100 Generic Book Club Questions For Any Book

Generic Book Club Questions

If you’re into reading, you probably already know that joining a book club comes with a series of benefits and adds a great deal of extra value to your hobby. 

While book clubs can be quite different from one another, depending on their size and purpose, the one thing they have in common is that they can spark some pretty great discussions about books, as long as the members ask themselves and each other the right questions about the book they read. 

While the generic book club questions are perfectly fine most of the time, thinking outside the box can lead to great conversations and a much better understanding of the book.

Three reasons why you should be part of a book club

In case you’re not already aware of the benefits of joining a book club, allow me to present a list of the main reasons why joining a book club can be a game changer for your reading. 

For the social aspect

Reading is a solitary activity in itself. While that is great, giving you a chance to enjoy some time for yourself and allowing you to self-reflect, adding more people to the mix is usually a great improvement, especially if they share the same interests and you have the love for books in common with them.

For book recommendations

One of the best things book clubs can provide a reader with are book recommendations. Since each book club has a predefined reading list all members must go through between meetings, you are very likely to find some book titles you never heard about on those lists. And because no book club president wants to lead a group into reading boring or uninteresting novels, most of the titles on the list are going to be must-reads you won’t regret picking up.

Because of the discussions generated 

The whole idea of a book club is to get a group of people to read the same books and discuss them. This generates interesting conversations, each member can share their thoughts about the novel and by taking in the opinions and thoughts of several members you will get a much deeper understanding of what you read. 

What are the most interesting book club questions for fiction books?

The discussions differ considerably depending on the book genre or whether it is a fiction or nonfiction piece of writing. While the possible list of book club questions for discussion is literally endless, we managed to create a rather comprehensive compilation of some of the most interesting questions to ask during book club meetings about fiction books. 

Of course, regardless of the length of our suggestions list, it is always a good idea to try and come up with your own questions whenever you read an interesting book. And what’s more important than coming up with great questions about the book for your next club meeting is, funny enough, to not forget them the second you finish reading. 

That’s why it is always a good idea to use a reading tracking app like Basmo. The note taking feature from Basmo allows you to write down your thoughts as notes whenever a reading session is ongoing. That way, you don’t lose any ideas you have and you have a great platform to go back and edit or organize them.

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Generic book club questions for fiction books

  1. How did the book make you feel – were you amused, bored, intrigued?
  2. Was it an easy read or did you have to push through in order to finish it in time?
  3. Are you happy you read it?
  4. Did you find the title to be relevant?
  5. What did you think of the story? 
  6. Did the novel leave you wishing the story was told differently or from a different perspective?
  7. Did the storyline go as you would have expected it? What surprised you?
  8. Would you have liked it better if the story was told from the perspective of a character? Which one?
  9. Would you like to meet any of the characters in real life? Which one?
  10. Do you already know somebody who resembles one of the characters in the book?
  11. Have you experienced anything similar to one of the events in the book?
  12. Were you kept in suspense by the storyline?
  13. What did you feel about the main characters and their actions?
  14. Were you able to relate to any of the characters?
  15. Which part of the book did you like the most and why?
  16. What didn’t you like and why?
  17. Would you re-read it?
  18. What were the main themes you identified in the novel?
  19. Were you happy about how the book ended?
  20. Was it a clear ending or an ambiguous one?
  21. What do you think the sequel would be about if you were writing one?
  22. Would you recommend this book to other readers?
  23. Would you like this book to be turned into a movie? Would you watch it?
  24. Who would you cast to play the main characters in the movie?
  25. Did this book change you? How?
  26. How would you rate this book compared with other books from the same genre?

Author-related book questions for fiction books

  1. Was this the first book you read from this author?
  2. Was the book written the way you would have expected considering what you know about the author?
  3. How would you describe the author’s writing style?
  4. How good a storyteller would you say the author is?
  5. Do you think any sentences or passages are worth quoting?
  6. Would you cut out any sections of the book? Which ones, and why?
  7. Was the world created by the author believable?
  8. Were you able to find any inconsistencies in the writing?
  9. Is there a place in the imaginary world created by the author that you would like to visit?
  10. Was the book structured the way you would have expected it to be?
  11. Did you notice any symbolism in the way the author wrote the story?
  12. What do you think the main intention of the author was while writing the book?
  13. Did the author make the points he was trying to make?
  14. Were you happy with the way the author built tension throughout the book?
  15. Can you imagine this story being told by another author? Which one? Why?
  16. Did this book entice you to read other books written by this author?

