I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence

I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence

by Amy Sedaris


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The inspiration for the TV show At Home with Amy Sedaris, here is a hilarious, helpful, and informative guide on how to entertain.

Are you lacking direction in how to whip up a swanky soiree for lumberjacks? A dinner party for white-collar workers? A festive gathering for the grieving? Don't despair!

Take a cue from entertaining expert Amy Sedaris and host an unforgettable fete that will have your guests raving. No matter the style or size of the gathering - from the straightforward to the bizarre - I LIKE YOU provides jackpot recipes and solid advice laced with Amy's blisteringly funny take on entertaining, plus four-color photos and enlightening sidebars on everything it takes to pull off a party with extraordinary flair.

You don't even need to be a host or hostess to benefit - Amy offers tips for guests, too! (Rule number one: don't be fifteen minutes early.) Readers will discover unique dishes to serve alcoholics ("Broiled Frozen Chicken Wings with Applesauce"), the secret to a successful children's party (a half-hour time limit, games included), plus a whole appendix chock-full of arts and crafts ideas (from a mini-pantyhose plant-hanger to a do-it-yourself calf stretcher), and much, much more!

"In At Home with Amy Sedaris, Ms. Sedaris offers deliriously twisted takes on the homemaking skills she skewered in her books I Like You and Simple Times." — The New York Times


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780446696777
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: 10/22/2008
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 262,251
Product dimensions: 8.10(w) x 9.70(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Amy Sedaris has appeared in several movies and television shows, and, with Paul Dinello and Stephen Colbert, a co-author of the novel Wigfield, and she co-wrote Strangers with Candy, the hit show on Comedy Central. She's also a regular on The Late Show with David Letterman. She lives in Manhattan with her imaginary boyfriend, Ricky, and her rabbit, Dusty.

Read an Excerpt

I Like You

By Amy Sedaris

Warner Books

Copyright © 2006

Amy Sedaris

All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-446-57884-3

Chapter One

Dear [your name here],

Whether you live in a basement with the income of a ten-year-old
girl or on a saffron farm in the south of Spain, the spirit of
hospitality is the same. It's the giving of yourself, a present of
you to them from me for us.

"Hello, and I like you." This is what you're saying when you invite
somebody into your home, without having to hear yourself say it out
loud. This colorfully illustrated book (see pictures) is my attempt
to share with you something I take very seriously: entertaining in
my home, my style. It may not be the proper way, or the most
traditional, or even legal, but it works for me. I can't write good,
but I can cook even better and I am willing to share with you my
sackful of personal jackpot recipes that, because of their proven
success, I continue to make, over and over again. I will also show
you ways to plan, present, and participate in self-award-winning

Even though the word "entertainment" is commonly used today, to me
it sounds charmingly old-fashioned, like courtship or back-alley
abortion. I like the traditional idea of entertaining, which for me
means lively guests, good food, cocktails, and bubbly conversation.
I'd like to bring entertaining back to these essentials. I'm not
concerned with proper table settings, seatingarrangements, or
formal etiquette. Who can have a good time with all those rules? How
can you enjoy yourself if you're worried whether you're using the
right fork, or wondering whether the pumpkin is the bowl or part of
the meal? I'm not trying to discourage you from being creative or
encouraging you to neglect the details, but know that the nuts of
any good party are the simple basics provided in a warm environment.

I tend to live my life like a deaf person. I communicate with my
actions: the way I dress, the way my home is decorated, and the
gifts I give all speak for me. I take this to heart when I
entertain. My food, my party decorations, the games I create, and
the music I play are all personal expressions. This is what will
make your party special, sharing a piece of you, a feeling. It's not
a competition. You don't have to be the perfect host, just the

This is not a joke cookbook. I don't like joke cookbooks because I
can't take them seriously. This book is full of real information.
Most of the little I know, I learned from my mom, as well as Girl
Scouts and Junior Achievements, my second first grade teacher, my
family, Aunt Joyce, the backs of boxes, the lady who works at the
post office, encyclopedias, the beach, bartending school, grocery
stores, airports, waiting on tables, Mrs. Enchandi, nurses, sitcoms,
Hugh, listening to the radio, babysitting, rock concerts, summer
school, and the House Rabbit Society. I was also fascinated by two
local hospitality shows: At Home with Peggy Mann and The Betty
Elliot Show
. I wanted to be both those women and now here's my
chance, and hopefully, with the help of my book, it will be your
chance as well.


