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Fat Is the New 30: The Sweet Potato Queens' Guide to Coping with (the crappy parts of) Life Paperback – March 20, 2012
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Question: The Sweet Potato Queens were born on a gleeful St. Patrick’s Day, back in 1982, when you and a few friends decided to get Queened-up for local parade in Jackson, Mississippi. Did you realize that parade would begin an international movement for women?
Jill Conner Browne: Yes, It was my Five-Year Plan. Are you kidding me? No! I had no idea I would become a cult leader! My only goal was to entertain myself—a goal that endures to this very day, I might add.
Question: Tell us a little about the annual Zippity Doo Dah Parade that happens at the end of March every year. Women come from all over the world, wear sequins, and march with bands, raise money for charity, eat and laugh. How does it all come together? (Let us live vicariously!)
JCB: We simply out-grew the other parade and started our own, which has been fantastic for the Queendom, the city of Jackson and most importantly, for Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children. Queens (and Spud Studs) start arriving on Wednesday of parade week--March 21-25 for 2012--and overnight the city is overcome with sparkle. It is four days of fantastic: Arts, Eats & Beats in the Fondren Arts District, The Come On In Party, Big Hat Brunch, SPQ Big Hair Ball, Sal & Mookie's Kids' Carnival, Patty Peck Honda Car Giveaway, the beautiful "Night-Time Zippity Doo Dah Parade" immediately followed by the street dance, Pearls & PJs at the Hilton, and ending with the Bathrobe Brunch on Sunday morning. And it all raises money for sick kids—what could be better?
Question: Fat is the New 30 is your ninth book. Is there a theme that runs through all of your books, other than being stitch-in-the-gut funny?
JCB: Life is too short—and too LONG—to spend it doing ANYTHING that doesn't make your heart sing.
Question: You believe that humor is the best medicine, which is evident throughout the book since you make us laugh at even the "crappiest parts of life." How are you able to mix humor and happiness into nearly every life situation?
JCB: Oh, my Daddy taught me many useful things! One of the most important was this: There are very few situations in life that we really and truly cannot change. But when we do encounter one of those, the task at hand is to figure out how to either make fun out of it--or make fun of it. I am extraordinarily gifted in this department.
Question: Nearly all of your books, including Fat is the New 30, include some "you’ll have to roll me out of the kitchen" recipes. Do you test them all out? Which of the new recipes is your favorite?
JCB: Did I test them all? Have you SEEN me lately? If and when you do see me, you will note that I am wearing a very long jacket. Suffice it to say that if I am ever found dead in a short jacket, you will know that I was dead before the jacket went on. Yes, I tested all the recipes and they are poison! If you eat this stuff all the time, you WILL DIE--and you will die with a HUGE bee-hind--however, they are VERY good for your disposition. My fave? Why, I love them all, obviously! Can happily go from Scott-apeno Dip to Viney's Floor of the Hilton Minner Cheese to I-Can't-See-My-Feet Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding.
Question: You’re a Southern Girl but there are Queens from all over the world. Do you think we all have a little Southern in us?
JCB: My "voice" is that of a Southern woman--on account of that's what I turned out to be (luckily)--but the experiences are universal so no Southern is required. However, if you are lacking in Southern, you can certainly get you some in my books and it will make you happy!
Question: What’s next for you and the Queens?
JCB: The Sweet Potato Queens Musical! I just got the first draft from Melissa Manchester, Sharon Vaughn and Rupert Holmes! It's always been my dream--and now it is happening! Of course, that doesn't require ANY effort on my part--which is so perfect--I can be entertained while lolling. Heaven.
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Top Customer Reviews
If you're Southern - you will identify and love it. If you're not Southern, that's ok, we'll let you read it anyway! It's just that GOOD!
So grab your best pair of rhinestone sunglasses, and plop a tiara on your head, and be prepared to laugh until you nearly split your sides with this fabulous new book from Her Majesty, THE Sweet Potato Queen, Jill Conner Browne!
