Thursday, October 20, 2011

Just Kids Patti Smith

Our Book Club just finished Just Kids by Patti Smith, which is a fabulous book for a book club.  What makes a fabulous book club book you ask?  A great book club book is a book that transends beyond the characters, a book that can relate to your own life.  A story that connects to the individual and weaves people together.

A bunch of suburban housewives connecting with a rock goddess you ask?  The answer is YES! YES! YES!

Just Kids does make a great book club book, the only thing it was IMPOSSIBLE to find great discussion questions.  I looked and looked and had a hard time finding great comprehensive questions to really get the conversation going.  After hours of Googeling and Re-Googling and pulling my hair out I decided to make my own questions.  I pulled from a multitude of sites and reviewed highlighted passages from my Kindle to come up with a list of discussion questions.
Please feel free to use, alter, fix my grammatical errors for your own clubs use!

What were your thoughts on Patti Smith before you read the book?  After?  Have you ever listened to her music?  Was/Is there a musician from your past/present that defines you?

The book gives a small glimpses into Patti and Robert's childhood and family life, how does this shape them as adults?

Patti refers to a story in her childhood, that she often tells Robert, about stealing a charm from a sick friend and her guilty feelings.  When Patti left for New York and took the money from the purse she did not express an equal amount of guilt, Why?  Where there other instances in the story that were a conflict of moral standards? 

Were Patti and Robert equally supportive of each others careers?

What are your thoughts on Patti and Roberts romantic/sexual relationship?  Do you think it hurt their friendship at any point?  How were they able to maintain a friendship for so long?  

Is an artist truer if he/she is obsessed with having to create?

If a piece of artwork is not something you'd want to exhibit in your own home, is it bad art?  What defines art?  In the case of Robert's art, what defines his work as art vs. pornography?

Should art be regulated?  Is it okay to ban art and artist expression

If you are not in a book club I still HIGHLY recommend Just Kids!


  1. Good questions - thanks for these! You're right, it is difficult to find any other reading guides online. Found yours just in time for my book club tonight!

  2. Thanks for posting these!

  3. Thank you! Will definitely be using some of these and have been inspired to make some of my own.


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