Book club questions for fiction novels by genre

Romance

  1. Were you rooting for the couple in the book to make it?
  2. Did the book make you think of any particular love songs?
  3. Which one of the characters do you think made the biggest mistakes?
  4. Should any characters have been forgiven for their mistakes and haven’t been or the other way around?
  5. Was the love story believable and relatable?
  6. Would you have acted differently than the characters in the book in a similar situation?

Mystery/Thriller

  1. Did you get hooked from the beginning or did you have to power through the beginning?
  2. How soon did you understand the plot twist?
  3. Did you expect the book to end the way it did?
  4. Were all your questions answered in the end?
  5. Compared to other books in the genre, how would you rate the title?

Science fiction

  1. How believable do you find something like this to really happen in the future?
  2. Do you think the author managed to create an alternate reality that you can relate to?
  3. How far fetched would you say the story is?
  4. Do you think there’s any truth the story is based on?
  5. How extensive would you say the author’s research has been?

Horror

  1. Do you think the author managed to create the right atmosphere throughout the book?
  2. How scared were you while reading the book?
  3. Did the book keep you up at night?
  4. Were there any sections you found particularly scary or disturbing?

What are the best book club questions for nonfiction?

Book club meetings dedicated to nonfiction look a little different and require a completely different approach. That is why they also require another set of questions to spark interesting conversations and to keep the discussions lively and useful for all members.

Generic book club questions for nonfiction books

  1. Did you learn something you didn’t already know?
  2. Did you find the topic intriguing? 
  3. Did you get a new perspective on the topic? 
  4. What is the most important thing you learned from this book?
  5. Would you recommend this book to friends and family?
  6. Did the book push you to do any additional research on the topic?

Author-related book questions for nonfiction novels

  1. Was the author impartial or did you feel any bias in the way the book was written?
  2. Do you think the author was honest and open when writing the book?
  3. Did you feel the author held anything back?
  4. Why do you think the author chose to write this book?
  5. If you could ask the author a question about this book, what would that be?
  6. What would you assume the target audience was for the author when he decided to write the book?
  7. Is there another author you can think of that could have done a better job approaching this topic?

Nonfiction book club questions for different genres

Memoirs

  1. Do you think the author wrote the whole story honestly?
  2. Do you think the author left out any important facts?
  3. Did you find the way the author told his story to be relatable?
  4. How do you feel about the author after learning everything about his life?
  5. Is there anything in particular that impressed you? 
  6. What period of the author’s life did you find particularly interesting and revealing?
  7. Do you feel like the book gave you a decent overview of the author’s life and personality?
  8. Which part of the memoir can you relate to the most?
  9. What do you think pushed the author to write their memoir?

Historical

  1. Would you say the book presented the events in an impartial manner?
  2. What’s the most important thing you learned about the events the book is about?
  3. Has the book changed your view of our past?
  4. How do you think the events of the book changed the course of history?
  5. Do you think the events the book is about have influenced our lives today?

Philosophical

  1. Has the author’s ideas changed the way you look at our existence?
  2. Can you relate to the author’s view?
  3. What’s the most important part of the book to discuss?
  4. Do you feel the book answers any existential question?
  5. What parts of the book do you agree with?
  6. Do you disagree with the author’s view? Why?

Self-help

  1. Do you feel like the book has helped you improve as a person?
  2. Did you find the advice in the book to be spot on for the issue it is trying to help others overcome?
  3. Do you think the author was true to the cause of the book?
  4. Would you recommend this book to a friend or family member who faces the issue the book is trying to resolve?
  5. Did the book motivate you to become a better self?

How to come up with the best book club questions?

While the list we came up with is pretty extensive, you will definitely find others for your book club meetings. And the best way to find good questions to ask about a book is to try to ask them yourself while reading the book.

Basmo is a great tool for all readers out there, but especially for those who read mindfully. Not only will it allow you to pay more attention and retain more information during each reading session, but it will also help you take notes, save quotes or even extract text from the pages of a book through your phone’s camera.

On top of this, the end of each reading session you start within a certain book will bring you a chance to write down how you feel about what you just read. This can be helpful not only in your attempt to come up with great questions, but also to have the answers prepared for whenever other members inquire about your reading experience.

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Conclusion

Having a great set of questions for your book club meetings is essential for interesting discussions and a better understanding of the book for all the members present. And with great helpers like the Basmo book tracking app, things have never been easier.

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