It’s party time! Actually it’s party season. Whether you want to throw a party or give the gift of a party book, these entertaining tomes are just the thing.

Easy Entertaining: Everything You Need To Know About Having Parties at Home
This book is all about taking the fear out of playing host or hostess. The focus is on recipes and there are plenty of good ones. Some of the recipes have a definite Irish slant not surprising since author Darina Allen, (recipient of the IACP Cooking Teacher of the Year award) is from Ireland. But you’ll also find Baja-style Fish tacos with Chipotle Mayonnaise and Beef Rendang and everything in between. There really is something for everybody here. Every season, every kind of guest and just about every budget is covered. Even fussy sounding recipes like Meringue Roulade with Pomegranate Seeds and Rosewater come off as surprisingly simple. Party throwing tips are sprinkled throughout.

Party Confidential
If partying in style is your thing, Hollywood party planners Lara Shriftman and Elizabeth Harrison are who you need in your corner. Their book is filled with photos of celebrities at parties and the lowdown on how to recreate their fabulous parties yourself. Not surprisingly every party has a theme. You’ll find Jackie Collins’ Hollyrich Cheesecake and copycat recipes like California Pizza Kitchens Spinach-Artichoke Dip and of course signature dishes like Nobu Black Cod with Miso and what’s a party without Mini Paris Cupcakes? This book is a guilty pleasure along the lines of reading InStyle magazine.

I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence
This book will delight both party lovers and those who avoid them like the plague. Like her brother David Sedaris, Amy Sedaris is a humorist. If only she were writing for Saturday Night Live we would all be watching. Her book is a bit of a scrapbook approach to life. Photos mirror the style of Time-Life entertaining books from the 1970’s. Place tongue firmly in cheek. There are plenty of good recipes in here, from potluck pastas to decadent cakes but really you will spend more time cracking up over “hints” on how to iron your hair, pantyhose crafts and the Lumberjack Prayer.

Party by the Book 22 November,2006Amy Sherman


Amy Sherman

Amy Sherman began blogging in 2003, because all her
friends and family were constantly asking her where
and what to eat. Three months after it launched,
Forbes chose her blog, Cooking with Amy, as one of the
top five best food blogs, praising her writing as
“smart, cozy and witty”. Since then her blog has been
featured and recipes reprinted in many newspapers and
magazines in the U.S. and the world.

In addition to regularly updating her blog, Amy is a
guest contributor to the blog, and
Contributing Editor of Glam Dish. She also writes
restaurant reviews for SF Station.

Her focus on Bay Area Bites is primarily cookbook
reviews along with some interviews and current events.

Amy is a recipe developer and freelance food writer.
She is author of WinePassport: Portugal and wrote the new introduction to the classic cookbook, Jane Grigson’s Vegetable Book, published by the University of Nebraska Press. She recently completed 45 recipes for a Williams-Sonoma cookbook and wrote her first piece for VIA magazine.

She is currently serving on the board of the San Francisco Professional Food Society and is a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals. Amy lives in San Francisco with her husband, tech journalist Lee Sherman.

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