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You Can't Drink All Day If You Don't Start in the Morning Hardcover – Bargain Price, September 1, 2009

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Editorial Reviews


"Rivenbark’s latest outing is a fantastic book that will keep you laughing at the minutiae of the world outside while giving you time to reflect on your own life."
--Book Reporter
" of those books that makes you laugh out loud and possibly even snort soda through your nose!"
--Booking Mama
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

CELIA RIVENBARK is the author of Belle Weather, Stop Dressing Six-Year-Old Like A Skank, We’re Just Like You, Only Prettier and Your Heart, Tramp. She lives in Wilmington, North Carolina.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; First Edition edition (September 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031236301X
  • ASIN: B003STCQC0
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #923,112 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Celia Rivenbark was born and raised in Duplin County, NC, which had the distinction of being the nation's number 1 producer of hogs and turkeys during a brief, magical moment in the early 1980s.

Celia grew up in a small house in the country with a red barn out back that was populated by a couple of dozen lanky and unvaccinated cats. Her grandparents' house, just across the ditch, had the first indoor plumbing in Teachey, NC and family lore swears that people came from miles around just to watch the toilet flush.

Despite this proud plumbing tradition, Celia grew up without a washer and dryer. On every Sunday afternoon of her childhood, while her mama rested up from preparing a fried chicken and sweet potato casserole lunch, she, her sister and her daddy rode to the laundromat two miles away to do the weekly wash.

It was at this laundromat, where a carefully lettered sign reminded customers that management was "NOT RESONSIBLE" for lost items, that Celia shirked "resonsibility" her own self and snuck away to read the big, fat Sunday News & Observer out of Raleigh, NC. By age 7, she'd decided to be a newspaper reporter.

Late nights, she'd listen to the feed trucks rattle by on the highway and she'd go to sleep wondering what exotic cities those noisy trucks would be in by morning (Richmond? Atlanta? Charlotte?) Their headlights crawling across the walls of her little pink bedroom at the edge of a soybean field were like constellations pointing the way to a bigger life, a better place, a place where there wasn't so much turkey shit everywhere.

After a couple of years of college, Celia went to work for her hometown paper, the Wallace, NC Enterprise. The locals loved to say, as they renewed their "perscriptions," that "you can eat a pot of rice and read the Enterprise and go to bed with nothing on your stomach and nothing on your mind."

Mebbe. But Celia loved the Enterprise. Where else could you cover a dead body being hauled out of the river (alcohol was once again a contributing factor) in the morning and then write up weddings in the afternoon?

After eight years, however, taking front-page photos of the publisher shaking hands with other fez-wearing Shriners and tomatoes shaped like male "ginny-talia" was losing its appeal.

Celia went to work for the Wilmington, NC Morning Star after a savvy features editor was charmed by a lead paragraph in an Enterprise story about the rare birth of a mule: "Her mother was a nag and her father was a jackass."

The Morning Star was no News and Observer but it came out every day and Celia got to write weddings for 55,000 readers instead of 3,500, plus she got a paycheck every two weeks with that nifty New York Times logo on it.

After an unfortunate stint as a copy editor--her a*s expanded to a good six ax handles across--Celia started writing a weekly humor column that fulfilled her lifelong dream of being paid to be a smart a*s. Along the way, she won a bunch of press awards, including a national health journalism award--hilarious when you consider she's never met a steamed vegetable she could keep down.

Having met and married a cute guy in sports, Celia found herself happily knocked up at age 40 and, after 21 years, she quit newspapering to stay home with her new baby girl.

After a year or so, she started using Sophie's two-hour naps to write a humor column from the mommie front lines for the Sun News in Myrtle Beach, S.C. The column continues to run weekly and is syndicated by the McClatchy-Tribune News Services.

In 2000, Coastal Carolina Press published a collection of Celia's columns. A Southeast Book Sellers Association best-seller, Bless Your Heart, Tramp was nominated for the James Thurber Prize in 2001. David Sedaris won. He wins everything.

Her second book, We're Just Like You, Only Prettier, published by St. Martin's Press, was the winner of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance Nonfiction Book of the Year and was a finalist for the James Thurber Prize for American Humor. Jon Stewart won. He and David Sedaris probably went out drinking afterwards. I'm sorry, did that sound bitter?

Celia lives in Wilmington, NC, with her husband, Scott, Director of Government Relations for New Hanover Health Network and author of the true-crime bestseller, Innocent Victims. Their daughter, Sophie, attends elementary school where she grudgingly wears a very uncool uniform. When she isn't writing books, magazine articles or speeches, Celia enjoys watching old episodes of "The Gilmore Girls" while eating anything from Taco Bell.

