A Creative Trick for Throwing Legendary Parties
Sponsor article courtesy of Audible®
The first step in planning a spectacular gathering is: Think vibe. What’s the feeling you want this party to have? A breathless, fabulous soirée with dancing, bubbles, and laughter? A tidy, elegant tea among topiaries? A creative, bohemian affair with surprising and organic moments? Once you figure that out, channel that vibe by immersing yourself in the world where such a party is thrown. Become intimate with the hosts and their guests. Embody the spirit of this party, and everything will follow; every choice, every idea.
Here to help is a list of audiobooks that we think feature the most epic parties ever imagined. Throw on your headphones and get inspired while you rearrange furniture, shop for supplies, and plan the menus. (There’s a reason they call this “a-musement.”)
- The Great Gatsby Jay Gatsby’s epic Roaring Twenties parties are the stuff of legend; so much so they spark envy in the heart of his neighbor, Nick Carraway, who meticulously records the decadence and debauchery of the Long Island’s wealthiest peninsula-dwellers. Think Champagne pyramids, jazz bands, dancing, dancing, dancing. And, of course, scandal. (Also see Rules of Civility by Amor Towles.)
- Vanity Fair Hailed as one of the top 100 books of all time, this classic satirizes love and war in 19th-century British aristocracy. Fun fact: The Duchess of Richmond’s Ball really did happen, in Brussels in 1815 for the officers of the Duke of Willington’s army. It has been described as the most famous ball in history, and it was broken up when Napoleon invaded Belgium and the martial trumpets sounded. Hopefully your fête fares better, if not quite as formal.
- Underworld by Don DeLillo Transport yourself to the wild, infamous, and totally true (!) Black and White Ball, hosted by Truman Capote in 1966. Five hundred of New York’s most glamorous stars, politicians, and tycoons would don masks (it’s said that the greater a guest’s stature, the smaller the mask) and gather at the Plaza hotel, with an outrageous guest list ranging from Frank Sinatra to J Edgar Hoover. Things got weird, in the best way.
- Breakfast at Tiffany’s Holly Golightly is the consummate party girl, packing the wildest and most interesting people she knows (and many she doesn’t) into her tiny apartment for some tiki-tinged lounge music and booze by the boxfuls. This is a party that’s more about the energy of the guests than the details. Think writers, foreigners, and jewel thieves. Invite accordingly.
- Portrait of a Lady For a quieter, more refined affair, seek inspiration in the legendary tea party that opens Henry James’ critically acclaimed, popular novel. Beneath the shade of trees like “velvet curtains,” he says, is an outdoor scene furnished “like a room, with cushioned seats with rich-colored rugs.” Scroll through Pinterest boards of intricately patterned teacups, stunning cakes, and finger sandwiches while listening to the opulent party that introduces the beautiful and spirited American Isabel to super-judgy European society.