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You Don't Sweat Much for a Fat Girl: Observations on Life from the Shallow End of the Pool Paperback – August 16, 2011
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“[Rivenbark]'s as rebellious, irreverent, and comical as ever.” ―Publishers Weekly
“...a rip-roaring read.... What makes Rivenbark's writing so entertaining is that it's a lot like seeing a stand-up comedy act: she does an uncanny job of keeping the flow of comedy fresh.” ―Book Reporter
About the Author
Celia Rivenbark is the author of the award-winning bestsellers Stop Dressing Your Six-Year-Old Like a Skank; Bless Your Heart, Tramp; Belle Weather; and You Can't Drink All Day If You Don't Start in the Morning. We're Just Like You, Only Prettier won a Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) Book Award for nonfiction and was a finalist for the James Thurber Prize for American Humor. Born and raised in Duplin County, North Carolina, Rivenbark grew up in a small house "with a red barn out back that was populated by a couple of dozen lanky and unvaccinated cats." She started out writing for her hometown paper. She writes a weekly, nationally syndicated humor column for the Myrtle Beach Sun News. She lives in Wilmington, North Carolina.
More About the Author
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.
Top Customer Reviews
Rivenbark takes no prisoners with her witty essays on topics ranging from Twitter to elementary school science fairs and the cultures associated with them. She pokes fun at Southern culture, sexual addiction and politics as well. Some of the essays are laugh-out-loud funny, some of them are snarky and some of them are thought-provoking. Many of them are all three. She even takes on her family, with adventures featuring Duh-Hubby and Princess-Daughter. (And yes, she shares family secret recipes. Really.)
If you like columnists in the vein of Dave Barry, Rivenbark's work is for you.
(Review based on uncorrected advance proof.)
Also, Ms Riverbank is frequently self-deprecating. The other major thing that struck me is that unlike many comedians, she's up on the latest in pop culture, as well as the current slang. It's not often that you see the word a**hat in print, used correctly.
If you're OK with a "If we can't make fun of _____, then we can't make fun of anything, so let's just leave it at the door, and have fun" sort of attitude, give the book a read-through. If you're easily offended, enjoy fart jokes, or like Hello Kitty, this is definitely not for you.
Essays like "Moral Fiber Can't Help Your Colon" set the general, mad-cap tone of the book. This particular essay was pretty funny, and managed to blend a riff on the universal aging process and those of us forced to listen to it, blow by god-awful blow, while our geriatric friends and relatives regale all within earshot about the all-too-true tales of the goings-on in their nether-regions, with a few choice comments on the opportunistic greed of more than a few amoral corporations seeking to peddle their sugary wares as a palliative for That Problem Down There.
I especially liked this hilarious gem of an insight on the upcoming 2012 presidential election, in which Rivenbark strongly favors a Sarah Palin/LaToya Jackson ticket:
"LaToya on the ticket would accomplish the unimaginable: She would make Sarah Palin look like the sensible, articulate one. LaToya would be the wind beneath Palin's mounted bald eagle wings as it were."
One couldn't imagine anything more farcical (and downright scary) than this.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It was an ok book but not something I would want to read again. Only had a few funny moments.Published 2 months ago by Thaddeus Wozniak
These stories are not very funny. I couldn't finish the book.Published 2 months ago by DulcineaLady
Typical Rivenbark - totally hilarious, you won't stop laughing.Published 2 months ago by Lu Anne CLark
I'd love to meet this woman, she is hysterical. Just don't read in bed if your partner is sleeping because I guarantee your snorting laughs will awaken even the neighborsPublished 3 months ago by M. Carter
This wasn't as good as her other books that I've read. It really was just OKPublished 4 months ago by Cheryl Scaia
Love Celia Rivenbark. Have read other books by her and she never disappoints me. When I need to laugh, I grab her book.Published 6 months ago by Wylene5977