Book Discussions

Discussion dates and locations
  • Wednesday, July 18: 12 p.m., Montcalm Community College's Library in the lower level of the Donald C. Burns Administration/Library Building on the college's Sidney campus
  • Thursday, July 26: 6 p.m., Flat River Community Library in Greenville
  • Monday, August 6: 10 a.m., Home Township Library in Edmore
  • Tuesday, August 7: 6 p.m., Carson City Public Library in Carson City
  • Tuesday, August 14: 6:30 pm., White Pine District Library in Stanton
  • Thursday, August 23: 5 p.m., Tamarack District Library in Lakeview
  • Friday, August 24: 11 a.m., Richland Township Library in Vestaburg
  • Monday, August 6: 10 a.m.Timothy C. Hauenstein Reynolds Township Library in Howard City

Discussion questions  

  1. Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good is a “memoir of food and love from an American Midwest family.” In what ways does food tie families together and carry on tradition? Was food a big part of your family growing up, or in your own family now?
  2. Why do you think memoirs, and memoirs about food, are so popular? Discuss some of your favorites.
  3. The Flinn family struggled financially in their early years. In order to celebrate birthdays properly (and on a budget), Kathleen’s mother would give each child a “Birthday Menu,” making whatever meal they requested. Did your family have any similar traditions that didn’t break the bank, but meant something special?
  4. How much do you know of your own ancestry? Did reading this memoir make you wonder about your own background and how it might have shaped who you are today?
  5. Kathleen Flinn interviewed her mother and other family members, and conducted extensive research to write this memoir. Was she successful in bringing the past to life on the page? In what ways? Who were your favorite “characters”?
  6. How do you think Flinn’s family and background served her well in becoming a writer, and how have they informed her passion for food?
  7. Flinn’s father was a military man, and honor was a guiding principle of his life. In what way did his honor influence certain decisions for him and his family? What other values were important to the Flinn parents that they tried to instill in their children?
  8. The book is full of hilarious family anecdotes, from the origin of the title to Flinn’s mother accidentally locking herself in the chicken coop. Did any of these stories stand out more than others? Why? What lessons did some of these stories teach?
  9. History plays an important role through generations of the author’s family—the Great Depression, the reliance of many family members on employment at large automobile factories in the Midwest, and wars that members of Flinn’s family fought in. How do these big events shape them on a personal level?


One Book Sponsors


One Book One County Montcalm is sponsored by Stafford Media Solutions, Montcalm Community College, the MCC Foundation and the public libraries of Montcalm County.

MCC Library
989-328-2111, Ext. 261 or 291