Amy Sedaris


Dear [your name here),

It occurred to me that I neglected to acknowledge in my first letter
that not everyone is interested in hospitality. There is nothing
wrong with not wanting to be a hospitable person and have groups of
people in your home touching your personables. Luckily, this sturdy
book will also inform you on how to be the perfect guest. From the
minute you say "Yes I'll be there," until the moment you say "I'm
sorry, I should go," you have an important role in making a party a
hit. Remember, one cannot throw a successful party without
successful guests.


Amy Sedaris


Dear [your name here],

I hate to be a pest, but I was concerned that perhaps in my first
two letters I failed to completely convey my passion for
entertaining. I go bananas for entertaining! Sometimes though, I
feel entertaining is a dying art. My goal is to encourage you, [your
name here], to entertain in your home, your style. Having a party is
one of the most creative and generous activities that every person
can enjoy and indulge in, if you're on the list. Remember, by
inviting someone into your home, you're saying "I like you".


Amy Sedaris


Excerpted from I Like You
by Amy Sedaris
Copyright © 2006 by Amy Sedaris.
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Customer Reviews

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I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 84 reviews.
Crystal Wood More than 1 year ago
i would hope that if one were to purchase this book one would know and understand who amy sedaris is and expect, as i did, a fun, quirky guide to entertaining. so, if you want advice from martha stewart download a great martha stewart instructional but if you wanna learn how to not take life too seriously, then download 'i like you'...it's fun!
Smitty22 More than 1 year ago
"I Like You: Entertaining Under the Influence" is a cheeky alternative to the every day recipe/ entertaining guides. No other guide specifically encompasses the in's and out's of entertaining for lumberjacks, funeral wakes, the elderly, when a rich uncle comes to visit, children, and the long overlooked demographic in most entertaining guides: stoners. Bless Ms. Sedaris for writing such a delightful tome for those of us who really can't be as together as Martha (you know who you are). This book is really top-notch and a great gift for the ever-diligent hostess in your life (providing she has a wacky sense of humor). I've purchased one copy of this book before and it wound up leaving with a party guest. Yes, it's so brilliant that I bought it twice. Whoever wound up with my last copy will hopefully invite me to one of their parties and I'll know who did it by the charmingly strange party decor & finger foods they'll employ from this book. Buy it, you can't have my copy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've loved Amy Sedaris since she was on the unique show 'Strangers With Candy.' I knew when this book came out that my dinner parties would never be the same. The great thing about this book is that she can make you laugh the entire time you are putting together an inexpensive and unique party. Amy thinks of the most interesting things to bring to the dinner table, and her recipes are fantastic. I love all of the condiments with google eyes and references to her bunny. The pictures are amazing, the book is well written, the drawings are adorable, and yet it looks very DIY because of all of the personal touches on every single page.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I LIKE YOU isn't a children's book. In fact, unless your parents say you can read it, or you're at least sixteen, I wouldn't recommend it. But if you're a mature teenager who enjoys off-beat humor mixed in with recipes, entertaining tips, and a hodgepodge of other 'homey' ideas, then this is the book for you. 'Hello, and I like you.' According to Ms. Sedaris, this is what you're saying every time you invite someone into your house. Unfortunately, I had originally thought that when I invited people into my house I was saying, 'Hello, sorry my house looks like bohemian children with outrageous hobbies live here.' But, whatever. Amy Sedaris, whom you might recognize from roles in School of Rock, Bewitched, Elf, and Strangers With Candy, has given us a slew of ideas, recipes, and helpful hints for entertaining those people we invite into our home. This over-sized tome is chock full of recipes, from the hors d'oeuvres to the main course to dessert. Mixed in, of course, are witty comments from Ms. Sedaris herself, hilarious photos, and tips on keeping that party spirit alive. If you want to give the perfect gift, for any occasion, to someone you love, show them you like them by handing them a copy of I LIKE YOU. Believe me, everyone will be happy. **Reviewed by: Jennifer Wardrip, aka 'The Genius'
