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Check It Out: Looking to be the perfect host?

Are you hosting a party this holiday season? Let the library help with ideas for planning, preparing and throwing an unforgettable gathering.

“The Butler Speaks” by Charles MacPherson is a guide to stylish entertaining and etiquette ideas to help you simplify and organize your home and get it ready for your guests. A wide range of themes is covered in this guide, from cooking and cleaning to manners and menus.


Pair MacPherson’s guide with Corey Mintz’s “How to Host a Dinner Party” and you will be able to master the art of hosting a party. Mintz’s book works well for both first-time planners and experienced entertainers, always focusing on his golden rule for dinner parties: “Ensure that your guests enjoy themselves” and that you have fun as well.

Danny Seo’s “Upcycling Celebrations” presents unique decorating ideas by repurposing what you already have. With more than 100 do-it-yourself projects, Seo takes everyday things and reuses them to make one-of-a-kind party favors and decorations.


Get your party started with “The Four Seasons Book of Cocktails” by Fred DuBose and “Tiny Food Party!” by Teri Lyn Fisher and Jenny Park. You are sure to find a winner with more than 1,000 drink recipes in the “Four Seasons” book. And Fisher and Park’s bite-sized appetizers are fun and easy to make using everyday ingredients. For a more upscale selection of hors d’oeuvres, check out “Bite by Bite” by Peter Callahan.

Looking for some all-in-one cookbooks? Check out “Family Table” by Michael Romano and Karen Stabiner. These recipes all come from Danny Meyer’s New York City restaurant chefs. It’s what the chefs serve one another before cooking for their restaurant guests. The original recipes were made to serve several people, so they easily adapt to home entertaining.

“The New Jewish Table” by Todd Gray and Ellen Kassoff Gray is broken down by seasons and holiday menus. The Grays reinvent traditional Jewish recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Christine E. Nunn’s “The Preppy Cookbook” serves up recipes from the completely understated to the most outlandish and everything in between. “Gluten-Free and Vegan Holidays” by Jennifer Katzinger contains both sweet and savory recipes for perfect festive menus.

Hosting a cookie exchange? “The Daily Cookie” by Anna Ginsberg contains 365 recipes for cookies, brownies and bars. Each recipe includes a photograph of the finished product. Angie Dudley’s “Cake Pops: Holidays by Bakerella” helps you unleash your creativity with winter-themed holiday treats. Your guests are sure to be wowed by these creations. Looking for a gluten-free option? Try “Nosh on This” by Lisa Stander-Horel and Tim Horel. There are more than 100 recipes for gluten-free Jewish baked goods in this collection.


Don’t have time to visit the library to check out these books? Another option for great holiday entertaining ideas can be found through the library’s downloadable magazine service, Zinio. Access this resource through the Downloadable Library page on our website. You’ll find electronic editions of magazines such as Food Network Magazine, Vegetarian Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur and much more.

Visit the Newport Beach Public Library to check out these holiday helpers and more. You’ll be sure to host a terrific party this season with just the right spread.

CHECK IT OUT is written by the staff of the Newport Beach Public Library. All titles may be reserved from home or office computers by accessing the catalog at For more information on the Central Library or any of the branches, please contact the Newport Beach Public Library at (949) 717-3800, option 2.