Sharon Galligar Chance, Sharon's Garden of Book Reviews
Every couple of paragraphs, I was thinking (indignantly, sometimes), "I say that! My friends say that! WE do that, too!" She's definitely a kindred soul of mine. Separated at birth, I say.
Mixed in the all the hysterical humor are some very good snippets of advice which don't take away from the overall enjoyment in the least. One passage struck such a strong chord with me that I immediately transcribed it in email to my sisters. Along with instructions to purchase immediately, of course.
Rarely do I literally laugh out loud (usually I mentally giggle), but I snickered and snorted my way through this one with real, true LOL glee.
SPOILER ALERT: The last chapter had me sobbing uncontrollably, though, as she described her mother's last months. I had a very similar experience with my mama, but the tears and the memories were cleansing and loving. That has to be my favorite part because she managed to capture all the aspects of becoming the parent of one's parent. My sister said the thing to me that Jill mentions one day as I shared my guilt with my lack of patience with Mama and the "situation". It IS like taking care of a child, but with a child, you know this phase will end because the child grows up. With a parent, wishing for the ending takes on a different connotation.
Recommended reading for everyone. My husband now has the book.
I have every single one of her books so imagine my delight (jumping up and down here) when I received an email asking me to review her new book. As I said, I have been an avid follower of Jill since her book first appeared in Southern Living Magazine umpteen years ago along with an article about the Sweet Potato Queen's Parade.
Fat Is the New 30 does not let the reader down. It picks up where any of her previous books leave off, making you laugh from start to finish. Through her words, the author has the unique ability to bring you into her life, holding you confined to your seat as you turn page after page.
By the time you finish the last page and close the book, you feel as though Jill has invited you into her life and confidence; and she just wants to help you through life's vicissitudes. She teaches us how to survive raising those children (lovely as they might be) from infant to teenager to adulthood with humor and a little denial (well, a LOT of denial) thrown in. Because after all, isn't that the best way to survive life?
Southerners are going to love this book. And, well, if you're not a Southerner, you are going to wish you were! So, grab this book, the biggest tiara (and most sparkly) you can find, and a tall glass of Southern style sweet tea (you'll want to refrain from drinking as not to snort the stuff as you become pomaded from laughter and thus, it WILL come out of places we Southern ladies don't like to mention) - where was I - oh yeah - grab that tall glass of iced tea and sit and read for a while. You'll be glad you did.
Now for the rest of you pay attention because her Highness Queen Jill herself has the undisputed end all cure for coping with life, love and the pursuit thereof and here is just a tease of what you'll find between the covers of my spittle and tear stained copy.
2nd Get a Dog
3rd Laugh at your embarrassing moments
4th (my favorite) Vengeance
Want more buy the book, if you know someone in need of a good cheering up buy the book as a gift, believe me no one capable of laughter in any form will get through the chapter on "gator hunting" without roaring and rolling on the floor and if they do then by the time they read the chapter about the "bus" will definitely do them in.
Now if none of this interests you or makes you run to your nearest bookstore you may return to the mother ship anytime because no Zippity Doo Dah® at all will help you.
My Queen Ms. Browne I am performing the best courtesy I know how to honor you for some of the happiest hours I've ever spent reading and I look forward to your next installment of wisdom.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Jill Conner Browne always makes me laugh and, if not cry, then at least have to dab my eyes a little. I love her for her celebration of all-things-life-brings. Read morePublished 11 days ago by Martha Templeton
From the first book I've enjoyed JCB's writing style and read them very quickly. Great beach/vacation reads!Published 1 month ago by Jennifer Strickland
I love the SPQs, read all the books and have laughed till all of my mascara is all over my face with every single one...and this one was the same! Read morePublished 2 months ago by Cheryl Phelps
As I did, everyone should themselves this book for their 65th birthday. It gives great humor to a tricky time.Published 4 months ago by MARTHA PEARCE
Makes me laugh out loud - all of Jill's books are fantastic!Published 5 months ago by Abby Denise Scherer