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We're Just Like You, Only Prettier: Confessions of a Tarnished Southern Belle
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We're Just Like You, Only Prettier: Confessions of a Tarnished Southern Belle

3.72  ·  Rating Details ·  3,952 Ratings  ·  414 Reviews
Why couldn't the Sopranos survive living down South? Simple. You can't shoot a guy full of holes after eating chicken and pastry, spoon bread, okra, and tomatoes.

What does a Southern woman consider grounds for divorce? When daddy takes the kids out in public dressed in their pajama tops and Tweety Bird swim socks. Again.

What is the Southern woman's opinion of a new "fat vi
Paperback, 288 pages
Published February 1st 2005 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published January 1st 2004)
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The Help by Kathryn StockettTo Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeeThe Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk KiddFried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie FlaggGarden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
Quirky Southern Fiction
74th out of 693 books — 1,781 voters
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Humorous Memoirs and Non-Fiction
54th out of 492 books — 927 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dixie Diamond
Apr 07, 2011 Dixie Diamond rated it it was ok
Okay, while I agree that I would probably inflict bodily harm on a husband for throwing out my coupons, I'm totally not with her on the importance of dressing small children to impress.

She's just not that funny. The events that she tries to build up into humorous, relatable, anecdotes aren't interesting or significant enough to stand on their own. You feel like she's writing soap bubbles, trying to make her dull, sheltered, middle-American life seem colorful and herself and her under-educated, s
Nov 07, 2010 Thequeenoftofu rated it it was amazing
I'm one of those "Cover Judgers" who absolutely does not agree that you can't judge a book by one. I happened upon this one completely by accident and am so glad that I did. I think that this is one of those books that if you're from the South or you have Southern relatives, you will laugh hysterically because you can totally relate to this stuff. If you're not, or you don't, there's a good chance that you'll probably be thinking, "What the hell?"
Jul 20, 2010 Nitrorockets rated it it was ok
Shelves: humor
Just started this book. I love this author already and would love to go and enjoy some good food together.

I love these from chapter 4:
"Southern women are, frankly harder working. We are obsessively devoted to horticulture and far more aware of natural beauty. We aren't ashamed to have dirt from the garden embedded in the prongs of our 3-carat diamond engagement rings."
"A Yankee friend of mine once remarked that the one thing she couldn't understand was why so many Southern women mow their own
Feb 09, 2010 Shelley rated it really liked it
This was one of the funniest books I have read in a long time. I guess it amused me because I can relate to so many of the stories. Living in Alabama, I can see these people in my own town and at my local grocery store. The moms are the same moms at my kid's school. It was just too great! Some of the stories made me laugh so hard I though sweet tea would spew out my nose because I was sure she was discussing my family members.

Great quick read and highly entertaining. Anyone who wants a peek into
May 20, 2015 Mom rated it really liked it
This book has helped me get through some rough days at work. It's very funny and sometimes expresses what I am feeling very well, at other times we disagree but we can still be friends. Our differences remind us that we live in this wonderful country that allows us to think and feel what we want.
May 20, 2012 Kristin rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Southern Appreciators
Shelves: southern-y-all, humor
Ah am from South Carolina, lived here mah whole life. Ah know some of these here people. Ah might even resemble summa this. :)
Don't take this book too seriously (or yourself for that matter). It's a joke, people, it's also a social commentary....but it's a joke!!
Jul 01, 2011 Karen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'll bet that anyone who is knee high to a grasshopper could write a better book--if the person really wanted to waste time pushin pencils and paper. Looks like the author had a handful of good quips and without shame, stretched it into a watered down stream of consciousness exercise. It was marketing genius in creating the book title and equally catchy chapter titles that probably drew folks to buy it.

Her hipster self betrays her nonSoutherness when she discusses arugula ("natch"). Ha! Got fan
Jun 03, 2010 Kelly rated it really liked it
And this, my friends, is exactly why I liked it:

"I thought this was going to be a book about the south and how cute and funny we are. It's not. It's about the new south that has had the south beaten out of it and homogenized beyond recognition by someone who has been not raised by parents but by a big screen TV, magazines and what she has bought into that passes as women's lib. This unnecessarily potty mouthed woman has every tired joke, reference and scenario that you have heard before. The boo
Aug 06, 2014 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Another excellent collection of essays from Celia Rivenbark. I never get tired of her sarcastic sense of humor and blunt honesty. Fun and easy read!
Crystal Dunn
May 24, 2010 Crystal Dunn rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010
When Stacey tweeted that she had just read a book called "We're Just Like You, Only Prettier," I replied back, I need to read that. She said the book was hilarious and that I could borrow it. After doing a little research, I found out that Celia Rivenbark is a NC Native, and grew up in Duplin County. If you haven't figured it out yet, I love local authors, so I was excited to find another one to add to the list.

