#ALIASNGGBookClub Archive

Discover our past #ALIASNGGBookClub disussion questions from the #ALIASNGGBookClub Facebook Group.

#ALIASNGGBookClub book selected Emma by Jane Austen in April 2020 as the first read-a-long book.

Questions:

  1. Jane Austen said when she wrote Emma, “I’m going to take a heroine whom no one but myself will much like.” Do you like Emma? What are her most annoying characteristics and what are her most admirable?
  2. Emma takes Harriet Smith under her wing, hoping to match her with a marriage above her expectations at the start of the book. How do you feel about Emma’s mission? Do you think it was purely self-serving entertainment or did she think she really wish to do Harriet good?
  3. Early in the book, Emma tells Harriet she does not plan to marry. But the other women all embody, in one way or another, the serious consequences of staying single. The book is filled with women at risk. Discuss with reference to : Miss Bates, Jane Fairfax, Mrs. Elton, Harriet Smith and Miss Taylor.
  4. Do Mr. Knightly’s feelings for Emma change over the course of the story? If so, how do they change?
  5. It is often said that great literature bears re-reading. How is that particularly true for Emma?

The Time Machine by H.G Wells.

Questions:

  1. The Time Machine was once published in a collection titled Seven Scientific Romances. H.G Wells also referred to it as a “romance”. In what way, if any, would you classify this story as a romance?
  2. The Time Machine was written in 1875, and delves into scientific ideas of time and space – including the fourth dimension. How do you think Victorian readers may have responded to these concepts when this book was published?
  3. Although the Time Traveller wants to be scientific about the evolution of humanity, he seems to sympathize with the Eloi. Do you share his viewpoint or do you take a more neutral view of the Eloi-Morlock ecology?
  4.   What purpose does the Time Traveller’s foray to “the end of the world” serve in the story and in Well’s social commentary? Do you think Wells was truly pessimistic about the future of mankind or do you see his hints of optimism in his story?

 

After a break the ALIASNGGBookClub returned in 2022! Readingthe Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde.

The Eyre Affair introduces us to the BookWorld. A place where traveling to your favourite book genre or running away in time is a reality if you work in Jurisfiction and have a travel book.

 

  1.  How does time affect Thursday’s relationship with her time traveling father?Is Thursday’s father right to want to change history? Would you time travel to the BookWorld?
  2. Do you think a familiarity with Bronte, Shakespeare and Dickens texts is essential for reading this book?  Do you read books by authors referenced in books? If you could visit the inner world of any book, which would you choose?
  3. Is Thursday correct to keep Landen Park-Laine at a distance for the treatment of her brother Anton in the Crimean war? Should Thursday follow her heart and renew her relationship with Landen? How do you describe Uncle Mycroft and Aunt Polly’s relationship?

  4. In the Eyre Affair, Rochester tells Thursday that her intervention improved the book by causing the iconic moment when his horse was spooked, a moment causing his meeting with Jane. What other iconic moments in literature might plausibly be influenced by outside influence in the context of the BookWorld?
  5. Acheron Hades is the villain of The Eyre Affair. He has stolen the Martin Chuzzlewit manuscript and was Thursday’s former English lecturer. He was romantically interested in Thursday as a student and considered her his top pupil/protegee. Is it an advantage/disadvantage that Thursday has a past with Acheron? Will Thursday’s past with Acheron help her find the manuscript as a LiteraTech agent?
  6. Dodos, Thylacines and Mammoths are extinct. But thanks to home-test cloning kits, they are real pets in the story. Pickwick is Thursday Next, beloved cloned blue pet dodo in the story. What would you clone if cloning extinct or mythical animals were possible?
  7. In the story, Thursday Next and Landen-Parke Laine attend an interactive performance of a William Shakespeare play. That has the same level of popularity as attending a live performance of The Rocky Horror Show. What are your thoughts on Interactive performances?Would you attend an interactive Shakespeare performance?What Shakespeare performance would you see?

Persuasion:

  1. How does Anne Elliot compare to other Austen heroines? What is different about her? What do all of Austen’s heroines have in common? Who is your favourite Austen heroine?
  2. How does the novel introduce the characters and societal positionsof the three Elliot sisters? Is the relationship between the sisters something you see as significant in Austen’s work?
  3. Austen’s novel often features hypochondriac characters who are figures of fun such as Anne’s younger sister Mary or Emma’s father in ‘Emma’. There are also instances of characters catching a chill from walking in the rain and being laid up for weeks (Jane in Pride and Prejudice). How is illness viewed differently now compared to Austen’s time?
  4. Does Captain Frederick Wentworth make a good match for Anne Elliott to fight for in the story, or should she have focused on another character as her equal love match? Which Austen love interest is your favourite?
  5. If this is your first time reading the book, are you enjoying it? Or have you returned to reading the book?What are your impressions of the Elliot family?

  6. What functions does Lady Russel play in the novel. Is she a villain or a voice of reason?
  7. Where is your favourite place to read? Is this where you are reading Persuasion?
  8. What were your thoughts on reading Persuasion?

