Book Clubbin’: 14 Discussion Questions for ‘The Girl From the Grand Hotel’ by Camille Aubray

For this round of our Book Clubbin’ feature, we’re diving into the forthcoming The Girl From the Grand Hotel by Camille Aubray, narrated by Lisa Flanagan! Set against the vibrant backdrop of 1920s New York City, this captivating listen takes readers on a journey through love, loss, and the pursuit of dreams.

In The Girl From the Grand Hotel, Aubray masterfully weaves together the lives of two women from different worlds: Vera, a Russian immigrant with dreams of becoming a ballerina, and Frances, a wealthy socialite struggling to find her place in society. As their paths intertwine at the iconic Grand Hotel, secrets are revealed, friendships are tested, and unexpected connections are made.

Throughout the book, readers are transported to a glittering era filled with glamour, ambition, and the complexities of human relationships. From the bustling streets of Manhattan to the opulent ballrooms of high society, The Girl From the Grand Hotel offers a rich tapestry of emotions and experiences that will keep readers glued to the audiobook late into the night.

Whether you’re reading solo or with your book club, we’ve curated a list of thought-provoking discussion questions in partnership with Blackstone Publishing to spark conversations about this compelling story. Keep reading below to get the conversation started. Beware— SPOILERS ahead.

—————CONTAINS SPOILERS!—————

1) We first meet Annabel in her summer job at a Grand Hotel on the French Riviera in 1939. What makes a Grand Hotel special? What is her uncle’s Code of Standards? How do the newly arriving guests challenge such standards? What are Oncle JP’s plans for Annabel’s future? Do his plans conflict with her hopes and dreams?

2) How do Annabel’s past experiences with her parents, grandmother, boyfriend, education, and secretarial work affect her attitude toward the work she is now doing in France? What does Annabel yearn for?

3) Discuss Annabel’s first impressions of the screenwriter. What are Scott’s common misperceptions at this time in his life? How would you describe Annabel’s evolving relationship with Scott?

4) What are the first signs of trouble brewing when Annabel meets the Hollywood guests at the pool area? And, when she takes Oncle JP’s granddaughter Delphine to the garden? What could the garden itself represent?

5) What were your first impressions of Jack Cabot and Téa Marlo? What does Jack represent to Annabel? What does Jack reveal to Annabel about the screenwriter?

6) Why is Annabel wary of the young heir, Rick Bladey? What did you think of Rick when he met Delphine?

7) The hotel has many mysterious people: the tennis player, the English couple, the Polish secretary, Marta, the receptionist, the German guests, and movie stars. What secrets are eventually revealed about each of them?

8) Many startling events start out looking ordinary: when Annabel is asked to deliver two telegrams, when she sits in on a script meeting when she is invited to parties, and when she works with the actors and the screenwriter. Discuss each of these, examining the ominous signs that trouble is brewing in both the personal lives at the Grand Hotel and the politics of the time. How does Annabel cope with this turmoil?

9) What was the most significant thing that happened when Jack, Annabel, and Téa went off together to the little “village in the clouds” called Sainte Agnès? What does the Maginot Fort represent, both to the characters personally and to France itself?

10) What do we learn about the family of Sonny, the man who runs Olympia Studios? What is his family’s dynamic? How do Cissy and Alan, in particular, affect Annabel’s actions?

11) At the last party at the Grand Hotel, the tensions that have been brewing all along erupt in various ways. How does the thunderstorm become a breaking point? What is the metaphorical significance of the lobsters?

12) How does the Second World War outbreak affect Annabel’s life—her personal choices and the speed with which she must make life-altering decisions? What would you have done if you were in her place?

13) Many assume the first Cannes Film Festival occurred in the 1940s. They also assume that the festival was always held in the springtime. Yet the first one was planned for September 1, 1939. What was the original purpose of the festival? What were your assumptions about the Cannes Film Festival before you read this novel? Now that you know its origins, what do you think of its history and legacy?

