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Monday, May 26, 2014

Book Review and Preview: Handmade Gatherings By Ashley English

This is a book review and preview of Handmade Gatherings by Ashley English that was published recently on 8 April 2014.

Ashley is the author of 5 other foodie books which shows her knowledge and passion for wholesome food. Ashley lives in a Western North Carolina mountain community where she's converting her land into a homestead and blogs about her adventures over at Small Measures.
This is a book about party planning, celebrating, connecting with friends and throwing pot luck style gatherings where everyone helps out and contributes to the party. It covers everything from the decor, crafts, entertainment and recipes. There are a stack of ideas in here and lots of pretty pictures to inspire you to plan for your next party!

The introduction covers things like how to organise and co-ordinate a gathering because it's not just the host who takes on everything in this style of party, it's shared around and everyone's skills and resources are pooled, so everyone helps out and has a great time.

The book then dives into the 4 different seasons and 16 different parties to plan for those seasons. With the author being American, the seasons and food in this book are quite different to Australia - we won't be having a frosty winter fete here! But most of the parties are still relateable and have given me some fun ideas, even if the food ideas and menu would be different.

For each of the 4 seasons there are a few different party themes to pick from and this is covered with how to set the scene, entertainment, and a suggested menu with recipes. It's all very practical and realistic with parties being family friendly with lots of ideas to get the kids, friends and family involved.
My favourite party is the Winter - Soups On party ..... I do love my soups and might have to throw my own soup party come Winter!

The only thing I found hard was because I didn't have a hard copy of the book, and because of the images I couldn't download it to my Kindle eReader, so I had to read it off the computer which I found a bit difficult. A hard copy version of this book would take pride of place on my coffee table!
I recommend this book to party planners this will be your bible and inspiration all throughout the year. It would also make a great housewarming gift!

I give this book 4 stars

Jarrah Jungle's Star Rating:
1 Bad - I'd rather eat brussel sprouts topped with anchovies than read this again
2 Not Good - I'd rather watch re-runs of Neighbours than read this again
3 Ok - I'm sitting on the fence - its not great but not terrible either
4 Good - I'd pass up a pack of tim tams for this read
5 Great - I'd pass up a date with Johnny Depp for this read

Handmade Gatherings can be purchased from Random House here

Sharing my book review on Good Reads here

Disclosure: NetGalley and Random House partner with bloggers such as me to help promote their product. As part of this promotion I was given this eBook published by Random House, Roost Books to review. I have not received any payment or compensation for this review. I have not been told what to say about this product, I am free to form my own opinion and share them in my own words. All opinions are my own.

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[Images via Small Measures]

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