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Whether you are prepping virtual or in-person book club discussion questions, this book club discussion template offers questions that can apply to ANY book, fiction or non-fiction. It’s a one-stop shop for your book club discussion needs. Keep scrolling to also download a printable PDF checklist to take with you.

women holding a book club meeting.

Book Club Questions for Discussion of Fiction & Non-Fiction

Below are the generic and general book club questions for discussion arranged by category:

  • About the Title
  • About the Author
  • About the Cover Art
  • About the Writing Style
  • General Questions
  • About the Beginning
  • About the Plot
  • About the Characters
  • About the Setting(s)
  • About the Point of View
  • About the Timeframe / Chronology of Events
  • About the Ending
  • Beyond the Book
  • Hypotheticals / for Fun

About the Title

Discuss the title of the book.

What would you title this book?


About the Author

What did you already know about the author?

How does this book compare to other books or works of this author with which you are familiar?

Did you learn anything new about the author?

Do you believe the author’s personal life affected the story in any way?

Discuss the author’s worldview.


About the Cover Art

Does the cover artwork well for this book?

How would you design the cover art?


About the Writing Style

What were your thoughts on the writing style?

Do you have any favorite quotes from the book?

Did you find the book to be a page-turner or a slow burn?

Did you find the book to be more character-driven or plot-driven?

Was the book too short, too long, or just right in length?

Was the pacing too fast, too slow, or just right?

Was the story presented with any bias?


General Questions

In what form did you read the book (paper, ebook, audiobook)?

Where did you obtain the book?

What did you like about the book?

What did you dislike about the book?

How would you rate this book on a scale of 1-10?

What emotions did this book make you feel?

How long did it take you to read this book?

Describe the book in one sentence.

What was your favorite part of the book?

What was your least favorite part of the book?

Did any parts of the book surprise you?

Did this book remind you of any other books?

To whom would you recommend this book?

Did your opinion of the book change or stay the same as you read it?

Do you have any questions about the book?

Do you believe the book touched upon any broader social issues?

Did any historical or cultural references stand out to you?

Are you glad you read this book?

Did this book feel original to you?

How did this book compare to other books in this genre?

Was the book similar or different from what you normally read?


About the Beginning

Discuss the first sentence of the book.

How would you rewrite the first sentence of the book?

What was the inciting moment that set this book into motion? 


About the Plot

What was the major conflict to be resolved?

What were the themes of the book?

What do you think was the main point of this book?

Were there any holes in the plot?

Was the plot believable?

Did you uncover any symbols in the book?

Discuss the tone of the book.

Would you cut out any sections or storylines from this book?

Would you add any sections or storylines to this book?

Whose “story” was this — the author, the narrator, or another character?


About the Characters

How would you describe the characters?

What did you like about the characters?

What did you dislike about the characters?

What were the characters’ biggest struggles?

What are the characters’ strengths and weaknesses?

To which character did you most relate or empathize?

What do you think would happen in the characters’ lives if the book continued?

Did you agree with any specific actions of the characters?

Did you disagree with any specific actions of the characters?

Did the characters remind you of anyone?

Were the characters believable?

Were the characters’ actions believable?

Were you able to easily keep track of the characters?

How did the characters process their emotions?

Were the characters one-dimensional or multi-dimensional?

What motivated the characters’ actions?

What did you think about the way the characters related to each other?

Discuss the characters’ worldview.

How did the characters influence each other?

Was the main character reliable or unreliable?

Did the main character’s journey come full circle?

Were you able to envision the characters in your mind?

How do you think you would act if you were in the characters’ shoes?

How did the characters change throughout the book?

Did the characters learn any lessons?


About the Setting(s)

Discuss the setting(s) and the impact of the setting(s) on the story.

Have you ever been to a location of this book?

Did the book inspire any travel plans for you?

How would the book differ in another setting?

Were you able to envision the setting in your mind?


About Point of View

Discuss the point of view and whether it worked for this book.

Would you prefer a different point of view?

How would the book change if told from a different point of view?


About the Timeframe / Chronology of Events

Did the timeframe of the book affect the plot?

How would the plot differ in another timeframe?

What did you think of the way the author presented the chronology of events (i.e., linear, backward, jumping in time)?

How would a different chronology of events change the story?


About the Ending

Were you able to “guess” the ending?

Was the ending satisfying?

How did you want the book to end?

Discuss the last sentence of the book.

How would you rewrite the last sentence of the book?

Did the ending leave anything unresolved?


Beyond the Book

Did you Google anything about the book while reading it?

Did the book change your opinions or way of thinking at all?

What will you remember most about this book in a few months?

Did you learn anything new by reading this book?

Did reading the book affect anything in your own life?


Hypotheticals / For Fun

Who would you cast in a movie about this book?

What emojis best capture this book?

What Enneagram number would you assign to the characters?

What Zodiac sign do you think the characters are?

What is the personality type of the characters?

What would you ask the author about this book if given the opportunity?

Which supporting character would make the most interesting main character in a spinoff?

What songs would you add to a playlist for this book?

What would be the ideal food or drink to consume while reading this book?

If you were this author’s editor, what feedback would you give?

Is there another author you would like to see tell this story?

Do you think there should be a sequel or a prequel or is this book better as a stand-alone?

Would you read any other books in a series including this book?


Bonus Questions

Use these quotes about books and reading to foster discussion questions for a book club.

Printable PDF of the Book Club Questions

book club questions for any book

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are good book club discussion questions?

How did your perceptions of the book change from start to finish?
Which character resonated with you the most, and why?
How do the setting and era impact the narrative?
What themes stood out and how do they connect to current issues?
Discuss the significance of the book’s title.

How do you make a book club discussion interesting?

Incorporate diverse perspectives by encouraging each member to share their unique insights about the book. Use open-ended questions that prompt deeper reflection and debate on themes, characters, and the author’s intentions. Mix in creative elements like themed gatherings or related activities.

How do you write a discussion guide for a book club?

Start with a concise summary and develop open-ended questions that delve into the book’s themes, characters, and broader contexts. Encourage personal reflections and connections, ensuring a mix of analysis and personal engagement.

Conclusion

Choosing the right questions for book club discussion questions can be the difference between a lively, enlightening conversation and a stilted, unproductive one.

Whether you’re diving into a classic novel, a contemporary work of fiction, a juicy celebrity memoir, or any other genre, these questions have been crafted to both delve deeper AND resonate universally.

Here’s to enriching discussions and the shared joy of reading!

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