 

Jamaica Inn

  1. What does Du Maurier’s use of foreshadowing tell you about what may be to come? Have you started Jamaica Inn yet? How did you feel riding towards Jamaica Inn in the rain with Mary? What manner of people and criminal activities did you expect to find when we arrived?
  2. Our heroine Mary is not a shy, simpering maiden but a hardworking, fearless farm girl. What are your favourite Marry Yellan Jamaica Inn moments?
  3. At what point did you realise Jem and Mary were attracted to each other? And how do you feel about a leading man who is a horse thief?

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

  1. Is it a blessing or a curse to have the ability to speak characters out of books?
  2. Meggie meets Dustfinger, a fire dancer, one of the INKHEART characters Mo read out of the book. As Mo refuses to tell Meggie about Capricorn, the villainous character who escaped from INKHEART, Dustfinger chooses to tell Meggie the truth about him. Do you think Mo is being a protective parent or a liar for keeping secrets from Meggie?
  3. Mo has been taken captive by Capricorn’s men, who broke into Aunt Elinor’s home while Dustfinger was performing a fire show for Meggie in the garden. Meggie wants to run away to find him, but Elinore convinces her to stay with her in case Mo returns. Dustfinger mysteriously disappears for a day, reappearing with knowledge of Capricorn’s hideout. Should Meggie and Aunt Elinore trust Dustfinger after discovering he was responsible for telling Capricorn’s men where to find Mo?

  4. Meggie and Elinor find their way to Capricorn’s village and are taken prisoner by Capricorn’s men. Meggie meets Capricorn and discovers he has plans for her father. Reuniting with Mo, Meggie and Elinor, learn what happened nine years ago that allowed Capricorn, his men and Dustfinger to appear in the real world.Was this the right time for Mo to tell Meggie and Elinor the truth about #INKHEART?
  5. Do you feel Capricorn’s thirst for power will lead to his downfall?
  6. Basta is an INKHEART character who believes in magic and superstition. We learn he carries amulets and charms to protect him from bad luck. Do you believe in any superstitions?

  7. What happens when you need to find the right words to change a story for characters who now exist in the real world?
  8. Should Fengolio have the right to enter his story over Dustfinger, who is homesick to be reunited with his family?

 

Question 1: Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

July-August read-a-long #aliasnggbookclub
Succession and Inheritance are two big themes discussed in Sense and Sensibility. What are your thoughts on Henry Dashwood and his attitude to money and succession to inheriting Norland Park?

Week 2 #ALIASNGGBookClub Question

Marianne:
‘I could not be happy with a man whose taste did not in every point coincide with my own. He must enter into my feelings; the same books, the same music, must charm us both. (Chapter 3, p.19)


The opinion of what is considered appropriate for a lover is discussed in Sense and Sensibility by Marianne. Who feels that Edward is not the right person as a match for Elinor as they do not share the same interests and feels that Elinor is cold hearted in her feelings for Edward. Elinor ‘I think very highly of him … I greatly esteem, … I like him’. (p.23)

Q1 Is Marianne correct to feel this way about Edward? Is an ideal match someone that is mutely regarded or an individual with the same passions and taste as you? Or a combination of both?
Q2 What is Jane Austen trying to say about the topic of love? 
Week 3:
Q1: Do you feel Mrs Dashwood favours Willoughby to Colonel Brandon?
Q2: What are your thoughts on this Sense and Sensibility quote?

Jane Austen writes, “Had he been … old, ugly, and vulgar, the gratitude & kindness of Mrs Dashwood would have been .. to her child; but the influence of youth, beauty, & elegance, gave an interest … to her feelings”. (Chapter 9, p.44).

Week 4:
Q2: What are your thoughts on Sense and Sensibility?
Week 5:
Elinor and Lucy Steele have a conversation about beau’s in Chapter 21 p.119. Lucy asks Elinor if her brother John was quite a beaux before he was married as he was so rich.
Was Lucy’s question appropriate or rude to ask Elinor about John?
T

The Hobbit by J.R.R. TOLKIEN September - October read-a-long

Question 1:

Peter Jackson divided The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien book from one story into a film trillogy. Do you feel this was the best way to tell The Hobbit story?
Question 2 Week 2 #questionoftheday


Tolkien writes that the Baggins family are viewed as respectable because they “never had any adventurers or did anything unexpected.” What are your thoughts on Bilbo leaving the Shire with Gandalf, Thorin & Company on his first adventure at aged 50?

Bonus question:
Would you have accepted Thorin & Company’s letter and gone on the adventure?

Gloin tells Bilbo he has a mark on his door advertising his service as a burglar. The burglar mark was placed on Bilbo’s door by Gandalf. What are your thoughts on Gandalf advertising Bilbo as a thief?
Question 4 Week 4

1.Do you feel fate led to Bilbo finding the ring of power in Gollum’s cave?

