Here’s a sampling of questions that might come in handy for a book club meeting. If you’re in my neighbourhood (or in range of my travels), I’d be happy to join you.

Which of the wisdom stories best fit your own understanding of how to approach life? How did it connect to your experience?

Which wisdom story caused you pause? What was it about the story that challenged your thinking?

How would you describe Simon’s character at the outset? To what degree would you want him in your life? If you were to offer him a word of guidance, what would it be?

At what point do you feel that Simon changed his approach to life? What was it about the moment that made it more significant than those that came before?

Of those with whom Simon dealt (either in the process of dying or after their death), who most captured what you need in your life right now? Which offered a warning?

What did you make of the strangers who moved in and out of Simon’s life? Who were they? How far would you allow a stranger to question your life?

How do you feel about the switch between first person and third throughout the novel? What purpose did the shift between Simon’s perspective and the narrator’s serve?

If you were able to add an actual person (alive or deceased) from your own life to interact with Simon on his journey, who would you choose? What word of wisdom might people draw from this additional voice?

What notion from the book would you most like to bring into your own life? How might the wisdom stories support you in such a shift?