Be it Oprah’s latest pick, a spicy new thriller or a celeb memoir bound to spur an invigorating debate, book clubs have long been a fantastic excuse to get friends together for good food, fun drinks and enlightening discussion about something other than our kids or jobs.
If it’s your turn to host, you’ll love these creative ideas that can make your book club party a real page-turner. Let’s start with the most important aspect: food. What’s a book club without delicious hors d’oeuvres?
Taste of Home
You can certainly draw menu inspiration from the day’s book selection, basing your picks around the food (and wine!) of the region where the plot is set or making the main character’s favorite dish. But you could also cover all literary bases with a buffet themed around famous books with food in their titles. Bonus points if you have these books already and can display them near their inspired dishes. For example…
- Choose grape preserves to embellish these Jam-Topped Mini Cheesecakes, an ode to The Grapes of Wrath, of course.
- Let the delicious scent of this Slow Cooker Caramel Apple Cider fill your house, inspired by John Irving’s The Cider House Rules.
- Whip up a batch of Smoked Salmon Canapes on rye toast drawn from—you guessed it—Catcher in the Rye.
- These sweet, cinnamon-filled Baked Elephant Ears should surely bring to mind the book Water for Elephants, right?
- Speaking of water, or more importantly, chocolate, give a nod to Like Water for Chocolate with these Rustic Chocolate Raspberry Tarts and some Chocolate Caramel Rum Coffee to go with it.
Remember the library check-out cards that used to be in a pocket inside every library book you checked out as a kid? Use those as inspiration for your book club party invitations. Create your own on cardstock or just hire a talented artisan from Etsy to create something fun, like these, for you.
Taste of Home
A Cozy Setting
Just like the book itself, the setting of your book club party should be rich with detail and interest. Of course, the easiest way to do this is by using what you already have—books. Assemble books in stacks of two or three down a dining table, for large groups, or in the center of a coffee table for a smaller crowd. Top each stack with a small vase of flowers or a candle nestled safely inside a mason jar.
Using a few reclaimed books from your local thrift store, tear out the pages and glue them into runners (like the one above) to decorate a table or mantle. Using a hole punch, you can easily create literary confetti to sprinkle around your snack buffet.
For your soundtrack, you’ll want a great chill-out mix of instrumental melodies to provide the soundtrack for your book club. Try this specially curated Taste of Home Book Club playlist on Spotify for just the right ambiance.
Also make sure your setting for deep literary discussion is warm and cozy—if a fireplace is available, you might want to utilize this. Give guests a selection of blankets to snuggle underneath while they share their favorite parts of the romance/political thriller/celebrity memoir you’re discussing.
Taste of Home
At the End
To choose the book club’s next book, wrap four to five options in brown craft paper and have one guest choose at random. Oh, the suspense!
Surprise guests with a parting gift. We love the idea of a library card tote bag that contains a few trinkets for book lovers. These book club wine charms are perfect for the wine-loving bibliophile while these Hemingway quote socks will keep feet toasty warm whilst reading. Of course, you can’t forget where you left off—a cute bookmark will do the trick for that. For those who care to wear their love of books, this handmade book necklace is exquisite.
As they said in elementary school before handing out coupons for free pizza—ready, set…read!
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