The Priority List

A Teacher's Final Quest to Discover Life's Greatest Lessons

The Priority List

  • Touchstone | 
  • 240 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781476743455 | 
  • December 2030


Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for The Priority List includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author David Menasche. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


At thirty-four years old, teacher David Menasche is diagnosed with a brain tumor. It shatters his life and begins to erode his marriage, but through it all, his job and his students are his focus. Six years and three surgeries later, he suffers a catastrophic seizure that steals his vision, his memories, his mobility, and his ability to teach. Unable to do the very thing that gave his life meaning, he decides to make life his classroom and sets off on a journey across the country to visit his former students to see if he’s made a difference in their lives. The lessons he learns on the road help him to understand what truly matters in life.

Topics & Questions for Discussion

1. “If only I could have frozen time” (p. 5), the author says of the moment before his diagnosis. Think about your own life. Is there a moment where you would freeze time? Is it before a good event or a bad one? Why did you choose this moment?

2. “It hadn’t been that long ago that I see more

About the Author

David Menasche
Photograph by Chris Granger

David Menasche

David Menasche grew up a skate punk with a love for literature and a lack of direction. He’s careful never to say that he fell into teaching but that he “rose up to it.” He taught English at Miami’s magnet school, Coral Reef Senior High School, for fifteen years. In 2012, he was awarded Teacher of the Year by his region. He lives in New Orleans.