What are some good questions to ask about a book?

Book group questions

When you read a novel certain questions might pop into your mind. You might ponder the title or the names chosen for the characters. Maybe you wonder how the author decided on a particular twist and look back to see what clues were hidden in the text. It might remind you of other books you’ve read or films you have seen. Possibly you imagined the lead characters and how they looked.

A couple of colleagues told me they’d like to recommend Her Little Secret to their book group. There are many lists of generic book group questions online but they ask me if I could come up with some questions, so here they are!

  1. Her Little Secret was not the author’s original title. What would you have titled the book?
  2. What does the cover design suggest to you? What cover would you have chosen?
  3. Why does Cristina, the therapist lack confidence despite her qualifications and experience? Why does she feel she is not good enough?
  4. Why is Cristina so enthralled by Leon? What does he represent to her?
  5. What feelings did Leon provoke in you? Does he have any redeeming qualities?
  6. How did you feel when Cristina ignored warning signs? Why do you think she did this?
  7. How would the story be different if told from Leon’s perspective?
  8. What was your favourite part of the book and why? What was your least favourite? Which scenes are most memorable and why?
  9. Who did you care about in the book and why? Who would you like to have as a friend?
  10. How did the male and female characters differ in the way they communicate, their priorities in life, their relationships? Does this reflect your experience of gender differences?
  11. If the book was made into a film, who would you select to play each character?
  12. What do you imagine might happen next in Cristina’s life?
  13. What questions would you like to ask the author?
  14. Would you know that the author has aphantasia – an inability to visualise in her mind’s eye? (For more information on Aphantasia see the blog post below or my article for Books by Women https://booksbywomen.org/describing-what-you-cant-imagine/ )

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