Book Clubbin’: 8 Discussion Questions for ‘The Lions of Fifth Avenue’ by Fiona Davis

Welcome to our monthly blog feature, Book Clubbin’! With some people back in the office, and others still at home, it’s important to keep busy and stay connected! Why not reach out to your bookish friends and see if they want to start a virtual book club or, if your area permits, a backyard book club (with social distancing in place, of course).

Let’s face it, it’s hard to find time to sit down and read these days! We’ve got work, commuting, chores, kids, and so many other things to worry about. That’s when audiobooks come in handy! Just pop on some headphones, press play, and you’ll be the CEO of multi-tasking in a flash!

This month our Book Clubbin’ pick is The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis, narrated by Erin Bennet and Lisa Flanagan. Davis is known for her bestselling historical fiction releases such as The Address and The Chelsea Girls. Her latest release, The Lions of Fifth Avenue, is already garnering buzz, as it was chosen as Good Morning America’s August book club pick. This listen follows Laura Lyons in 1913 as she heads to journalism school, and when valuable books are stolen from the New York Public Library, she gets sucked into the scandal.

Then, we jump forward 80 years to follow Sadie Donovan, Laura’s grand daughter, as she starts her new role at the New York Public Library. When items from the exhibit she was working on begin to go missing, Sadie is faced with unwelcome truths about her own family history.

This month’s pick is perfect for historical fiction fans and book lovers. This story will have you fully immersed. If you’re ready to start discussing The Lions of Fifth Avenue with your book club, get started with the questions below. Beware— SPOILERS ahead.

—————MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS!————

1) Attending the Heterodoxy club changes Laura’s outlook on her life. Are there clubs similar to this that exist today?

2) What is your opinion on how Laura reacts when she finds out who has been stealing books from the library?

3) At the beginning of the book, Laura fills the traditional role of housewife and mother, but she wants to add “student” to the mix. She is met with resistance from her husband when she expresses her intentions. Do you think this still happens today, where woman are expected to fulfill traditionally “female” roles in their households?

4) In both time periods, priceless books go missing from the New York Public Library. Do you think that history will always repeat itself?

5) The library is very important to the story, as well as to both protagonists. What do libraries mean to you? Why are they an important space in our communities?

6) Laura takes the brunt of the blame for the events that transpired. If the roles weren’t so traditional in her home with Josh, do you think that her response and willingness to accept the blame would be different?

7) When Sadie finds out the truth about her grandmother, how does this change her?

8) Do you agree with the punishment that was given to the book thief? What do you think would be a suitable punishment for theft of these priceless items?


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 ‘The Nickel Boys’ by Colson Whitehead

Welcome to our monthly blog feature, Book Clubbin’! As most of us are still at home due to the pandemic and social distancing practices, 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!

And if you’re thinking, “I’m busy with homeschooling, working, 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, relaxing after a long day, or while you’re taking that government-recommended afternoon stroll.

This month our Book Clubbin’ pick is The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead. This Pulitzer Prize-winning novel is an important listen, that centers around a hellish reform school in Jim Crow-era Florida. The story follows Elwood Curtis and his friend and fellow Nickel boy, Turner. The narrative jumps back and forth from Elwood’s time at Nickel to present day and demonstrates how one decision will echo down the decades.

This month’s pick is a quick listen, but also a devastating one. It’s one that you certainly won’t want to miss. If you’re ready to start discussing The Nickel Boys with your book club, get started with the questions below. Beware— SPOILERS ahead.

—————MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS!————

1) Do you think that the racism Elwood endures before going to Nickel differs at all? If so, how?

2) Discuss the relationship Elwood has with education throughout the novel.

3) A student, Jaimie, was half-Mexican and was moved back and forth between the “white” and “colored” sections at Nickel. Why do you think Whitehead added a character of this ethnicity to the story?

4) After Elwood has his first beating how does his outlook on the school and life in general change?

5) Elwood reads about how Nickel contributes to the community. What are your thoughts about how the surrounding community is benefiting from work the Nickel boys have done? Do you see this relating to historical or modern-day practices?

6) What did you think when you found out that present day Elwood was actually Turner, who had taken on Elwood’s name to commemorate him? Are you able to separate the two characters?

7) Why do you think Elwood waited so long to tell Millie the truth about his past and true identity?

