New Favorite Discussion Questions

I want Ann Hodgman to attend my next book group.  In this week’s New Yorker, Hodgman has published a set of 12 questions that are suitable for any book club and any book, whether  you’ve read it or not.

Start attendees off with Question 2, asking if the book is fiction or nonfiction and requesting support from lines of jacket copy.

Or jump right into character relationships, particularly those of title selector, Margy MacDougal, and her husband, Eric, or her disappointment in her college-age daughter.

Be sure to contemplate setting. Ponder if the “powder room will have one of those wick-diffuser things in a bottle, or a scented candle.” Next move on to the presence of food. Discuss the mystery ingredient in the tea sandwiches on the piano and delve deeper into the meaning of peanut allergies.

Compare this month’s selection with previous reading selections and wonder, aloud, when someone is going to choose a book that isn’t such a “downer.”

Close the discussion by asking all members what they think will happen next. If no one answers, jump to that perennial favorite, who will play the protagonists in the movie.



About the Author:

Kaite Mediatore Stover refuses to give up her day job as director of readers' services for The Kansas City Public Library to read tarot cards professionally or be the merch girl/roadie for her husband's numerous bands. Follow her on Twitter at @MarianLiberryan.

1 Comment on "New Favorite Discussion Questions"

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  1.' Keir says:

    Ha! I was about to e-mail this link to you, then realized I hadn’t read the blog today, so figured I’d check…

    I like the first question:

    1. Studying the cover of this month’s selection may provide hints to the reasons that Margy MacDougal chose this book for your group. What does the metallic font used for the title convey—pretension, or insecurity? Although the cover art is minimal, what tensions does it suggest are lurking under the superficially glossy surface of Margy’s relationship with her husband, Eric?

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