General Discussion Questions for ANY book:
1. What is the significance of the title? Would you have given the book a different title? If yes, what is your title?
2. What were the themes of the book? Do you feel they were adequately explored? Were they brought to life in a cliché or in a unique manner?
3. What did you think of the structure and style of the writing?
4. What scene was the most pivotal for the book? How do you think the story would have changed had that scene not taken place?
5. What scene resonated most with you personally in either a positive or negative way? Why?
6. Has anything ever happened to you similar to what happened in the book? How did you react to it differently?
7. What surprised you the most about the book?
8. Were there any notable racial, cultural, traditions, gender, sexuality or socioeconomic factors at play in the book? If so, what? How did it affect the characters? Do you think they were realistically portrayed?
9. How important is the setting & time period to the story? How would it have played out differently in a different setting? What about a different time period?
10. Were there any particular quotes that stood out to you? Why?
11. Did any of the characters remind you of yourself or someone you know? How?
12. What is motivating the actions of the characters in the story? What do the sub-characters want from the main character and what does the main character want with them?
13. What were the dynamics of "power" between the characters? How did that play a factor in their interactions?
14. How does the way the characters see themselves, differ from how others see them? How do you see the various characters?
15. How did the "roles" of the various characters influence their interactions? Ie. For a woman: Mother, daughter, sister, wife, lover, professional, etc.
16. If you could smack any of the characters upside the head, who would it be and why? (Courtesy of Nick)
17. Were there any moments where you disagreed with the choices of any of the characters? What would you have done differently?
18. What past influences are shaping the actions of the characters in the story?
19. Did you think the ending was appropriate? How would you have liked to have seen the ending go?
20. How have the characters changed by the end of the book?
21. Have any of YOUR views or thoughts changed after reading this book?
22. What do you think will happen next to the main characters?
23. Are there any books that you would compare this one to? How does this book hold up to them?
24. Have you read any other books by this author? Were they comparable to your level of enjoyment to this one?
25. What did you learn from, take away from, or get out of this book?
26. Did your opinion of the book change as you read it? How?
Book Club Questions for Fiction / Novels
Use our general fiction questions when you can't find specific discussion questions. They're basic but smart.
1. How did you experience the book? Were you engaged immediately, or did it take you a while to
2. Describe the main characters—personality traits, motivations, inner qualities.
3. Do the main characters change by the end of
4. Is the plot engaging—does the story interest you? Is this a plot-driven book: a fast-paced page-turner? Or does the story unfold slowly with a focus on character development? Were you surprised by the plot's complications? Or did you find it predictable, even formulaic?
5. Talk about the book's structure. Is it a continuous story...or interlocking short stories? Does the time-line move forward chronologically...or back and forth between past and present? Does the author use a single viewpoint or shifting viewpoints? Why might the author have chosen to tell the story the way he or she did—and what difference does it make in the way you read or understand it?
6. What main ideas—themes—does the author explore? (Consider the title, often a clue to a theme.) Does the author use symbols to reinforce the main ideas? (See our free LitCourses on both Symbol and Theme.)
7. What passages strike you as insightful, even profound? Perhaps a bit of dialog that's funny or poignant or that encapsulates a character? Maybe there's a particular comment that states the book's thematic concerns?
8. Is the ending satisfying? If so, why? If not, why not...and how would you change it?
9. If you could ask the author a question, what would you ask? Have you read other books by the same author? If so how does this book compare. If not, does this book inspire you to read others?
10. Has this novel changed you—broadened your perspective? Have you learned something new or been exposed to different ideas about people or a certain part of the world?
(Questions by LitLovers. Please feel free to use them, online or off, with attribution. Thanks.)