Thank you for your support!
These fun literary parties that are all taking place on Saturday, November 2nd. (Adult parties: 7:30 to 10:30 p.m.; Kid-friendly parties: 4:30 to 7:15 p.m.)
Our literary parties are nothing like a book club event. No one needs to have read the chosen book or books. It's a fundraising party with a literary twist to celebrate and support our Hoboken Public Library—and to have fun! Note: Limited number of tickets available due to these parties being held in people's homes. If you have trouble purchasing a ticket, it could be that the party is sold out. We will do our best to update this site to reflect when parties are sold out.
The Red Clocks Literary Party — While your hosts were inspired by Leni Zumas’s book, a powerful dystopian novel, which like The Handmaid’s Tale warns of a future state, the state of your evening will have you seeing Red in a whole new light. Your party begins with a show-stopping appetizer of savory roasted red pepper cheesecake with an apricot glaze served with pita chips, a creamy cheesy spinach and marinated artichoke dip baked until golden and bubbly served with red tortilla chips, and more ruby delights. Red (and white) wines will be flowing, but your host might also offer a signature cocktail, such as The Red and the Black (black pepper-infused simple syrup with strawberries and tequila) or a Sour Cherry Gin Sling. As the clock moves to indicate it’s time for dessert, your next host will color your world with more temptations. Imagine red velvet cake; lush strawberry cheesecake; or Cherry Spoon Sweet, a Greek creation with cherries soaked in liquor over a cream. As you sip your dessert wine or liqueur, reflect upon how this bestselling novel has been described as “a riveting drama, whose mysteries unfold with magnetic energy,” for you, too, will have had your night unfold in ways you wish would never end.
The 100 Hoboken Firsts Literary Party -— There are a hundred reasons why you should join us for this year's first movable feast. Fortunately, you can read them all in the delightfully written and illustrated book which inspired our event, 100 Hoboken Firsts by Jim Hans, a longtime Hoboken resident, and Hoboken Historical Museum co-founder. Delicious hors d'oeuvres and desserts are all inspired by this fabulous book and by the city we love! Imagine the fun we are having devising delectable treats to celebrate the first baseball match, the first female postmaster and firefighter, the first trans-Hudson tunnel, the first school kindergarten and many other interesting and fun Hoboken firsts. We certainly won't forget to represent another Hoboken first: the first Brewery in New Jersey. Of course, we can't celebrate Hoboken without sampling the various competing "Best" Mutz, and the plethora of Hoboken bakery fare. We recommend the book for an enjoyable read and perfect coffee table share for your own guests, and we hope you can join the author and us as we eat and drink our way through Hoboken history while socializing with old and new friends. While Nellie Bly was the first to travel around the world in less than 80 days (starting off in Hoboken), you only have to zip around the corner (the zipper was invented in Hoboken) to go to the next host’s home where you’ll enjoy exquisite Italian desserts that reflect the Italian immigrants who came here on steamboats and made Hoboken their home. You might even be tempted by an ice cream pie with an Oreo crust (first ice cream cone and first Oreo cookie). A lot more firsts await you as enjoy the rest of your evening sipping after-dinner liqueurs or enjoying a great cup of coffee down to the last drop!
