Which Book Should Your Book Club Listen to Next?



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Book Clubbin’: 9 Discussion Questions for ‘The Sanatorium’ by Sarah Pearse

It’s time for our monthly Book Clubbin’ blog feature! This snowy February, we’re ramping up the chill with a gothic locked-room mystery set in the Swiss Alps. Grab your cozy blankets and get ready to dive into an immersive story that will transport you to an isolated getaway. Lockdowns and social distancing don’t mean you can’t start up a book club with your pals. Just book an hour (or more if the discussion gets heated) to meet every month through video chat!

This month, our pick is The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse, narrated by Elizabeth Knowelden. The Sanatorium is Pearse’s debut novel, and it’s already getting a ton of buzz as Reese Witherspoon’s February book club pick.

Half-hidden by forests and overshadowed by threatening peaks, Le Sommet has always been a sinister place. Renovated from a sanatorium into a five-star minimalist hotel, Le Sommet is where detective Elin Warner reluctantly finds herself to celebrate Isaac’s, her long-estranged brother, engagement. The imposing, isolated getaway spot immediately puts her on edge. When the party wakes up one morning to find Laure, Isaac’s fiancée, has disappeared amidst the arrival of a snowstorm that cut off all access to the hotel, Elin must find her before something worse happens.

This month’s pick is a sinister, atmospheric listen that will keep you up all night. If you’re ready to start discussing The Sanatorium with your book club, dive into the questions below. Beware— SPOILERS ahead.

—————MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS!————

1) Le Sommet has a sinister past. Nestled in the Swiss Alps and long plagued by rumors, the abandoned sanatorium has been renovated into a luxury hotel. Do you think you would ever stay in a hotel like Le Sommet that was converted from a building with a dark past?

2) During the course of the story, a snowstorm cuts off access to and from the hotel. Why do you think Pearse chose to keep her characters in an enclosed environment?

3) The Sanatorium draws on elements of gothic horror, a genre in which the setting is an integral part of the story. Discuss how Le Sommet, the luxurious yet unsettling hotel, is almost a character unto itself.

4) At the start of the novel, Elin is haunted by a few things in her past: the death of her brother and an investigation gone horribly wrong. Why do you think Pearse made Elin such a vulnerable character? How does she grow as the book progresses?

5) While the majority of the book is focused on Elin, Pearse does bring in different perspectives from time to time. Do you think this added to the story?

6) We eventually learn the sanatorium was a place that abused and exploited vulnerable women. Discuss your thoughts about this. Did it change how you viewed the hotel and the archive room that was planned?

7) Did the ending surprise you? Why or why not?

8) What did you think about the epilogue? If Pearse wrote a sequel, would you be interested?

9) If The Sanatorium was being adapted into a film or tv show, who would you want to be cast?


New to Audiobooks.com? Get your first book free, PLUS a bonus book from our VIP selection when you sign up for our one-month free trial. Digital audiobooks make audible stories come to life when you’re commuting, working out, cleaning, cooking, and more! Listening is easy with our top-rated free audiobook apps for iOS and Android, which let you download & listen to bestselling audiobooks on the go, wherever you are. Click here to get your free audiobooks!

Book Clubbin’: 10 Discussion Questions for ‘Group’ by Christie Tate

Welcome to our monthly blog feature, Book Clubbin’!

As the COVID-19 lockdowns continue into these colder months, the safe choice to see our friends outdoors is becoming less and less realistic. Luckily, virtual book clubs are a safe way to keep connected with your loved ones. And we’re here to help make your book club even easier with these monthly Book Clubbin’ posts!

We get it, the period between Halloween and the new year is extremely busy. It can be hard to find the time to stay on top of your TBR list. But whether you’re getting started on your online holiday shopping, cleaning around the house, or testing out a new recipe, audiobooks help spice up even the most mundane chores. We’re not going to promise that you’ll suddenly be ecstatic to do the dishes but we will definitely make them more tolerable!

This month’s Book Clubbin’ pick is Christie Tate’s debut memoir Group, narrated by Christie herself. This new release is quickly gaining attention after being named as Reese Witherspoon’s latest book club pick.

