Trends: How to Get the Party Started

The end of the year is high season for festive gatherings, which is fine if you're a guest but can be a nightmare if you're the host or hostess. If the thought of throwing a fancy party is enough to dampen your holiday spirit, you may be in the market for the crowd of new cookbooks coming just in time to take the stress out of party planning. Comedian Amy Sedaris, below right, leads the pack with a collection of edgy etiquette pointers and wacky wardrobe suggestions. Among the offerings from chefs and restaurateurs and magazine editors, there's a book to...

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