5 Emergency Discussion Questions

No online reading guide for this month's novel? No problem!

5 Emergency Discussion Questions

It’s your turn to lead the book discussion, but your fail-safe plan — to use an online guide that, it turns out, doesn’t exist for your particular novel — just failed. Suddenly, you’re working without a net.

Should you bail on this month’s meeting? No! Instead, engage your club by asking a few of these open-ended questions meant to spark conversation about any novel. They’re based on ideas from ReadingGroupGuides, “the online community for reading groups.”


  1. What did you think of the characters? Were they believable? Clichés? Did a certain character ring especially true or false?
  2. Was the novel more character- or plot-driven? Did the author rely on the characters to move the narrative forward, or did it seem like they were merely along for the ride?
  3. Did the author use descriptive language? Were you able to feel, smell, and see the setting based on the prose, or did you need to paint the picture on your own?
  4. Did the book hold your interest? If yes, why? If no, at what point did the author start to lose you?
  5. Are you glad you read this book? Even if you didn’t enjoy it all that much, did something about it stick with you? Maybe a poignant piece of dialogue or an unforgettable scene?

Remember: The best way to facilitate a lively discussion is by asking open-ended questions that encourage members to share their opinions. It’s not by quizzing fellow book-clubbers on the technical details of the story. (That’s what English class was for.)

What are your club’s favorite discussion starters? Share them below and you could win, well, nothing. Can’t our undying gratitude ever be enough for you people?


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