Iona Iverson’s Rules for Commuting Book Club Kit

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Iona Iverson’s Rules for Commuting by Clare Pooley is the official June 2024 pick for the Peanut Blossom Book Club for Recovering Readers.

A copy of the book Iona Iverson's Rules of Commuting is on the table.

As summer vacation kicks off for most of us here in the US, I know many families will be hitting the road and doing a bit of travel together in the coming weeks.

While June is often a month I enjoy a beach read, this year I decided that a book that *mostly* takes place on a subway train would be a fun way to mix things up while still keeping to a “travel theme.”

I had no idea when I made the 2024 book list that our family would be just coming off 6 days in London over spring break! Having just been on the London underground in April, this story was such a fun read for me in the last few weeks.

Whether or not a public transportation commute is part of your normal daily life, I think you’re going to love the train crew of characters in this month’s book pick!

P.S. Just joining us? Don’t miss the full 2024 line-up for our book club picks.

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Peanut Blossom Book Club

This book club pick is one of the awesome books from our tenth year of book club.

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    What is Iona Iverson About?

    “Every day Iona, a larger-than-life magazine advice columnist, travels the ten stops from Hampton Court to Waterloo Station by train, accompanied by her dog, Lulu. Every day she sees the same people, whom she knows only by nickname: Impossibly-Pretty-Bookworm and Terribly-Lonely-Teenager.

    Of course, they never speak. Seasoned commuters never do.

    Then one morning, the man she calls Smart-But-Sexist-Manspreader chokes on a grape right in front of her. He’d have died were it not for the timely intervention of Sanjay, a nurse, who gives him the Heimlich maneuver.

    This single event starts a chain reaction, and an eclectic group of people with almost nothing in common except their commute discover that a chance encounter can blossom into much more. It turns out that talking to strangers can teach you about the world around you–and even more about yourself.”

    Get Your Copy

    A copy of the book Iona Iverson's Rules of Commuting is on the table.

    Contemporary Women’s Fiction
    Literary Fiction

    Pages: 352

    Get your copy here:
    Kindle | Paperback | Audiobook | Bookshop

    Iona Iverson’s Rules of Commuting Discussion Questions

    I believe the best book club questions to spark a lively discussion in your group help readers make personal connections to the story.

    You can read about how to write the best book club questions on your own here, but hopefully these will get you started!

    Question 1:

    How often do you strike up conversations with strangers? How do they react when you do? Would you talk to someone next to you on public transportation?

    Question 2:

    Which character from the train crew did you most identify with and why? Which one did you like the least? Did your feelings change about them by the end of the story?

    Question 3:

    Office life and the daily commute has changed significantly in the last few years when you consider the pandemic. Iona complains about the changes in her workplace even though the story was set in 2019. What are your biggest complaints about working in an office or at home now as opposed to when you first started working? Has anything in your working life improved?

    Question 4:

    Iona gives help to the younger characters but then also receives help from them. Does the helper’s age matter to you when you need help? Who do you feel most comfortable accepting help from?

    Question 5:

    Who do you think changed the most by the end of the book?

    Question 6:

    Iona changes with the times but manages to stay true to herself. Are you struggling to stay current in some way? What changes to modern life are difficult for you to accept?

    Book Club Party Menu

    I think it is so fun to plan your book club dinner menu or dessert list based on the theme of the book.

    Since the book takes place in London, you could serve a simple tea party for book club.

    Set out a hot tea or coffee bar and serve a few simple pastries for enjoying while you talk.

    An excellent choice to add to the mix would be some banana bread like Sanjay purchases for Emmie.

    Banana Zucchini Bread
    This easy banana zucchini bread recipe uses ripe bananas and garden fresh grated zucchini and is mixed together in just one bowl!
    Banana Zucchini Bread
    30 Delicious Finger Sandwich Recipes
    These easy finger sandwich recipes are perfect for hosting the ultimate tea party for a London-themed book club meeting.
    30 Delicious Finger Sandwich Recipes

    Alternatively, you could enjoy some take-out from your favorite local Indian restaurant and imagine that Sanjay’s mom is feeding your crowd!

    A copy of the book Iona Iverson's Rules of Commuting is on the table.


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