The worst sound at a book club meeting? Crickets. Even the most talkative of bookworms can find themselves stumped for a place to begin a group discussion. That’s why we’ve put together a list of questions that are guaranteed to spark a conversation—no matter what book you’re talking about!
What did you think of the ending?
Endings are divisive. Starting your meeting by discussing the final chapter of a book is a great way to kick off a spirited discussion. Did readers find it satisfying? Were they surprised by it? Did it feel earned? Thinking about how a book wraps up a story can also offer jumping-off points for discussing writing style, plot, and character development.
Did your opinion of the book change as you read it?
This question gives members an opportunity to talk about their own reading experience. Maybe they were hooked from the start, or maybe they weren’t engaged until halfway through. Ask members what it was about the book (the writing, the pacing, the plot) that affected their reading experience.
What did you think of the main characters?
Encourage your members to think beyond like and dislike. Was the protagonist relatable? Was their narration reliable? What drove them? What did they struggle with? Explore each character’s journey from the beginning of the novel to the end.
What was your favorite quote?
Note-taking members will love this question, as they’ve likely highlighted their favorite quotes in advance. For readers who don’t remember specific lines, ask about a scene that stood out to them.
How do you see the book’s title relating to the story? Why do you think it was chosen?
A lot of work goes into naming a book, and it isn’t up to the author alone! See what your members make of the title and how it connects to the themes within the book. While you’re on the subject, ask what your group thought about the book cover!
What theme stands out to you?
This is a question that can yield a variety of results based on readers’ own experiences. Find out which themes your members felt the most connected to, and which they felt were the strongest in the book.
What do you think the author was trying to achieve and did they succeed?
When discussing a book, it can be useful to take a step back and think about what the author’s intentions were—especially if they experimented with a unique writing style or format. See what your book club says worked and which aspects didn’t line up with their expectations.
What did you think of the author?
Book clubs are always on the hunt for their next read, which makes it incredibly important to consider how the group feels about an author’s writing style. You can then read more from that author or use that author’s name as a starting point when hunting for recommendations! While you’re at it, ask members if they’d recommend this book to other readers and why.
If you were interviewing the author, what would you ask them?
The fun part of this question is how varied responses can be! Some readers may want to ask about writing process or a plot point, while others may be more curious about the author’s own reading tastes and habits.
Who would you cast in an adaptation?
From Hollywood to Netflix, books are being adapted more and more frequently for screens big and small. A fun question to ask as your meeting draws to a close is which actors members would want to see in a movie based on the book. Book clubs packed with film buffs can even discuss ideal directors, score ideas, and more!