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Weekend Reading For me, summer means parties on the patio, and over the years, I’ve learned great tricks from Martha Stewart and the gorgeous house-and-home magazines that pile up next to my bed. There are shawls on the back of my friends’ chairs, in case the night turns cool; there’s water in pretty bottles down the center of the table so we can all serve ourselves, and there’s something for everyone to eat, whether they’re vegan or meat-loving. But making sure the conversation is up to the standard of the place settings? Trickier. Priya Parker is an expert in that overlooked but crucial skill. Her background in conflict resolution taught her the value and impact of getting together in-person, with a set intention. I’ve been fascinated to read her book, The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters, which Riverhead published in May. 

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