Sunday, October 10, 2010

I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence by Amy Sedaris

i like you cover

I have never hosted a party.  But if I did, I know one thing for certain:  it wouldn't be half as fun as any party Amy Sedaris has ever thrown.

I've been wanting to read this book for a long time, ever since I saw Sedaris on The Daily Show when it first came out.  But I didn't want to actually pay for it.  Fortunately I spotted it at the library and brought it home with me, and let me tell you, I am really glad I didn't pay for it.

Although Sedaris offers very useful information, such as how to exploit your party guests for money and how to make a pantyhose plant hanger, I am now so completely intimidated by Sedaris' party-making awesomeness and creativity that I have resolved to never invite anyone over ever again.  Thus I feel like reading this book was counter-productive.

You might start I Like You thinking it's a cookbook.  This would be understandable since there's a picture of a woman in an apron holding a turkey on the cover.  But it's not.  For one, the pictures (shot by Todd Freaking Oldham, by the way--don't you kind of hate Sedaris now?) make the food look like throw up.  For another, it contains such recipes as, "PUMPKIN PIE: Directions are on back of can of pumpkin.  Follow that." and, "BUTTER SPA-GETTI: Cook spaghetti.  Toss with butter.  And salt and pepper and serve." 

Sometimes I wonder how books get made, and then I think, "Well, the author knows somebody."  Sedaris obviously knows a lot of somebodies.  I have to admit this book was funny, but it would have been funnier if we lived in a time where people put that much effort into parties anymore.  Like if this book had been published in the 1950's--or 70's, even--it would have been totally subversive and hi-larious.  As it was, it seemed like a lot of effort to put into a joke book that recycles a decades-old punch line and contains no real information... but props to the team who worked on it, because the design is pretty fabulous.  I guess that's reason enough for its existence.

In conclusion, this book would have made a GREAT blog.  It feels very blog-y.  I'm still not convinced it makes a great book, though.

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