The Shadow of the Silk Road Literary Party — Your adventure begins at an art historian’s home who was inspired by this book on the Silk Road because of the years that she and her husband lived in Central Asia and traveled extensively throughout the Middle East, the Indian sub-continent and East Asia. The travels are reflected in their decor. Once you enter their living room, with its soaring high ceilings, you may be offered a Crouching Tiger cocktail made with vodka and lychee liqueur, representing East Asia. From there, you’ll enjoy bountiful Middle East appetizers imbued with exotic flavors. You might enjoy spiced spinach, sumac and lemon baked in a homemade dough; or a fusion of butternut squash, spaghetti squash, green zucchini and chickpeas simmered in a zesty tomato sauce over couscous (a Moroccan favorite); or meat kabobs, or an eggplant dip with garlic, tahini, lemon, and parsley. Just as the Silk Road moves through various countries, so you too will travel a short distance for desserts at another grand and glorious home. Here your hosts, who have also traveled the globe, will continue your Middle East experience with sweets such as harissa-honey cake and pistachio baklava. As you make your way along the Mediterranean Sea to Venice and Rome, where the Silk Road ended, you’ll be glad you saved room for Italian pastries and homemade Amaretto pound cake. As you savor your dessert wine, there is not a shadow of a doubt that the road you’ve just traveled is one you’ll wish you could do again.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Literary Party — How can you resist a party inspired by Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar where both children AND grownups can participate, and where you'll experience your own transformation from caterpillar to butterfly? At the first party, imagine a Hungry Caterpillar cocktail, full of colorful fruit and dressed up with a boozy twist for mom and dad. Everyone will be able to eat their way through tasty bites just like the Hungry Caterpillar too! Nibble on salami, slices of Swiss, and other assorted meats and cheeses, gingery sweet pickled vegetables, and more! At your dessert party, you'll find yourself surrounded by transformed butterflies to delight children and adults alike and will feast on fruit salad with mint syrup, indulge in assorted tasty ice cream and of course a big slice of chocolate cake! Special desserts for the kiddies will include chocolate 'dirt' pudding cups with gummy worms and lollipops galore — and adults will be able to enjoy an indulgent dessert cocktail too. Special age-appropriate activities for the kids included! What better way to share your love of books and love of friendship with your children than a party celebrating one of their favorite books?
The Asymmetry Literary Party — Unexpected. The only way to describe Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday. Two stories connected by the thinnest, but most profound, of threads. The first, a May-December romance between a world-famous aging author and a young female editor, is set in New York. And so our journey begins here with smoked salmon on Russian black bread and pastrami on rye. Ezra and Alice sip Knob Creek Bourbon or fine wines when a drink is called for and so shall you. But it’s the unexpected connection of ingredients in our journey that will delight you, just as these two stories are linked. The second story is of Amar, an Iraqi-American, caught in air travel limbo as London security agents decide if he can board his flight to the Middle East to visit his brother. We’ll take the journey he can’t, stopping first in Turkey for taramasalata on pita and tzatkiki, and then onto Iraq, with kufta, spiced lamb meatballs. And finally ending, as our story does, in London with the classic British prawn cocktail. Our desserts will cross oceans as well, beginning with Alice’s favorite praline tarts, then a taste of Turkish baklava and Iraqi home-made date cookies, known as kleicha. We’ll finish in London with a traditional trifle and fine port. So join us as we enjoy the unforeseen global epicurean delights of Asymmetry.
The Alice in Wonderland Literary Party — You won’t want to be late for this party, inspired by Lewis Carroll’s classic book, that is for both grownups and children alike. Just as The White Rabbit leads Alice to Wonderland, so will your first host of the evening lead you along this adventure. While your children may be served fruit-inspired tea or Pink Flamingo Punch, the adults will find more potent “Drink Me” potions to their liking. Enjoy tea sandwiches, scones, cheese, as well as appetizers that would make even The Red Queen sit up and take notice. Then approximately halfway through the party, your adventure continues at your next host’s home where you may find heart-shaped cookies, cakes and other treats worthy of our beloved Alice. You’ll definitely want to fall down the rabbit hole into this Wonderland party and you may never want to leave.