Bonus question:

2.We learn that Gollum enjoys riddles from his game with Biblo. Did Bilblo outsmart Gollum with his final question? Do you feel fate led Bilbo to finding the ring of power in Gollum’s cave?

Question 5 Week 5
After a battle with spiders Thorin & Company are taken prisoner by the Elven King’s wood-elves. Bilbo evades capture due to the ring of power making him invisible to the wood-elves.
Part 1: What were your thoughts on Bilbo’s plan to resue Thorin & Company from the Elven King’s palace via the cellar in barrels?
Part 2: Was this a risky or clever idea?
Question 6 Week 6:
Arriving at the Misty Mountain Bilbo meets Smaug the dragon and his hoard of treasure/The Arkenstone: Stone of the King aka Kings Jewel. Smaug knows Bilbo was hired by Thorin to do the dangerous work, knowing that it would take years to remove all of the treasure from the mountain. 
1. What do you think of Smaug?
2. Do you feel Thorin vales the Arkenstone more than Bilbo?
Final question Week 7:
Bilbo was given a fourteen share of the treasure. He chooses to keep a chest of gold and a chest of silver. Adding two bags of Goblin gold on the way home to the Shire.
What was the most important thing that Bilbo gained from his adventure?

Six Of Crows by Leigh Bardugo Jan - Feb 2024

Characters of Six Of Crows. (L - R) Inej Ghafar, Kaz Brekker and Jesper Fehey.
  1. Do you feel Kez dresses the way he does to mock or be seen as intimidating in the gang?
  2. How do the twin experiences of displacement on the one hand, and the pull towards belonging on the other, motivate our characters in their journey?
  3. What is Bardugo exploring through the process by which our characters are ‘marked’/ unmarked? How does this play out between Kaz Brekker, inej Ghafar and others with the crow andcup tattoo?
  4. What do you think of the way Leigh Bardugo uses romnce in the book? Are there any pairings that you loved or hated? Anyone that you are shipping while reading?
  5. Do you feel Matthius Helvar’s opinion of Nina* changed after travelling together after surving the shipwreck? *Nina is a Corporalink Grisha soldier. With Heartrender andTailor magic skills.

 

Before the coffee gets cold tales from the cafe

In March – April 2024 we read Before the coffee gets cold tales from the cafe.

  • Week 1: Before the coffee gets cold Tales from the cafe.
    If you could go back, who would you want to meet?
    At the start of Before the coffee gets cold Tales from the Cafe by #ToshikazuKawaguchi, you find a dedication page with this question.
    Cafe Funiculi Funicula provides the opportunity to travel to the past. But travelling has a set of rules to adhere to that can’t be ignored. You must drink your coffee before it gets cold in a designated seat. If the coffee gets cold when you are in the past, you will become a ghost.
    Would you visit the Cafe to go back in time to see a loved one or friend, even though your time is limited to the temperature of the coffee?

Week 2 ALIA SNGG Book Club
Before The Coffee GetsCold Tales from the Cafe question.
We meet the character of Gohtaro at the start of chapter one. He is experiencing conflicting emotions, feeling happy as a father living the life his best friend Shintaro was not able to experience as a father. Twenty-two years ago, Gohtaro took the responsibility of a parent looking after Shintaro’s daughter Haruka- after Shintaro died.
📚☕️Q2:
What were your thoughts on Gohtaro travelling back in time to tell Shintaro that his daughter was getting married? How did you feel when Shintaro recorded his video message to wish Haruka congratulations on her wedding day?
  • Week 3: Creative people have an understanding of hardships following creative paths. To be an artist, you will experience the joys of success and struggles trying to create work that inspires you – that you can be proud of.
Yukio gets cheated by a wholesale studio owner he trusts who steals his money, leaving him in debt with no money. He wants to return to the past and stay there as a ghost. So his family are not burdened with his debt.
Q3
What are your thoughts on Yukio’s situation?
Week 4:

‘For a parent, a child is a child for ever. Never ever expecting anything in return, she was simply a mother who wanted her child to be happy, always, to shower him with love.’ (Chapter 2, p. 108)

Q: As a parent you wish for all the best for your child and want to see them happy. What are thoughts on Kinyo’s quote in Mother & Son in Chapter 2?
Week 5:
Chapter 3: The Lovers
Katsuki Kurata is ill. He plans on visiting the Cafe 2 and a 1/2 years into the future to see if his old girlfriend Asami. Kurata enlist the help of Fumiko, Asami friend to visit the Cafe at the set date. With the condition to only bring her to the Cafe if he has died.
Q5:
Would you travel in time to make sure the person you loved was happily married and moved on after you passed?
Week 6:
Before the Coffee Gets Cold Tales From the Cafe.
Q:
The Tokita family have the responsibility of pouring the Coffee that allows visitors to travel to the past/future.
Kazu Tokita poured the coffee for her mother Kaneme to travel to the past. Kaneme did not drink her coffee in time and became a ghost. (A ghost Kanzu provides books for at the Cafe).
How do you find the relationship between Kazu and her mother? Should Kazu still hold onto guilt over something she had no control over?