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Celebrate: A Year of Festivities for Families and Friends Hardcover – October 30, 2012

4.4 out of 5 stars 120 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Pippa Middleton is the editor of The Party Times, an online party magazine from Party Pieces, the UK's leading online party-supply company, founded in 1987. She has organised many events during her career at London-based events company Table Talk, for luxury brand and corporate companies as well as private parties. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Viking (October 30, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780670026357
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670026357
  • ASIN: 0670026352
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 7.7 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (120 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #446,844 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
As the sister of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Pippa Middleton is in an unenviable situation. In many ways, she cannot win and it is unfortunate that to some, she will always be known as the only maid of honor to ever wear a flattering dress. Never judged on her own efforts, but on the media and public perception of her. Celebrate: A Year of Festivities for Families and Friends, is her attempt to change that.

Given her low profile prior to the royal wedding, Celebrate could be viewed as a premature effort. However, she's not the first person to jump on the bandwagon of her own notoriety nor will she be the last. To Pippa's credit, she acknowledges this in the introduction to Celebrate. She has the opportunity and she's taking advantage of it. By admitting this she makes it redundant for those who scoff at her efforts. Now who is being unoriginal?

Several reviews for this book have criticized Pippa for stating the obvious: 'ice goes great with drinks', 'a turkey at Christmas time is good for large gatherings'. Yes, it's true but let's be honest, even Martha Stewart falls back on 'Pumpkins add to the festive atmosphere of Halloween', 'Hearts make perfect Valentines' and 'Easter egg hunts are fun'. What Pippa does add to the field is her youth. Like her sister, she makes going the extra mile fashionable. Thus giving twenty-somethings options other than beer, wine, tortilla chips and brie cheese trays for their own parties.

Divided by seasons, Pippa presents crafts, recipes, nostalgic/traditional games and charming tidbits of trivia appropriate to the occasion. She also offers small glimpses into how her family celebrated events like Easter and Mothers Day.
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Format: Hardcover
Pippa Middleton took a lot of flack for her book, but as an editor myself, I believe that the flaw is on the editorial side. The basic set-up of the book (by seasons and traditional British events) is useful. I enjoyed the Burns Night section, plus other tidbits like how to make a "Christmas cracker."

Unfortunately, the book is bloated, with equal weight given to the mundane and the interesting. I understand that Pippa wanted to publish an accessible book, but it's almost never a good idea to talk down to the reader. Martha Stewart gets away with it because she's Martha Stewart; i.e., she has good reason to assume her readers can't live up to her example. In Pippa's case, I don't get it. Bobbing for apples, capture the flag, turkey for Christmas?

If I were editing the book, I'd suggest the following organization within sections:

* First, a simple list of the traditional British ways of doing things, without the play by play of every familiar game, decoration, or menu item. We can cut out paper hearts for Valentines and apply glitter without instructions, thanks.

* Full instructions for original/unusual ideas only. These are good as is but get lost among pages of "tie balloons to chairs and hang streamers."

* A feature on events that Pippa actually made special. In her Guardian article, she mentioned throwing a white-clothing-only party, a Scandinavian-themed party, and others. Why aren't those in the book? We want to read about how she *actually* parties, not how she wants the little people, I mean readers, to party.

* A smattering of only the most special and personal recipes. This is the Internet age after all. Does Nigella Lawson or Ina Garten already supply a recipe for it? Free? Online?
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Format: Hardcover
Ms. Middleton's book does an excellent job of providing accessible recipes and easy to make crafts for any reader who is planning a home party.

This purpose of this book is to help a host plan a fun and thoughtful event for a small group of close friends. This book is not a blueprint for multi million dollar events, and it is clearly presented to be no such book. It is, however, my new go-to reference for any seasonal gathering I host.

One major benefit of this book is that is considers both children's and adult's activities ideas. Since most families consist of members ranging in age, it is very appropriate for family party planning.

Everything from the photography to the paper choice has been carefully curated in this book. Excellent book, I can't wait for a follow-up from Ms. Middleton.
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Format: Hardcover
I received this book as a gift and frankly was pleasantly surprised at the lovely quality photos, plentiful ideas, achievable recipes, and cheerful suggestions. There's a kind of retro sweetness to some of these party plans, and some helpful timing advice for more complicated events. There is a freshness and enthusiasm that I find pleasing. If you want Brillat-Savarin, Careme, or Julia Child, buy their books. This book is not great culinary literature - it doesn't pretend to be. Nor is it a comprehensive crafting manual. Instead, it's a substantial volume full of ideas and pictures for those who'd like a little inspiration to create and host fun friends-and-family oriented gatherings. And there cannot be too many of those kinds of events in this world.
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