Book Club Discussion Guidelines

Monday, October 16, 2006

General Topic Guidelines

These are some general topic guidelines. Bear in mind these are very general - each book will have specific issues that will leap out at you.

  • Subject: What is the book about? Why did the author choose this subject?
  • Plot: Does it work? Is it too simple or complicated? Is it resolved or not? How is the timing? Is the ending satisfying or not? Why?
  • Characters: Single or many? Well developed or simple? How did you feel about the characters? How does the author use the characters to tell the story?
  • Point of View: How was the story told? One voice or many? In the first person - "I" or a distant narrators voice? How did the voice influence the tone of the story?
  • Setting: Where and when? Is the setting important to the story? Is it evoked well? Realistic or not? Does it matter?
  • Themes: What are the major themes the author is trying to explore?
  • Style: What is the author's style of writing? ie. Descriptive, lyrical, forceful, emotive, spare, blunt, wordy,…Does the style work for you or not? Why?
  • Reviews: Find some critical opinions of the book and discuss whether you agree or disagree.
  • Author: Compare with other books. What is the author trying to achieve with the writing? What works for you or doesn't? Will you try and read another one by this author?
  • Enjoyment: Was reading this book enjoyable or hard work? Why? What do you think the author wanted you to feel or think?