How to Start the Best Book Club Ever

by Heather Caliendo
how to start the best book club ever - book club chat
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If you’re a book lover wanting to start a book club or you want to add some variety to your current book club, this is the article for you!

Being a part of a book club is so rewarding in many ways! For one, you get to read books!! But beyond that, it allows readers to develop deeper connections with fellow bookworms. Yes, there will always be work and family obligations but adding a book club to your calendar is so important to overall wellness; it gives the reader much needed ‘you’ time—your book club is your thing.

This mega article will give you tips and ideas on how to create the best book club ever! I plan to write several more articles dedicated to #bookclublife, so be sure to stay tuned to the site for more. And as always, I’ll be adding book club questions for the hottest new releases, old favorites and hidden gems each week.

Start (or find) Your Club

Let’s first talk about how to either start your own book club or join an existing one. (If you’re already part of a book club, scroll down to the picking your books section). I can say from personal experience that starting a book club is really fun and you get a level of reading control with it as well.

The first thing to do is talk with your friends who might be interested. Once you get some on board, ask them if they know anyone else who wants to be part of a book club. It’s up to you on how big you want the book club to be, but remember, there will be times when not everyone will be able to make your meetups and/or was able to finish reading the book. Once you get your confirmed group, start a private messaging group on FB, Instagram, or WhatsApp (I prefer Whatsapp). You can also do an email chain but those can really fill up an inbox quick and can be hard to follow. And last – have fun with it—give the group a name!

If you prefer to join an existing book club group, one of the best outlets is to check out meetup.com and search for book clubs there. You can also check out if your local bookstores have monthly book clubs as well.

Cookbooks & Other Essentials

The next biggest decision is deciding if the meetings will be held at someone’s house or at a restaurant or a mix of both! If you host it at home, there’s lots of fun and creative ideas you can do. Whether you put together a complete spread by yourself or everyone brings a dish, here’s some ideas with the must need essentials! Let’s start with BOARDS!

Platters and Boards: Beautiful, Casual Spreads for Every Occasion by Shelly Westerhausen

Boards are having a big moment! You can’t go on Instagram or Reddit without seeing a post of a beautifully put together board. They’re definitely a HUGE crowd pleaser and everyone can find something like they like one one. For some recipes and ideas, check out Platters and Boards: Beautiful, Casual Spreads for Every Occasion by Shelly Westerhausen.

Shelly shares the secrets to creating casually chic spreads anyone can make and everyone will enjoy (and envy). Organized by time of day, 40 contemporary arrangements are presented with gorgeous photography, easy-to-prepare recipes, suggested meat and drink pairings, and notes on preparation and presentation.

To buy the book on Amazon, click here.


On Boards by Lisa Bolton

In On Boards, food stylist Lisa Bolton has put together 50 ideas for instantly approachable boards, all with effortless entertaining in mind, as well as 52 recipes for delectable savory and sweet additions like Beet Hummus, Bourbon Bacon Jam, Mashed Potato Dip and Chocolate Salami. The boards can be pulled together in very little time, and each includes presentation and styling tips to impress your guests. Any assortment of food can be pulled into a beautiful board, so you will be able transform whatever is in your fridge and pantry when unexpected guests arrive!

To buy the book on Amazon, click here.


 Bamboo Serving Platter with 3 Ceramic Bowls, Bamboo Spoons & Cheese Markers

In case you don’t have a board yet, here’s a great option from Amazon! It comes with a Bamboo Serving Platter with 3 Ceramic Bowls, Bamboo Spoons & Cheese Markers.

To buy the board on Amazon, click here.

 


Cravings: Recipes for All the Food You Want to Eat by Chrissy Teigen


I love love love Cravings by Chrissy Teigen! There’s so many great recipes to choose from—especially in her party time section. Salty, spicy, saucy, and fun as sin (that’s the food, but that’s Chrissy, too), these dishes are for family, for date night at home, for party time, and for a few life-sucks moments (salads).

