Winter Book Club is almost over! As you probably know, this online version of book club mirrors the in-person get together we have every season. Real friends in real life get together to talk about a book. It’s incredible and I look forward to this night for months.

Earlier this season was our in-person book club when we digested the powerful prose of Milan Kundera’s The Book of Laughter and Forgetting. At a typical book club, we print off discussion questions and cut them up and put them in a bowl, a wine glass, or beer stern.

We pass the bowl around and everyone reads one question. We discuss each question in depth until we feel we’ve exhausted the different angles and everyone who wants to contribute has a chance to.

There are always more questions left in the bowl than we have time or mental energy for, but the questions keep us centered on the book. The tangents, though, are the life and blood of any book club. Everyone speaks to the question, the book, and their interpretation from their own experience and different walks of life.

If you’re reading the novel with us, then you know it’s set in Prague. We began the night by asking if anyone had experience living in Eastern Europe. Surprisingly half of the attendees had and could speak to it in some way. This book questions the social norms in place in every culture, so each person’s international travel and experience on any continent brought something unique to the table.

I’ll admit this novel, if you can call it that, was not easy to discuss. Not only are the themes and concepts difficult to read and challenging to think through, remembering the names of characters in each of the seven quasi-related narratives also presents a challenge.

Across the board, we were all thankful for having read it. We found it powerful and moving, and terribly sad and important. Once you finish it, you’ll understand this kaleidoscope of emotions.

Here are the first few discussion questions to help you think through the novel’s themes. You can use these to frame your own thoughts and writing on the novel or use them in your own book club.

Discussion Questions

Here is a printable version of these and the rest of the questions that framed our book club discussion and a few others that I pondered after our meeting. Remember we’d love to have you write on the book and link your blog post to our book club page.

Milan Kundera Discussion Questions

To follow along with us, subscribe to our book club newsletter here:

It’s not too late to read along! If you still need to get a copy of the book, click HERE.


The Book of Laughter and Forgetting by Milan Kundera | Discussion Questions