Book Club Games, Quizzes and Writing Assignments

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We played this game after we read The Shadow of the Wind.  Kerrie set up this whole multiple-choice quiz, by having quotes from the book plus other quotes spoken by famous people.  (She's always trying to trick us!)  Fermin is a character in the book who had the most memorable lines. Click here for a PDF version of the quiz to share with your book club.  Here are two of our favorites:
    "All official institutions find me irresistible.  Give me a few days and I'll have a full report ready for you."
                
   A. Ferminism
                    B. Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon
                   
C. Julia Roberts in Erin Brokovitch
                   
D. Steve Martin in The Pink Panther

        "Living in the streets has unexpected educational side effects."
                   
A. Ferminism
                    B. Lisa Kudrow on Friends
                   
C. Keifer Sutherland on 24
                   
D. Ice-T on Law and Order

 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Answers:  Both A

Is it a Ferminism?

We played this game after we read Why I'm Still Married.  Through the course of the month, everyone sent Kerrie a wedding picture.  She posted them on foam core and covered the faces.  On the night of our book club, we had to guess which book club member went with each picture, without seeing the faces.  To trick us, she also had pictures of celebrity brides!  Check out the photo gallery to see a good picture of this.

Wedding Dress Mystery

We played this game after we read The Fireman's FairKerrie and Cheri set up a raffle.  They had raffle tickets for all of us and we each placed our tickets in a choice of ten raffle items, that they donated from their own homes.  

Fireman's Fair Raffle

We played this game within the first year of meeting.  We recommended famous actresses to play us in our very own "Book Club Movie".  Through e-mail, we cast our votes to Stacey on our favorites.  At the next book club meeting, Stacey unveiled the winning actresses, along with pictures. 

Book Club Movie Game

We played this game after we read Beyond the Sky and the Earth: A Journey into Bhutan.  Throughout the month, we e-mailed to Kerrie the furthest place we ever traveled to.  At the book club, Kerrie read all of the responses and we had to guess which member went with each location.  Answers ranged from Cuba to Switzerland to California.  Even though we think we know each other pretty well, we got most of these wrong!

Traveling Game

We played this game after we read The Time-Traveler's Wife.  Throughout the month, we e-mailed to Kerrie the place we would like to visit in time.  At the book club, Kerrie read all of the responses and we had to guess which member chose each location.  Answers ranged from December 24, 1982 to Colonial America to 1969.  Again, we got a lot of these wrong. (It's harder than you think!)

Time-Travel Game

We played this game after we read Why I'm Still MarriedStacey e-mailed us a list of questions to ask our husbands.  She read the results at the book club, and we had to guess which answers went with which husband.  We did pretty good with this one! The questions were:
    1.  Which celebrity do you have a "secret" crush on?
    2.  Describe your wife in three words.
    3.  What is your favorite dessert?
    4.  What is your favorite body part/personality trait of your wife?

How well do we know each other's husbands?

We all agreed after reading Sam's Letters to Jennifer, that letters are very important.  Letters can share secrets, true feelings, or just everyday instances that the reader would find interesting.  In this guessing game, we shared meaningful letters (or e-mails), or quotes or compliments that we have received.  These writings came from friends, employers, children, students, even from books we've read.  We had to guess which writing went with which book club member.

Sharing special messages

One of the characters in Katherine Anne Porter's story wanted to be a jockey when she grew up.  We all got a kick out of her ambition and that her family really didn't take her seriously!  So, Kerrie asked us throughout the month what we wanted to be when we were little girls.  The answers ranged from ballerina to astronomer.  We all had a hard time guessing this one!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

What DID You Want to Be?

This guessing game was especially fun because we learned a lot about each other's present (and past) loves.  We each wrote a short story (or even poem) about a significant love in our life. We talked about husbands, boyfriends, children and even a sister!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Our Own Little Love Story

When we got to Stacey's house to discuss Roland Merullo's A Little Love Story, Stacey gave each of us a small piece of paper that read, "Besides my husband and my children, I am so in love with..." and we had to finish the sentence.  This game was fun!  Answers ranged from "chocolate" and "coffee" to "our book club"!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

I am SO in Love with...

