Sleeping At The Starlite Motel: And Other Adventures On The Way Back Home
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Sleeping At The Starlite Motel: And Other Adventures On The Way Back Home

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  963 ratings  ·  79 reviews
Offers a collection of humorous stories about Southern characters, places, and goings-on, from leaky mansions to fishing camps to one-room schoolhouses.
Hardcover, 238 pages
Published April 24th 1995 by Da Capo Press (first published 1995)
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Patrick Gibson
May 22, 2009 Patrick Gibson rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Patrick by: the used bookstore Goddess
It’s alright. This won’t hurt much. Take an insulin shot and prepare for a massive dose of sweetness.

Bailey White is a precise articulate writer. Without any discernable agenda, she observes the tenderness, often quirkiness around her. Her imagery is straightforward—all unnecessary alliterations gone. It’s like Sun Tzu for the soft and fluffy set, what isn’t needed, isn’t needed. What is left is writing at its most elemental. Add the strange peculiar oddities of characters living in the linear...more
Natalie
Jun 28, 2011 Natalie rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Ivy, Joan
It doesn't get much better for southern writing, than Bailey White. I loved Mama Makes up her Mind, even bought a copy for my mother, and this one is just as good.

Both collections are just small sketches, tiny recollections, memoirs, of what it was like growing up in the shadows of the old south: losing the family home, the dying genteelism that the South has lost, disappearing into mainstream American culture.

It's sort of sad, really. With franchises and franchise-thinking mentality, everything...more
Gigi
I think that to enjoy Bailey White's books, you have to have lived in the Deep South. I read this on a trip to Tallahassee (less than an hour from
White's home in Georgia). It got me through 10 days of taking care of my elderly mother. Many of White's stories are inhabited by old folks a lot like my mom. When I felt like crying, she makes me laugh
Colleen Moore
This was a family read when I was eleven or twelve and recently decided to reread.

Sleeping at the Starlite Motel is a collection of short stories about life in the South. White's witty style easily captures her quirky characters and beautiful settings. Some of the stories are humorous and others are more melancholy, but they all record colloquial life as White experiences it. I also give White props for her excellent vocabulary!

The second time around, I perceived that many of these stories hav...more
Ruth
Essays, short pieces on family members, places, adventures. This author is known for her humor, but I can't seem to appreciate it, or even find it at times. I know when I should think something this supposed to be humorous but it doesn't work for me. This is probably my problem and not the authors. She seems rather successful with her 'Mama' series. But in this and the other book I read years ago she comes across as a sad person, a lonely person.
Amyc
ok book, but the stories weren't that entertaining to me. I felt like the third section of the book had her best stories. I felt like there was no real thread tying the stories together, and some of the stories were just getting good when they ended. The last chapter was probably her worst--and it was where she got the title for her book. I just felt like she stuck that one in there so she could have her title.
Michelle (meshe)
This collection of short stories about family and Southern characters. I enjoyed most of the stories especially Garden of Eden which brings us the theory that the Garden of Eden of the Bible is actually on the Florida panhandle. I also really enjoyed The Retired Russian Colonel. An easy, entertaining collection.
Gill
Amusing stories of life in Georgia and some travel to other states. I enjoyed her first "Mama makes up her mind" more than this one, which wandered a biot from place to place and was a little more to do with imagination and less with rural Georgian life. Still a good read.
Linda
I don't usually give books two stars because if I don't at least like it, I never finish it. But this book had enough interesting stories and was short enough that I read it to the end. I'm glad I found a used copy, though, because it wasn't worth full price.
Clare
Some of these short stories were wonderful while others rather mediocre. White uses a folksy, Southern style that is sometimes charming and at other times overly parochial.
Redhead
No matter how unlikey the situation, Bailey White can make you laugh. And laugh out loud in public.
Joy
Some funny parts, but not nearly as hysterical as the first book (Mama makes up her mind)
Jan C
This was just fun. Anthology of relatively short vignettes pertaining to all sorts of different facets of Southern life.

I went through most of this book thinking that she was some old lady. Came across some biographical data and found that we were the same age. So, if she's an old lady then apparently so am I.

The story that really got to me was when one cousin in Virginia had a gathering of the clan. They were all supposed to bring their inherited Chippendale chairs. Someone had bought a 12-pi...more
Alexandra
Sleeping at the Starlite Motel Is a collection of quaint stories, snippets really, of random memories and people that Bailey White has known or come across at one time in her life. It is for the most part set in various southern states so it has that hot, laid back, colorful feel to it. Colorful in all the plants and flowers but also in the people too. There is the fruit tree man; a Perpetually high old hippie With filthy trousers and a scrap of a blue bandana around his neck from the late 60s t...more
David Ward
Sleeping at the Starlite Motel and Other Adventures on the Way Back Home by Bailey White (Vintage Books 1995) (818) is a new book by the pride of Thomasville, Georgia. I was introduced to Bailey White when I heard her read some of her work on the NPR station in Georgia where I lived at the time. Ms. White has a gravelly and strained voice that frankly led me to assume that she must be an old old Southern lady. Imagine my astonishment when I learned that she was a thirty-something schoolteacher i...more
Joanne
I saw this in the library I was intrigued by the title and the write up sounded good, but

