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The Inviting Life by Laura Calder

A modern guide to entertaining.

In Laura Calder’s new book, The Inviting Life: An Inspirational Guide to Homemaking, the former Food Network Canada host offers straightforward advice to anyone debating whether or not they should throw a party at their place: “A good host is someone who makes people feel good,” she says. “It’s not about how much champagne you pour or how big your house is.”

Having previously only authored cookbooks, The Inviting Life is a departure for Calder in that it aims to be an inspirational guide, encouraging readers to turn ordinary routines—like mealtimes—into something meaningful, shareable, and happy. Having thrown her first “dinner party” when she was eight years old, Calder, who currently lives in Toronto and entertains three times a week by her own measure, has plenty of experience with all manner of events, from potlucks to picnics to Sunday brunches, and offers easy recipes for crowd-pleasers like Persian rice, hearty roasts, and brown butter shortbread. For anyone utterly disconnected from the basics of housekeeping, Calder also offers tips on efficiently tackling household chores and projects, and filling your homes with inviting energy. “Housekeeping is self-care,” she enthuses. “It’s an honour to allow people into our private spaces.”

It’s an approach that would make Amy Vanderbilt proud, but there’s nothing too frou-frou about Calder’s style—her parties are geared to take place in small apartments and homes with their flaws more so than fantasy rose-flanked country mansions. The book itself, with Calder’s own doodles of domestic scenes throughout, is similarly warm and informal. For those who delight in the nuanced art of etiquette and take pleasure from entertaining, the book is a conversational, whimsical read full of contemporary good ideas. Opening your home to share food, fun, and laughter with others is what The Inviting Life is all about.

Laura Calder’s The Inviting Life: An Inspirational Guide to Homemaking is out November 2017, order it here.


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