8) Who do you think was the villain in The Nickel Boys? Was it the teachers, the community, the school, or someone/something else?

9) After listening to the author’s note at the end of the book, were you surprised to learn that Nickel was based on a real “reform school” that only just closed its doors in 2011? Did this change your feelings about the novel at all?

10) At the very end of the book, roughly 50 years after his time at Nickel, Turner ends up at the Radisson in Tallahassee, which used to be the Richmond. He’s sitting in the very room Elwood used to fantasize about, although he isn’t aware he has fulfilled his friend’s wish of seeing a black person dine at the Richmond. How does this mark of progress make you feel, given all the injustices minorities continue to face today?


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!

Book Clubbin’: 10 Discussion Questions for ‘In Five Years’ by Rebecca Serle

Welcome to our monthly blog feature, Book Clubbin’!

With social distancing in place, it’s more important than ever to stay connected. One excellent way to drum up some excitement amongst you and your friends is to start or join a book club! If you can’t find the extra time at home to sit down and enjoy a book, audiobooks are a great way to squeeze in some literary entertainment without taking much time out of your day. You can listen while you do chores, cook, or even while you work. Before you know it, you’ll have knocked out those pages in no time!

Our pick for April is In Five Years by Rebecca Serle, narrated by Megan Hilty. The novel has already proven to be quite a popular book club choice, with Good Morning America, FabFitFun, and Marie Claire all featuring it for discussion.

In Five Years springs from the popular conversation starter, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” It’s likely a question we’ve all been asked and one that most can answer with at least some clarity. Dannie Kohan is someone who has her life planned to the letter. So, when a future employer asks her in an interview where she sees herself in five years, she has a pitch-perfect answer prepared. That night, after nailing the interview and getting engaged to her live-in boyfriend, she falls asleep only to wake up five years in the future in an unfamiliar apartment beside another man, with a different ring on her finger. When, after an hour, she wakes up once again in her own home in the present, Dannie finds she cannot shake the vision of her future that is completely off-kilter from the one she had planned.

It’s no surprise that In Five Years has been such a popular book club pick. If you’re itching to dive in, check out our discussion questions below! Beware — SPOILERS ahead.

—————MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS!————

1) In Five Years explores the notions of fate versus choice. Discuss how this theme is presented and how each character reacts. Is it ever possible for fate and choice to overlap and work in tandem? Or will the two always be separate entities that one will have to choose between?

2) Had Dannie not experienced her flashforward, would her life — with David, Bella, her job — still have played out the same way? How much does our knowledge of the future dictate how we live in the present?

3) The novel is bookended by the same scene between Dannie and Aaron, although they carry different meanings at different points in the story. Why do you think Rebecca Serle chose to do this?

4) After having experienced the entirety of the novel, what does this mirrored scene reveal about Dannie? What does it reveal about you as a reader?

5) If the flashforward had happened to another character, do you think the story would still have played out the same way? How do you think they would have reacted?

6) In Five Years grapples with the myriad complexities of love. Discuss how this theme pops up in Dannie’s relationships — with Bella, David, and Aaron. How does Serle use the generic elements of a rom-com to subvert our expectations of how a love story is supposed to play out?

7) Why do you think Serle chose to begin the novel at a point when Dannie’s life was, according to herself at least, near-perfect? Does the falling apart of her step-by-step plan signal a failure somewhere in the process, or does it actually make her life fuller?

8) Neither Dannie nor Bella are particularly close with their parents. Why do you think Serle chose to portray their familial relationships this way?

9) Are there any aspects of the novel that you wish had been different?

10) If given the chance, would you look five years into your future?



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 The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Welcome to our monthly blog feature, Book Clubbin’!

Sometimes life can get so hectic that you’re lucky if you find time to shower let alone read your book club book in time. If your New Years’ resolution is to read more but you can’t find the time, audiobooks are the answer! You can press play on this month’s pick during your commute or while you’re cooking dinner and before you know it, you’ll have knocked out those pages in no time!

February’s pick is The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates, narrated by Joe Morton. The novel is Coates’ first foray into fiction, whose bibliography also includes the acclaimed memoir Between the World and Me. Not only was The Water Dancer chosen for Oprah’s Book Club revival, but it also debuted at the top of the New York Times Fiction Best Seller list. Coates began writing the novel around 2008 and 2009 when he was doing extensive research on slavery and the Civil War. Set on a struggling tobacco plantation in Virginia, The Water Dancer follows Hiram Walker, a young mixed-race boy born into slavery who discovers he possesses a superhuman ability when he falls into a river.

