Sunday, October 14, 2012

"I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence" by Amy Sedaris - a Book Review

Having read a number of books by David Sedaris, I was interested in this book by his sister, Amy.  It particularly appealed to me because the focus of the book is on entertaining, which I love to do.  If you enjoy David Sedaris' books, you will also enjoy this book;  it is wildly entertaining, outrageous, vulgar, clever, and has references to drugs and alcohol, just like David's books.  Midway through the book, I paused and asked myself whether I should continue reading the book since there were few things regarding entertaining that I didn't already know, and I have more than enough recipes to last my lifetime.  The answer was - because I really enjoyed her writing!  So, if you think you will have problems with the humor, don't bother with this book.  In addition, buying this book as a gift could be tricky since this type of humor may not be appreciated by the recipient.

Otherwise, the book is absolutely chock full of information, tips, suggestions, recipes, and all aspects of entertaining.  There is everything from guest etiquette, to mottoes for living, to gift ideas (hilarious!), to dealing with unexpected guests, to party themes with related recipes, to selecting music for the party, to decorations.

Included are over 100 recipes which span the spectrum:  from easy things like popcorn, hot tea, baked potatoes, and southern fried chicken, to more involved recipes like pastitsio, fennel and arugula salad, and cinnamon sour cream coffee cake.

The craft ideas are mostly kitchy:  tissue ghosts, paperclip necklaces, pantyhose plant hangers, paper aprons and the like.

Despite the humorous tone of the book, the etiquette suggestions are excellent and more people really need to be aware of them - things like how to introduce guests to each other, the importance of the RSVP, how to say goodbye when the party is over, and so on.

In summary, the book is a fast and entertaining read, and a good source of recipes for entertaining.  Used copies are available at for just a few dollars.

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