You’ll learn the importance of chili peppers, the secret to cheesy-cheeseless eggs, and life tips like how to use bacon as a home fragrance, the single best way to wake up in the morning, and how not to overthink men or Brussels sprouts. Because for Chrissy Teigen, cooking, eating, life, and love are one and the same. From secretly spicy deviled eggs to Frito pie bar—you’ll have a lot of fun making the recipes.

To get the book from Amazon, click here.


Art of the Pie: A Practical Guide to Homemade Crusts, Fillings, and Life by Kate McDermott

A book club isn’t complete without desserts! That’s why I recommend Art of the Pie: A Practical Guide to Homemade Crusts, Fillings, and Life is by Kate McDermott. Kate, who learned to make pie from her Iowa grandmother, has taught the time-honored craft of pie-making to thousands of people. Here she shares her secrets to great crusts (including gluten-free options), fabulous fillings, and to living a good life.

To buy the book on Amazon, click here. 

Drinks & glasses

Here are some fun cocktail books! But remember to always have mocktails and other non-alcoholic beverages available for those who don’t drink.

Fancy AF Cocktails: Drink Recipes from a Couple of Professional Drinkers by Ariana Madix and Tom Sandov

My friends over at Really Into This love this cocktail book Fancy AF and are drinking their way through the book! Bravo’s hit show Vanderpump Rules, which Vogue recently called “America’s perfect reality show,” is a spin-off of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. The show is centered around the crazy, booze-fueled lives of the staff at Lisa Vanderpump’s wildly popular SUR restaurant in West Hollywood.

Ariana Madix and Tom Sandoval, two of the show’s stars, fell in love on the show and have stuck together through it all. They’ve been talking about writing a cocktail book on the show for a few seasons, and now they’re finally delivering the goods with this book that has drinks for every situation.

It features a mix of classy cocktails for fancy special occasions and trashier recipes for those times when you just have a few random ingredients in your kitchen and want to keep the buzz going. Woven throughout are brand-new photos and behind-the-scenes stories crafted with the help of Bravo insider and co-author Danny Pellegrino, making this a true must-have for fans of the show.

To order the book on Amazon, click here.


Cocktails Made Simple: Easy & Delicious Recipes for the Home Bartender by Brian Weber and Amin Benny

Are you looking for an exciting way to entertain? Cocktails Made Simple sets you up for success, showing you how to craft 40 iconic cocktails in the comforts of your own home.

From finding the right glass to a flaming peel finish, learn how to build a functional home bar using cost-effective tips on the essential tools to mix with―and familiar alternatives to make the most of what you have on hand.

Cocktails Made Simple includes:

  • Old-fashioned origins―Dive into the art of crafting cocktails with terms to know and tools of the trade.
  • That’s the spirit―Stock your home bar and enhance everyday ingredients using simple techniques.
  • Aperitif to digestif―Sip your way through recipes for 40 traditional cocktails categorized by spirit, as well as a brief history of each drink and tasty twists.

To order the book on Amazon, click here.


Premium Cocktail Shaker Bar Tools Set

Achieve a smooth cocktail with completely integrated ingredients. Set includes a 28 and 18 oz cocktail shaker with a lid and filter that’ll keep chunks and ice contained, a double jigger of 1 and 2 oz, a muddler, a beer and soda opener, 6 bottle pourers, and a Hawthorne cocktail strainer.

To order this on Amazon, click here.


JoyJolt 4-Piece Afina Cocktail Glasses Set

This cocktail glass set is a modern take on a classic glass. To order on Amazon, click here.


My Book Club Only Reads Wine

For book clubs who are all about wine—these are perfect glasses to get! To order on Amazon, click here.


Women Cocktail Napkins

These funny cocktail napkins are an entertaining addition! To order the napkins on Amazon, click here.

Hope those ideas can help you jump-start the best book club ever!

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