We Are Book Club Friendly

We love book clubs –– and so do our authors. We offer reading guides, author interviews, and special “Clubbing It” sheets with bonus information for our book club friends.

Want to meet the author? We can make that happen.

  • Light Messages authors are happy to host “tele-readings” and virtual book club visits when you meet to discuss their titles.

  • If you live within 50 miles of the author, he or she will likely be able to visit in person––at no cost to you! (Scheduling permitting.)

  • If you live further away but within a day’s drive we’re happy to work with you to make arrangements for the author to visit. (Scheduling permitting.)

Check out a few of our current favorites for book clubs:

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Check out our featured reading guides...

Healing Maddie Brees – Reading Guide and Discussion Questions

maddiebreescover

1.  Memory plays an important role in this novel. Sometimes incidents are repeated or retold in a slightly different way than they were previously. In reality, does memory play a similar role--repeating and/or sometimes changing? How do Maddie’s memories seem to change--in terms of accuracy--over the course of the novel? Do you think she has arrived at the truth of what happened by the end? Why do you say that?

2. How are Frank and Maddie’s memories of their former lovers different from each other? Each of them comments, at one point, that their former lovers impacted their expectations and experiences. How did bringing those memories into their marriage affect their relationship with each other?

3. How does the author use time throughout the novel? Do you find that memories often impact your present-day experiences, or that present-day experiences bring up old memories?

4. Healing is an obvious theme of the novel. What are different character’s views on healing (whether it works, how it ought to work), and how do they change over the course of the book?

5. What do you think of Vincent’s reaction to his gift of healing? Do you agree with how he responds to it? On p. 203, he says, “‘Paper cut, arthritis, cancer. It’s all basically the same thing.’” What do you understand him to mean by that? What do you think of it?

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A Theory of Expanded Love– Reading Guide and Discussion Questions

Cover Front Theory Web1. Annie lives in a very large Catholic family, with many different characters. Who is your favorite character and why?

2. Can you name all the children in the family and give one detail about each child?

3. The novel is split into two parts: Part I June, 1963 after the Pope dies and Part II – the last six months of 1963 (July – Dec 31st)

  1. What was Annie’s central struggle in Part I?
  2. What was her principal challenge as the book progressed?

4. If an American had been elected Pope at that time, do you think it would have changed the direction of the Catholic Church? 

5. The Civil Rights revolution really got going with Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech and the march on Washington.  Were there other events that took place in the last six months of 1963 that were a part of this social movement?

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The Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley – Reading Guide & Discussion Questions

  1. GillianPugsley webAt the outset of The Particular Appeal of Gillian Pugsley, age and illness should weigh down a rather dismal future.  Yet how are they overshadowed by the prospects of the past?  How does love play in the development of the story so early on?

  2. A theme that runs throughout the novel is that of the weightlessness of time, “the more things change, the more they stay the same” and so on. Discuss how the role of Gillian’s granddaughter fits into this theme?  Is she acentral figure to the story or just a tool, a mere device to tell her grandmother’s tale? 

  3. Örnbratt writes that “It was the first time she’d really noticed how fit the doctor was or perhaps the first time she’d admitted it to herself.”  Dr. Pilkington is clearly easy on the eyes, a man who sports good humour and is kind to the bone.  If you were Gillian, how would the doctor have been able to steer your heart toward him and away from Christian?

  4. How does the epistolary feel of the novel connect with readers of today and how might this story change if it took place in today’s age of technology?

  5. Gillian is often described as knowing how to use choice words effectively, to the comfort of others, particularly with children.  Discuss how Gillian manages this in her long-distance friendship with Shashi and how their friendship adds depth and purpose to the story.

  6. The notion of sisterhood weaves throughout the novel as seen in Gillian’s relationship with Beaty.  Discuss how their correspondence, banter, intuition and sense of duty ring true of today’s woman.

  7. Although the reader learns Christian’s story and has a growing compassion for him, there is, at times, a sense of enigma about him.  Why?

  8. First loves are hard to forget and Christian Hunter is no exception.  Gillian struggles with it for years.  “But that’s all it was – a memory.  And although the wind wanted to set her straight, the seagull floating on that same breeze reminded her that something so sweet had a right to drift softly in her heart.”  Is Gillian wrong in her earlier years to expect him to disappear from her heart?  How do you think first loves differ from those formed in later years?  Where does Angus fit into this concoction?

  9. How does humor play an important role in this story, given the unstable and volatile times? 

 

The New Reality - Reading Guide

NewRealityCover webDiscussion Questions for The New Reality

  1. What was your favorite gadget in the novel and why?

  2. Who was your favorite character?

  3. Though the international business, The New Reality is fictional, can you compare this company to any past or present financial institutions.

  4. Is Stephen Martino's fictional interpretation of the Book of Revelation plausible?

  5. Do you believe there is a Bible code?

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