The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet Literary Party — Your hosts were inspired by Jamie Ford’s tale of first love (sweetness) and loss (bitterness) and the dramatic impact those two emotions can have on our lives. You’ll begin your impassioned journey with the bitter—BUT since this is a party, your host will make the bitter fun! You may be greeted with a pitcher of icy-cold whiskey sours, served sweet & sour meatballs in a cranberry-chili sauce, jumbo shrimp and tiger dipping sauce, and sweet & tangy chilled gazpacho shots. Just as this book’s touching story was told moving back and forth in time, so you will move to the sweet part where your host may have lovingly prepared a bittersweet chocolate and fruit plate, tart and sweet rhubarb crumble and lemon/ricotta cake, and tiramisu with bittersweet chocolate. As you sip limoncello or Campari after-dinner drinks, you may reflect upon this quote from Ford’s book: “Henry looked west to where the sun was setting, burnt sienna flooding the horizon. It reminded him that time was short, but that beautiful endings could still be found…” And by the end of this evening, you too will have poignant memories to look back on.
The Home and Away Literary Party — This is a celebration of cuisine on the road and at the kitchen table—offering guests the best of both worlds. Alice, Let’s Eat by Calvin Trillin is the inspiration behind the start of your evening. Just as journalist, humorist, and food writer Calvin Trillin was guided by his insatiable appetite and search for triumphs in the art of culinary discovery on the road, so you too will experience traveling across international time zones sampling the best of appetizers and small plates from cultures here in America and beyond. Sample Kentucky country ham and goat cheese crostini; authentic Omaha cheeseburgers; a recreation of Hazel's Texas Chili; curried peanut chicken; or mango curry shrimp salad. Your host pays homage to Trillin's travels with signature cocktails like the traditional Manhattan and the Moscow Mule. Your host may also share some of Calvin Trillin’s hilarious odysseys with sometimes eating companion Fats Goldberg, pizza baron, and reformed blimp. The host and baker of the second part of your evening was inspired by Home Cooking by Laurie Colwin who said: “One of the delights of life is eating with friends; second to that is talking about eating. And, for an unsurpassed double whammy, there is talking about eating while you are eating with friends.” Here your host's homemade desserts may include flourless chocolate cake (the ONE approved by Laurie Colwin), buttered rosemary walnuts (described by a guest as “the best thing I have ever eaten, ever”), sour cream apple cake, and dark chocolate honeyed peanut butter cups. As your evening winds down over a glass of bourbon, dessert wine, liqueur, or espresso, you’ll discover the ingredients of the very best recipe: prepare delicious home-cooked dishes, add many friends, and mix well until the plates are empty and the hour is late.
The Life Stories Literary Party — Sometimes nothing is more meaningful and dramatic than stories that are based on real-life or feel as if they are. This will be your experience at this literary party whose co-hosts have chosen two completely different books, both of which have been honored in the publishing world. Your first host was inspired by Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain, named one of the top 100 books of nonfiction, because your hosts have traveled up and down the Mississippi River. You’ll feel like you’re on a steamboat with Mark Twain as your hosts recall humorous stories from his book while you sample appetizers from various river towns along the way. Just as Mark Twain, who joined the Paul Jones riverboat to apprentice with Mr. Bixby, the pilot, at the southern tip of this mighty river, so you too will begin your adventure with a southern savory favorite of shrimp with soft and buttery grits (if you’ve never had them before you’re in for a real treat!). From there, you’ll travel up the winding river, the fourth-longest in the world, to Memphis and St. Louis, both known for their barbecue where your host may delight you with tangy barbecued pulled port sliders so irresistible you can’t have just one. And nothing goes better with those dishes than homemade golden sweet cornbread. After you’ve turned the final pages of this book, your next host will be opening the pages to A Horse Walks into a Bar, winner of the 2017 Man Booker International Prize, written by David Grossman. This beautifully written novel is set in Israel; during a two-hour stand-up comedy show, the main character slowly reveals poignant experiences in his life. While the book touches on human tragedy, it also ends with sweet triumph. So too will you end your evening on the sweet side of life with Israel/middle eastern desserts such as the most delicious chocolate babka, sahlab (rose water flavored creamy rice pudding), and halva (a dense and delicious sesame seed dessert), served with mint leaves tea and coffee with cardamon. Top your night off with after-dinner drinks such as Sabra (chocolate orange liqueur) and araq (anise liqueur) and you’ll be raising your glasses to say L’Chaim (to life)!