This was another guessing game and I think we're finally getting good at this game!  We played it for the Sue Miller book, While I Was Gone.  We each brought with us one or two ways to finish this sentence.  We then read each one aloud and we had to guess which member went with which sentence.  Some were funny like, "While I was gone, my children opened all the presents under the Christmas tree", and others were more serious, "While I was gone, my Auntie Mary died."  Our newest member, Colleen joined the group on this night, and surprised us all by guessing correctly!
 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

While I was Gone...

This was another guessing game and again it surprised us how much we still did not know about each other.  We each brought with us one or two new year's eve memories to share with the group.  We then read each one aloud and had to guess which member went with each memory!
 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

New Year's Eve Memory

The Sparrow begins with, "On December 7, 2059..."  Because this book took place in the future, we wanted to try and get a glimpse of our futures.  Kerrie e-mailed each of us over the month and we all had to answer specific questions.  She then made up a list of facts about each of us, based on the answers to her questions.  "On December 7, 2059, this book club member will..."  We had to guess which book club member went with each fact.  Even though we've been together as a book club for over a year, there were still some surprises with this game!
 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Where will you be on December 7, 2059?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I'm not sure if a vocabulary quiz at at book club really constitutes as a "game", but we really had a blast with this one!  Kerrie compiled a list of words from the book that were either rare or dated, and then with Kellie put together a quiz for the group.  Click here for a PDF version of the quiz.  Here are two of our favorites:
1. Dalliance 
A.  Playful behavior intended to arouse sexual interest
B.  A language that is deliberately created for a specific purpose
C.  A commune in the province of Allessandria in Italy
D.  A group of passionate Salvador Dali fans

2.  G-men
A. Male escorts                                   
B. Soldiers in WW I
C. Gangsters                                        
D. FBI agents
                                                                                                                                                        Answers: A & D
                    
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

'21' Vocab Quiz

Because the lineage of the characters in Family Tree were so important (or so they thought), Laura came up with two great games, to share the lineage of each of us.  In this game, we wrote down the nationalities of our children on a piece of paper.  We then read each paper, and had to guess which children went with which nationality.  We thought this would be easy since we all know each other's families now, but we hardly got any right!  It was very difficult!

The Nationality Quiz

 

The main character in A Father's Affair went through a lot of turmoil throughout the book.  However, he fondly remembered an afternoon he spent at the beach with his son.  Thinking about that time,  he said "I was as happy as a man could be".  We all understood how a seemingly simple event can remind us how truly happy we are.  So, we shared our own seemingly simple events when we felt true happiness.  Our happy memories consisted of a vacation, a car ride and even a magic show!

"As Happy as a Woman Can Be"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Laura came up with this game after reading Jane Eyre.  We had to share a story from our own lives that mirrored one of Jane Eyre's experiences.  So, Laura asked us, "What is your Jane Eyre experience?"  Stories consisted of pleasant surprises, shocking surprises, our most frightening experience, our best meal, our worst meal and a romantic proposal.   We had a blast sharing stories from the past. 

Our Own Jane Eyre Story

This was our second game for Wide Sargasso Sea, and this one was quite easy!  How many times have we described a person as "crazy" whether it be for unbelievable decisions they make or for awkward confrontations, etc.  So, we shared "Bertha" stories from our past.  We all got a good laugh out of most of these!

Our Own Bertha Story

This book club meeting was probably our most serious and somber.  How could it not be?  We each shared with each other exactly where we were on 9/11/2001.  Some of us watched the entire thing unfold live on television and others did not realize the magnitude of it all until that evening.  There was a huge range of emotions shared and we all agreed it was an incredible bonding experience.
Because 9/11 was such a pivotal moment in American history, we also shared with each other "life-altering" moments from our own personal lives.  Deaths, births, job changes, good teachers, good counselors, etc.  Each of these experiences brought us to where we are today and we enjoyed sharing them with each other.

Writing Assignments for The Day the World Came to Town

A fun-filled evening talking with Franz Wisner, author of Honeymoon with My Brother, was complete with this fun game, which gave us the opportunity to share some surprising, revealing and romantic stories from our own honeymoons.  As our newest member Dorie said, "I feel like our stories are what make us unique as human beings and the sharing of them among company eager to hear them unites us."

