Reading Woman of Substances

  1. Does the book offer a central idea or premise? What are the problems or issues raised? Are they personal, spiritual, societal, global, political, economic, medical, scientific? 
  2. In the introduction the author explains that there are no convenient, universally accepted definitions of ‘addiction’ or the concept of having an ‘addictive personality’. What understanding of these two phrases did you reach upon finishing the book?
  3. Do the issues affect your life? How so – directly, on a daily basis, or more generally? Now, or sometime in the future? 
  4. Some authors make assertions, only to walk away from them – without offering explanations. Does the author use such unsupported claims
  5. In what areas does the author identify women as being let down? Can you think of real life examples in the news?
  6. What kind of language does the author use? Is it objective and dispassionate? Or passionate and earnest? Is it polemical, sarcastic? Does the language help or undercut the author's premise? 
  7. Does the author – or can you – draw implications for the future? Are there long- or short-term consequences to the issues raised in the book? If so, are they positive or negative? Affirming or frightening? 
  8. Does the author – or can you – offer solutions to the issues raised in the book? Who would implement those solutions? How probable is success? 
  9. Does the author make a call to action to readers – individually or collectively? Is that call realistic? Idealistic? Achievable? Would readers be able to affect the desired outcome? 
  10. Are the book's issues controversial? How so? And who is aligned on which sides of the issues? Where do you fall in that line-up? 
  11. Can you point to specific passages that struck you personally – as interesting, profound, silly or shallow, incomprehensible, illuminating? 
  12. Did you learn something new? Did it broaden your perspective about a personal or societal issue?

    Questions 1, 3, 4, 6-12 are on loan from Lit Lovers.