Parties Magazine

Books That Shaped Parties

By Carlo @CarloAtYourServ

Books That Shaped Parties

Dorothy & Toto; from the movie, The Wizard of Oz

Whether you've thought about it before or not, books have had an impact on the parties that we have.

The truth of that reality is that no one book actually shaped the World of Parties. 

So, the good news is -- if you feel that you have a "book" of great party ideas that you still want to write, there is certainly still plenty of time for you to do so.

Which understandably means that it wouldn't be a fair assessment to try to tell you that just one book has shaped parties at large.

Because so many books have had such a profound influence on societies, party culture, and idea of what parties can and should be, and what the true essence of what a party is about or for, it really wouldn't be fair to pick one book as "thee" book about parties.

So therefore, this is not a definitive list. This article features books that will help you learn the "common sense" basics of parties as well as information about the earliest book published about parties. These books aren't all first edition books, nor are they necessarily considered to be "rare" or one-of-a-kind.

The American Woman's Home and American Cookery (to name two) which have been a critical part of what many people have read that have influenced what parties were becoming; the motives in choosing certain party themes, and our aspirations that we've held for our parties. Other books tell about experiences we can yet have -- uniquely, such as what A Practical Wedding: Creative Ideas for Planning a Beautiful, Affordable, and Meaningful Celebration shares. 
Books That Shaped Parties I've selected these particular books for a variety of reasons; some possibly because they have inscriptions by other famous people or by the authors themselves, or they were Armed Service outreach books for people who were serving in the military; books sent to soldiers to read while serving duty at the war front - which today are sent on iPods and iPads. Some are novels - also a critical part of "party culture" - inexpensive novels, high-brow novels, novels that appeal to people of all ages -- including children's books that have appealed to people of all ages, like The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and Charlotte's Web, which are hardly, really limited to only children's audiences. 

Some of these books identified who we were becoming as caterers and party planners, or aspired to become as professionals in the industry. 

Others told about experiences we had, uniquely, as people in the party profession - for example, Cooking for Kings: The Life of Antonin Careme, the First Celebrity Chef; who lived from the mid-1700's until 1833. There were also important books such as, The Physiology of Taste: or Meditations on Transcendental Gastronomy, written by the French lawyer and politician turned epicure and gastronome, Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, who said, "Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are", that shaped parties of today. 
Books That Shaped PartiesI thought it also of great importance to mention the three books written by Isabella Beeton (March 12, 1836 - February 6, 1865), a universally known English author who was known as one of the first and best cookery writers, penning Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household ManagementThe Best of Mrs. Beeton's Household Tips, and Breakfast With Mrs. Beeton.
Many other books defined our culinary "party dialect" as we know it, shaping not only our ideas but how we speak about food, beverages, and parties today. 

It's equally important to look at social-cultural books beyond non-fiction and books that broke barriers... not only books about culinary interests, but also books about self-help; i.e., Alcoholic Anonymous. Looking across the broad spectrum of what has been written, and not limiting the list to any particular genre or certain kind of author or writing style, it was extremely important to include books that shaped parties through innovation in some manner. 

My goal here is to showcase books that will create a dialog about our history as "partysans" or party mavens, so to speak.

Another book I find interesting is, Haute Cuisine: How the French Invented the Culinary Profession, written by Amy B. Trubek, that speaks about organizations that were established such as London's Worshipful Company of Cooks that became recognized in 1311, though there are earlier recorded mentions of cooks in London. 
There is so much more to say, so many other books I could (and might) add in the future. But for now, this list should suffice. When your interest is in "parties" and you' re wondering about the books that shaped parties, this is a great place to get started. 

On a More Personal Note about Books That Shaped Parties

Books That Shaped Parties I love books. So, of course I love to read and learn. Books are a source of knowledge and information, thus I celebrate with this blog post, Books That Shaped Parties. The books I have chosen are displayed below. 

This list is my starting point, not necessarily of the "best" party-related books – although some of them do fit that description. My list is intended to cause you to think, give you new ideas, and spark a conversation about books that discuss or relate to parties in some way; that are at the helm of the creation of party themes, that are written by people that have influenced our parties and our lives, whether they appear on this list or not.  I sincerely hope you will view this list, discuss it with your party planner (event planner or wedding planner, contact person, etc.), friends and family members, and most importantly, that you personally will choose to read. 

These books reflect on unique and extraordinary party heritage, from the literary aspect, which the Library of Congress makes available to the world. Books about cooking, food and drinks, and books about parties are really... such a beautiful thing. 

                     ~ Books That Shaped Parties ~ For Purchase On ~


A Practical Wedding: Creative Ideas for Planning a Beautiful, Affordable, and Meaningful CelebrationMeg Keene2011

Alcoholics Anonymousanonymous1939

American CookeryAmelia Simmons1796

The American Woman's HomeCatharine E. Beecher and Harriet Beecher Stowe1869

Artistic cookery; a practical system suited for the use of the nobility and gentry and for public entertainments  Urbain Dubois  1870

Auguste Escoffier, Memories of My LifeAuguste Escoffier1919

Butlers & Household Managers; 21st Century Professionals Steven M. Ferry2008

The Butler's Guide to Running the Home and Other GracesStanley Ager & Fiona St. Aubyn    1980

The Cat in the Hat Dr. Seuss 1957

Charlotte's WebE.B. White 1952/2012

Cooking for Kings: The Life of Antonin Careme, the First Celebrity Chef Ian Kelly 1957

Diane Warner's Big Book of Parties Diane Warner 1999

Entertaining from Ancient Rome to the Super Bowl: An Encyclopedia  Melitta Weiss Adamson and Francine Segan  2008 

The Escoffier Cookbook and Guide to the Fine Art of Cookery: For Connoisseurs, Chefs, Epicures Complete With 2973 RecipesAuguste Escoffier and Charlotte Adams 1941

Hotel Butlers, The Great Service Differentiators Hotel Butlers, The Great Service Differentiators Steven Ferry2009

How to Win Friends and Influence PeopleDale Carnegie1936

Joy of CookingIrma Rombauer1931

Le guide culinaireAuguste Escoffier 1903

Mastering the Art of French CookingJulia Child, Louisette Bertholle, & Simone Beck1961

The Modern Cook: A Practical Guide to Culinary Arts in All It's BranchesCharles Elme Francatelli1890

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in AmericaBruce Kraig & Andrew F. Smith2004

Royal Taste: Food, Power and Status at the European Courts After 1789Danielle De Vooght2011

The Wonderful Wizard of OzL. Frank Baum1900

As always, I'd love to hear from you. I could have listed a more books that shaped parties because I believe, given the time to do even more research, there are likely several more.. But tell me, which books did I miss, that you love and feel I should have mentioned? What are some of your favorite party-related books? 

Talk to me in the Comments section below. Remember to be as specific as possible in your comments because what you have to say helps everybody. 

With love... stay encouraged,

Books That Shaped Parties
Books That Shaped Parties
“Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.” - Chinese proverb 

Image source: Wikipedia

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