As a young, overachieving law student, Christie was reaching all her goals. On paper, her life was turning into everything she could have hoped for. At the same time, she felt awful. When thinking about life made Christie feel more anxious and afraid than fantasizing about her death, she knew she needed help to make a change.

In an unexpectedly humorous recounting, Christie shares her experience with group therapy and all the bizarre, intimate moments that changed her life.

If you’re ready to discuss Group in your book club, get started with the questions below. Beware— SPOILERS ahead.

—————MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS!————

1) In the beginning of Group, how do you feel Christie’s image of herself compares to how other people in her life view her? Discuss how external influences, such as social media, might contribute to how people today view themselves.

2) Which specific moments throughout Christie’s journey resonate with you as turning points in the way she views herself? What relationships, positive or negative, may have helped with this healing?

3) Dr. Rosen is known for having an unconventional method of helping people. What were your initial thoughts about his approach and did how did these opinions change throughout the book?

4) Over the course of her memoir, Christie mentions multiple flawed relationships from her young adult life. Which of her relationships do you remember as being the most impactful? What lessons might she have learned from that person?

5) In Group, Christie openly shares many raw, embarrassing moments with her readers. What do you think her goal was in sharing these stories? Do you think you would be able to share such a vulnerable experience with the world?

6) Some memorable moments in Group are completely silent, whether it be a long hug or an entire 90-minute group session. Why do you think silence might play an important part in one’s healing journey? Have you ever experienced a situation where silence was impactful to you?

7) As time goes on, Christie describes her relationship with various groupmates as much more than a regular friendship. What do you think makes her feel this connected to these people? Have you ever created a similarly unexpected bond with someone in your life?

8) If you had to choose one lesson to hold onto from this book, what would it be?

9) Outside of group therapy, what other groups of people helped Christie within the book? Do you have a group in your life that helps teach you similar lessons in love, vulnerability, or identity?

10) Why do you think Christie decided to end her story with an update from 10 years after the story, instead of ending it with her wedding?

New to Audiobooks.com? Get your first book free, PLUS a bonus book from our VIP selection when you sign up for our one-month free trial. Digital audiobooks make audible stories come to life when you’re commuting, working out, cleaning, cooking, and more! Listening is easy with our top-rated free audiobook apps for iOS and Android, which let you download & listen to bestselling audiobooks on the go, wherever you are. Click here to get your free audiobooks!

Book Clubbin’: 8 Discussion Questions for ‘Anxious People’ by Fredrik Backman

Welcome to our monthly blog feature, Book Clubbin’! With school and work routines slowly kicking back into action, many people are trying to find ways to keep entertained. Whether you’re back to your daily commute or simply walking to and from your WFH set up, it’s a great time to reach out to your book-loving pals and invite them to join a virtual or socially distanced book club!

Audiobooks are the perfect option for people who want to enjoy books on the go. By setting up a book club, you’ll be able to share your love for audiobooks with old and new friends alike. If you’re interested in starting a book club but don’t know where to start, check out this list of the best audiobooks for your book club!

This month’s Book Clubbin’ pick is Fredrik Backman‘s Anxious People, narrated by Marin Ireland. As a bestselling author, Backman has become known for writing stories that deliver meaningful messages with perfectly interjected comedic relief. Following suit with his previous works, Anxious People is a poignant comedy that slowly reveals the hardships of the modern world. Viewing an apartment normally doesn’t turn into a life-or-death situation, but this particular open house becomes just that when a failed bank robber bursts in and takes everyone in the apartment hostage. As the pressure mounts, the eight strangers begin slowly opening up to one another and reveal long-hidden truths.

Filled with Fredrik Backman’s impeccable character development and undeniable wit, Anxious People’s whimsical plot serves up unforgettable insights into the human condition and a gentle reminder to be compassionate to all the anxious people we encounter every day.

If you’re ready to start discussing Anxious People with your book club, get started with the questions below. Beware— SPOILERS ahead.