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really like her sense of humor and thought this was hilarious at first glance. There is very good advice for overnight guests like: 'stay somewhere else', or 'don't bring things that need to be buried'. And the advice for dropping by unannounced is not only humourous, it is spot on. But the casual references to drug abuse are a little depressing: the herion/cocaine salt and pepper shakers cross that little line. As did calling recovering abusers boring. There's also an explicit sketch of her bent over examining her nether-regions. (However the thought of my sons sneaking the cookbook up to their bedrooms for a peek--that juxtaposition cracks me up). I gave it a 4, but I wouldn't recommend it if you have kids. Alcohol and drug abuse, no matter how hard you try, just isn't funny.
indygo88 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a quirky book, & hard to catergorize. It's a cookbook, an etiquette book, & a humor book all wrapped up into one. It kind of falls under the coffee table book genre (although I listened to the audio), except that it's actually quite a handy little reference book as well, so it might best suit you in the kitchen, or even the library. The funniest part is, you never quite know which direction Amy Sedaris is heading for. She's serious one minute, then kidding around the next, and then sometimes you can't tell the difference. It's a fun book, and surprisingly full of helpful hints too. I'm an audiobook fan & I got this one for a steal. My only regret now is that I didn't get the actual hardcover book. While listening in the car, I frequently found myself thinking, "I should write that down!" However, the audiobook on CD does include some of Amy's recipes, and I'm off now to go print some of those out! All in all, a pleasant surprise of a book.
smilingsally on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This may prove to be the most difficult book I've ever reviewed. It's a cookbook with recipes such as Split Pea Soup, Yogurt Spaghetti, Southern Fried Chicken, Yorkshire Pudding, cakes for special occasions, assorted drinks, as well as instructions on party planning, conversation starters for blind dates, how to give yourself a breast exam, the art of putting on panty hose, and gift ideas for the elderly. Also included are craft ideas such as how to make a needle wallet, a paper clip necklace, brick bookends, and several other useless items. Anecdotes are sprinkled throughout. This might make a unique idea for a quirky hostess gift. Note: contains profanity.
oda_garin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Smart, and with charm to spare. Winner!
ChicGeekGirl21 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If you like your cookbooks and hospitality books mixed with a healthy dose of camp, then this is the book for you. Amy Sedaris, who, in addition to being a comedian, runs a cupcake and cheese ball business out of her kitchen, has the ideal qualifications to write this book: she embodies bizarre, quirky humor and truly loves to cook and entertain. In I Like You, you'll find a number of fun recipes as well as some tips on entertaining (that shouldn't be taken TOO seriously--esp. the parts on how to throw a party for children).
Wrighty on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love this book! It reminds me of every cookbook and craft book I looked at as a kid. Amy Sedaris is the author and a comedian who is quirky, perky and cute. I've seen her on television talk shows and she has an unusual sense of humor that is very apparent in her book. She uses real recipes and craft projects and adds her own twist. Her hospitality advice is very real too. What makes this so funny is that it's straight out of 1968 (approximately, I was only 4 then so my time frame may be a little off). Every last detail has been included in the photos and drawings on each page. There are several pages of a step-by-step pantyhose demonstration performed by Amy herself. How to put them on, how to untwist them as you're putting them on, crafts you can do with all of the pantyhose you snag and ruin while putting them on and recipes for cocktails to drink after the whole unsuccessful process. Remember the styrofoam wig heads? In the book. The grease can, labeled as such, that often sat on the counter or back of the stove and contained leftover grease from cooking to be used for another meal? In there. Rick rack on sewing projects? In there. Macrame plant hangers? In there.My grandparents had the very same dishes and glassware found on several of the pages. They also had the wallpaper, glass candy dish, teakettle, pie plates and Tupperware containers. They still have the plastic, floral letter holder hanging on their wall. (pg 196 if interested) I remember my mom having some of these poofy hairdos and polyester clothes. Of course she was beautiful but everything else...ick.I took this book to our family Thanksgiving dinner. We had such a good time going through the different chapters and found new things every time we looked at it. Bravo to the team that helped put this book together. Ebay should be calling you for the collection of goodies you have there.Special thanks to Booking Mama and Hatchette Books where I won this copy.
