Friday, May 22, 2015

Review: Toasts: The Perfect Words to Celebrate Every Occasion by Nancy Tupper Ling and June Cotner

Toasts: The Perfect Words to Celebrate Every Occasion by Nancy Tupper Ling and June Cotner

Link to buy Toasts: The Perfect Words to Celebrate Every Occasion

Story Rating: 5 out of 5


            Over the teeth and through the gums,
            look out stomach,
            here it comes!

Toasts have come a long way since that classic was written. It might still work fine for a frat party – if you're living in 1955 – but if you're living in 2015 and your social activities extend beyond standing around a keg with a bunch of guys in bedsheets-turned-togas, you might need a more refined sentiment. In which case, June Cotner and Nancy Tupper Ling, the authors of Toasts: The Perfect Words to Celebrate Every Occasion, have got you covered.

This book is full of toast ideas for every conceivable occasion. They include weddings, embarking on adventures, celebrating holidays, mourning losses, and everything in between. It's important to note that there's a fine line between toasts and prayers in this book, and certainly some offerings cross into prayer territory. Prayers are the appropriate choice for some occasions, like baptisms and Christmas celebrations, though, so it makes sense that they're available.

This book's toasts come from a variety of sources. Some are sentiments taken from the works of well-known authors like William Faulkner and Mark Twain, while others are original material presumably written for this book. Each of the two authors makes at least one contribution. What this all means is that you can find a well-known piece or something brand new, depending on your preference. If there's one particular author you don't like, then there are literally dozens of others to pick from instead.

The toasts offered here come in a variety of lengths and tones, which means there's literally something for every occasion and taste. For instance, in the Business Events section on page 45, this short, tongue-in-cheek toast is offered from Mary Lenore Quigley:
            At our meeting's end,
            May we still be friends!
Meanwhile, in the Graduations section on page 114, a lengthy toast from Joan Stephen is far weightier and offers a host of advice to new graduates.

In addition to the toasts themselves, this book offers a little etiquette lesson in its opening pages. For instance, before offering a toast to the person being honored at an event, the toaster (Can that be correct? Would he/she really be called a toaster?) is supposed to publically thank the host of the event for holding it.

Overall, this is an excellent resource for finding appropriate toasts for every occasion. The "toaster" (giggle) doesn't necessarily have to memorize the selected sentiment, but can find something that fits the occasion and modify it at will. If you're going to be best man at a wedding and don't know where to look for the right toast, start here. If you're going to be a godfather or godmother and wish to toast the baby at a baptism, here's a solution to your problem. If you're anyone who has to offer a toast of any sort at any event, but you're afraid of putting your foot in your mouth, then please do yourself and all the people at the event a favor and let this book give you some much-needed help. The cost of this volume is a small price to pay to avoid alienating your family and friends by saying the wrong thing in front of them all.


Reviewed by Amanda

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