On tap: Silver Linings Playbook, hut-hut!

Sunday, October 20th marks the official kickoff of this year’s Princeton Reads.We’re planning on seeing you at 10 am for the family fun garbage bag race (we’re supplying the bags). The run commences at Princeton High School, and ends at the library where there will be a pep rally, and all sorts of fun activities.  “Silver Linings Playbook” by Matthew Quick, a novel that explores mental illness, the importance of human connection, football, and the resiliency of the human spirit, serves as the featured title which we hope will spark a community-wide discussion. After you’ve recovered from Sunday’s excitement, be sure to grab a beverage and join us for a book discussion on Tuesday, October 22nd at 7pm at the Yankee Doodle Tap Room for this month’s Books on Tap.  Let’s talk about the book! Below are some discussion questions to trigger conversation. Stop at the library to pick up an official playbook, with complete information about our full lineup of events and further resources, or check it out online.

Discussion questions

1. How does Pat’s vision of his own silver lining evolve over the course of the novel?

2. In what ways does Pat sometimes appear more mentally stable than his family and friends during his recovery process? Do you view his optimism as a sign of sanity? 

3. Pat thinks his life is a movie destined to end happily. In sharp contrast, he discovers that great works of American literature almost always end on a sad note. Why are so many classic reads depressing?

4. Cliff and Pat disagree about whether sad books should be required reading for students. What’s your opinion? What books were you drawn to when you were younger? Do Pat’s deep feelings about what literature high school students read have merit?

5. How important is the setting to the story? Are Philadelphia Eagles fans unique? Or, are they interchangeable with any other football team?

6. What does Pat learn about himself during the violent incident with the Giants fan (Steve)?

7. What is the relationship between Pat and his dad? Why is it so difficult for the father to show emotion? Discuss the use of football as a means of engagement between men, in general.

8. If you have seen the movie, do you think the difference in the portrayal of the father figure had a significant impact on the story? Compare how Pat’s father reacted when he came home from the neural health facility in the book versus the film.

9. Were the characters of Pat and Tiffany realistic and believable? Did anyone else exhibit behaviors that could be considered unstable? 

10. In your opinion, are Pat’s sessions with Cliff effective in terms of Pat gaining perspective and moving on?

11. The present women in Pat’s life, his mom and Tiffany, have different approaches to getting Pat to move forward. Discuss the way his mom tries to protect him from learning more about his past, while Tiffany is more direct in questioning why he wants to hold on to Nikki.

12. Have you discussed any of the classic works of literature mentioned in SLP with a book group? Would you enjoy having Pat as a member of a group talking about “The Scarlet Letter,” “The Bell Jar,” “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” or “The Catcher in the Rye?”

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