Gray’s tone is conversational and light, suiting the subject, and this is an inviting and polished manual for adults looking to expand their network, make new friends, or simply plan a winning get-together. Gray explains the power of positive icebreakers, how to cut off a long-winded guest, and even how to avoid the awkward period when guests first arrive. (The secret? Delegating tasks, as “early arrivals…appreciate the chance to feel useful instead of making idle conversation.”) Other welcome tips include advice for handling kids, breaking up cliques, and this reminder: “As long as the liquor you buy is in a glass bottle and not plastic, it’ll do fine for an adult party.” Gray’s instructions are also straightforward and written in an inviting tone, though at times they can be repetitive—an entire chapter on name badges may be excessive for some readers.
Still, with fresh suggestions and an inviting tone, Gray fulfills what he promises in the introduction: a complete guide to throwing a networking event. Gray includes an appendix with helpful lists and examples that he introduces throughout the book, and chapter checklists summarizing the big takeaways.
Takeaway: Fresh, helpful guide to the hows and whys of throwing an entertaining party.
Comparable Titles: Mary Giuliani’s The Cocktail Party, Leslie Brenner’s The Art of the Cocktail Party.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A