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How To Host A Book-Inspired Dinner Party

Whether hosting dinner for a book club or just wanting to get-together with friends, throwing a book-inspired dinner party is rather simple. Host an unforgettable evening in five easy steps:


1. Decide On A Book

If hosting dinner for a reading group, then choosing a book is relatively simple. If, however, the specific party is a bit more impromptu, then consider the particular genres your party guests are interested in reading. Choosing a book will create the theme of your dinner party. Additionally, what will you plan on doing at the party? Perhaps a tasting of the dishes present in the novel? Or maybe, enjoying pastries and finger foods while listening to a reading from the novel? How about a Great Gatsby party complete with 1920s costumes, cocktails and lots of pearls or a Night Circus midnight dinner party with black and white decor, a splash of red for good measure and caramel popcorn for dessert. (If you haven’t read The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern, I highly recommend it!) Once you decide these details, the following steps are much more simple.

2. Invite Guests

After choosing a theme, begin thinking of how you plan to notify guests. For example, if reading Sara Shepard’s Pretty Little Liars series, then inviting guests via a mysterious text message or a cryptic note would be appealing. If the novel is something more literary, such as Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, then sending elegant invitations in the mail might be a charming sentiment. These book-inspired invitations from Minted are lovely or here’s a free printable vintage library book insert to make your own!

Woman Preparing Table Dinner Concept

3. Decorate

Again, the book you’ve chosen will also influence your party decor. Continuing based on the examples provided above, planning a murder-mystery party would be fitting for a Pretty Little Liars theme. Decorate with “A” messages and the infamous “Missing” flyers that depict Alison DiLaurentis. As for a Pride and Prejudice setting, re-create parties from Netherfield Park. Amaze guests with elegant table decor. Mix-and-match fine China and wine glasses to create a lavish, yet, simple display, along with a handcrafted menu at each place setting.

menu over plate with copy space

4. Create The Menu

What would a dinner party be without the delicious food? A Pretty Little Liars-themed party would serve well with dishes like Chinese take-out, dirt pudding, cupcakes, and, of course, the perfect cup of coffee (a must-have for the girls of Rosewood). As for Jane Austen’s world, this cookbook, Dinner With Mr. Darcy, might offer some inspiration with recipes such as herb pie, strawberry tartlets, and roast leg of mutton.

Need to create a menu based on different genres? These ideas from the Food52 blog might offer some much-needed inspiration with recipes from “THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE”, “LITTLE WOMEN”, and “HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX”.

5. Play Some Party Games

After dinner, why not play some literary inspired party games? Get ready for some bookish fun at your dinner party with these games that will definitely bring out the bookworm in your guests. You could even have a “snowball” fight.  Divide you guests into two teams and have each team write down a question or quote from the book you chose or some other favorite books. Then crumple up the papers and throw them at the other team. The team that can answer the most snowballs wins!


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