How to Host a Book Club Party

You've gathered your closest friends and chosen your favorite books -- now it's your turn to host the next book club meeting. Whether your book club meets weekly or monthly (or somewhere in between), we have the best tips and tricks for when it's your turn to host, including themed meetings, recipes, and more.

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    Basics for a Book Club Party

    Book club parties are a good way to get friends together and have great discussion over appetizers, drinks, or brunch. Whether your book club is a few close friends or a larger group, hosting a book club party still takes some amount of planning. Food, seating arrangements, and discussion questions are just some of the things that should be taken into account when you're the host. On the next slides, see our tips for hosting a party, designing the invitations, choosing the book, and picking a fun theme.

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    Step 1: Choose the Book Club Book

    When choosing book club books, it's important to make sure they're ones most everyone can agree on. At the very first meeting, come up with a list of 20 books based on suggestions from each group member and distribute it to everyone. The host of the next book club will pick one from the list. To get ideas for your book list, look up book reviews for books on bestseller lists, or see if your local library has a list of recommendations.

    Editor's Tip: After the book is chosen, go online and look for discussion questions. Sometimes, the book publisher includes them at the end of the book or has a link to resources online. If there are no ready-made discussion questions, ask everyone to come up with at least one or two talking points before the next meeting.

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    Step 2: Choose the Book Club Host

    There are several options for choosing the first host (and subsequent hosts) for a book club party. The same person can host every time and have different people bring appetizers and small dishes for each meeting, or a different person can host every time. At the first meeting, put everyone's name on a slip of paper and put it in a bowl to choose the next host at random; the person drawn will host the next meeting and get to choose the next book. The host can decide whether to have the book club party at her house or at a separate venue, such as a restaurant or a coffee shop.

    Editor's Tip: If you decide to host the next meeting at a restaurant, be sure to call ahead and make a reservation, especially if the venue has a private meeting room that you can reserve.

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    Fun Idea! Make a Bookmark Book Club Invitation

    Mark the date of the next book club party as well as your spot in the current book with this fun bookmark invitation. Type the party information (host's address, date and time of the party, and what people should bring) in a column and print on cardstock. Cut around the text to make a strip (perfect for a bookmark) and cut two slits in the top and bottom of the strip. Thread a separate strip of patterned paper through the slits, and tie colorful ribbon at the top to finish the bookmark invitation. Place it in a larger envelope to mail or simply hand out to group members.

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    Book Club Tip: No Cell Phones Allowed

    To keep conversation and discussion about the book flowing, have everyone switch their cell phones to silent mode -- or turn them off completely -- and put them in a basket in the center of the table. This simple step before you get started will help everyone get engaged in the book discussion.

    Continue to the next slides for book club theme ideas.

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    Book Club Party Theme: Wine and Spine

    There's nothing better than having a book club discussion over a few glasses of wine with your closest friends. Easy appetizers work best for this book club party theme, so we've chosen a few of our favorite cheesy bites to get you started. Plus, check out our tips on how to pair wine and cheese -- and get a free guide to print.

    Guides to Wine:

    Get our free guide to pairing wine and cheese

    See our complete guide to white wine

    See our complete guide to red wine

    Suggested Appetizers:

    Gorgonzola & Pear Focaccia

    Baked Mozzarella and Tomato-Basil Antipasti

    Goat Cheese-Olive Bites

    See more warm and cheesy appetizer recipes

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    Book Club Party Theme: Book Club Bucket List

    If you want to set a challenge for your book club group, pick your books from the BBC's Big Read Top 100 list. The list, which can be found in many different places online, contains classics, such as Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, and To Kill a Mockingbird, along with newer bestsellers, such as the Harry Potter series, The Time Traveler's Wife, and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. To make the list seem more manageable, break it up into segments with 10-15 books each.

    Party Food Suggestions:

    Four-Cheese Pimiento Dip

    Parmesan Pastry Spirals

    Avocado Pesto-Stuffed Tomatoes

    See more quick and easy party food recipes.

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    Book Club Party Theme: The Breakfast Book Club

    If breakfast or brunch with your girlfriends is a favorite weekend activity, why not include a book discussion? Meet at someone's house or a restaurant for a monthly brunch and book discussion. Make it a potluck-style gathering and have everyone bring their favorite breakfast food. See our suggestions for delicious brunch recipes, below. Don't forget the mimosas!

    Tasty Brunch Dishes:

    Ham, Asparagus, and Cheese Strata

    Sweet Potato Hash with Spicy Hollandaise

    Cornmeal-Blueberry Scones

    See our recipe for a classic mimosa.

    See more of our best brunch recipes.

  • Next Slideshow How to Throw a Casual Mexican Taco Party Like a Chef

    How to Throw a Casual Mexican Taco Party Like a Chef

    Whether you're celebrating Day of the Dead, Cinco de Mayo, or just a low-key Friday night with friends, a build-your-own-taco buffet and a few colorful decorations make for a fun Mexican-theme party. "Top Chef" judge and frequent party host Hugh Acheson shows you how.
    Begin Slideshow »

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