Stories from our Honeymoons

It was hard not to talk about death when discussing In Cold Blood.  The book was a compelling and shocking read, and truthfully, it was difficult to come up with a game to play.  We decided to share how we would want to spend our last days on earth.  Such a straightforward writing assignment, yet there was so much variety.  Our true personalities came out as we learned who wanted to leave a refrigerator full of food for her children, who wanted to have tea with her mother and who wanted to travel to Hawaii, and so on.  It was a great way to even deepen our friendship.

Your Last Day(s)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finish the following sentences:
When I was a child, my parents (mom, dad, family, etc.) used to...
When I was child, my friend's parents (mom, dad, family, etc.) used to...
Now I...
The author of Stealing Buddha's Dinner spent a lot of time wishing her family was more like her friends...and boy could we all relate!  We all had stories to share of how our parents made us go to bed early, or were always late picking us up, and how we wished they were different.  It was interesting to see how many of us are now raising our kids in similar or dissimilar ways!

Family Differences

We all were able to sympathize with tall and blond Barbara who was living in Japan and who, at times, felt completely "out of place".  So, we shared our own stories of parties, jobs, colleges and bars where each of us felt "out of place".

When Were You Out of Place?

In Plum Wine, the main character, Barbara, received a chest of homemade wine from her friend Michi, and this gift inspired all of us.  We shared with each other gifts we've been given (and gifts that will continue to be given) that were significant and  meaningful. 

A Memorable Gift

We had some pretty differing opinions on Amish Grace, but we all agreed that the story of forgiveness was inspiring.  We each shared our own stories of people we want to forgive and people we've forgiven.  We really opened up with each other and this night ended up being one of our best, even though we were missing two members.  Even a book that many people disliked could encourage us to share stories from our life.

Forgiveness Stories

We all agreed that this was the most difficult and least enjoyable book we've read so far.  Although there were a ton of positive reviews on all sorts of book websites, and it came highly recommended, we all thought this book was horrendous.  Kellie made up this "pop-quiz" to see how much of the book we were able to absorb.  Dorie received the highest grade, with 12 right out of 20.  If you've recently read Possession, try taking our "Possession" Pop Quiz!

"Possession" Pop Quiz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

        Although we did have differing opinions on the book, Three Cups of Tea, we all agreed that Greg Mortenson was an inspiration to us all.  For our stories, we shared people or things that are our inspiration.

Our Inspiration

    It was clear to all of us, that Denny's passion was car racing.  Because we all knew each other so well, we thought it would be hard to share our passions, so we decided to share our "secret" passions!  These were pretty funny.  Kerrie's passion was Mom's Reading!  Click here to read her story!

Our "Secret" Passion

        We were so inspired by Enzo's story, that we shared stories of our own pets.  And in true, Enzo style, our pets were the narrators.  How fun it was to hear the voices of all of our pets!

Our Own Pet Stories

Throughout the month, we all had to give Kerrie a picture of us from the 1980's.  She then made this display with all of our faces covered up.  We had to figure out which one of us went with each picture.  To further confuse us, she added pictures of Shelley Long, Alyssa Milano and Madonna.  We had a blast with this one!

80's Pictures

            After reading Greg Mortenson's story about how he literally changed people's lives and did his part to "make the world a better place", we were motivated to try to do our part.  We each wrote down on paper a "goal" for 2009, trying to follow in his footsteps.  These stories we did not share with the group, however.  They were placed in a sealed manila envelope, to be opened December of 2009.

2009 Goals

This book had so much to talk about and while the premise of the story was so radical, there was much in the book that we could relate to. We chose the following themes to discuss and write stories on:  a plan that went awry, a situation where you went 'too far', a difficult moral choice, and something that you obsessed over. With all of these stories, there was plenty to talk about!

Our 'Simple Plan' Stories

The friendships in Suzanne Collins' books are very important and the major relationships (Katniss and Gale, Katniss and Peeta) changed greatly because of the dramatic circumstances in the books. We each shared our own stories of how our relationships changed because of our own dramatic circumstances. A real surprise was hearing how joining book club changed a friendship (for the better)!

