I don't think I have yet mentioned that the Vancouver Public Library is putting together a book club set of Finding Creatures & Other Stories. They've asked for a number of materials and one is a set of book club questions. Fair enough. I am now at work on that.
Searching around on the net for tips on how to organize my set of questions, I found a number of useful sites. I offer some of their guidelines below.
Some Typical Discussion Questions
While reading a book, a club member should reflect on these questions, and research other supplementary materials. This is mostimportant if you are leading the book discussion.
- Did you like the book? If you have read any of the author's other books, how does this compare?
- What is this book's message?
- How did you feel about the characters? Whom did you like or not like and why?
- What did you think of the ending?
- In a movie version, who would play what parts?
- How did you feel when the character did or said....How do you think the character felt when she did or said...?
- If questions...e.g. If the characters had done this instea d, how would the story have changed?
- What do book reviews say about this book or more generally the author, and her past works?
- What did you think of the plot line development? How credible did the author make it?
- What moral/ethical choices did the characters make? What did you think of those choices? How would you have chosen?
- How authentic is the culture or era represented in the book?
- Why do you think the author wrote this? What is her most important message?
- How do you think the main character's point of view is similar or different from the author's point of view or background?
- What is the author's background (her style, stature and focus)?
- How does the setting figure as a character in the story?
- Are the characters' actions the result of freedom of choice or of destiny?
- Is there any moral responsibility that was abdicated?
- Are there any symbols that may have cultural, political or religious reference? e.g. flag, tree, rose.
- What type of vision does the author use with her word choice? Is it optimistic, pessimistic, prophetic, cautionary, humourous, satirical, venomous, cathartic?
- What effects do the events (time, natio nality, physicality) have on the character's self or personality?
Remember to check the publisher's website for your book of choice. Usually a publisher will include some questions specific to a book.
General Book Club Questions for Study and Discussion
By Esther Lombardi, About.com
- What did you think the book was about?
- Did you feel that the book fulfilled your expectations? Were you disappointed?
- Did the author seem to appear in the book? How? Why? Was the presence of the author disruptive? Or did it seem appropriate/fitting?
- Did you enjoy the book? Why? Why not?
- How did the book compare to other books by the author (or other books in the same genre)?
- What about the plot? Did it pull you in; or did you feel you had to force yourself to read the book?
- How realistic was the characterization? Would you want to meet any of the characters? Did you like them? Hate them?
- Did the actions of the characters seem plausible? Why? Why not?
- If one (or more) of the characters made a choice that had moral implications, would you have made the same decision? Why? Why not?
- How does the setting figure into the book? Is the setting a character? Does it come to life? Did you feel you were experiencing the time and place in which the book was set?
- How would the book have been different if it had taken place in a different time or place?
- What are some of the book's themes? How important were they?
- How are the book's images symbolically significant? Do the images help to develop the plot, or help to define characters?
- Did the book end the way you expected?
- Would you recommend this book to other readers? To your close friend?
Number of Pages
-About the Book
-One sentence about the book (25 words or less) --- To be included with title listing in the "New Guides" section of the homepage
-Excerpt (with copyright information)
-Author Interview (if available)
-Link to one website (author's website or publisher's website)
Please indicate up to three genres where you would like your guide to be listed:
- African-American Interest
- Award Winners
- Books Into Movies
- Current Events & Politics
- Gay and Lesbian Interest
- Historical Fiction
- Jewish Interest
- Literary Fiction
- Mystery & Thriller
- Oprah (Must be an Oprah Book Club Selection to be added here)
- Religion & Spirituality
- Sci Fi and Fantasy
- Self-Help and Psychology
- Short Stories
- Women's Interest
For 100$ they will list your reading guide on their site.