Book Club Discussion Ideas

Here are some of my favorite ways for books clubs and groups to discuss and dialogue about my book.

Choose a prompt and discuss its relationship to the book. 


Go through a list of questions one at a time OR Write the questions on index cards and pass them around the group. Each person can choose one questions/index card to talk about. 

11 possible questions for my book So Many Africas: Six Years in a Zambian Village.

1. What did you connect with in this book?

2. How does the author use silence as a theme throughout the book? Have there been times in your life when you      have silenced yourself and your story?

3. What does the author say about hiding? Have there been things you’ve hidden in your life?

4. What are some of the other main ideas, themes, symbols you noticed in the book?

5. Why is Africa personified as a woman and referred to as She– what do you think the author feels about Africa?

6. Has the book changed how you think about anything?

7. Talk about the book’s structure and how time moves back and forth between past and present.

8. Why does the author wait till near the end of the book to include the chapter on letters to her mom and dad that were written many years earlier?

9. What passages strike you as insightful?

10. Is the ending satisfying?

11. If you could ask the author a question, what would you ask?


Choose a specific character in the book and discuss. 

You might consider Lasso, Pat Ball, or “Africa.”  What roles do they play? What do they mean to the author? What do they represent?


Pick a Specific Passage from the book and ask the members to comment on it. 

I hope these thoughts give you some good ideas for your book club. If you’d like me to join you for the discussion and be part of your club for an evening, I’d love to! Just email me the details.

Thanks to each of the book clubs who have read So Many Africas! May your club be filled with many, many good reads in the coming years!

PHOTO: Neighbor boys with Kristina looking on.1986

Jill Kandel
  • Kim Edvenson
    Posted at 01:12h, 14 May Reply

    Thanks for posting book club discussion ideas. I’ve posted this on our group page and ordered decaf African (Ethiopian) coffee beans.

    • Jill Kandel
      Posted at 07:49h, 14 May Reply

      Thank you, Kim. Ethiopian Coffee and a Book Club! Sounds like a fantastic evening.

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