My Brilliant Friend Literary Party — Here your destination is Naples, Italy, the setting of the Elena Ferrante book series that began with her first book My Brilliant Friend. Just as Ferrante’s books and the TV series chronicle the lives and relationships of two Italian women, so you will enter the homes of two families who love Italian culture and cooking. Your first hosts, who have a strong family connection to Italy, may offer you butternut squash risotto, arancini (Italian rice balls), fresh mozzarella, caponata and more antipasti served with Italian vino. Not to be outdone by her friends, your next hosts, who have lived in Hoboken for 45 years (and in this strongly Italian neighborhood for over 40 of those) and who have visited Italy several times, will serve favorite delicacies such as ricotta cheesecake, cream puffs, cannolis, pignoli cookies and, of course, gelato! Add in drinks such as limoncello, sambuca, anisette, dessert wines, espresso and coffee, and the party only gets better. By the end of the evening, you’ll not only be toasting these four brilliant friends—you’ll also be remarking on what a brilliant night you’ve had.
The Edgar Allen Poe Literary Party — Your hosts were inspired by the mysteries of Edgar Allen Poe where you’re sure to discover the unexpected. You’ll start off the evening with a wine tasting that will soon have you saying Poe Me Another. Each wine will be paired with dramatic and delicious appetizers, such as herb crostini with cashew ricotta, roasted delicate squash with crispy, smokey shiitake mushrooms; parmesan puff pastry tartlets with crispy prosciutto and frizzle sage leaf, and more that all contain the Tell-Tale signs of being created and prepared by a renowned chef. The culinary plot thickens as you progress to a short story writer’s home who has fittingly chosen Edgar Allen Poe’s short story The Black Cat as the theme because a two-story-tall black cat will be outside to greet you. Inside you may be tempted by luscious desserts such as raven-black chocolate and pistachio truffles, or baked fruit compote, triple-threat chocolate cookies, or strawberry/raspberry supreme served with deep red port and other after-dinner liqueurs. This is sure to be an intriguing night as ever more surprises await.
The Glamorous New York Literary Party — Your hosts were inspired by books featuring wealthy upper-class figures who love to entertain lavishly or be lavishly entertained. Jay Gatsby from The Great Gatsby was known for his decadent, over-the-top parties at his Long Island home. As guests, you may sample Mint Juleps (Daisy's cocktail of choice) along with an array of crowd-pleasing appetizers that were popular at the time. Or sip a cordial or two as did young Katey Content in Amor Towles' book Rules of Civility where the young lady is launched into the upper echelons of high society. For your second party, because one party is never enough, there will be sumptuous desserts of the era: chocolate mousse, biscotti, sweets and, of course, your hosts won't forget Daisy Buchanan's much-beloved lemon cake. Both parties will give you a glimpse of New York life in the 20s and 30s as lived by the very privileged. As F. Scott Fitzgerald said, "the rich are different from you and me." Hemingway is known to reply, "Yes, they have more money." In any case, they certainly had great parties! Join The Glamorous New York Literary Party for an evening feast reminiscent of the glitterati of an earlier era.
The Crazy Rich Asians Literary Party — Your host was inspired by the book (the first in a trilogy) that was also made into a movie that shows Asians in today’s modern world. You’ll be treated to authentic Asian cuisine from dumplings to satays to decadent roast meats that after just one bite will transport to you Singapore. You may even be treated to a Singapore Sling cocktail. Your party continues as you travel from the east to west with Marco Polo as your guide. The hosts of the Last Chapter of the evening were inspired by the book The Travels of Marco Polo. Here you will feast on desserts from the countries this explorer experienced upon his triumphant journey home. You may be tempted by Persian Ice Cream with saffron, rose water and pistachios, or honey-rich baklava from Greece served with Ouzo; or Italian biscottis served with Frangelico. The only thing that’s not crazy is how fabulous this party will be.