You definitely don’t want to miss this striking debut novel. Check out our discussion questions below, but beware — SPOILERS ahead.

—————MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS!————

1) Is the story buoyed by only having Hiram’s point-of-view, or did you feel it was lacking in opportunity and diversity by excluding other characters’ voices?

2) Why do you think Coates decided to write The Water Dancer through the lens of magic realism? What did the addition of his characters’ extraordinary abilities allow Coates to explore and interrogate that he couldn’t have done if the novel wasn’t embellished with magic?

3) Memory is a key theme in the novel. What is Coates suggesting by making the power of Conduction directly tied to memories and the act of remembering? What is the significance of Hiram being unable to recall certain memories?

4) Consider this quote:

“At every gathering there was this dispute about my mother’s mother, Santi Bess, and her fate. The myth held that she had executed the largest escape of tasking folk—forty-eight souls—ever recorded in the annals of Elm County. And it was not simply that they had escaped but where they’d been said to escape to—Africa. It was said that Santi had simply led them down to the river Goose, walked in, and reemerged on the other side of the sea.”

Discuss the significance of River Goose which for some, such as Maynard, is a symbol of danger and death, while for others, like Hiram and Santi Bess, is a symbol of resistance and freedom.

5) How did you feel about the inclusion of a real historical figure such as Harriet Tubman in the story? What impact did it have?

6) Why do you think Coates chose to set The Water Dancer predominantly on a declining tobacco plant? How does Coates juxtapose the trajectory of Lockless to the plights of Hiram and the Underground?

7) Coates often wrestles with how the war against injustice should be waged. When Corrine Quinn and Hawkins plan to take down Georgie Parks, Hiram reminds us that even Georgie was forced into his exploits by circumstance. To what extent is revenge or punishment just when each character is trapped in one way or another?

8) Discuss the complexities of motherhood and fatherhood in the novel and the many forms of “family” we encounter. How does slavery corrupt families? How does Hiram come to define family by the end?

9) Consider the experiences of enslaved women versus enslaved men. How does Coates convey tensions between black characters along gender lines? How does it impact Hiram and Sophia’s relationship over time?

10) Is there any part of the book that you wish had been written differently?

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 Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

Welcome to our monthly blog feature, Book Clubbin’!

Sometimes life can get so hectic that you’re lucky if you find time to grab a shower let alone read your book club book in time. If your New Years’ resolution is to read more but you can’t find the time, audiobooks are the answer! So, press play on this month’s pick during your commute, while you’re cooking dinner, or before bed!

January’s pick is Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid, narrated by Nicole Lewis. This new release has drummed up a lot of buzz in anticipation of its release, that’s for sure! Not only has it become an instant bestseller, but it is also Reese Witherspoon’s January pick for her Hello Sunshine book club. Such a Fun Age tackles the issues of race and privilege through the perspectives of the babysitter, Emira, and her employer, Alix Chamberlain.

Don’t miss this striking debut novel. Check out our discussion questions below, but beware, spoilers ahead.

So take a peek at our questions, and as always, remember there MAY be some spoilers in here!

—————MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS!————

1) Such a Fun Age is told from the perspectives of Alix and Emira. How did these different narrators affect your reading/listening experience?

2) Why didn’t Emira want to share the video from the grocery store?

3) Why do you think Alix is so set on becoming close friends with Emira? Is this linked to guilt she holds from the past?

4) What did you think of Kelley when he was introduced? Were you suspicious of his intentions?

5) After discovering Emira and Alix are linked by someone unexpected, did it change your opinion of either character?

6) Do you think that what happened in high school affected Alix and Kelley differently? Did it leave a lasting impression that carried over to the rest of their lives?

7) How did the events that unfolded in Such a Fun Age ultimately lead to Emira finding her path into a career?

8) How do you think the title, Such a Fun Age, relates to the story?

9) This novel touches on important topics such as: race, classic, identity…etc. Did you notice any other prevalent themes? Did the exploration of any of these themes change your opinions at all?

10) Were you satisfied with how the novel ended? Were you hoping for a different resolution?


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!