Book Clubbin’: 10 Discussion Questions for ‘Malibu Rising’ by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Welcome back to our monthly Book Clubbin’ feature where we provide discussion questions for your next book club meeting. If you’re lucky enough to be in an area where things are slowly returning to normal, now’s the perfect time to round up your friends and hit up a patio for a night of delicious food, summer drinks, and lots of book talk. If not, no worries! You can always get nice and cozy in your own house and sip n’ chat over Zoom (we know you’re pros at it by now)!

We’re big Taylor Jenkins Reid fans here at Audiobooks.com, so naturally we chose her latest release, Malibu Rising narrated by the incomparable Julia Whelan, as our Book Clubbin’ pick!

Malibu: August 1983. As the children of famed singer Mick Riva, Nina and her three siblings Jay, Hud, and Kit are a constant source of fascination in Malibu. It’s the day of Nina’s annual end-of-summer party, and anticipation is at a fever pitch as everyone who is someone gather at Nina’s glamorous Cliffside mansion. Over the course of 24 hours, everything the Riva siblings have spent a lifetime holding together comes crumbling down. By morning the Riva mansion will have gone up in flames.

If you’ve been on the hunt for some thought-provoking book club questions that are sure to spark a great discussion, look no further. Keep reading for our discussion questions below. Beware— SPOILERS ahead.

—————CONTAINS SPOILERS!————

1) Why do you think Taylor Jenkins Reid chose the setting of Malibu in the 1980s? What did the time period and location add to the story?  

2) The realities of fame play out very differently for men and women in Malibu Rising. Discuss how fame carries different expectations and consequences for each of the Rivas. Do these expectations and consequences still ring true for celebrities today?

3) What does surfing mean to each of the siblings?

4) Why do you think Taylor Jenkins Reid chose to include June and Mick’s backstory? How did their relationship and fallout inform your understanding of the Riva siblings?

5) How did you feel about June’s choices throughout the novel? In what ways is Nina, who is the most worried out of all of her siblings about following in her mother’s footsteps, both like and unlike June?

6) Malibu Rising is very much about the tenacity and complicity of sibling bonds. Discuss the ways the Riva siblings are defined by each other and how their relationships change, if at all, throughout the course of the novel.

7) How did you feel about Mick by the end of the novel? Were you ever sympathetic towards him?

8) Were you surprised by Casey’s arrival? With Nina leaving, how do you think Casey will fit into the family?

9) Why do you think Taylor Jenkins Reid chose to have the majority of the story takes place within 24 hours, and why is it important that it all culminate in a massive, destructive fire?

10) Malibu Rising is currently in development as a miniseries at Hulu! Who would you cast as each of 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’: 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 ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’ by Delia Owens

Welcome back to our monthly blog feature, Book Clubbin’!

Is one of your resolutions for this year to read more books or start a book club? If you’re reading this, this is your sign to take the plunge! We know that it can be a little tough with stay-at-home orders, lockdowns, and social distancing, but don’t let it stop you! Start up a virtual book club with a couple friends where you can chat all about your latest read/listen via Zoom, FaceTime, or whatever you choose!

This month’s Book Clubbin’ pick is Delia Owen’s Where the Crawdad’s Sing. Chances are, you’ve heard of this book a lot over the past few years. Where the Crawdads Sing was Owens’ debut novel and it held its ground on the New York Times Fiction Bestsellers list for 25 weeks in total. So, you know it’s worth a listen!

Where the Crawdads Sing takes us to Barkley Cove, North Carolina in 1969, where rumors have circulated of the ‘Marsh Girl’ for years. When the handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, all fingers point to Kya Clark, the so-called ‘Marsh Girl.’ But there is more to Kya than meets the eye. After surviving alone in the marsh for so long, she yearns to be loved and when two men in town become intrigued by her, Kya is opened up to a new life…until the unthinkable happens.

Ready to start chatting about Where the Crawdads Sing with your bookclub, then get started with the discussion questions below. Beware— SPOILERS ahead.

—————MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS!————

1) Jumpin’ and Mabel know that Kya is living on her own as a 10 year-old, and while they do offer support through clothing and other transactions, they never contact anyone to come remove her from the marsh. Why do you think this is?

2) Kya decides not to return to school after she was bullied. How do you think this affected her life?

3) Chase and Tate are both drawn to Kya, how do their relationships with her differ?

4) How did the fireflies that Kya observed one night influence her outlook on relationships and contribute to her actions later in the book?

5) Delia Owens is not only an author, but also a zoologist and has studied animals in remote parts of the world. Do you think her experience seeped into Where the Crawdads Sing? What similarities do you see with both Kya and wild animals?

6) Let’s discuss Kya’s trial. Do you think that the local’s presumptions and opinions about her colored the case and its outcome?

7) Did you suspect that Kya actually did kill Chase? Were you surprised when Tate found Kya’s secret stash/confession after her death?

8) Thinking of the title, why do you think Delia Owen titled her novel, Where the Crawdads Sing?

9) Reese Witherspoon’s production company is planning to adapt this novel into a movie. Which actors do you picture for the characters in the book?

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!