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This month my bookclub decided to choose a classic novel. Perhaps slightly influenced by the recent Olympic games held in China, we picked "The Good Earth" by Pearl S. Buck. I was able to find it at my local used bookstore and along with the paperback, I found the Cliffs Notes. Normally we have a very unstructured discussion, so it will be fun to have something to direct us to some specifics to think about.
We have had a few publications with discussion questions at the end, and although some questions seem obvious, others really take you that level deeper in understanding the plot or characters, and how they make you feel. Aside from the back of books themselves, where can you find good discussion guides?
Well, I've been looking into that and found a few websites that offer some general questions to apply to any book. But one (Random House) has a large list of titles and authors to choose from and have specific discussion questions posted for that book! I will definitely go there for some help. One of our members had asked for a specific title, but unfortunately that one wasn't available there, maybe it is too recent a title.
I also found a series of books called "Bookclub-In-A-Box". The reviews are mixed, don't expect any type of kit, you will get more of a pamphlet with questions to discuss for some titles like "The Kite Runner" , "Life of Pi" and "Water for Elephants" . They require an investment (~$20), but maybe they could be shared and traded.
There are some books out there to help you guide your group toward more meaningful discussions, like "Talking About Books: A Step-By-Step Guide for Participating in a Book Discussion Group" by Marcia Fineman.
We have put together some general questions here at WDYR? for you to use. Check our General Discussion Questions link.