—————MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS!————

1) Do you feel as though each character was already anxious when walking into the open house? What were they anxious about?

2) This story explores the many relationships of its characters, both in and outside of the open house. How do some of these relationships contribute to, or help to ease, the anxiety felt within the hostage situation?

3) Fredrik Backman‘s stories are known to be driven by their character development. Which character in this book did you most identify with? Did your opinion of them change throughout the story? Discuss the different themes and additions this character brought into the novel.

4) Multiple characters have memories that connect back to the bridge. What symbolic meaning does the bridge hold? Do you think the meaning of the bridge changed for the characters by the end of the book?

5) Though Anxious People can be considered a comedy, the novel touches on some difficult parts of the human experience and the issues we often face. Discuss the societal issues that resonated with you, and how the characters managed those situations.

6) Each character has a unique approach to vulnerability and how they open up about their personal anxieties. Who do you think was the most reserved character? The most open? Why do you think these people had different approaches?

7) Near the beginning of the story, Backman wrote “This story is about a lot of things, but mostly about idiots.” How do you define idiocy, and how do characters in this book fit with or go against your definition?

8) If Anxious People were to be made into a television series or film, who would you picture playing some of the characters? Is there anything you’d change about the book to fit better within a video form?

New to Audiobooks.com? Get your first book free, PLUS a bonus book from our VIP selection when you sign up for our one-month free trial. Digital audiobooks make audible stories come to life when you’re commuting, working out, cleaning, cooking, and more! Listening is easy with our top-rated free audiobook apps for iOS and Android, which let you download & listen to bestselling audiobooks on the go, wherever you are. Click here to get your free audiobooks!

Book Clubbin’: 10 Discussion Questions for ‘Sex and Vanity’ by Kevin Kwan

Welcome to our monthly blog feature, Book Clubbin’! As most of us are still at home due to the pandemic, we’re trying our best to stay busy, entertained, and most of all, connected. During this time, we encourage you to reach out to your bookish friends and see if they want to start up a virtual book club!

If you’re thinking, “I’m busy with work, taking care of the house, and so many other things right now, when do you expect me to read!?” That’s where audiobooks come in. You can pop an audiobook on in the background while you’re cooking dinner, spending some time in the garden, or going on a jog around the neighborhood.

This month our Book Clubbin’ pick is Sex and Vanity by Kevin Kwan, narrated by Lydia Look. You’ll know Kwan from his bestselling phenomenon Crazy Rich Asians, which spawned a box office hit in 2018 with a sequel to come. His latest release, Sex and Vanity, has been chosen as Good Morning America’s July book club pick and follows a young woman who finds herself torn between two completely different men. There may not be ‘crazy’ or ‘rich’ in the title, but you can certainly expect lots of both.

This month’s pick is a breezy listen that will keep you entertained to no end. If you’re ready to start discussing Sex and Vanity with your book club, get started with the questions below. Beware— SPOILERS ahead.

—————MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS!————

1) Sex and Vanity is set is two places: Capri and New York City. Why do you think Kevin Kwan chose to situate his characters in two vastly different settings?

2) Consider the conversation between Mordecai and Charlotte that takes place before the tour of Villa Lachowski. Kwan lets us in on their inner dialogues and we’re made privy to their intense game of scrutiny which we’ll see on display again and again with different characters. Do you think all people are capable of such extreme behaviors or do you think their preoccupation with social merit is exacerbated by their wealth and status?

3) Charlotte screams to Olivia that Lucie has “absolutely ruined her life.” How did you interpret this? Is Charlotte referring to the drones, George, or to something else?

4) Mrs. Zao mentions that George often feels burdened by the state of the world and thinks Isabel’s lavish wedding is a massive waste of money, to which Lucy counters Isabel is a dear friend and “does everything with intention and heart.” While Lucy and George both come from privileged families, their views of wealth differ greatly. How does this play out in the rest of the novel?

5) Many characters are caught between two disparate worlds. Discuss how clashing cultures, histories, and traditions influence each character’s upbringing and perspectives.