A Changed Relationship

We copied the little game Peeta and Katniss had to play. Peeta was never sure if his memories were real or not so he had to ask Katniss, "Real or not real?" Laura, our host for our meeting, researched our members and our meetings (from the website) and wrote out little tidbits of information, and WE had to guess whether they were "real or not real."

Real or not Real?

We all agreed that Hunger Games was an amazing book and there was so much to talk about. We sympathized with Katniss for many reasons but we also commiserated with her over the fact that she had to pretend to "like" Peeta. We shared our own stories of pretending to like friends, boyfriends, co-workers and in-laws!

Faking It

Even though we weren't crazy about the book, The Everafter, we all thought the concept of finding things lost was an interesting way to move a story along. So, we shared stories of things we lost. Who knew we were so forgetful?

Lost and Found

The mother and the father in the book Before and After had drastically different reactions to their son's predicament.  Some of us related to the mother and others related to the father and it was a good conversation discussing the differences. We shared stories of times in our lives when we had such different opinions, reactions and/or memories of the same exact situation.  Who knew some husbands had such a strong opinion on book club? 

Different Reactions

After over five years of meeting, we finally had the opportunity to share stories of "the ones that got away".  We shared stories of "geek" boyfriends, "perfect" boyfriends, and we even heard about our husband's ex-girlfriends!  Lots of laughs as we remembered our past!

X-Stories

We were all able to sympathize with the characters in 31 Hours who, for one reason or another, felt disconnected from those they most loved.  We shared funny stories of being in foreign countries, stressful stories of being immersed in work and sad stories of feeling disconnected from friends, loved ones, and even our own book club.  We agreed that we were very lucky to have such a wonderful group!

Feeling Disconnected

Reading Wally Lamb's new Christmas book, Wishin' and Hopin' was the perfect opportunity to share some Christmas stories with each other.  Some were funny, some were tender, some were unbelievable...but they all were memorable! 

Christmas Stories

The best part of the book How the World Makes Love was the developing relationship between the author, Franz Wisner and a new girlfriend, who ended up becoming his wife.  Because Wisner had already committed to traveling around the world, the new couple corresponded by email and asked interesting, provocative and sometimes funny questions.  So, we re-introduced ourselves to the group by answering the same questions.  What fun!

Email Questions

Author and food critic, Ruth Reichl, wore disguises so she could eat out without being recognized.  She was completely surprised at the transformation she made, both inside and out. We shared stories about our own experiences wearing "disguises", whether for a job, a play or even for Halloween, and we all had our own transformations to tell!

Costume Stories

We shared with the group how we wanted more for our children than we had, a theme common to all of us.  It surprised us though, that just about every dream centered around education.  We agreed that at the very least our children would have a love of reading.

Dreams for Our Children

In A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, little Francie grows up and learns that life isn't all she thought it was.  We all could relate, and so we shared stories of things we learned as we grew up.  Some were serious, some were thought-provoking, but most were laugh-out-loud funny! 

Childhood Misconceptions

We all could relate to Holden Caulfield (the narrator in The Catcher in the Rye) and his struggles during his teenage years.  (Some more than others...)  It reminded us of all the huge problems we had in high school, but we later learned they weren't that huge at all.  We had a lot of laughs remembering our problems, usually about a boy, but one about a very dramatic science fair!

Our High School Drama Stories

One of the more colorful characters in The Late, Lamented Molly Marx was Molly's mother-in-law, Kitty.  To say she was difficult, is putting it nicely!  We had some funny and heartwarming stories to share of our own mothers-in-law, and one mother-in-law even wrote her own!

Mother-in-law Stories

We quickly learned that in 50 books, we had countless memories!  And what fun it was to relive them.  We each brought with us a favorite memory, and then we shared it out loud with the group!  Lots of laughs as we remembered our early days with just a few of us, and our recent meetings with this amazing group of women.  We decided to do this every year!

Book Club Memory Game

Simile/Metaphor Game
        While reading the book, Kellie noticed the author was very creative with her use of similes and metaphors.  She wrote them all out while reading, and then made a multiple-choice quiz.  Thanks in part to our "passiontini's" (see photo gallery), this "quiz" turned into a race to try and find the right answer the quickest.  Here is an example:
P. 233
…their love was, as always, like
         a.  a living thing in the room.
         b.  an invisible cord the two of them.
         c.  a rescuing hand in the darkness.

