ICE Breakers

THE LINCOLN HIGHWAY

BOOK OF THE MOMENT

Assuming most book clubbers have read a novel by Towles ('A Gentleman in Moscow' and 'Rules of Civility'), were you pleasantly surprised by Towles's shift in language, style and structure in 'The Lincoln Highway'?
There are some specific references to Tom Sawyer from 'Huckleberry Finn' in the novel. To what extent is this important in the characterisation of Billy?
Towles brings together an unlikely 'band of brothers'. Have you had this experience in life and if so did you enjoy being part of Towles's process of re-discovering the events from each of the characters?
There is a sense of excitement in running away. Is this a rite of passage for teens and young adults and did 'The Lincoln Highway' remind you of any experiences of your own?
There are more voices in the novel beyond the four main characters which provided plenty of counter perspectives on the adventures? Who did you believe the most?
Emmett is serious and grown up beyond his years and yet we know he has the ‘killer punch’? To what extent did the reader trust this character?
Billy is the romantic dreamer who adored his fables. Did you enjoy this aspect of the novel? Have you ever met a Woolly?
Readers have enjoyed the author's characterisation of women in his novels. Sally does make an entrance and has a voice, but is this enough?
Where might Towles's next novel take us?

SALT TO THE SEA

MISSED OPPORTUNITY

Did you know about this maritime disaster or the Amber Room? Did you go on to research them further after reading this book? What did you discover?
Did you like Sepetys's style of writing – what impact do you think the short chapters give the story?
Which character stood out for you and why?
Alfred is not a likeable character – could you relate or sympathise with him? Do you think he was becoming disillusioned over time?
This book is aimed at the young adult market for which Ruta Sepetys received the Carnegie Medal 2017. Do you know of young adults who have read this book and what impact did it have on them?
Some of us in the Den were disappointed with the sudden ending – what did you or your club think of the ending?
How do you think this event could be reimagined if not a novel?

STATION ELEVEN

If the world as we know ended, what would you try to defend and safeguard and how do you think you would survive?
Mandel’s message seems to be that art will continue, whatever the hardships. How poignant does this message seem in this current climate?
Does this book make you appreciate the world we live in today, despite suffering our own pandemic?
Kirsten says “The more you remember, the more you’ve lost.” What does this book tell us about memory?
Jeevan is one of the characters who can remember more of the previous world. Do you think he feels alone and separate because of this?
Do you think the book offers hope?
How would you describe this book – thriller, apocalyptic fiction, dystopian fiction?

THE WILD CARD