Whoopi Goldberg knows she’s probably not the first person someone would go to for entertaining advice—which is exactly why she wrote her new book, The Unqualified Hostess. “This is really about people who have thought, like I used to, ‘I don’t know how to do that,'” she tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue.
The View cohost, 63, has been hosting star-studded parties in her New York City apartment for the past decade, but it’s a skill that didn’t necessarily come naturally to the self-described homebody. “It’s what’s forced me to become social,” she says. “I’m always nervous because I want it always to work out well, so I wanted to help others who might feel the same way.”
The book provides a practical road map for those who doubt their hosting abilities—emphasizing the importance of showing off your personal style (like mixing troll dolls with fancy china, in Goldberg’s case). “Don’t let anybody make you believe you’re doing it wrong,” she says. “There’s only what makes you happy.”
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When Goldberg throws a dinner party, though, she refuses to be stuck alone behind the stove all night. “I think the best thing you can do is invite somebody who will cook with you, or else order a pizza,” she says. “I’ll wash the dishes. I’m good at that.”
While she does have a limited cooking repertoire—she handles the Thanksgiving turkey (a Butterball with Pepperidge Farm boxed stuffing and four sticks of butter for basting), for example—she’s more interested in the plates themselves than what’s being served on them. “I love to collect stuff,” Goldberg says. “I’ve discovered this interest I have in things that go on a table. I didn’t grow up in a household where Grandma left silver, but I want to leave silver.”
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And though Goldberg, who has been married three times, once famously told the New York Times magazine that marriage wasn’t for her because “I don’t want somebody in my house,” she says that principle only applies to relationships.
“I’m better off the way that I like to be, which is: I’ll have people over and then they go home,” she says.