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We're Just Like You, Only Prettier: Confessions of a Tarnished Southern Belle Paperback – January 13, 2005

4.1 out of 5 stars 98 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

After winning Southern women's hearts with her SEBA bestseller Bless Your Heart, Tramp in 2000, Rivenbark has penned a new-and equally sidesplitting-collection of essays, offering Northern and Southern sisters alike a woman's "take on those irksome little yuks in daily life." Although she warns certain readers (Yankees, namely) that they may need a Southern lexicon to decipher her folksy, down-home prose style, Rivenbark's focus on familiar topics like family, relationships and child rearing should appeal to most females, regardless of geography or age. Marked by a feisty, sarcastic tone and tempered with plenty of cries of "yoo hoo" and "Well, shit," even chapter titles (e.g., "Stop Watching Your Plasma TV and Start Selling Your Plasma: How to Become Honest-to-Jesus White Trash" and "Here Comes the Bride: Let's Just Get 'Em Hitched Sometime Before We See the Head") don't escape the author's wry humor. The most mundane situations become laugh-out-loud scenarios. When, for example, Rivenbark is confronted by the "Pre-School Nazis" and intimidating "granola moms" at her four-year-old's school, she admits asking her daughter to lie about what she had for breakfast (a foil-wrapped breakfast bar instead of the required "scrambled eggs, a bowl of real oatmeal-the kind you have to cook on top of the, uh, you know, stove-two slices of whole wheat toast and a glass of soy milk"). Rivenbark is a hoot, and her book will be best enjoyed while listening to the Allman Brothers Band and eating "a plate of, what else? collards and cornbread."
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“The most mundane situations become laugh-out-loud scenarios ... Rivenbark is a hoot.” ―Publishers Weekly

“I loved Celia's book; it made me want to get myself a doublewide, head on down to Mama and them's, and start mowing my own lawn. I never knew that Southern folk had time set aside from cooking the best food in the world to grow such marvelous senses of humor. For a Yankee like me, Southern life has always been fascinating, but who knew it was so pants-wetting funny (like watching a hillbilly bang his head repeatedly on the door of the outhouse, because I've seen that, you know)? And there's also the mention of 'making doody,' which is always a shoo-in for me. Celia's book rocks; everyone is going to love it.

P.S.: How much prettier is she than me?” ―Laurie Notaro, author of The Idiot Girls' Action Adventure Club

“When the aliens come to study us, I hope they find Celia Rivenbark's work prominently displayed. She is one of our greatest domestic anthropologists, digging up and airing all those things we like to think others don't know. In other words, the truth. She knows the South and she knows women, but that's just the tip of it all. I think she might very well know everything. I don't know when I have laughed so loud and so long. I am forever a devoted fan.” ―Jill McCorkle, author of Creatures of Habit

“Celia Rivenbark's collection of essays, We're Just Like You, Only Prettier, is a must-read for anybody who wants a funny, no-holds-barred look at today's South, from white trash in all its glorious permutations, to Yuppiedom.” ―Haywood Smith, author of The Red Hat Club

“I laughed so hard reading this book, I began snorting in an unbecoming fashion. I loved it nonetheless. I'll be sending copies to everyone, especially my baby's daddy.” ―Haven Kimmel, author of A Girl Named Zippy

“I thought I was Southern until I read Celia Rivenbark's book. . . . What a funny, smart, and irreverent writer she is!” ―Lee Smith, author of The Last Girls

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (February 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031231244X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312312442
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #430,853 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Kami Stansbury on December 27, 2005
Format: Paperback
I am a victim of Hurricane Katrina. Just before the storm, I bought this book because I am huge fan of southern lit. After the storm, our house was fine but we were out of power for a couple weeks. One of the highlights of the storm was sitting around and passing this book and taking turns reading excerpts to everyone. With so much destruction and devastation around us, it was nice to laugh till we cried, instead of just crying. The men laughed just as hard as we did at a "girl book" We read the book and looked forward to better days.

