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Despite New York party planner Johansson's familiarity with planning lavish events, the ideas incorporated in this book are eminently doable by ordinary people with limited budgets and experience. The first half of the book is dedicated to the art of planning all aspects of a party: theme, timing, table settings and seating, etiquette, venue, budgeting, guest lists, and invitations. The second half covers four complete party types-cocktail, brunch, buffet, and dinner-and offers copious recipes for each. Full-page color photos of mouthwatering food and drinks and colorful table settings are generously interspersed throughout. Unique recipes, such as Rhubarb and Pear Pie with Gorgonzola and Chive Waffles with Horseradish Cream, are sophisticated yet easy to prepare. This work covers nearly everything a person would need to confidently plan a successful party. Different twists and turns on favorite cocktails are abundant, but the host or hostess will have to consult another source for imaginative nonalcoholic drinks. Recommended.