phillipjreese on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is my boyfriend Michael's favorite book. I am also a big fan. Amy is just at the top of her game here, and this piece is clearly her opus. Part cook book, part etiquette guide, part humor collection, Amy is one of the funniest people in the world, and just kills with this magnificent piece.
mzebra on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If you have a somewhat twisted, demented, obscene, nutty sense of humor(or know anyone else that does) you will enjoy this book. Amy Sedaris opens the doors of her home to give the reader a peek of what kind of hostess she is. If you've had a chance to view her episode on the Martha Stewart show I recommend it, it's painfully awkward and hilarious to watch. It really highlights the tone of the book well. Amy Sedaris states that this is not a funny cookbook and it's true you could churn out many of the recipes that are included. Although I have to admit I imagined every word in a bit of a Jerri Blank type of voice in my head. I enjoyed reading all of her funny if not insane suggestions and got a kick out of all the pictures which were reminiscent of some zany cookbook from the 1970's.
lindsayfml on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A quirky, tongue-in-cheek guide to being a quality host/hostess that is best shared with friends around the coffee table. Sedaris is the Queen of the Themed Party, and she goes hilariously overboard with the details. She gives advice for throwing the simplest of parties, and for when all else fails she provides her go-to cheese ball recipe...because she is, in fact, a total cheese ball.
holly_kench on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Completely hilarious and wonderful. Filled with excellent advice for the aspiring host/hostess. Don't rock yourself to sleep in front of your guests, and rabbit droppings make for an excellent salad garnish, are only a couple of Amy Sedaris' helpful hints. Loved it.
Oreillynsf on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I never quite "got" this book, which is a pity because I love Amy's sense of humor. But I simply couldn't find and keep the threads that hold it together. Based upon the ratings of this book, however, others were not so challenged. But the writing is tight and funny.
wbarker on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Perfect for : Personal Use, Hostess Gift, General GiftIn a nutshell: When I first opened this book, I laughed because of all the humor (it really IS a fun book), but then I started to read it and found that I was amazed at all the helpful information it contained! Learn to cook with new recipes, learn how to host a kids party (this can be harder than it sounds!), write a letter to a celebrity asking for an autograph, what to wear to the doctor's office, how to bury (or memorialize) a pet. . . you will find these and many other great tips throughout the book! Not only was it fun, but it was helpful too! Plus, many of the recipes include pictures and they look and sound very yummy! I highly recommend that you get a copy for yourself and get a few extras to give as hostess gifts and birthday/Christmas gifts for the woman who enjoys entertaining and has a great sense of humor . . . or needs one!PS - make sure you set aside your regular menu and add some of these great recipes in - they really are great!Extended Review:Content: The book includes a chapter on "The Art of Hospitality," and sections titled: Hospitality in Action, Jackpot Recipes, Pantyhose, Crafts, And Good Ideas.Amy has shared her best recipes, hints and tips for 23 different entertaining occasions, including: a blind date, an unexpected guest, grieving, ladies night, entertaining the elderly, when you get to play nurse, clubs, gift giving, etc.Each entertaining chapter is filled with recipes, tips, tricks and a LOT of humor! But on a serious note, when talking about grieving and funerals, I was not previously aware that you should ask a friend or neighbor to house-sit while at the funeral as some robbers will watch the obituaries and try to break-in while everyone is at the funeral. I mentioned this fact to my sister-in-law, who knew about this fact and has done some house-sitting for friends who were at a funeral. I was amazed that I didn't know this common fact and very thankful to have read it in this book!Format: Filled with pictures, drawings, recipes, notes, tips, explanations, and real ideas for entertaining situations.Readability: Fun and easy to read!Overall: This is such a fun and entertaining, not to mention really helpful book! You won't be able to read through this book without cracking a smile! I think it is a must for every kitchen, and a really great hostess gift for a woman with a good sense of humor.
