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Discussion Guides

There are many ways to begin a book discussion in your own home, workplace, neighborhood bookstore or coffee shop, public library, church, etc. The idea behind One Book, One San Diego is to have all citizens in the San Diego area reading the same book at the same time, creating a kind of citywide book club and sense of community.

The first step in conducting a book discussion is to visit any of the 35 San Diego Public Library locations, bookstores or the One Book, One San Diego web sites at www.sandiegolibrary.org or www.kpbs.org/onebook and view/download the 2014 resource guide for Monstress: Stories.. The resource guide will include discussion questions as well as a biography of the author.

After obtaining a resource guide, pick a date to gather a group of friends, relatives or co-workers to discuss the book. Having trouble gathering a group together? No problem: The San Diego Public Library will offer many public book discussions at its locations throughout the city.

Once you have your group together, an easy way to begin the book discussion is to ask everyone in your group to bring a favorite passage or question to the meeting and spend some time going around the room and discussing each one. Next, using your resource guide, focus on the main aspects of the book-settings, themes, characterization, etc.

For example:

  • What in particular did everyone like about the book? Was it the characters? The way they were rendered by the author? Were they well-developed, or did you leave the book wanting to know more about them?
  • What about the way the story was told? How did the voice of the book affect the reading of it? Did the voice draw you in or distance you from the story as you read?
  • What are the main themes? Do any of the themes relate to topics or events in the news? Were there major conflicts in the book and were they resolved in a convincing manner?

One of the easiest-and most rewarding-things you can do with your group is to read the book and then attend a lecture by the author. Check the schedule of events on this web site to find out when and where these events are taking place.

The San Diego Public Library will also provide a Book Group Kit to book groups. A Book Group Kit is everything you need to set up and maintain your own book discussion group!

Additional Resources

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