Ninety-Nine Fire Hoops Book Club

Discussion Questions:

  1. Ninety-Nine Fire Hoops is divided into 99 very short sections. How do you feel about this kind of structure in a book?
  2. The author is a Taiwanese immigrant, but in this book she references not only to Chinese proverbs, but also to Rumi’s philosophy and biblical passages. How do these spiritual traditions––Christian, Islam, and Chinese––impact your reading experience?
  3. After reading about the author’s immigrant experience, how does that affect your relationships with other immigrants in your community?
  4. When the author faces difficult challenges, some people help her: Jane, the apartment manager; Ethan, the Canadian neighbor; the Bushmans, her rebirth parents; two bishops from the Chruch of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They know the author won’t be able to repay them––especilly Bishop Chen in Salt Lake City who gives her $800 for her to fly home to Taiwan for her mother’s funeral. Why do these people help her? Would you do it?
  5. The author makes a bad choice by hiding her divorce from the young men she dates at BYU, because she’s embarrassed and ashamed to be a divorcée. Why do you think she feels that way? Do you think a divorcé (a divorced man) feels the same way? Is failing a marriage still a stigma today?
  6. How does the story’s culture differ from yours? What surprised you the most? What was hard to understand?
  7. Does the book offer a main idea or theme? What are the problems or issues raised? Are they personal, spiritual, societal, global, political, economic, medical, scientific?
  8. Do the issues affect your life? Does it affect you now or will it in the future?
  9. Does the author—or can you—offer solutions to the issues raised in the book? Who would start those solutions? How likely is it to succeed?
  10. How did the story broaden your idea about a personal or social issue?

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