musings about food, travel, creativity and life

Let’s Talk

Having dinner with friends is a joy, partially because talk flows freely and naturally.   Topics, though unpredictable, often include weather, news, health, sports, challenges, politics, good books, new restaurants in town, travel. There are seldom lulls because curiosity and the desire to connect keep conversations alive and vibrant.

But, “just in case” and for the fun of it, a while ago I bought a little 4×4 inch clear box of cards with questions on them called “Table Topics: Questions to Start Great Conversations.” Created by a company called Table Topics (, my version contains 135 questions. There are many other editions that I want to explore like “Dinner Party,” “Happiness,” and “Family Gathering,” and even some “To Go” ones like “Travel,” “Wine’ etc., in smaller, more portable packaging.

Though the questions might be especially useful with a group of people who don’t know each other, I have only used my topic box with good friends, taking it along when we went out to dinner. Though we really didn’t need any prompts for conversation, the questions provided pleasant diversions and new avenues for exploration.

Here are just a few questions included in my Table Topics box to ponder and possibly ignite a good conversation:

            Which book dramatically influenced your life?

            What’s your favorite quotation?

            Which sports team has the best mascot?

            Which piece of land would you preserve forever?

            What changes have you made to reduce your impact on the environment?         

            Who do you think is the most inspirational person alive today?

            What would you try if you had no fear?

            Who taught you how to ride a bike?

                                                                        and on they go, all 135 of them…


There you have it. May your conversations be nurturing and enlivening!




“Good conversation is as stimulating as black coffee, and just as hard to sleep after.”  

        –Anne Morrow Lindbergh






8 thoughts on “Let’s Talk”

  • Well that sounds like fun…could be especially interesting or entertaining with Derek and my tendency to be a bit unfiltered…ha!
    I remember you used to have something on your desk that asked “what would you do if there was no chance to fail.” I liked that.
    Ok….we are game when we come to town….or if pigs fly and you come visit.
    Much love to you Archers. Hope 2020 is treating you well so far.

    • Hi there! Thanks for reminding me of that question from the past…still a good question. I’ll keep the box of questions ready for your “unfiltered” responses. That’s one of the many reasons we like you two! Much love right back at you♥️

  • You keep inspiring me in so many wonderful ways. Thank you!
    My favorite quote: Mangia bene, ridi speso e ama molto!

  • Good Morning! I have always had an academic interest in the art of good conversation. It seems we live in a world where good, in person conversation has been replaced by the ease of texting and email. In these forms conversations are stripped of all inflection, nuance and facial and body expressions. But there are emojis people will say. 🙂 They show how we are feeling. I say to that: Technology is a false deliverer of our warmth and humanity. I have a little handbook printed in 2010 which explores in-depth the art of conversation and its importance in understanding the people and the world in which we live. It is called appropriately “The Art of Conversation – A Guided Tour of a Neglected Pleasure” by Catherine Blyth. I take this little book to bed with me on occasions. I love the idea of bringing joy to a table by inviting friends to discuss topics on people’s minds and those topics that are drawn from a stack of cards. It is such an old fashion remedy, isn’t it? Seems a joyful enterprise with friends and strangers and I fear humanity is losing its ability to converse in effective ways.. I want some of those cards.
    🙂 B

    • Wow, Barbara. I would love to see that book. Sounds like our coffee conversation will be about conversation. (No emoji…)

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