Games and Icebreakers

Try these fun book club games to liven up your normal routine or break the ice for newcomers!

1. Extreme Makeover
Update a character or two from a book set in the
past. Place the characters in today's culture—and
invent a new life.

Example: Lydia Bennett (Pride & Prejudice) considers Cosmo great literature and Sex &
the City
serious drama. She hits the clubs,
wears designer knock-offs and has Big Hair.
Her eyes are always peeled for Mr. Big.

Example: Jay Gatsby (The Great Gatsby) takes twice-weekly elocution lessons (The Rain in Spain....). He's fastidious—flosses 3 times/day
and wears only Armani. Listens to rap in private but forces himself to attend the opera, alone.
Was a big player in a Wall Street hedge fund but managed to avoid far.

2. Alphabet Soup
Working around the room, have each member name a character, event, place, or object from the book—the first letter of which starts with A, the next with B, the next C, and so forth through the alphabet.

3. Extend the End
Jane Austen did it in Pride and Prejudice—she wrote an epilogue telling us how Elizabeth and Darcy fared after the story's last line. Take any novel, or novels, you've read over the past year and write an epilogue. What happens to those characters, say 1 year, 5 years, 10 years out?

Divide up into teams, or go solo. Read the results out loud. Be as funny...romantic...or serious as you want.

4. Literary Grab Bag
Fill a large shopping bag or box with objects from novels. Have everyone pull out an object and guess which novel (and author), which character, and at which point in the story (if relevant) the prop is used.

Obvious examples: stuffed tiger for Life of Pi; potato peels for Guernsey Literary Society, etc...; camera for Memory Keeper's Daughter; sling shot for Kite Runner; a book by Russian author Nikolai Gogol for The Namesake (even old overcoat!), and so on.

5. Hollywood Bowl
Cast a book as a movie. Pass around a bowl with folded slips of paper containing titles of recent book selections. Each member (or team of 2) draws a title and casts the movie. Take turns reading out everyone's choices.

Variation: Using the current book only, have everyone write his/her casting choice.

6. Literary Snowballs
Sounds silly, but it's lots of fun. Divide into 2 teams on either side of the room. Hand everyone an 8 ½ x 11 sheet of paper on which to write a question from the book.

Crumple the sheets into “snowballs” and, at a signal, throw them across the room to the other team. The team who correctly answers the most snowballs correctly wins

2 points—to a team for each correct answer
1 point— to the other team for each incorrect answer.

7. Whose Line Is It Anyway?
Chose someone to read quotes by or about various characters — from the current book or past book selections. Members try to guess who said what and when. If you want, divide into teams and keep score. (This icebreaker will require a bit of prep.)

(Games and Icebreakers by LitLovers. Please feel free to use them, online or off, with attribution. Thanks.)

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