The book, subtitled "Confessions of a Tarnished Southern Belle," is a collection of h
Jun 14, 2009 Amy rated it liked it
Shelves: humorous-essays
The title made me laugh out loud at the library so I picked it up. I was further heartened by the endorsement on the front from Haven Kimmel (author of A Girl Named Zippy, which is hilarious). It was funny overall, and parts did make me giggle. She uses a lot of southern speak, which is hard for me to understand at times. Her titles of the chapters were almost funnier than what was in it, like "Stop watching your plasma TV and start selling your plasma!" and "And what did you have for breakfast ...more
Nov 11, 2013 Little rated it liked it
There are book club discussion questions at the back of this book. Seriously? Rivenbark is basically a Southern female Dave Barry. The whole book is comprised of amusing little essays. If this is your book club pick, I'm certain your book club is more interested in wine, snacks, and gossip than actually discussing a book.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the essays well enough. I chuckled a few times and smiled a number of others. The essays are also short enough that you can gobble one down easily
Aug 17, 2016 Peaches rated it really liked it
Shelves: entertainment
This book is hilarious; it's full of voice and narrates the internal stream of consciousness on various topics; however, the beginning was dull and seemed a bit too much of a "how to" book, so luckily I'm not one to put down a book after the first few pages....usually. Still, even some of the "how to" advice had some merit, such as how to be more "white trash": "Take to ending every declarative statement with 'Yeah, it does.' (Alternate acceptable WT: 'I heard that.')" (5).
As previously stated,
Danielle Allen
Aug 25, 2011 Danielle Allen rated it really liked it
Rivenbark is full of hilarious southern “charm” aka biting and incredibly entertaining sarcasm. Unfortunately her books aren’t timeless – some chapters are relevant but others are outdated – such as criticisms of Anna Nicole Smith’s tv show. I recommend that you find one of her newer books – I’m going to, because she seriously cracks me up even if some of her material was (as a polite southern belle might put it) “vintage.”
Apr 05, 2009 Jeanette rated it liked it
Recommended to Jeanette by: Leslie
i LOVED the first half of this book. I just wanted to buy a duble wide, a fried sickers, move down to atlanta and meet matty and nikki at the waffle house. but the second half of the book seemed to really stray from southerners to just people and things in general. i felt like she lost her purpose, or got writers block half way through. loved loved loved the first half. totally laughed out loud while reading it!!!
Aug 01, 2010 Lindsay rated it it was amazing
Shelves: southern-humor
Love love love this book. It's absolutely hilarious, and coming from a small Southern town, I am totally able to relate to the majority of the stories she tells in this book. It kept me laughing the whole time. Celia Rivenbark is truly talented and keeps a conversational tone throughout the whole book.
Ashley Scott
Nov 25, 2015 Ashley Scott rated it it was ok
Shelves: owned, 2015, fart-knocker
This, too, earns the descriptor of "fart knocker". And because Miz Celia is a southerner (and by golly don't you forget it!), she'll know exactly what I think of this book and her writing style when I tut and click my tongue and say "bless her heart".

Sep 19, 2014 Shandra rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor
Was reading this aloud to my wife. Hilarious! Had to return it to the library before we finished, but I do want to get it back again!
Megan Bodwell
Jan 15, 2014 Megan Bodwell rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle, 2013, book-club, 2014
Absolutely hilarious! I had so many laugh-out-loud-by-myself moments while reading this!
Aug 02, 2013 Abby rated it it was amazing
I firmly believe that anywhere this woman's pen touches will turn to gold.
Oct 19, 2012 Chris rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I can say with easy certainty that if I ever met the author of this book I would dislike her, intensely. How can I know that for sure? I know tons of women just like her and can't stand any of them. She's so smug and ass backwards elitist that it made me want to throttle her half the time. It boils down to the idea that she's not hoity toity so she's better than everyone else. Somehow not eating caviar and Grey Poupon while driving a single child around in a gas guzzling SUV makes her the greate ...more
Apr 02, 2013 Daniella rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: bored (southern) soccer moms.

I'll be honest: I picked this book because of the title. I know nothing about Celia Rivenbark, I have no interest in humor columns, generally, and I certainly am not a fan of chick lit. But I've been reading a lot of fiction lately, and writing a lot of fiction, so I wanted something a little different to help change things up a bit. I figured this book would fit the bill, and after all, it has been sitting on my shelf for over year, taunting me with that title. I'm a sucker for catchy, uniq
Jul 01, 2011 Stephanie rated it liked it
This came from the box of books a friend gave me this winter. It's probably not something I would've picked up on my own, but I'm glad I did. Celia Rivenbark is an absolute scream.

