Christmas in Tinseltown

"The Dead Celebrity Cookbook" by Frank Decaro

If you love Christmas movies and Hollywood trivia, check out Frank Decaro's "The Dead Celebrity Cookbook presents Christmas in Tinseltown: Celebrity Recipes and Hollywood Memories from Six Feet under the Mistletoe."

The tone of the book can be deduced from the title. It is irreverent, jokey, and chock-full of silly puns. He writes about the Christmas TV special "The Homecoming" that introduced the Walton family to America, "As squeaky-clean families go, they made the Bradys look like the Bundys." The only serious theme throughout is the author's sincere fascination with anyone connected to Hollywood and the entertainment world.

The author writes briefly about classic Christmas movies, music, and television, giving background information and what he calls "Christmas Tidbits." He then highlights specific actors and singers and provides recipes attributed to them.

The recipes are not the main attraction of the book. They are generally hum-drum, such as Lionel Barrymore's Fettuccine Alfredo or Natalie Wood's Beef Stroganoff. A few are slightly alarming, such as Stan Laurel's Ham Ring Mold or Bea Arthur's Avocados with Jellied Consommé.

The recipes and the Christmas theme are simple a minimal structure for as much celebrity trivia that can fit in 220 pages.

--Jennifer A., Headquarters

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