In this first solo publishing effort, playwright and comedic actress Sedaris (coauthor, The Book of Liz ) shares with readers her collection of quirky, idiosyncratic tips on entertaining garnered from her mom, Girl Scouts, waiting tables, bartending school, and other eclectic sources. Though the lionâ€™s share of the book is devoted to what she calls her â€œpersonal jackpot recipesâ€ (for such colorfully named dishes as â€œBrendaâ€™s Vulgar Barbeque Sauceâ€), Sedaris also includes creative ideas for themed parties, instructions for wacky craft projects (mostly made out of retired pantyhose), and advice on gift-giving for everyone from nuns, priests, and children to the divorced man in the office and women in early menopause. Bearing in mind that the bookâ€™s subtitle refers to substances the author euphemistically calls â€œparty enhancers,â€ public libraries will no doubt find an audience for this wild and irreverent guide. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/06.]â€"Deborah Ebster, Univ. of Central Florida Libs., Orlando[Page 101]. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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)[Page 144]. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.