The Author can join your club meeting
Order 20 Breakfast Tea & Bourbon books directly from Learning Strategies at a 40% discount, and Pete Bissonette will join your club meeting for twenty minutes through Skype, FaceTime, Zoom, or some other virtual connection. Shortly after you purchase your 20 books, someone from Learning Strategies will reach out to you to schedule your club meeting with Pete.
After a brief introduction, you can dive into a questions and answers session with Pete. You are welcome to go into any direction you’d like. Just know, Pete will not give you additional clues to the treasure hunt. That wouldn’t be fair to others.
Click here to place your order. You will receive a 40% discount from the suggested retail price of the book. Your price will be $14.40 each plus shipping.
This special offer may be withdrawn at any time, so place your order today to secure Pete for your meeting. And, if your club has fewer than 20 members, you’ll have a few extra books to share with friends or your local library.
Book Club Meeting Ideas
There are many ways to hold a book club meeting. You can have a free- flow or structured discussion. Here are questions and ideas to consider for a lively discussion on Breakfast Tea & Bourbon:
- How did you experience the book? As a treasure hunt, novel, or both? How engaged were you with the story? Did you find the treasure hunt distracting, or did it flow well with the story?
- How did the vignettes in the book shape your feelings about the characters? How did they flow with the story?
- Describe the dynamics among the characters? Did any qualities of the characters resonate with you? Were there qualities you would like to see in your own way of being? Who would you most like to have over for dinner? Is there anything you would like to ask any of the characters?
- How does your circle of friends compare to the friends in the story?
- How did you experience the story? Was it engaging? Were you drawn to see what next unfolded? Was the story predictable?
- Were you surprised by the twist toward the end of the book? Did you see it coming? Did it change your perceptions of the story or characters?
- How believable was the story? What, if anything, was not believable? Did the twist work for you?
- Discuss how the characters had to work together to pull it off. Would you enjoy doing something similar for a friend?
- Did particular passages strike you as insightful or particularly profound? Has anything given rise to further contemplation?
- Nels is single. How do you think his romantic relationships have been shaped by his early adulthood experiences?
- Were you satisfied with the ending? What alternate ending would intrigue you? What might be next for the characters? Would you like to see them in a sequel?
- What questions would you most like to ask the author, Pete Bissonette?
- Has the story or the characters enhanced or altered your life, thinking, or feelings in any way?
Life Lessons Club
After spending four decades leading Learning Strategies, whose focus is on helping people experience their potential, it was only natural that author Pete Bissonette would weave life lessons into Breakfast Tea & Bourbon.
Here are ideas for a meeting on the life lessons of the book. Each could lead to a lengthy and spirited discussion.
- Being present – Chapter 1
- “Looking Meaningfully” Rule of Toasting: Try it and notice the difference. – Chapter 4
- “Flying-around-like-angels ancestors” to support your life – Chapter 4
- The Lord’s Prayers – Chapter 5
- Breaking up with someone: Why would you want someone who doesn’t want you? – Chapter 6
- Continual Smelling of the Roses – Chapter 7
- Looking at aging as levels of accomplishment instead of a slow march to death – Chapter 8
- Giving up a child – Chapter 9
- Living within your financial means – Chapter 10
- What is dowsing? What are energy vortexes? – Chapter 11
- Intuition: How does it show in your life? – Chapter 11
- Can you do a daily practice such as meditation, Qigong, Yoga, or Tai Chi each day? What would it take? – Chapter 13 and other chapters
- Listening to your dreams – Chapter 16
- Walking a Labyrinth – Chapter 16
- Creative expressions. How do you express creativity in your life? – Chapter 16
- Gru-worthy. What is Gru-worthy in your life? – Chapter 19
- Living the Law of Attraction – Chapter 20
- Setting the stage of your life with music – Chapters 3 and 23
- Relationship Turtles – Chapter 24
- Spiritual Awakenings – Chapter 27
- Friendship – The entire book
- Which life lessons resonated most with you?
- What is your favorite takeaway from the book?
- What might you do differently in your life after reading the book?