14) When you look back on the novel, which character was always in the most danger? Is this different from what you first thought when you were introduced to the characters?


Looking for Book Recommendations?

• Here are the audiobooks our members have been loving, along with our staff picks that we’ve been championing.

• Looking to share your love of books? Our handy Book Clubbin’ questions make it super easy to start a book club. Or, Netflix n’ buddy-read with this year’s book-to-screen adaptations (just be prepared for the perennial debate: is the book better than the movie/show?).

• If you’re looking for something extra, we’ve got author and narrator interviews to give you a gleam inside their worlds.

• For the curious-minded, audiobooks can teach you a thing or two, from nature therapy to personal finance. It can even keep the little ones busy so you can steal some time back for yourself.


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 ‘The Paris Apartment’ by Lucy Foley

Our Book Clubbin’ blog feature is back and this time we’re getting immersed in a highly anticipated listen from the bestselling author of The Hunting Party and The Guest List. We’re chatting about The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley.

In this latest listen from Foley, we follow Jess as she leaves her job and travels to Paris where she plans to stay with her brother, Ben, while she figures out what’s next. When she arrives, Ben is nowhere to be found. She begins looking into his disappearance and as she uncovers more about her brother, the apartment he lives in, and its residents she is sent on a frenzied path to discovery of the truth.

The Paris Apartment is a dark and twisty mystery/thriller listen that will keep you guessing until the very end. If you and your book club are getting lost in The Paris Apartment this month, then keep keep reading for our discussion questions below. Beware— SPOILERS ahead.

—————CONTAINS SPOILERS!—————

1) Did you feel like you were racing to the end of this listen or was it more of a slow burn?

2) Discuss the importance of wealth throughout this story. How does Jess compare to the other residents of the apartment building?

3) Did you notice any other prevalent themes throughout this listen?

4) Even though this listen is set in the bustling city of Paris, the apartment still feels very isolated. How do you think that contributes to the story?

5) Would you have preferred to have the story told solely told from Jess’ perspective?

6) Which character/neighbor were you most suspicious of before the final twist was revealed?

7) How do you think Jess and Ben’s relationship changed after this experience? What about the other characters?

8) If you’ve read The Guest List or The Hunting Party by Foley, how do you think The Paris Apartment differs from those listens?


Looking for Book Recommendations?

• Here are the audiobooks our members have been loving, along with our staff picks that we’ve been championing.

• Looking to share your love of books? Our handy Book Clubbin’ questions make it super easy to start a book club. Or, Netflix n’ buddy-read with this year’s book-to-screen adaptations (just be prepared for the perennial debate: is the book better than the movie/show?).

• If you’re looking for something extra, we’ve got author and narrator interviews to give you a gleam inside their worlds.

• For the curious-minded, audiobooks can teach you a thing or two, from nature therapy to personal finance. It can even keep the little ones busy so you can steal some time back for yourself.


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 ‘It Ends With Us’ by Colleen Hoover

It’s that time again! Our Book Clubbin’ feature is back to bring you some conversation sparking questions for your next book club meeting. Whether you and your friends have planned a full night to chat this month’s pick through, or you’ve got a virtual meeting in your calendar, these questions will keep the conversation going!

This time around we’ve chosen It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover. If you haven’t heard of Colleen Hoover yet, then chances are, you’re not as deep into #BookTok as we are over here (guilty!). Hoover’s titles have been blowing up on TikTok over the last year, and have also seen some time climbing the New York Times bestsellers list.

In It Ends With Us, we follow Lily, who didn’t have the easiest time growing up, but now she has moved out on her own and started her own business. Then, she meets the handsome neurosurgeon, Ryle, who seems too good to be true. Ryle’s fear of commitment worries Lily more and more as she continues to fall for him and in the meantime, she’s started reminiscing about Atlas—her first love and a link to her past.

If your book club has decided to see what all the hype is about and have chosen It Ends With Us for your next read, then you’re in luck! Keep reading for our discussion questions below. Beware— SPOILERS ahead.

