General Non-Fiction Book Club Questions
1. What was the purpose of this book (eg, to teach, to entertain
2. If this book was intended to teach the reader something, did it succeed? Was something learned from reading this book, if so what? If not, why did the book failed as a teaching tool?
3. Was there a specific passage that had left an impression, good or bad? Share the passage and its effect.
4. Was the purpose of the book to bring to light an issue? If so, did it make the group more aware and knowledgeable about the particular issue? How did earlier opinions about the issue change after reading this book?
5. If the book addressed an issue, did the author cover both sides of the topic fairly and thoroughly or did the book appear to be biased, solely written to promote the author's own agenda?
6. After reading the book, has the group's interest been piqued about the subject matter? If so, would the group consider reading more on the topic in the future?
7. The way a non-fiction book is written can impact a reader's enjoyment and understanding of it. Was the book written in a way that was easily accessible? Did the language make the group loose interest in something that would have otherwise been an exciting subject? Were unfamiliar terms and concepts explained? Were there plenty of visuals to reinforce the subject matter and were they helpful?
8. Did the author provide any pertinent web links for readers to use? If so, would the group consider visiting them?
9. Did the author provide a suggested reading list for further information on the topic? If so, would the group consider reading any of the suggestions?
Book Club Questions Specifically for Memoirs and Biographies
1. Was there something especially surprising about this person's story? What was it and why?
2. Memoirs can be written for a variety of different purposes, such as clearing up a misconceived notion, gaining fame and notoriety or promoting something. What category does this book fall into?
3. Was there a lesson could be taken away from this person's life? What was it and why is it important?
4. Did preconceived opinions of this person change after reading their story? If so, did it change for the better or the worse? Explain.
Non-fiction books can be a great addition to any book club and offer a nice change of pace from typical reading group fiction selections. By using these simple starter questions, non-fiction books can be introduced to the club with ease and can ensure that future meetings will be filled with intelligent discussions and the exciting exchanging of ideas.
Credit: © Lisa Rufle