Everyone wants to join a book club, for good reason: You get to read books you may not have discovered otherwise, you get to drink wine and eat cheese with your friends, and you get to talk about life and love through the lens of literature. But belonging to an IRL book club means having to put on pants and brush your teeth and go out into the world and socialize. Sometimes in the snow and rain! It's a lot. That's why Bustle created a book club you can enjoy from the comfort of your own couch: Bustle Book Club. Each month, a different author recommends the book they think you should read that month, and you can discuss it with other members of the book club on Goodreads.
For the January edition of Bustle Book Club, I asked To All The Boys I've Loved Before author Jenny Han to recommend the inaugural title, and she chose The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle.
"The Dinner List poses the perfect party question: if you could have dinner with any five people in the world, dead or alive, who would you pick? This book transported me back to my twenties, to a time when I was just starting out in New York, I had two roommates, and the city was still brand new to me. It's a story about first love and all the ways you're meant to be with someone — or not. I read the whole thing in one fell swoop and I think you will too!"
The Dinner List revolves on a familiar premise: If you could have dinner with any five people — dead or alive — who would you choose? When asked that question at age 19, Sabrina chooses an eclectic mix of people: Audrey Hepburn, a college professor, her estranged father, her best friend, and the boy she met once and hasn't stopped thinking about ever since. Sabrina never expects that she will ever actually have dinner with them — but on her 30th birthday, exactly that happens. As the dinner progresses, she is forced to cope with some of the greatest romances, friendships, and heartbreaks of her life. The Dinner List is bittersweet reflection on love found and love lost and the lessons we take away from it all.
In an interview with Bustle — which you can read in full! — author Rebecca Serle says, "At the end of the day, the book is sort of like a giant therapy session of coming to terms with the past and the ways these relationships have let her down, the ways in which she is responsible for what has happened in them. And also, the reality that everyone is human. We are all just doing the best we can, but sometimes the best isn’t that good and that has to be okay."
Follow along with the Bustle Book Club on Goodreads.