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For Book Club Readers of Pluck: Ten Discussion Starters

1. What does it mean to have a “good life," and who should define what a good life entails? In what ways do we making meaning of our own lives?

2. What obstacles might get in our way in of determining our own paths in life? What options do we have to overcome those obstacles?

3. What would you be willing to give up to walk your own path in life?

4. How has this story shaped your own thinking about whether there is such a thing as a "self-made" man or woman?

5. What does David’s story reveal about the nature of relationships between family and friends? Do you believe we can truly know one another? If not, what conditions have to be present for love to grow between people?

6. If we define our “comfort zones” by a place, or by the people who surround us, how do we change when we leave our comfort zones?

7. Why is music so important in culture? What does music do for us as individuals? As members of a community?What is the true cost to society when we cut funding for music and the arts in schools, or when it is absent from our lives?

8. How might our lives be changed if more people were makers of music rather than just consumers of music? What personal and social obstacles keep us from making our own music? What are some ways we can we overcome those obstacles in our lives?

9. What does it say about cultural values that most of David’s obituaries focused almost entirely on the famous people with whom he played? If he had written his own obituary, what do you think he would have put front and center in the story of his life?

10. Many people characterize others’ success as “magical,” or something that occurred because they were lucky. How might such thinking get in the way of defining “success” for ourselves?

The above questions are the first that occurred to me when I thought about what I would like to discuss with friends who read Pluck. If you have questions that you would suggest for book club discussions, please send a note in the comment section and I'll add yours to the list with credit to you. Thank you.

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