Rivenbark is a columnist, and she's got a crazy, wild, self-deprecating sense of humor with a uniquely Southern flair. Waxing poetic on such topics as Southern food, preschool, hair and nails, clothing, family get-togethers, aging, and what other mothers must think of her, she'll have you rolling on the floor and choki
Eva Leger
Feb 17, 2009 Eva Leger rated it liked it
Recommends it for: anyone with a decent sense of humor, non-stuck up mothers especially
Recommended to Eva by: I like the author
Shelves: b-non-fiction, humor
I liked Stop Dressing You Six Year Old better than this but this was funny also. I liked it enough to read Bless Your Heart as soon as I get it. I like Rivenbark's sense of humor and I also like that the book was broken up into short essays which makes it easy to put down and pick back up again later. I read some reviews that mentioned her "making fun of motherhood" and I have to completely disagree with any and all of those. She's taking a serious situation and making fun WITH it, not OF it. Sh ...more
Oct 06, 2015 HeavyReader rated it liked it
Shelves: funny, life-stories

I ended up liking this book more than I thought I would.
It was another one of those bought-at-a-thrift-store-for-ten-cents-in-the-summer-of-2015 books. I read it on a few hours on a rainy Sunday afternoon when it was too cold and wet to leave the van to cook, much less work.

It was a nice enough way to pass the time. I was worried that it wouldn’t really be funny, even though it was supposed to be funny, but I was pleasantly surprised. I laughed aloud while reading this book. I laughed alou
Sep 01, 2012 Marissa rated it liked it
I was really hoping to be laughing out loud a lot, and I sort of chuckled a couple times, but this wasn't as funny as I was hoping it would be. On the plus side, I forgot that this book was from a southern perspective in many of the chapters, showing how women everywhere have the same complaints about children, gossip, men and life in general. But there were a lot of phrases and references I didn't get. I had my handy-dandy smartphone next to me to look up random southern preachers or bathing su ...more
Jan 18, 2016 Kelly rated it liked it
Must Read Chapter 2 "Baby Born Won't Poop"......I was on the floor in tears laughing. And to all my friends who know me as the Mom who cooks food with either Jell-O or Cream of Mushroom Soup...p.176 talking about simple recipes (that aren't simple) in the magazine "Real Simple"...."Another issue printed a recipe for a tuna casserole that didn't even include cream of mushroom soup, proving that they've got a lot to learn about the simple life."

Good Summer Light Hearted Read!!
Marilyn Lagier
Jan 19, 2015 Marilyn Lagier rated it liked it
This was a rather hilarious book, especially as I have Southern heritage. And though I haven't lived in the South, other than a few days visit, it was just as though I was reading about people whom I knew. Ironically, the funniest chapter probably was the one about saving things in the refrigerator and washing out bread bags and ziplock bags and reusing them. I had just been involved with cleaning a fridge of a very close relative and everything Celia Rivenbark said hit squarely at home. So for ...more
Amber Martin
Aug 08, 2015 Amber Martin rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor-comedy
I wish every time someone asked me what it was like in the South that I could just stick Celia Rivenbark between us. Like some sort of humor filled human shield that could explain things in her own hilarious way. I was laughing so hard that tears rolled down my face (and that was only into chapter 2)! I'm from a small Southern town and could relate to pretty much this entire book.
The chapter about "Baby Born" had me in stitches seeing as how I had one of those (Only the cheaper Big Lots version
Nicole Brown
Jul 22, 2016 Nicole Brown rated it really liked it
Another hilarious send-up from Rivenbark on Southern life and family.

Is it a small wonder that hurricane season and wedding season are one and the same? As a former bridal-page editor, I can honestly say that I’ve seen some category 5 wedding disasters.
---Celia Rivenbark (We’re Just Like You, Only Prettier: Confessions of a Tarnished Southern Belle p 32)
The amicable divorce is an urban legend. You believe there’s such a thing? Then you also believe that so
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Celia Rivenbark was born and raised in Duplin County, NC, which had the distinction of being the nation's number 1 producer of hogs and turkeys during a brief, magical moment in the early 1980s.
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 ind
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“If you buy an SUV, you're buying your safety at the expense of someone else's." ... If you're driving a Hyundai, which basically runs on air and tofu, and you get in an accident with an SUV, are you going to say, "Well, at least I have the courage of my convictions?" Hell, no. You're going to say: "Soon's I get outta this hospital bed and find my legs, I'm gonna get me a Suburban. Loaded.” 3 likes
“Why clone cats when there's perfectly good Russell Crowe lying around?” 3 likes
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