Celebrate: A Year of Festivities for Families and Friends by Pippa Middleton was a delightful surprise. I had read so many mixed and negative reviews about it that I wasn’t sure what to expect. We must not have been reading the same book because I simply love this book.
From the aesthetic standpoint, the book is simply top notch. The book is beautiful to look at and hold. The book feels like a quality book. It is beautifully printed. The design is lovely. The photography is gorgeous. It is a book that is simply a pleasure to behold.
One of the criticisms by the “experts” is that the book doesn’t offer anything new and exciting. The experts complained that the ideas in the book are too safe and ordinary. I didn’t look at it that way at all. For me, the ideas are very accessible. I don’t want to read a Martha Stewart type book that is full of ingredients I don’t buy and lengthy recipes and crafts that require a great deal of time and money. I’m looking for ideas that are quality but doable. This book is full of such ideas.
It’s ironic that people criticized Middleton for writing a book that is too accessible. If she had written the book toward the other end of the spectrum, she would have been excoriated for being out of touch with the common folks. The poor girl really couldn’t win. She would have been criticized either way. I think she erred in the right direction and provided a lovely book for people like me.
I thoroughly enjoy reading about the different British traditions, recipes, etc. I have more than a passing familiarity with British culture (even though I haven’t had the opportunity to travel there) so things like Burns Night, Cullen Skink and haggis weren’t new to me. But I enjoyed reading her take on them as a British citizen. I told David we would should host a small Burns Night since it falls on our anniversary each year (January 25). (Minus the real haggis. I simply could not do that. We’d have to try the vegetarian version, I think!)
I’m very glad I ignored the experts and checked out the book for myself. It’s a book I’m going to enjoy for many years. I look forward to trying out the recipes and doing some of the fun things with Caroline. If you like to explore the lovely, I think you would enjoy this book very much.