6) Why do you think Kwan chose to pair Lucy off with a man like Cecil Pike before reuniting her with George?

7) Discuss the ways characters have normalized cultural appropriation and racial microaggressions. Do you think any of them are aware of or have attempted to rectify their harmful behaviors?

8) How did you feel about Kwan’s use of footnotes throughout the book? Did they enhance your understanding of the story or did you find them distracting?

9) Isabel says about Capri: “I’ve been here probably half a dozen times and I still feel like I’m discovering a whole different island every time I come.” Have you felt this way about any place you’ve travelled to?

10) If you could have a lavish destination wedding, where would you want it to be?


New to Audiobooks.com? Get your first book free, PLUS a bonus book from our VIP selection when you sign up for our one-month free trial. Digital audiobooks make audible stories come to life when you’re commuting, working out, cleaning, cooking, and more! Listening is easy with our top-rated free audiobook apps for iOS and Android, which let you download & listen to bestselling audiobooks on the go, wherever you are. Click here to get your free audiobooks!

Book Clubbin’: 10 Discussion Questions for ‘My Dark Vanessa’ by Kate Elizabeth Russell

Welcome to our monthly blog feature, Book Clubbin’!

With social distancing measures still in place, you may find yourself at home more than usual and in search of something new to keep you interested and entertained. So, we think that now is the perfect time to pick up a new listen and start a virtual book club with a few friends.

Even though you may find yourself at home more, you may not actually have any spare time to pick up a book. This is where audiobooks come in. They’re perfect for multi-tasking, so you can listen while you work, do chores, while the kids are napping, or even while you’re out for a walk to get some fresh air.

Our pick for May is My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell, narrated by Grace Gummer. This debut has already become an instant New York Times and Sunday Times bestseller and has sparked news articles about it due to its controversial subject matter.

My Dark Vanessa explores the psychological dynamics of the relationship between a precocious yet naïve teenage girl and her magnetic and manipulative teacher. We see the story jump back-and-forth from Vanessa’s teenage years to her life present day, dealing with her relationship with her teacher, how it affected her, and what she will do when faced with a major decision during the era of #MeToo.

This month’s pick is a heavy listen, but an important read that we think people will be talking about for a long time to come. If you’re ready to start discussing My Dark Vanessa, get started with the questions below. Beware — SPOILERS ahead.

—————MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS!————

1) What is your opinion of Strane? Would you consider his character “sick” or “bad?”

2) Do you think your opinion of Vanessa, Strane, and their relationship would change if Vanessa had been 18 years-old when their relationship first started? 

3) Since he had been a teacher for a long time before crossing paths with Vanessa, do you think Strane pursued other students before her? 

4) Do you think that Strane views his actions as truly “wrong” or do his only worries stem from the potential backlash and repercussions that he may face if it all becomes public?

5) My Dark Vanessa jumps between Vanessa’s experience as a teen and her experience as an adult. What changes do you notice in Vanessa and which, if any, can be attributed to her relationship with Strane? 

6) Why do you think Vanessa and Taylor had such different responses to Strane’s advances? And why was Taylor more willing to come forward than Vanessa was? 

7) We get a glimpse into how Strane’s behavior would be handled in present day with his looming trial, but how different would this story have been if Vanessa had been a teenager in the current age of #MeToo? 

8) How do you interpret the importance of Lolita throughout My Dark Vanessa? And how does it relate to both Vanessa and Strane? 

9) How do you think The Browick School handled the situation when it was brought to their attention the first time around with Vanessa and Strane? Do you think the school should be at least somewhat held responsible for their actions or lack thereof? 

10) Did My Dark Vanessa change your opinions on consent and victimhood? Would you consider Vanessa a victim?


New to Audiobooks.com? Get your first book free, PLUS a bonus book from our VIP selection when you sign up for our one-month free trial. Digital audiobooks make audible stories come to life when you’re commuting, working out, cleaning, cooking, and more! Listening is easy with our top-rated free audiobook apps for iOS and Android, which let you download & listen to bestselling audiobooks on the go, wherever you are. Click here to get your free audiobooks!