icon caret-left icon caret-right instagram pinterest linkedin facebook twitter goodreads question-circle facebook circle twitter circle linkedin circle instagram circle goodreads circle pinterest circle


Is your Book Club discussing West with Giraffes?

GREAT!  I've been getting many requests for suggestions for book club chats. While there aren't any prepared discussion questions per se, I bet you can come up with some yourselves if everyone has read the novel--a dozen should jump off the page.


HOWEVER, I did see the following question posted on Goodreads, and the answers readers suggested can offer a jumpstart along with some of my notes to guide you:


Do you think there are enough issues for a good book club discussion?




Topics might include:


• Life during the Great Depression
• Value of such a historical novel for perspective of current hard times
• The Dust Bowl and other ecological issues then/now and our part in them
• Human's relationships with and obligation to animals (and other humans)
• Endangered/extinct species--why it matters: Old Man's sky-blanketing passenger pigeons (pp. 2, 86, 238) & Author's Note
• Treatment of Blacks in those times vs. now
• Treatment of women in those times vs. now
• Treatment of the very elderly
• Zoos vs. circuses--then/now (See Author's Note)
• Tolerance of lying and stealing in desperate times
• The unanswered questions about the Old Man's past and why Author left us to wonder
• Red's "bucket list": The spectre of a weak heart/short life to fuel her culture-busting dream-chasing
• How childhood shapes us and how much power we have to change it
• My favorite: Power of storytelling (why Woody is writing his story and why it matters; see TED talk quote in Author's Note)

• Be sure to read the novel's Author's Note for points mentioned above--but also for overall spurring of discussion:  I tell why I wrote it, how I uncovered the true story and especially about how/why today's best zoos have turned into conservation organizations. NOTICE: I've been told that the Kindle version, probably due to length, does not include the Authors Note, Historical Notes, or Acknowledgements. I did not know this until recently. So PLEASE get a print copy for the full effect!]

Have lots of enlightening fun!