Book Club Guide for How to Lose Everything

Black and white photo of the book How to Lose Everything next to a coffee cup on a white table. Photo by Nadya Kwandibens.

If you’re in a book club, How to Lose Everything is a great choice to read together! We have some resources for you. 

Photo of HtLE looking cozy with coffee by the brilliant Nadya Kwandibens, Red Works Photography

Book club discount

We are happy to provide a discount of 25% off for group purchases of 10 books or more when you order directly through the publisher Douglas and McIntyre: Use promo code HTLEBOOKCLUB at checkout.

Signed bookplates

We can send you bookplates signed by Christa for your copy of How to Lose Everything. Usually they’re $5 each, but for a book club request, we can send up to 20 signed bookplates, sent as a bundle to one address, for $5! You can email us at to get your set.

Have Christa attend your book club

Christa is delighted to connect with readers, answer questions, and share more of her story and process via Zoom. Covid may have restricted physical book touring to shops and festivals, but we’ve all gotten pretty adept at the art of the online group meeting or hangout! It’s a lovely way to connect with the author after reading How to Lose Everything. Email with a few dates that might work for you, and if Christa is available, she will be happy to join.

Book club questions for discussion

Now that you’ve read How to Lose Everything, time to discuss! Use these as is or as a starting point for designing questions unique to your group’s context. 

  • How does the book’s title work in relation to the book’s contents? If you could give the book a new title, what would it be?
  • What is the central idea discussed in the book? What issues or ideas does the author explore? Are they personal, sociological, global, political, economic, spiritual, medical, or scientific.
  • Did reading the book impact your mood? If yes, how so? 
  • Talk about specific passages that struck you as significant—or interesting, profound, amusing, illuminating, disturbing, sad…? What was memorable? Did you reread any passages? 
  • What did you Google while reading the book?
  • Discuss the book’s structure and Christa’s use of language and writing style. How does she draw the reader in and keep the reader engaged? Does the author convey her story with comedy, self-pity, or something else?
  • Compare this book to other memoirs your group has read. Is it similar to any of them? Did you like it more or less than other books you’ve read? What do you think will be your lasting impression of the book?
  • How did your opinion of the book change as you read it? Did anything surprise you in the book? 
  • Christa talks about how much she loves the meaning of names. Ask a friend or loved one if they know the meaning of their name or the origin of how they received or chose it. Share what you know about yours.
  • If you could articulate your essence or your purpose with a name, what are some words that come to mind? Connect with someone who knows you well and co-generate some words that define you.
  • If you could ask the author anything, what would it be? 
  • Grief is a central theme of this book and Christa talks about her “greif bio” in the book’s trailer: . We all have our own grief stories, moments of loss, markers in time, dramatic beginnings and endings, challenges and triumphs. Have you thought of your own life in this way? 
  • Did your ideas about hope change or evolve through the reading of this book?

If your book club came up with generative questions, leave them in the comments below. Happy reading!

Big thanks to Susan Kendal for writing this guide and Jenny Whyte at Greenwood Coalition for sharing some of her book club prompts.