From The Beacon: Sizzle up your summer on the grill

Nothing says summertime like ice-cold lemonade, apple pie a la mode and all of your friends and family gathered together for a backyard party. The month of July is marked by Independence Day, sultry summer nights and community festivals. No wonder July is also National Grilling Month.

Here are some books to help you serve up summertime fun in your own backyard.

ALL ABOUT GRILLING

If earning your stripes as a barbecue pit master is your grilling goal, you can't go wrong with books by Bobby Flay, Food Network's maestro of marinade. Try "Bobby Flay's Boy Meets Grill" or "Bobby Flay's Burgers, Fries, and Shakes" for creative spinoffs of classic recipes. For tips from another TV chef, grab "How to Grill: the Complete Illustrated book of Barbecue Techniques and Recipes" by Steven Raichlen, host of the popular PBS series "Barbecue University." From advice on grilling methods to sizzling recipes, this book is a one-stop source for all things grilling. For tantalizing recipes on grilling veggies, fruit and seafood check out "License to Grill" by grill gurus Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby.

For the grilling novice, start with "25 Essentials: Techniques for Grilling" by barbecue expert Ardie Davis. This handy manual provides easy-to-follow recipes for the novice and intermediate griller. There are several simple and easy grilling recipes in Adam Perry Lang's "Serious Barbecue: Smoke, Char, Baste, and Brush your way to Great Outdoor Cooking."

Don't forget to check out our selection of DVDs to help you conquer the coals. Try "Paula's Homecooking BBQ" by Food Network's Southern star, Paula Deen, or any disc in Flay's "Boy Meets Grill" series.

PLAN THE PARTY

Become a stellar party host or hostess and event planner by consulting our collection of entertaining "how-to" books. Take a look at books by David Tutera, host of television shows "My Fair Wedding" and "Party Planner with David Tutera." His book, "The Party Planner," offers step-by-step guides to 10 theme parties. Place "Puttin' on the Grits: A guide to Southern Entertaining" by Deborah Ford on your list if you need ideas for a truly Southern party and tips on Southern etiquette. For planning a party on a shoestring budget, consult "The $50 dinner party: 26 dinner parties that won't break your bank, your back, or your schedule" by Sally Sampson for tips to keeping costs and stress to a minimum.

SURF THE WEB

For online tips on grilling, entertaining and crafts, search the library's Hobbies and Crafts Resource Center database. Use the search term "grilling" to read articles about grilling methods, tips and more. A search for "party decorations" or "entertaining" will lead you to articles about party planning and decorating. The Hobbies and Crafts Resource Center is accessible from any computer in any of our Beaufort County Public Library locations. Call, e-mail or stop by one of our library branches to receive a password so that you can access the resource center from your own home.