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I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence Hardcover – October 16, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Sedaris's sidesplitting guide to throwing parties hopes to return readers to the times when the word "entertainment" was "charmingly old-fashioned, like courtship or back alley abortions." While her tongue is firmly in cheek, novice party-planners will actually find some helpful hints along the way as Sedaris offers instructions and real recipes. Her tips run the gamut from how to properly freeze meatballs (freeze them on a cookie sheet before putting them into a freezer bag so they won't stick together) and deal with the inebriated ("Better to cut them off rather than pretend it's not happening and then allow them to stay over and wet your bed"). She's a generous but crafty hostess ("A good trick is to fill your medicine cabinet with marbles. Nothing announces a nosey guest better than an avalanche of marbles hitting a porcelain sink"). Etiquette pointers include inappropriate introductions ("This is Barbara, she can't have children") and things to avoid saying to the grieving ("Did she smoke?" "Was he drinking?" "Where were you when this happened?"). Her advice is both practical and hilarious; her instructions on removing vomit stains ends with "or just toss it, chances are you've stained it before." Sedaris's first solo effort (after Wigfield with her Strangers with Candy co-stars, as well as several plays with her brother, David) is an outrageous and deadpan delight, greatly enhanced by her deliriously kitschy illustrations and photos. (Oct. 16)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The actor, caterer, film star, comic, and sister of David Sedaris charms, seduces, entertains, instructs, amuses, and just plain invites readers into her somewhat eclectic life. Readers will revel in the more than 100 recipes with menus for dozens of occasions (or not), from blind date at home to table for one (an evening alone, that is, with steak and salad). Her recipes, by the way, are no rivals to the Culinary Institute of America; for instance, the directions for "carrot coins" call for slicing carrots so they look like coins and sauteing with butter, salt, and pepper. Readers can choose from any number of easy items to craft--a Greek dress, a calf stretcher, or a mini-pantyhose plant hanger. Among the various tips shared: "One possible origin of the term 'monkey dish' [is] originally a dish made from a monkey's skull." But everyone can simply enjoy her wisdom-filled one-liners, with at least one appearing on every page. (About entertaining the elderly, she says, "Keep them engaged or it's the express train to nappy-land.") This is hardly a Reader's Digest compendium, but David Letterman would be pleased with it. Media tours and promotions alone should drive demand. Barbara Jacobs
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top customer reviews
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In a nutshell: When I first opened this book, I laughed because of all the humor (it really IS a fun book), but then I started to read it and found that I was amazed at all the helpful information it contained! Learn to cook with new recipes, learn how to host a kids party (this can be harder than it sounds!), write a letter to a celebrity asking for an autograph, what to wear to the doctor's office, how to bury (or memorialize) a pet. . . you will find these and many other great tips throughout the book! Not only was it fun, but it was helpful too! Plus, many of the recipes include pictures and they look and sound very yummy! I highly recommend that you get a copy for yourself and get a few extras to give as hostess gifts and birthday/Christmas gifts for the woman who enjoys entertaining and has a great sense of humor . . . or needs one!
PS - make sure you set aside your regular menu and add some of these great recipes in - they really are great!
Content: The book includes a chapter on "The Art of Hospitality," and sections titled: Hospitality in Action, Jackpot Recipes, Pantyhose, Crafts, And Good Ideas.
Amy has shared her best recipes, hints and tips for 23 different entertaining occasions, including: a blind date, an unexpected guest, grieving, ladies night, entertaining the elderly, when you get to play nurse, clubs, gift giving, etc.
Each entertaining chapter is filled with recipes, tips, tricks and a LOT of humor! But on a serious note, when talking about grieving and funerals, I was not previously aware that you should ask a friend or neighbor to house-sit while at the funeral as some robbers will watch the obituaries and try to break-in while everyone is at the funeral. I mentioned this fact to my sister-in-law, who knew about this fact and has done some house-sitting for friends who were at a funeral. I was amazed that I didn't know this common fact and very thankful to have read it in this book!
Format: Filled with pictures, drawings, recipes, notes, tips, explanations, and real ideas for entertaining situations.
Readability: Fun and easy to read!
Overall: This is such a fun and entertaining, not to mention really helpful book! You won't be able to read through this book without cracking a smile! I think it is a must for every kitchen, and a really great hostess gift for a woman with a good sense of humor.
The zinger for me though had to be her reference to one of my my favorite, obscure, 70's made-for-tv horror movies: "Trilogy Of Terror" - she lambasts Karen Black's character for her obvious "lack of cooking skills" in the segment with the Zuni fetish doll. That alone made me almost choke with laughter.
In all seriousness though, this book is a great, entertaining read, full of yummy recipes along with some raunchy humor. You'll learn, and you'll laugh. I'm going to use some of those recipes too...and I might just put marbles in the medicine cabinet, the next time we have houseguests....
As a lifestyle book, the hints are sometimes cheeky-snarky and sometimes serious and practical. As a humor book, Sedaris hits the mark just about every time. Visually, the layout is great and the art is varied and fun (I can't decide which I prefer: the photos or the illustrations). You can read the book repeatedly and still catch new things each time.
For me, this book has worked best as a cookbook. I've tried several of the recipes and only had one that didn't turn out (the Swiss cheese puffs). The cheeseballs have been especially wonderful. I have learned a lot from the tips and tricks and have relaxed about cooking. The 15 minute meals in 20 minutes section seems silly at first glance but provides some groundwork for basic cooking that I think even seasoned cooks can use.
What I learned from the book was about relaxing, whether in terms of cooking, entertaining or just life in general. I was never an uptight cook or baker but I often felt that entertaining was a lot of pressure. My teachers ranged from my mother to Martha Stewart, neither of whom would suggest a sombrero with a brimful of chips = Fiesta Night. This book has given me confidence in entertaining and cooking. Who knew that you could make "fruit salad" with a can of fruit cocktail and a little Cool Whip?
I don't know how there could be any kind of follow-up book, since this one is so jam-packed, but I hope there is. Only complaint: Not all the pages were numbered (what's that about?) but that problem was easily solved with a mini-Sharpie. It's not even worth docking a star.
Most recent customer reviews
From suggesting milk of magnesia for a facial mask to directions for making a pantyhose plant hanger.....Read more