Treasure Hunting Club
Gather a group of friends to hunt for the treasure together. You can become the characters in the book!
Decide up front the commitment each will make and how you will split the treasure. Pledge that you will work together unless all members agree to go their separate ways.
There are many ways to proceed. We recommend that each member first reads the book for pleasure, not even thinking about the treasure hunt. (If you know PhotoReading at 25,000 words a minute, by all means PhotoRead the book often, and listen to the “Finding Treasure” Paraliminal several times a week.)
Then go through the book with a marker to highlight what could be clues. Write notes in the margin or in a notebook. You may want to write notes in a searchable file on your computer.
Consider listening to the audiobook to see what additional connections you might make.
Get together and compare your notes chapter by chapter. Determine your best plan of exploration.
Be sure to keep journals and film your meetings. The media will love this once you find the treasure.
Adding Tea Tasting
Consider beginning your morning or afternoon book club meeting with a tea tasting. For the evening, pull out the bourbon.
Like bourbon, tea calms the mind, so consider doing the taste testing before your book discussion. You will be in the perfect frame of mind to discuss the book.
There are two primary ways to taste test teas, and for this discussion, we will use Fortnum & Mason tea as the flag brand. It is Pete’s favorite. You can order it directly from the U.K. or from Williams Sonoma.
TASTE BY TYPE
Let’s say you would like to taste English Breakfast teas. Get Fortnum & Mason Breakfast tea and find two other loose leaf varieties of English Breakfast from a local tea shop. Ask for the clerk’s favorite. Then test the difference between the brands.
TASTE BY BRAND
Choose a brand of tea or tea from a particular tea shop. If you choose Fortnum & Mason, compare their Breakfast tea with Royal Blend tea with Earl Grey tea.
HOW TO TEST
For the most fun, consider doing blind taste tests, where you do not know what you are tasting. Either you need to be blindfolded or you need to figure out how to hide what you are tasting. A book club partner can hide it for you, or you can do what Pete does. Take three identical cups, and label the bottom of each one with a different tea you will be comparing. Fill each cup with the proper tea, put them on a lazy Susan, and spin the Susan with your eyes closed. Then open your eyes and drink away, peeking under the cup only when you’ve decided which is your favorite.
Of course, you can taste with your eyes wide open and full knowledge of each tea. Pete has done it both ways and says blind is cooler (though eyes open decreases the chance of making a mess).
Add Bourbon Tasting
“I choose to start with cocktails, because no great story ever started with a salad.” That quote has been attributed to Amelie Laurent and could very well be the reason Pete Bissonette began Breakfast Tea & Bourbon with the Bourbon Sidecar.
Consider adding bourbon tasting to your evening book club meeting. You may want to do the bourbon tasting before discussing the book, which may make for a livelier discussion of the book. Here are ideas:
Visit your favorite store for spirits. Begin with a bottle of Buffalo Trace.
Ask a store clerk to help you find two or three additional bourbons from different distinguishable categories. This will make the differences more noticeable, give you and your guests something to talk about, and, the best part, help you discover the one you prefer.
Categories include low-proof bourbon (80-85 proof), wheated bourbon, rye whiskey, small batch, single barrel, and barrel strength.
Some things to consider during your Bourbon & Book event:
- Breathe in through your mouth to smell your bourbon. Pause to appreciate the aroma and note any scents you detect.
- Try “chewing” before swallowing (or swishing the bourbon around in your mouth). Each section of the tongue picks up on different aspects of flavor (sweet, bitter, salty, sour, savory). By swishing the bourbon around you receive a more complete taste.
- Begin by testing neat, without ice. Then do a round or two adding a little water or dropping in an ice cube (or ice ball), because that will alter the flavor dynamic. Which do you prefer?
- Try different glasses and notice the differences in aroma and taste. Try a whiskey glass, a snifter, and a regular wide-mouth glass.
- Try a bourbon cocktail. Of course, Pete recommends the Bourbon Sidecar from Chapter 1.
Here’s a fun article on hosting a bourbon tasting party.