DIY Book Clubs

Are you in a book club? Would you like to start one? We have everything you need to host your own book club, from the discussion questions to recipes you can make and serve your fellow members. Follow the links below.

Your Discussion:

Download these sheets and resources to enhance your discussion:

We Were the Lucky Ones Discussion Questions

About the Author and Author’s Notes


Kurc Family Map


Kurc Family Timeline


Where are they now? (As of 2017):

Where Are the Kurc Family Members Now

Tosa’s Children of Holocaust Survivors Video – See Tosa resident Andy Palec’s presentation about his father, Samuel, sho survived imprisonment at Dachau and later moved to Milwaukee.

Food for Your Meeting:


There is not an abundance of food references in “We Were the Lucky Ones,” certainly not many that would lend themselves to a book club gathering. However, we’ve put together a few suggestions.

If your book club is the type that serves a meal, the cabbage- and mushroom-stuffed pierogi that Bella enjoyed her last night with her family in Radom would make a fine main course. (Or, if time doesn’t permit, you can buy frozen pierogi.) Along with the pierogi, you could serve one of two salads we’re sharing here: a roasted beet salad—a  nod to Halina’s field work for the Germans—or a refreshing orange salad, honoring a sweet moment when Genek is given an orange after almost two years with his wife and baby as a Russian prisoner. 

If dessert is your book club’s norm, you could bake up this Polish gingerbread cake, which Jakob dreams of during his secret wedding to Bella, or make a batch of rugelach, a Polish Jewish treat not mentioned in the book but most certainly known to the Kurc family. Another sweet option would be the Polish apple pancakes known as racuchy.

Finally, we come to drinks. Our suggestion is the Caipirinha, Brazil’s national cocktail, inspired by Addy’s years in that country. It’s a simple concoction of cachaça, a fermented sugar cane spirit, fresh limes and superfine sugar. Yum.


Orange-y Citrus Salad

Piernik (Gingerbread Cake)

Pierogi with Cabbage and Mushrooms

Racuchy (Polish Apple Pancakes)

Roasted Beet Salad

Rugelach (Chocolate and Date)