she teach this to her daughters?
  • Winter Garden teaches us that it is never too late to say “I love you.” Meredith and Nina waited all of their lives to hear it from their mother. Sasha waited until his death for Anya to return. What has this novel taught us about the bonds of family and the strength of love?
  • How did you feel about the ending? Why do you think the author chose the surprising meeting in Sitka?

 

Questions from author’s website.

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Book Club Discussion: The Night Circus

Welcome to the Book Club discussion for The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. Below is a list of discussion questions to get the conversation started. We are excited to hear your thoughts in the comments section below. Feel free to answer all the questions, or pick and choose a few questions to discuss!

 

  • The novel frequently changes narrative perspective. How does this transition shape your reading of the novel and your connection to the characters and the circus? Why do you think the author chose to tell the story from varied perspectives?
  • The narrative also follows a non-linear sequence—shifting at times from present to past. How effective was this method in regards to revealing conflict in the novel?
  • From the outside, the circus is full of enchantments and delights, but behind the scenes, the delicate push and pull of the competition results in some sinister events: i.e., Tara Burgess and Friedrick Thiessen’s deaths. How much is the competition at fault for these losses and how much is it the individual’s doing?
  • How does Isobel serve as a foil to Celia? Who, if anyone, fills that role for Marco?
  • At the closing of the novel, we are left to believe that the circus is still traveling—Bailey’s business card provides an email address as his contact information. How do you think the circus would fare over time? Would the circus need to evolve to suit each generation or is it distinctive enough to transcend time?

 

Questions from publisher’s website.

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Book Club Discussion: Circling the Sun

Welcome to the Book Club discussion for Circling the Sun by Paula McLain. Below is a list of discussion questions to get the conversation started. We are excited to hear your thoughts in the comments section below. Feel free to answer all the questions, or pick and choose a few questions to discuss!

  • Beryl is forced to be independent from a very young age. How do you think this shaped her personality (for better or for worse)?
  • How would you describe Beryl and Denys’s relationship? In what ways are they similar souls?
  • Why do you believe the author chose the title Circling the Sun? Does it bring to mind a particular moment from the novel or an aspect of Beryl’s character?
  • While it is clear he loved his daughter, do you feel Beryl’s father was a good parent? Do you think Beryl would have said he was? Did you sympathize with him at any point?
  • How would you describe Beryl and Denys’s relationship? In what ways are they similar souls? How does their first encounter–outside, under the stars at her coming out party–encapsulate the nature of their connection?

Questions from author’s website.

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Book Club Discussion: The Bookshop on the Corner

Welcome to the Book Club discussion for The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan.  Below is a list of discussion questions to get the conversation started. We are excited to hear your thoughts in the comments section below. Feel free to answer all the questions, or pick and choose a few questions to discuss!

  • Describe Nina: just how socially and/or professionally unprepared is she to face a world outside of a library?
  • Are library closings a growing trend, or will they be several years from now? What is happening in your own community; are funds being cut to libraries, hours shortened, books not bought, staff not hired? What does the future hold for libraries, and how are they coping with the digital age?
  • What are some of the struggles Nina undergoes to get her dream library off the ground? Talk about the decisions she has to make. Does the van seem like an overly risky venture for someone like Nina?
  • Describe the village of Kirrinfief, including the characters who populate it. Whom did you find most intriguing? What was village life like without books?
  • Did you predict the ending?

Questions from litlovers.

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Book Club Discussion: The Simplicity of Cider

Welcome to the Book Club discussion for The Simplicity of Cider by Amy E. Reichert. Below is a list of discussion questions to get the conversation started. We are excited to hear your thoughts in the comments section below. Feel free to answer all the questions, or pick and choose a few questions to discuss!

  • What kind of a father is Isaac? What is his motivation by withholding the truth from Bass regarding his mother’s death? Is Isaac trying to protect his son, or himself, from the difficult reality? Can you understand his choice?
  • Is there a proper way to grieve after tragedy? Like Isaac, have you ever taken a trip to escape from your troubles? Was it cathartic? Do you think going on an adventure to somewhere new helps the healing process?
  • Why is Bass the only person who’s able to soften Sanna? How does Bass change her impression of children?
  • Describe Sanna and Thad’s friendship. Why does Sanna keep him around? Are you surprised by Thad’s disloyalty to the Lunds?
  • Discuss the role Eva plays in the novel. How are she and Sanna similar? Were you surprised by their ability to come to an understanding? How does their new business deal benefit both of them?

Questions from publisher’s website.

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Book Club Discussion: Delicious!: A Novel

Welcome to the Book Club discussion for Delicious!: A Novel by Ruth Reichl. Below is a list of discussion questions to get the conversation started. We are excited to hear your thoughts in the comments section below. Feel free to answer all the questions, or pick and choose a few questions to discuss!

  • Billie eventually writes about Sal’s as if it’s “a way of life.” Do you have a favorite establishment that you would describe similarly? What is it like, and how does it make you feel?
  • Diana and Sammy’s friendships help the formerly-contained Billie become more confident. Has a friend ever given you the courage to be more fully yourself? What did you reveal?
  • If you had a victory garden, what would you grow?
  • Do you have friends or family who remember what it was like to eat during World War II? What stories have they shared with you?
  • As the book closes, what does Billie discover she owes Genie?

Questions from publisher’s website.

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Book Club Discussion: The Hopefuls

Welcome to the Book Club discussion for The Hopefuls by Jennifer Close. Below is a list of discussion questions to get the conversation started. We are excited to hear your thoughts in the comments section below. Feel free to answer all the questions, or pick and choose a few questions to discuss!

  • Who are the “hopefuls” in the title?
  • In the Washington, DC, of the novel, most people are from elsewhere—away from home and family. How does this contribute to the intensity of their relationships?
  • As a spouse who’s not particularly interested in politics, Beth feels like an outsider. What should she have done to find her own tribe—or does that seem impossible in the atmosphere the novel describes?
  • The theme of friendship also weaves through the story. Is Beth a good friend? Who is a better friend to her, Ash or Colleen?
  • On page 248, Colleen tells Beth, “ ‘I mean, every person expects something from the other one when they get married.’ ” What point is she making? Do you agree?
  • Discuss the final section of the novel, the postscript set in DC. Was it the ending you expected?

Questions from publisher’s website.

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Book Club Discussion: Big Magic

Welcome to the Book Club discussion for Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. Below is a list of discussion questions to get the conversation started. We are excited to hear your thoughts in the comments section below. Feel free to answer all the questions, or pick and choose a few questions to discuss!

  • Can you think of a time you were courageous in your creative life? What did that look like for you? How did you feel? What inspired you to be courageous?
  • What do you think your daemon of creativity would look like? Grab some pen and paper and draw away!
  • Who, in your heart of hearts, are you? Who have you always secretly wanted to be? How does it feel to say it outloud?
  • Write down four fiercely creative goals and hang them up on your fridge!

Questions from Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic Inspiration Guide. 

 

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