Winter Reading Discussion Topics #1

We are pleased to announce that we will be holding a virtual book discussion in conjunction with our winter reading program. The discussion will be held on March 21st at 10:00 MST, more information to follow.

In preparation for that discussion, we will be posting some topics to consider for each of the books we are reading. Each month we will focus on two titles.


The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living by Meik Wiking

I chose this book for the winter reading program because I have always been motivated by the search for happiness. What I love about the concept of Hygge in the Danish culture is a) it is easy to incorporate many of the ideas into my life and b) the science supports its success as Denmark is consistently rated the happiest country in the world. Here are some questions we may explore in our discussion.

Which of the 10 key elements of Hygge do you connect with the most?

What things do you do in your life that invoke a sense of hygge?

Do you find you are happier when you live in the present moment?

Many of the concepts in the book focus on our senses. How is the concept adaptable when you deal with low-vision or blindness?


The Children’s Blizzard by Melanie Benjamin

Historical fiction has opened my eyes to many important events in history that they don’t teach in history classes. I chose this book because I had never heard of the blizzard at the heart of the story or considered the individual and personal impact of the Homestead Act. It isn’t an easy read, but learning from the past often pushes us outside of our comfort zone. Reflect on the following questions for our discussion.

This story is told from many different points of view. Did you like seeing the same situation through differing points of view? Why or why not?

Were you aware of this historic weather event? Were you familiar with the Homestead Act? What did the book teach you about the past? Did it change or reshape your view?

The storm seems to level the playing field between men and women. What are your observations on the similarities and differences between the male and female pairs of characters when it comes to their survival and resilience in harsh conditions?

How do stories in the book resonate to your own family stories of settlement, immigration, hardship, and survival? Were any of your ancestors affected by natural disasters? Have you read any histories written by your ancestors about their early experiences in this country?

Image Description: A Scandinavian living room, in whites and beiges with a large sectional sofa covered in pillows, sheepskin blankets, a furry rug, a glowing wood burning stove in one corner and a low coffee table set with tea. A window frames the back of the image showing a snow covered forest.