She reports that the proudest day of her life was the one in which the Sears truck showed up to deliver a matching washer and dryer and neither one of 'em had to go on the front porch.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

60 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Julie Peterson on October 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I love reading deep, thought-provoking novels; but every once in awhile I need a book that just allows me to escape. You know what I mean -- one of those books that makes you laugh out loud and possibly even snort soda through your nose! Well, YOU CAN'T DRINK ALL DAY IF YOU DON'T START IN THE MORNING by Celia Rivenbark really hit the spot for me!

YOU CAN'T DRINK ALL DAY is a collection of very funny essays that cover a little bit of everything -- from Christian action figures to High School Musical to Jon & Kate Plus 8. As a mother of a young girl who is about the same age as Ms. Rivenbark's daughter, I could relate to quite a few of her stories about being a wife and mom. There were times that I was shaking my head at her outrageous (yet hilarious) opinions about life in general, and there were other times that I was absolutely howling!

I loved Ms. Rivenbark's spot-on perspectives about life in general -- her essays were entertaining while also being extremely honest. Of course Ms. Rivenbark is Southerner, so there is a very Southern feel to this book. While I haven't lived in the South for over 20 years, her stories about the places and people came rushing back to me. But even if you aren't familiar with the South and its charm, I think you'll still appreciate her essays.

As a food lover, I really appreciated the recipes that were included at the end of some of the essays. It probably goes without saying that since Ms. Rivenbark is a Southern girl, many of the recipes were high in calories and fat (but of course that means high in taste!) and most of the recipes were extremely easy.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By J. Page Rutledge on September 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Definitely her best effort yet. Celia Rivenbark shines when she dishes local and talks about her upbrangin' with all things Southern. Calling out Gwyneth Paltrow for trying to show us mere mortals how to live better lives made me cheer because somewhere along the line I saw a video of Paltrow with her personal trainer. Pardon me while I go eat an 8 oz. cheeseburger.

And her solid support of a few well placed @#$%^ words is really all it took for me to feel vindicated for what I said in my mind to Paltrow after seeing the exercise vid.

The last thing I have to mention is the excellent tradition of sex on bank holidays. She should be the Surgeon General of the US for this alone.

What can I say? It's funny, relaxing and a lovely thing to read while sipping your favorite toddy.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Kinah L. Lindsay on September 13, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I have all of Celia's books and have followed her for years.

She's a take no prisoner, tell it like it is kind of gal.

Southern to the bone, but with a wicked sense of sarcasm rippling through her that most of our mammas manage to beat out of us at an early age in the pursuit of always being genteel and proper.

Let me tell you, I would sit down with Celia and shoot stories, and poppers, with her any day.

Her stories are very true to life and come from her daily experiences. Every chapter is it's own story and they range from Jesus Action figures she sees in Walmart to Mothers sending their very sick kids to school to get that perfect attendance award... while the rest of the kids catch the coodies.

Like I said, no holding back.

Grab this book - but don't read it when you're drinking hot coffee or soda - it hurts when it comes out your nose.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Rumour on October 26, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I've read all of Mizzeriz Rivenbark's books now, and I've never been disappointed. The girl is truly talented and amazingly can reach any walk of life (even a Yankee like me). I went to my local bookstore to buy it; I asked the sales clerk to look it's how that conversation went...

Me: "I'm looking for Celia Rivenbark's new book..."
Sales Clerk: "Yes, let me look it up...Celia Rivenbark..."You Can't Stop Drinking..." (then she starts laughing), "...If You Don't Start in the Morning"?!
2nd Sales Clerk: "I saw that! That looks so funny! I swear I'll have to read some of her books!"
Me: "You should!" (I start naming the other titles of her books, and the two of them are still cracking up as I'm walking to the register...)

She hits the nail on the head concerning kids, husbands, relatives, you name it...and I can't wait to try out those recipes (especially Robert Duvall's Mama's Crabcakes, they sound to die for). Having a son & husband myself (not to mention a few crazy relatives, thank God we no longer share the same last name), I can completely relate. Bless your heart, Tramp.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Heather J. Davis on September 20, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love Celia's books... and I quite often stalk her website in the hopes that I'll maybe stumble upon an announcement of a new book... So, when a few months back I discovered a new book was indeed coming out, I pre-ordered two. (I always get two of Celia's books so that I can lend one out and keep one for my greedy self.)

You Can't Drink All Day does NOT disappoint its readers!! This book was so much fun to read and so laugh-out-loud funny that I had a hard time putting it down! I received my book on a Saturday afternoon and I did - indeed - sneak it into church with me Sunday morning. (Don't worry, we're Methodist ... it's not like I couldn't slap a "Holy Bible" slip cover on it and get away with it! huminahuminahumina)

I laughed hard and felt so connected to Celia during the entire book. I especially felt a connection when she discussed the passing of her father...having to deal with my own father's cremains not that long ago, I appreciated her tenderness and humor to a subject that's not always pleasant.

I'm already on my second reading of the book and already back to stalking her site for news of the next book... I recommend that YOU do the same! :)
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