KS Hattiesburg, MS
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was laughing out loud all over several airports as I read this book. It IS funny, but much more crass and much more derogative of other people than I expected. I was briefly allowed the privilege of living in the South and bought this book as my celebration and induction into the southern belle club. Very true to life, a belly-aching laugh of a read, but you have to be prepared to filter out some profanity, etc. I probably wouldn't buy it again and only gave it to my sister to read because she knows me well enough to know my character. Decide for yourself what you want to take in, and what you don't. 3-star rating is because of the items mentioned above - otherwise it would get a 4.
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Format: Hardcover
I've never read a book in a weekend. Ever. But, I couldn't put this book down! Born and raised in Richmond, VA (which any true Southerner will tell you, is much further south than Atlanta, GA), I completely relate to Celia Rivenbark's rants about Mommy Wars, southern life, and mullets. Unfortunately, I'm just not elequent enough to describe how wonderful this book is. Celia, if you read this, you've gained a loyal fan, and I plan on spreading the word about this book around the office tomorrow... after the painful, but inevitable, staff meeting.
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Format: Hardcover
This hysterical follow-up to BLESS YOUR HEART, TRAMP kept me laughing and crying throughout every riotous chapter. Celia Rivenbark is a must read for all Southern women and the rest of the nation that doesn't understand them. You'll learn what it's like to be an oh-so-not-the-junior-league working mother, from cereal bars in the car on the way to pre-school, only to discover their teacher makes them tell the class what they had for breakfast("the most important meal of the day") to why daddies should NEVER, EVER be allowed to dress the children for public appearances, and countless other insights that had me laughing out loud for hours and making my Mid-western friends listen to excerpts over the telephone. I'm compelled to wear my little fake tiarra while I read it! I can't wait for Celia's next book!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author is often times funny and killingly so, unfortunately the reader usually has to get through 10 hackneyed jokes to get to the one killer line/laugh. A typical newspaper columnist that tends to write to fill space. Ms. Rivenbark would do much better with a good editor and a keener sense of honing down her material so that all it's parts are good rather than rambling through mediocre jokes to mine the one treasure in the (crowded) field.
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By A Customer on February 27, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Celia Rivenbark does it again with a fabulous encore to her first book, "Bless Your Heart, Tramp." Celia's short essays are perfect for keeping by the bedside. Read a couple before bed and you're sure to fall asleep with a smile on your face. Although frequently compared to the "Sweet Potato Queen" books, I think Celia's books are a more accurate reflection of the "real" south and the people who live here. The south has become quite the melting pot of people from all over the country (and even some foreigners, believe it or not) and Celia does a great job of depicting the new southern woman who may, in fact, be from New Jersey or EVEN California. The northern stereotype of the southern woman who whiles away her days tending the tulips and daffodils, breaking only to beat the kids and get hubby an evening cocktail, doesn't exist. Celia's stories are hilarious and should ring true to anyone who's spent time in the south with an open mind and a sense of humor.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read Celia Rivenbark's other book "Stop Dressing your Six-year old like a Skank" and loved it! I thought it was hilarious. This one just didn't live up to those high standards. It is still a good book and very interesting but not nearly as funny.
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Format: Hardcover
We're Just Like You, Only Prettier, is a whole lot like Bless Your Heart, Tramp...only funnier! This "tarnished Southern Belle" rings out loud and clear, giving her testimony of collards, chicken pan pie and bacon grease to a lost and hungry world. The beauty of the Rivenbark message is that she not only preaches to the choir of southerners--oh no--she invites all of those who seek, no matter their denomination, to turn in their hymnals and listen to the gospel according to Aunt Sudavee, Mama and Them, Princess Sophie and even Carmela Soprano. Sermons include Sister Celia's take on (1) child rearing: "Junior, you either get your scrawny butt off that floor right now or you can just kiss your banana Popsicles good-bye and don't even THINK about that Star Track lunch box!"; (2) men at baby showers: "(they) wear that frozen look of horror that is usually reserved for when they discover that ESPN's showing the world figure skating championships" and (3) weight gain: "30% of overweight people are suffering from the (fat) virus. Lordy, give us a telethon! We can all waddle to the center court at the mall, eat butter-drenched pretzels, and beg for bucks!" So come all ye faithful in need of a good revival and plop down the price for a hard-backed edition as a love offering for the Right Rev. Rivenbark. It's good for what ails you.
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