Book Reviews

Open-Door Living

Book review

This amazing little book from (in)courage would make a great gift for someone who loves hospitality or someone who wants to open their home but is unsure how to do it. It has great practical hints and tips at how to rock the hospitality gig.

I love that it makes a distinction between hospitality and entertaining. Entertainers place the focus on them. There’s more pressure because they want you to leave being impressed with the house and the party throwing abilities. Extending hospitality is about treating everyone as a guest of honor. It’s about how people feel when they leave your space. It’s about coming as you are. I love that because it takes the pressure off.

This book breaks hospitality into 4 main aspects: food, cleaning, atmosphere and connection.

It’s filled with beautiful pictures, hand lettering, amazing recipes and really practical tips.

In the food section, she lists a pantry stocking list so that you can be ready without much notice to host at any time. I know in this day and age where things come up last minute, there have been a few times where I’ve been able to say yes to hosting the day before or on short notice, simply because I have things on hand. It may not be a grand party, but hospitality is about making people feel welcome not impressing them with your cooking skills.

In the cleaning section it talks about making your home clean and orderly but not too perfect. I saw an instastory today where someone echoed that sentiment. She said if I come to your house and it’s perfect, I’m just going to feel bad about my housekeeping skills.

I’m still learning to roll with whatever happens when people are over. I mean it wasn’t that long ago that the dog peed on the floor and the toilet overflowed when my house was full and I could have died. But my people didn’t care as much as I did. I’m learning. Yesterday during the party I heard my alarm announce “garage door” (it does that whenever a door is opened). And my first thought was, “oh goodness! All the boxes and mess that I haven’t unpacked are in there!” But then I thought, oh well. That’s my garage. (Someone was exploring and it was fine.)

The connection section has a page of conversation starter questions and I think those are wonderful for getting to know people and getting people talking. We often use questions in my group and it’s always interesting to see what people come up with.

This book is beautiful and practical and a fabulous resource that takes some of the stress out of hospitality.

Hosting things can be fun and amazing. One of my absolute favorite things is having people in my home. I love everything (In)courage does, and this book is no exception.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book for review from B&H Publishers. I was not required to give a positive review. The thoughts and opinions are mine alone.

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