You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Book Club’ tag.

We hope you enjoyed our July Lit Snit Book Club selection, The Help by Kathryn Stockett.  I found some reading group questions at her website, so we’ll use these as a starting point to our discussion.  Feel free to veer off topic or pose your own questions!

1. Who was your favorite character? Why?

2. What do you think motivated Hilly? On the one hand she is terribly cruel to Aibileen and her own help, as well as to Skeeter once she realizes that she can’t control her. Yet she’s a wonderful mother. Do you think that one can be a good mother but, at the same time, a deeply flawed person?

3. Like Hilly, Skeeter’s mother is a prime example of someone deeply flawed yet somewhat sympathetic. She seems to care for Skeeter–and she also seems to have very real feelings for Constantine. Yet the ultimatum she gives to Constantine is untenable; and most of her interaction with Skeeter is critical. Do you think Skeeter’s mother is a sympathetic or unsympathetic character? Why?

4. How much of a person’s character would you say is shaped by the times in which they live?

5. Did it bother you that Skeeter is willing to overlook so many of Stuart’s faults so that she can get married, and that it’s not until he literally gets up and walks away that the engagement falls apart?

6. Do you believe that Minny was justified in her distrust of white people?

7. Do you think that had Aibileen stayed working for Miss Elizabeth, that Mae Mobley would have grown up to be racist like her mother? Do you think racism is inherent, or taught?

8. From the perspective of a twenty-first century reader, the hairshellac system that Skeeter undergoes seems ludicrous. Yet women still alter their looks in rather peculiar ways as the definition of “beauty” changes with the times. Looking back on your past, what’s the most ridiculous beauty regimen you ever underwent?

9. The author manages to paint Aibileen with a quiet grace and an aura of wisdom about her. How do you think she does this?

10. Do you think there are still vestiges of racism in relationships where people of color work for people who are white? Have you heard stories of parents who put away their valuable jewelry before their nanny comes? Paradoxically, they trust the person to look after their child but not their diamond rings?

11. What did you think about Minny’s pie for Miss Hilly? Would you have gone as far as Minny did for revenge?

We’re very excited for our first ever LitSnit Book Club discussion and we hope you all are as well! Our pick for June was John Connolly’s The Book of Lost Things.

Below you’ll find some discussion questions, which we came up with as a jumping off point for the discussion.  Feel free to answer some or all of the questions, or even veer off topic with thoughts of your own!

Many of the original fairy tales written down by the brothers Grimm are dark and very violent, which Connolly seemed to draw upon in his novel.  However, we’ve grown up with much more sanitized versions of these tales.  How did you react to the darker aspects of familiar fairy tales in The Book of Lost Things?  Did these darker elements surprise you?

Which of your favorite childhood fairy tales did Connolly not
include in his book?

Who or what do you think is the real villain in the novel and why?  Who is the hero?

What do you think is the significance of the title “The Book of Lost Things”?  What has Jonathan “lost”?  What has David?

In your opinion, what is the story’s central conflict?

How did you react to the ending?  Did you find it sad/uplifting/hopeful?

If you could rewrite the ending, would you? What would be your ending?

Lastly, a fun question: if they were going to make a movie inspired by “The Book of Lost Things” who would you cast? [David, Leroi, Roland, Jonathan, etc.]

Only a couple weeks before the end of the month and we start our discussion about John Connolly’s The Book of Lost Things.  I just finished it myself this weekend and can’t wait to talk about it with you all!

And, because if you’re anything like me, you never have enough to read (though your “to-read” pile keeps getting bigger and bigger) you should check out Jandy Nelson’s The Sky Is Everywhere.  I’ve been borderline obsessive (as Janelle and Daniela can attest to) with the way I’ve been forcing this book on people, but I loved it that much.  I previously reviewed it at my blog, pre-LitSnit, and they’re going to have a discussion about this fantastic book over at With A Good Book which I’ll be participating in and encourage you all the check out. I just finished it for a third time this weekend and it’s just as good the third time as it is the first.

So, lots to read as June winds to a close!  We hope to see you all in a few weeks for our first ever(!) LitSnit Book Club discussion!

One of the best things about finishing a good (or even bad) book is discussing it with some fellow book lovers.  Here at Lit Snit there’s nothing we love more than talking books so we thought we’d organize our very own book club, LitSnit-style.  We’ve chosen books for the rest of the summer, since this is the time we all do the most traveling and, incidentally the most reading.  We hope you’ll join us each month for our discussions!

June

The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly

Summary: High in his attic bedroom, twelve-year-old David mourns the death of his mother, with only the books on his shelf for company. But those books have begun to whisper to him in the darkness. Angry and alone, he takes refuge in his imagination and soon finds that reality and fantasy have begun to meld. While his family falls apart around him, David is violently propelled into a world that is a strange reflection of his own — populated by heroes and monsters and ruled by a faded king who keeps his secrets in a mysterious book, The Book of Lost Things.

Taking readers on a vivid journey through the loss of innocence into adulthood and beyond, New York Times bestselling author John Connolly tells a dark and compelling tale that reminds us of the enduring power of stories in our lives.

July

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Summary: Three ordinary women are about to take one extraordinary step. Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger.

Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.

Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken.

Minny, Aibileen’s best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody’s business, but she can’t mind her tongue, so she’s lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own.

Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed.

In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women — mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends — view one another.

A deeply moving novel filled with poignancy, humor, and hope, The Help is a timeless and universal story about the lines we abide by, and the ones we don’t.

August

The Passage by Justin Cronin

Summary: “It happened fast. Thirty-two minutes for one world to die, another to be born.”

First, the unthinkable: a security breach at a secret U.S. government facility unleashes the monstrous product of a chilling military experiment. Then, the unspeakable: a night of chaos and carnage gives way to sunrise on a nation, and ultimately a world, forever altered. All that remains for the stunned survivors is the long fight ahead and a future ruled by fear—of darkness, of death, of a fate far worse.

As civilization swiftly crumbles into a primal landscape of predators and prey, two people flee in search of sanctuary. FBI agent Brad Wolgast is a good man haunted by what he’s done in the line of duty. Six-year-old orphan Amy Harper Bellafonte is a refugee from the doomed scientific project that has triggered apocalypse. He is determined to protect her from the horror set loose by her captors. But for Amy, escaping the bloody fallout is only the beginning of a much longer odyssey—spanning miles and decades—towards the time and place where she must finish what should never have begun.

With The Passage, award-winning author Justin Cronin has written both a relentlessly suspenseful adventure and an epic chronicle of human endurance in the face of unprecedented catastrophe and unimaginable danger. Its inventive storytelling, masterful prose, and depth of human insight mark it as a crucial and transcendent work of modern fiction.


We’re all really looking forward to the start of The LitSnit Book Club this summer.  We hope you’ll join us each month to discuss these great books!