Here are some discussion questions for The Coincidence Makers. If you are reading it in your book club or reading group, I hope it will help you have a meaningful and fruitful discussion.
Note: the questions below might include spoilers. Read and use after you finished reading the book.
- “Our role is to be exactly on the border, to stand in the gray area between fate and free will, and to play Ping-Pong there… Our objective is to light a spark on the fate side of the boundary so that someone on the free will side of the boundary will see this spark and decide to do something.”
What is your personal opinion regarding fate vs. free will?
Do you believe we have free will or is everything in life already predicted, as one thing leads to another?
Do you think the book is making a stand regarding this question?
- “We are creators of possibilities, givers of hints, winkers of tempting winks, discoverers of options. ”
One of the main things Coincidence Makers try to do is to give people a “nudge” to encourage them to make some important decisions.
Do you feel that our choices are really ours or are most of them just a result of our environment?
- How does that relate to the “free will” question above?
- How does that relate to the concept of “echo chamber”?
- “The first rule in love is that it can’t exist only in the imagination of either person.”
What is the meaning of this rule and why is it important?
- Do you think coincidences have meaning or do we give them meaning because of the way our mind works? Does it matter?
- “Maybe not every coincidence maker is a person, but every person is also a coincidence maker ” – What does that mean, in your opinion?
Characters & World
- What is the main change in Guy’s character during the book? How does this change allow him to find love?
- “Guy looked at Emily as she walked away. She still seemed small and fragile to him, as she had on the first day of the course. But if there was one thing the course had made clear to him, it was that one must not, simply must not, try to define people in a single word. ”
So, who is Emily? Is she fragile or strong? How do her choices define her and change her?
- What makes the love that the “new” Guy & Emily have better than the “old” one?
- What kind of a coincidence maker do you think you would be? Like Guy or like Eric? Would you prefer creating “big” missions like Pierre, or maybe to stay with the small stuff? (Is there small stuff?…)
- Is this book really about coincidences? If not, what is it about?
- What did you feel about the “behind the scenes” world that it describes?
- And finally, did you encounter any interesting coincidences while reading this book…? 🙂
Related non-fiction reading
Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness by Richard H. Thaler.
Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dr. Dan Ariely
The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less by Barry Schwartz
Stumbling on Happiness by
The Art of Loving by Erich Fromm
The Pursuit of Perfect: How to Stop Chasing Perfection and Start Living a Richer, Happier Life by Tal Ben-Shahar
Chaos: Making a New Science by James Gleick