I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence

Published By: Grand Central Publishing

Book Category: Fiction, Humorous

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Reviewed by Sara A. Baker

If you like Amy Sedaris's quirky sense of humor (e.g., Strangers with Candy), and you're into kitsch, then I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence is just the book for you this holiday season. If you avoid Comedy Central, however, and are uncomfortable around irony-laden humor, you best steer clear because Amy Sedaris's new book is a rollicking romp through tongue-in-cheek entertaining, far more amusing and satisfying than anything Martha Stewart could devise.

Armed with her own brand of humor and a bottle of liquor, Sedaris is ready for any situation, from the unexpected guest to a death in the family. She explains in detail how to write invitations, plan a menu (by color, texture, theme, flavor, or decoration), and get guests mingling. But she also includes aspects of party throwing you may not have considered, such organizing some sale items to make a little money for yourself. Sedaris insists that she lets guests have their picture taken with her pet rabbit for 25 cents. Also, consider avoiding the following guest combinations: astrologer and astronomer, psychologist and psychiatrist, and serial killer and drunken teenager.

Sedaris offers numerous recipes throughout the book, including some favorites from her Greek family. From "I Remember the War Cube Steak" for entertaining the elderly to spanakopita for a New Year's Day brunch, you'll have the crowd clamoring for more.

You'll also find plenty of comical desserts like the heart-shaped cake that says "Stepmother" and the "Happy Coming Out" cake in the form of a butterfly. Of course, no meal is complete without Amy Sedaris herself covered in icing and sprinkles, and she gives us just that. (Be sure to check out the poster inside the cover for the pin-up version.)

Throughout the book, Sedaris dresses in dated polyester outfits and drops hints on everything from how to put on pantyhose to how to wear a fall (woman's long hairpiece).

The photos (by Todd Oldham, no less) and illustrations are hilarious, and even the book jacket will have you wiping your eyes.

Armchair Interviews says: Surely, we all know someone this book would be perfect for.

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