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I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence    by Amy Sedaris order for
I Like You
by Amy Sedaris
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2006 (2006)
Hardcover, CD

Read an Excerpt

* * *   Reviewed by Belle Dessler

If you think books that offer advice on entertaining are about as fun to read as an instruction booklet on folding cloth napkins into swan shapes, well, you're probably right. But with the release of I Like You, that's all about to change. Amy Sedaris is the co-creator of Comedy Central's Strangers With Candy. So at this point, you might be wondering why she's written a book that offers advice on being the perfect hostess. As Sedaris tells us in her witty introduction, 'this colorfully illustrated book is my attempt to share with you something I take very seriously: entertaining in my home, my style. It may not be the proper way, or the most traditional, or even legal, but it works for me.'

Most readers will instantly relate to Sedaris' stories and her breezy, irreverent writing style. She doesn't take herself seriously, and she doesn't expect anyone else to, either. But despite the myriad of reasons to laugh out loud as you flip through this book, there are a surprising number of useful entertaining tips for those of us who - no matter how hard we try - have never managed to master Martha Stewart's perfect hostess routine.

I Like You contains countless tips and easy-to-follow suggestions. For example, when was the last time you sent out handwritten invitations to a gathering you were hosting? Sedaris will show you the proper way to word your invitations so guests are never left wondering what to wear, what to bring, or where they should show up. Do you have 'fifteen to twenty children in your home and they're getting restless?' Look no further than the chapter on Children, which includes a long list of games that are sure to keep even the most hyperactive youngster entertained for a while.

But by far, the most useful information in the book comes from its wide variety of easy-to-make recipes. From genuine Rice Krispies Treats to Southern Fried Chicken, Carrot Cake With Cream Cheese Topping, Crying Mushrooms In Phyllo and even Moussaka, there's something here for cooks at every skill level. Hosting a brunch? Sedaris offers full menus to take all the guesswork out of preparing for the upcoming event.

Colorful pictures and fun illustrations decorate every page. They're the perfect accompaniment to the information Sedaris shares, as many are photographs of Sedaris herself in various poses and costumes. If you're looking for a coffee-table book that also serves as a fantastic conversation starter, look no further than I Like You. And if you follow the tips so skillfully outlined within the book's pages, your guests will like you, too.

Audiobook review by Jessica Weaver (Rating:2):

Although Amy Sedaris' wildly popular I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence is cute and sassy, I found it annoying and hard to follow while listening on CD. Sedaris read the book herself, complete with funny voices and reading recipes aloud. While I think that the book would have been a fun read, the constant skipping around from the main text to what I assume are sidebars in the book to recipes made it very confusing.

Sedaris stretches her main topic - hospitality - to include, among numerous subjects, children's birthday parties, bereavement, and caring for your rabbit. I suspect I would have found her dry humor funnier if I were reading the text. The audio version includes bonus material on the fourth CD. This CD doubles as a CD-ROM and allows you to bring up the recipes she recites during the text and also extras.

All in all, I stress that I think this text must be highly enjoyable in the book format, much more so than in the audio version.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

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