shandrita on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I live by this book. A friend once told me that Amy Sedaris is the Martha Stewart you want to hang out with. This is very true, you will not find another book on cooking and hosting that is as funny as this one.
lilysea on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I got this book as a Christmas gift and it was meant to be funny. It is funny. It's quite funny. But believe it or not, it's got some great recipes too. Nothing particularly healthy or contemporary, but for those old comfort food faves, I pick up Amy every time!
pictou on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Meh. I read this thinking she would be as funny as her brother [author: David Sedaris]. Not so good, I'd skip it.
jemsw on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Sedaris's tone is occasionally overly arch, but the brisk flow and movement of the book more than compensate. The recipes (at least those that I have tried) are very, very good and make the book worth purchase even without the wandering, playful prose that makes the book so enjoyable.
rosencrantz79 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As someone who generally eschews cooking in favor of...well, any other activity, I was actually inspired by Sedaris's wacky commentary on the art of hospitality to try some of her recipes. So far, the stuffed mushrooms are a big hit at parties, and the tzatziki sauce is surprisingly easy and very tasty. I'm working on Sedaris's award-winning cupcakes, but mine turn out a little dry. Mixed in with her goofy (albeit sometimes appropriate) instructions on entertaining guests are recipes that range from easy to sort of advanced (okay, advanced for someone who doesn't own a whisk) and craft ideas. I can't wait to make my eye burrito.
libmhleigh on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Amy Sedaris has composed an often tongue-in-cheek hospitality book, complete with recipes. Sedaris offers hints for hostesses and guests, and for almost all eventualities, including ¿cooking under the influence¿ and ¿a rich uncle comes to visit.¿ You will also learn what to do in the case of gypsies, grieving, and rabbits. All extremely useful information, obviously. Quote: ¿You can also expect a full menu. Oh, and lastly, on the way out don¿t be afraid to become intimately acquainted with my tip jar.¿Maybe I just don¿t have the right personality type for this book. I enjoyed the tongue-in-cheek parts, but I got really tired halfway through and was ready for the end, even though there were lots of pictures to speed the process up. Maybe if I were more into recipes I would have liked it better, but I tend not to cook since I often light things on fire when I do. Oh, well.
WittyreaderLI on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book was probably one of the funniest books I've read in a long time. It is by Amy Sedaris, one of my favorite people. In this book, she explains how to throw a proper party for a variety of houseguests, including the rich uncle, a gypsy, or old people. She does it in a very matter of fact way that can't help but make you crack up. "How do you teach hope?" Amy is at her best and this book is guaranteed to crack at least a smile for even the biggest of sourpusses!
honkytonkgirl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book made me laugh out loud. It's a white-trash, speed-inspired embrace. It's the best guide to hospitality--American style--that I've found. Beware Martha Stewart junkies! This book is for failed Brownies and Girl Scouts who sucked at crafts. It proclaims that even screw-ups can succeed in creating a pencil cup festooned with rick-rack! Enjoy!
SelimaCat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If you love leafing through old Betty Crocker cookbooks from the 60s and 70s, this might just be up your alley. Clearly written with tongue in cheek (and martini in hand), this book apes the graceful pen-and-ink sketches, household tips, menus that capture a time gone by, and entertainment suggestions of cookbooks past. In the introduction, Sedaris states that she hates joke cookbooks, and the recipes are clearly not jokes, although the art (glorious photographs of a 3-tiered lunchmeat "cake") and surrounding materials are likely not to be taken seriously. Most of the text was skimmable, with only a few passages funny enough to be read aloud.