—————CONTAINS SPOILERS!—————

1) What did you think about the format of Lily reading her letters to Ellen DeGeneres?

2) Lily grew up witnessing an abusive relationship, how do you think this affected her relationships in the future?

3) Why do you think Lily continued to help Atlas when they were kids despite the judgement from her family and friends?

4) How did Lily’s relationship with Atlas differ than her relationship with Ryle? How did each help her grow as a person?

5) After reconnecting with Atlas, why do you think Lily agrees to marry Ryle despite the anger he’s displayed?

6) Did Hoover portray Ryle in a way that made you empathize with him despite his actions?

7) What would you have done if you were in Lily’s situation? Do you agree with the decision she made?

8) Why do you think Hoover titled this book, It Ends With Us?


Looking for Book Recommendations?

• Here are the audiobooks our members have been loving, along with our staff picks that we’ve been championing.

• Looking to share your love of books? Our handy Book Clubbin’ questions make it super easy to start a book club. Or, Netflix n’ buddy-read with this year’s book-to-screen adaptations (just be prepared for the perennial debate: is the book better than the movie/show?).

• If you’re looking for something extra, we’ve got author and narrator interviews to give you a gleam inside their worlds.

• For the curious-minded, audiobooks can teach you a thing or two, from nature therapy to personal finance. It can even keep the little ones busy so you can steal some time back for yourself.


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 ‘Klara and the Sun’ by Kazuo Ishiguro

It’s time for our Book Clubbin’ blog feature! 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, we’re diving into Nobel laureate Kazuo Ishiguro’s latest novel, Klara and the Sun, narrated by Sura Siu. At once tender and thrilling, Klara and the Sun is a magnificent entry into Ishiguro’s body of work.

Ishiguro’s eighth novel, the first after he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2017, introduces a uniquely unforgettable narrator in Klara, an Artificial Friend. From her vantage in the store, she carefully watches the behavior of those who come in to browse, and of those who pass in the street outside. She remains hopeful a customer will soon choose her, but when the possibility emerges that her circumstances may change forever, Klara is warned not to invest too much in the promises of humans. Those familiar with Ishiguro’s work will see tendrils of familiarity in his discussions of humanity and servitude that he first explored in Never Let Me Go.

No matter if you’re a first-time reader or an Ishiguro devotee, this month’s pick will surely spark complex discussions about the nature of love, sentience, and the human condition. Beware— SPOILERS ahead.

—————CONTAINS SPOILERS!————

1) In Klara and the Sun, Kazuo Ishiguro imagines not a world where AI rebellion is inevitable, as so many science fiction novels and movies have warned, but rather that it is not and may never be. What kind of threat do you think he is highlighting, instead, with the placid servitude and expendability of Klara and other AFs (Artificial Friends)?

2) Ishiguro keeps the narrative tightly constrained to Klara’s point of view. What do her naiveté and unique observations add to the story?

3) Discuss how the theme of loneliness comes up in the story and some of the ways AFs both combat and exacerbate loneliness.

4) What are your thoughts on the society Ishiguro created in which “lifted” children are afforded better opportunities and, in turn, a vastly different lifestyle than those who aren’t “lifted?” How does this compare with the world we currently live in?

5) During Josie’s interaction meeting when the boys want to throw Klara around to test her coordination, one of the girls says it’s “evil” and “nasty” to handle an AF that way. What did you make of the children’s different sentiments toward AFs? What about Klara’s response, or, rather, lack thereof?

6) What did you make of Klara’s visit to Morgan’s Falls with the Mother? Did it change your opinion of either of them?

7) If things had gone differently and Josie’s parents carried through with their plan, do you think either of them could ever have accepted Klara as Josie’s replacement?

8) If it came to it, is it something you would ever consider doing?

9) Why, in the end, do you think Ishiguro chose for Josie to recover from her illness?

10) What do you think Ishiguro is saying about the uniqueness of humans? What about robots? Does he offer any definitive conclusions?


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!

Which Book Should Your Book Club Listen to Next?



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’: 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!