Book Clubs – Private Offerings

Suggested Discussion Questions 

  1. Private Offerings has a wide cast of characters depicting the diversity of Silicon Valley. Which character is the most memorable to you, and why? Are there any you really loved to love? Or loved to hate? What was your favorite scene in the book? What would you change?
  2. Many of you work in a business environment. Did Ann Bridges capture the essence of today’s workplace effectively? How? What situations or characters could you identify with and why?
  3. One of the more controversial topics today is how to handle interpersonal relationships in the workplace, especially when it crosses the line into sexual harassment. Ann Bridges reverses the traditional depiction of a man harassing a woman subordinate, and shows a woman using it as a power play by threatening lawsuits. How often do you think that happens? How do you think the people involved should handle it?
  4. Ann Bridges brings her insider perspective as a woman executive working in male-dominated fields of high tech and finance to the story. Did you learn something new about what it is like for the founders of a start-up company to make tough decisions? How can you apply it to your own work life?
  5. It seems we can’t turn around without the news blaring about the next “hot” company coming out of Silicon Valley and going public on Wall Street. What did you learn about the business dealings in the financial sector that support the technology that we use every day? Have you stopped to re-consider the headlines and the source of the story instead of assuming the veracity of the press releases?
  6. Some people groan when they hear that Private Offerings could be categorized as business fiction. Did Ann Bridges add enough excitement, suspense, and thrills to keep you reading to the end? What grabbed you most?
  7. Ann Bridges prides herself on bringing realism to her readers. Did she succeed? Were you satisfied with the resolution of the conflict and the growth of the characters?
  8. One of the themes of the book includes the contrast between the need for honesty and the need for secrecy. Many of today’s younger generation preach that transparency in all things is best. Do you agree? Should there be government secrets? Or personal ones? Is honesty always best? What are the consequences of either choice?
  9. Ann Bridges introduces China as a significant buyer of Silicon Valley technology. Were you surprised at that depiction? Did the scenes in China and with Chinese characters intrigue you, or turn you off?
  10. Ann Bridges writes mainly with very terse, tight dialog, which lends itself to a fast pace. In fact, some people have commented that it could easily be turned into a movie. Do you enjoy her writing style where you, as reader, need to fill in the detailed descriptions of setting and people? Do you miss having more narrative to guide you, or do you enjoy picturing the scenes in your mind as you read?