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

3.93  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,232 Ratings  ·  92 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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(showing 1-30 of 1,973)
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Patrick Gibson
May 22, 2009 Patrick Gibson rated it really liked it
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
Jun 28, 2011 Natalie rated it really liked it  ·  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
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
Jul 18, 2015 Ape rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just loved this. It's not often I can say this, but this book actually made me laugh out loud. It was the story about Bailey White and the other primary school teacher, Mrs Boatwright. They were sent to computer evening classes to learn how to use a computer so that they could then teach the other teachers at the school how to use the computer. But the course tutor completely missed the point and decided to run a course on the history of the computer. So the two ladies decide to bunk off, teac ...more
Jul 30, 2014 Gigi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 26, 2010 Ruth rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, southern
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.
Jun 01, 2008 Amyc rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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.
Jul 06, 2008 Linda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2008
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.
Jun 08, 2009 Clare rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jan 07, 2009 Redhead rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-general
No matter how unlikey the situation, Bailey White can make you laugh. And laugh out loud in public.
Dec 05, 2009 Joy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some funny parts, but not nearly as hysterical as the first book (Mama makes up her mind)
Nov 09, 2015 Sandra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first story was the worst but they got a lot better after that. Bailey White's style is something so unique and wonderful that you really need to listen/read a few of her stories to prime your mind for her style and by the end she leaves you wanting more stories....and so it goes. I happened to listen to the audio version of this read by Ms. White. She has an almost monotone, gravelly voice that you, once again, have to get used to but it truly adds to the stories and the atmosphere she crea ...more
Mar 01, 2016 Les rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, 1996, essays
My Original Notes: (1996)

Terrible! Not at all like Mama Makes Up Her Mind, with regard to humor or subject matter. Very dull and senseless. I read the entire book and didn't enjoy a single essay.

My Current Thoughts: (2016)

Why in the world did I bother reading the entire book, if I was so dissatisfied? As I recall, I really enjoyed Mama Makes Up Her Mind, so maybe I was trying to remain optimistic. This was probably back before I gave myself permission to quit a book I wasn't enjoying. Live and l
Jan C
Oct 23, 2013 Jan C rated it really liked it
Shelves: south, anthology
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
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
Sleeping at the Starlite Motel and Other Adventures on the Way Back Homeby 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 in ...more
Jul 25, 2010 Kate rated it liked it
Shelves: amer-culture, humor
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
Jun 02, 2012 Sara Cat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 16, 2014 Nancy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Short stories. My favorite was Civilized Friends where 2 long time friends get together once a year or so. One lives in Paris and the other lives in the country. They can't understand each other's lives but still are friends.
Diane Wachter
Audiobook @ 1995, 5/00. A collection of stories that explore how places everywhere affect our lives, from a tour of mansions to a computer training class where she ended up at a dog track.
Mar 26, 2015 Jerry-Mac rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I registered a book at!
Aug 11, 2014 Harriet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Kate Guth
Jun 08, 2015 Kate Guth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
While not as wonderfully perfect as her short story collection "Mama Makes up Her Mind..." this novel is one of the best!
Mark Thomas
Really pleasant nice read...a slow moving and affectionate look at life...filled with many memorable scenes and characters.
Joey Brockert
This is a book of various newspaper columns. They are enjoyable and give a certain nuance of life in Georgia.
May 16, 2014 Anwnh5 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the book overall but did not feel there was any continuity to the stories, they just jumped all over the place.
Oct 07, 2011 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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...

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