Alas, Vanity Fair's annual Oscar night bash is "by invitation only." But we mere mortals can party-crash with Oscar Night: 75 Years of Oscar Parties, From the Editors of Vanity Fair . Along with VF's Oscar night pics, this monumental tome (measuring 11-by-14 inches) raids the to-die-for archives of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the folks behind the Oscars. With captions featuring trivia and gossipy dish, it's the definitive look at Oscar-night partying over the decades.
Kicking off with the first-ever 1929 Oscar gala, held at the Roosevelt Hotel, the book takes us to the various ceremony venues, after-show hot spots like the Bistro and Spago, and into the living rooms of notable notables. The guest lists are a "Who's Hot, Who's Not" panorama, depicting changing fashions, hairstyles and attitudes. Take a look: there's Madonna with bad hair and Pamela Anderson in a denim miniskirt with a blouse she forgot to button. They're no match for the elegantly coifed, dazzlingly bling-blinged Liz Taylor. Now she's someone we want to party with. Pat H. Broeske is the co-author of Howard Hughes: The Untold Story, which would also make a terrific holiday gift.