Correct answer:  A

Simile/Metaphor Game

Friendship Stories
        All of us were touched by the strong bond between Emma and Bria and so we used this night to share our own stories of some incredible friendships!  After about five years of being together, we all agree that the friendships we've formed with each other are truly precious.

Friendship Stories

Sister Stories
        Since all nine of us have at least one sister, we decided to share our own stories in honor of Clemente and Louisa, the two sisters in Julia Glass' book, I See You Everywhere.  The stories were all funny and sweet and surprising!

Sister Stories

        There was so much information in Erik Larson's The Devil in the White City, about life in the late 1800's and the bustling world's fair.  We shared stories of times we had to convince someone of something (much like the architects and engineers and had to convince the world to have the fair in Chicago) and stories about being completely overwhelmed or underwhelmed when we went somewhere for the first time.  Who knew Niagara Falls was such a hit with so many of us?

World's Fair Stories

       We were all inspired by Julia Child's life and her cooking skills.  We loved reading her story and how she remembered so many of her meals (in incredible detail).  We shared with each other some meals that we remembered!  A few of us even wrote about our book club meals.

Our Memorable Meal

            In keeping with out "mystery theme", we brought our dishes without planning it ahead of time!  Would we end up with 10 desserts?? Before our meeting, we emailed Kerrie our predictions for the evening.  We ended up with 2 soups, 2 salads, 2 appetizers, 4 desserts and 2 breads (and not one of us predicted correctly)!

Predict the Mystery Meal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What a treat it was for all of us to remember some of our best, funniest, most memorable book club moments! We wrote about those nights with such fondness, we all agreed that we should do this more often!

Book Club Memories

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We were all touched by Rachel's story on the island of Moloka'i. What an amazing story! We learned so much about the history of Hawaii and about the disease, leprosy. We loved the relationship Rachel had with her Uncle Pono and her 'aunt' Haleola, so we shared our own sweet, tense and unique stories of our uncles and aunts.

Aunts and Uncles

The meeting when we discussed the Proper Care and Maintenance of a Friendship was one of our bests! We wore hats that the author, Lisa Verge Higgins sent us and then we skyped with her for over an hour! It was a great night! We saw how the lives of the characters changed once they had kids; Lisa told us how her life changed when she had kids, and then we shared with each other how OUR lives changed. We wrote stories about Before we had kids. We stayed in bed longer, read the newspapers more, skied, golfed, performed, traveled, renovated our houses and wasted time. Those were fun days!

Before we had kids...

We really wanted to share stories that were similar to Rachel's life. We wrote about a time when we were "the new girl". This could have been when we were a child, like going to a new school, or something more recent, like a new job. We also wrote about "an influential adult" in our childhood, because we all were really impressed with Drew and the attention he paid to Rachel.

Our Rachel Stories

We all agreed Room was an amazing book and it gave us so much to talk about! In our discussions, we compared ourselves to Ma and to Grandma. We shared stories of our own grandparents, and our parents as grandparents to our children. It was obvious to us that the relationship between grandparent and grandchild is very unique and special.

Grandparent Stories

 

 

Kerrie came up with this game after reading Jane Eyre and Wide Sargasso Sea.  Mr. Rochester was warned by a complete stranger that his wife was "mad" but he did not want to listen to this "unsolicited advice".  Although this was a challenge finding times in our lives when we were either the bearer or the recipient of unsolicited advice, the stories we shared were entertaining and interesting.  A pregnancy announcement surprised all of us!

Unsolicited Advice

Laura came up with this game after reading Jane Eyre.  We had to share a story from our own lives that mirrored one of Jane Eyre's experiences.  So, Laura asked us, "What is your Jane Eyre experience?"  Stories consisted of pleasant surprises, shocking surprises, our most frightening experience, our best meal, our worst meal and a romantic proposal.   We had a blast sharing stories from the past. 

Our Own Jane Eyre Story

This was the second game for Family Tree.  We each wrote down a story from our family's history and we had to guess which of us went with the story.  Again, this was hard!  Who knew we had royalty among us?

A Story From Your Family