I was very disappointed in these short stories. While the writing was nice and descriptive, the stories were basically pointless and most of them not even funny! I also thought I’d be treated to some Southern humor, but…

Glad this was a short book and I didn’t waste too much time reading it.
Kate
I expected this to be annoyingly twee or Southern-Woman-Is-Mouthy but I was surprised at how...nice...this was. Lots of vignettes with amusing characters and the occasional short story about small towns, tourist locations, schools, etc. Not laugh-out-loud funny but smile funny. I wouldn't go out of my way to read this book, but it wasn't a bad way to spend an hour or two. I have a sense that I read the author's more famous Mama Makes Up Her Mind but now I'm sure I'm confusing it with one of thos...more
Sara Cat
Years and years ago, I read Mama Makes Up Her Mind and remembered it fondly. This is a similar collection, short essays/recollections. They are charming, sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, but also the dark undercurrent of the South, the decay, the old guard ladies bitter about the end of slavery and their ultra-civilized lifestyle, the Tennessee Williams too-hot-too-humid-green-but-on-the-verge-of-rotting Deep South, give this book a slightly darker and deeper spin than I remember from Mama Makes...more
Harriet
I have missed Bailey White on NPR and when I saw this one at a book sale, I knew that I needed her words! Fun, quirky, insightful and very southern!
Frank Richardson
Bailey White, who is a columnist and a radio commentator has published a collection of her enjoyable, highly readable essays, which deal primarily with the quirky characters that she has contacted in her native south, although she does venture to Vermont in one column. From the lady who builds statutes of various characters and has allowed them to be overgrown with wisteria in her yard, to the bizarre man who gets up next to alligators and place a microphone next them to record their piercing be...more
Joey Brockert
This is a book of various newspaper columns. They are enjoyable and give a certain nuance of life in Georgia.
Anwnh5
I enjoyed the book overall but did not feel there was any continuity to the stories, they just jumped all over the place.
Kim
I first hear of Bailey White and her stories of Southern life in the 1990s when I heard her on NPR and then read her first book Mama Makes Up Her Mind. This book is just as great. The short observations are sweet and tender about her family and the quirky individuals in her community. Reading this book took me back to when I was an undergraduate, loved literature and knew exactly what I wanted to do with my life. The stories are still great, undergraduate and graduate courses are over, and I sti...more
Marianne Mersereau
Was reading this book while pregnant and named my daughter Bailey!
Kaethe
If at all possible, arrange to listen to White's anecdotes. Her delivery is perfect. But you'll find she holds up well to reading, too.
Peggy Bonnington
I remember that I really enjoyed this book, but frankly I enjoy Bailey White better in person or on the radio. Her voice and delivery style add so much, and that sort of scenario was my original connection with her wonderful stories. Perhaps I should put this on my TO REREAD shelf for bits and pieces of lighter reading when needing something shorter, sweeter, less demanding. It's quite possible I'd give it 4 stars if I reread and remembered her writing better, concentrated more on the actual wri...more
Beth
I grabbed this book on the shelf on one of my trips to the library with Bella. I was looking for Shirley Jackson, and this title just jumped on the shelf at me. When I'm with Bella, I get about 10 seconds to decide on a book, so I snagged it, and off we went. I'm so glad I did. I'd never even heard of Bailey White, and what a treat she is. I liked this book so much I went and checked out her first collection of essays - Mamma Makes up her Mind - and read it as soon as I finished this one.

Sure h...more
Stephen Revard
A gem of a book. Wonderful little vignettes.
Linda
Charming, southern story.
Donna
Awesome short stories! I finished one about 66% of the way through it and fell sound asleep at the Holiday Inn in Astoria, OR. I was traveling alone, so the next day, I woke up refreshed, flung back the covers (thus covering the book so that I did not see it while packing) and didn't miss it till the next night when I got to Newport. Called the hotel; why no! No one in housekeeping had ever heard of it or seen it.

I hope they enjoyed it as much as I did...maybe even more, if they got to finish it...more
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Bailey White was born in 1950 in Thomasville, Ga. She still lives in the same house in which she grew up, on one of the large tracts of virgin longleaf pine woods. Her father, Robb White, was a fiction writer and later a television and movie script writer. Her mother, Rosalie White, was a farmer, and worked for many years as the executive director of the local Red Cross Chapter. She has one brothe...more
More about Bailey White...
Mama Makes Up Her Mind and Other Dangers of Southern Living Quite a Year for Plums Nothing with Strings: NPR's Beloved Holiday Stories Among the Mushrooms An Interesting Life: Selections from Mama Makes Up Her Mind

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