Menu-based cookbooks imply trust in the author, who has picked out every course and (in this case) even the music. Lukins is the authority you want. A caterer and coauthor of the bestselling Silver Palate cookbooks, she here plans 43 special events, from formal holiday dinners to Super Bowl parties. The writing is a bit glib ("It's easy to fall into a Sunday brunch rut") and the menus aren't exactly subversive (rib roast for Christmas), but the pairings are inspired. One fun menu, for "Party Around the Pool," tempts with Watermelon Daiquiris and Cubano Sandwiches.