Monday, August 30, 2010

The Reluctant Entertainer: Every Woman’s Guide to Simple and Gracious Hospitality


by Sandy Coughlin

Read the Back:

Real Entertaining for Real People

True hospitality is not about being perfect, cooking a fancy meal, or spending a lot of money. Rather, it’s about an open door and an open heart. Popular blogger Sandy Coughlin offers a simple but savvy approach to help women break free of the anxieties that keep them from opening their homes. Emphasizing the forgotten goal of entertaining – connecting deeply with others – she shows how women can use the gifts and talents God gave them to reach out in love.

My Thoughts:

I have never been one to open my doors up and let others in. I always had one excuse or another. We’ve all done it. My house is too small, I can’t cook, I don’t know how to hold a conversation, etc. Sandy has many solutions for women everywhere. This book encourages women to let go of perfection (one of the main deterrents of hosting) and to embrace the opportunities to connect with others. She reminds readers about God’s grace and his love for us and how we can use hosting parties or dinners as a means to pass that along to others.
Sandy offers suggestions for hosting parties on a budget and offers up many great recipes that are tried and true from herself and her friends. Some of the recipes include a Dill Bread, Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream, and Easy Cinnamon Bites with Maple Drizzle (YUM!). There are suggestions for what to stock in your pantry as well as what dishes would be handy to have on hand when you begin hosting more regularly.
Also, ever had an idea for a type of party, but you weren’t quite sure how to pull it off? Well, Sandy has 11 different types of parties that she suggests and each can be tweaked to fit your personal needs. One of my favourite parts of this book (next to the myriad of recipes sprinkled throughout) is the section on conversation. I have a very difficult time not having the same conversations with the same people every time we get together. Sandy gives several suggestions on ways to approach starting conversations and they aren’t as intimidating as one might think.
I feel that this would make an excellent gift for a new bride, but this book would work for any age woman in any stage of their life.

This review was made possible because I received a copy of this book from Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available now at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

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