ICE Breakers

GHOSTS

BOOK OF THE MOMENT

Had you read any of Dolly Alderton's writing or heard her podcast 'The High Low' before reading her debut novel?
Her previous book 'Everything I know about Love' is a very personal account of surviving her 20s. Do you think Alderton has been able to transition into a new genre? Or did you as a reader want more Dolly, not Nina?
There is a sense of fun with fiction. What scenes made you laugh the most and light up a conversation in your book club?
Do you think Alderton is writing a deliberate pastiche of the rom com genre? Or a millennial homage to Bridget Jones? Or both?
Were you able to empathise with any of the characters? Is it important in a rom com?
Did you enjoy the theme of 'ghosts' in the novel and did it leave you wanting more?
What ending were you hoping for and do you want to see where Nina goes next in life and love?

THE TOBACCONIST

MISSED OPPORTUNITY

Were you surprised at just how innocent Franz is when he arrives in Vienna?
How do you think Seethaler balances the seriousness of the politics with the mundaneness of ordinary life?
Do you think Franz was really in love with Anezka?
Were you surprised how ordinary people seemed to become so radicalised so quickly?
How did it make you feel when the frail elderly Freud and his family board the train for London?
How do you think Seethaler makes the conversations between Freud and Franz seem so believable?
Were you surprised that this young man, who seems so unaware of what is going on around him, behaves as he does towards the end of the story?

LONE SURVIVOR

Had you seen, heard of the film or remember this SEAL disaster before you read Marcus’s account?
If yes, would you read the book first or afterwards? Does seeing the film give you a helpful sense of the scale of warfare?
Did this book and film leave you wanting to know more about Marcus’s story?
How much did you know and learn about the famous Navy SEALS? What positive outcomes, if any, were there for Marcus and the SEAL division?
Do you think the team made the right decision to release the Shepherds?
Was this battle worth it? What could have been done differently?
Do you think that it is helpful to share Marcus's story?

THE WILD CARD

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Illustrations by Lizzie Nightingale