Book Club Discussion Questions for Chickens, Mules and Two Old Fools

I’m always being asked for discussion questions for book clubs, and I’ve finally put some together. Help yourself, I hope they are useful!


Book Club Discussion Questions

1. How did you feel about the title, Chickens, Mules and Two Old Fools? Was it apt? Did it make you smile?

2. If you had to explain to somebody what Chickens was about in one sentence, what would you say?

3. Do you feel you grew to know the author’s character through the book? Could you identify with her? When? Choose some keywords that describe the author, and some to describe Joe.

4. Were there situations you could identify with? If so, which and how?

5. How important is the setting of the book? If you know rural Spain, do you think the author paints a true picture? If you’ve never been to rural Spain, can you imagine it now?

6. Would you ever like to visit El Hoyo? Can you see yourself living there and being part of village life? Would you take part in the fiesta activities and compete in the pudding contest?

7. Have you ever considered moving abroad? If so, does this book put you off, or does it make you want to start planning?

8. How realistic was the characterisation? Would you want to meet any of the characters? Did you like them? Are there any you would want to avoid? Which was your favourite and least favourite?

9. Did the stories make you laugh? If so, which ones, and why did you find them funny?

10. Did any events in the book make you feel sad? The author shed tears as she wrote two parts, can you guess which they were? (Email TopHen@Victoria or chat to the author on Facebook if you want to know!)

11. There are lots of animals in the book (chickens, Cocky, a mule, cats, dogs). Did they add to your enjoyment of the book or not? Were they well described? Which were your favourite?

12. Does this book make you want to keep chickens?

13. The author received many emails from American readers complaining about two of the chickens’ names. Did those names spoil the book for you?

14. Was there a passage from the book that stood out for you? Why?

15. The author set out to capture the colour of Spain through the descriptive passages and characters. Did she succeed?

16. Did you have to force yourself to read the book, or did you find yourself engrossed and turning the pages? At what point in the book did you decide whether you liked it or not? What helped make this decision?

17. Did you like the inclusion of Spanish recipes or not? Will you ever try any of the recipes? Which ones?

18. Did the book end the way you expected? Did you feel all the ends were tied up?

19. Did you learn anything from the book that you didn’t know before?

20. If you could change something about the book, what would it be and why?

21. Chickens is the first of a series. Did you like the book enough to want to read the sequels?

22. Would you recommend this book to other readers? To your close friend? Mother?

23. Have you read memoirs before? If not, did Chickens make you want to try some more?