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Bless Your Heart, Tramp: And Other Southern Endearments

3.87  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,480 Ratings  ·  190 Reviews
From the wickedly hilarious pen of Southern humorist Celia Rivenbark comes a collection of essays that brings to mind Dave Barry (in high heels) or Jeff Foxworthy (in a prom dress).

Step into the wacky world of "womanless wedding" fund-raisers, in which Bubbas wear boas. Meet two sisters who fight rural boredom by washing Budweiser cans and cutting them into pieces to make
Paperback, 220 pages
Published May 30th 2006 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published November 1st 2000)
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Oct 27, 2011 Shelley rated it really liked it
I heard a lot of negative reviews on this book and a lot of great reviews. As someone who lives in Alabama now but not originally from here (born in Florida), I can see how it might offend people who do not understand the culture and lifestyle of many of the people in the South. For instance, I had NEVER heard of something called "Decoration Day" until I married and moved here. That is where you go to the cemetery on a certain day, clean it up, take fresh flowers and, in LOTS of more rural spots ...more
Aug 24, 2015 Brandy rated it it was amazing
This book is hilarious. The author's humor probably isn't for everybody, especially if you aren't familiar with the Southern US. But if you are it's good for light, humorous reading.

Much of her stories remind me of either people I know or that my mom knew growing up. It's not meant to make you agree with anything, just to have a few laughs.
Jul 27, 2009 Christina rated it liked it
This is a collection of humorous essays that were originally published in a South Carolina newspaper. Brooke and I read them in the car as we were driving cross-country, and we really enjoyed them. They are light and fun, but I didn't think every single one was a jem. A fair number from the "at home" too much "Men are like this, and Women are like this" humor for my taste, and in general I can't say that the humor seemed natural or effortless. They were definitely moments in almost every essay w ...more
Mar 11, 2013 Ginger rated it it was ok
This book was mildly humorous -- suitable for bubble bath reading, but I certainly can't recommend it.

My biggest beef with Ms. Rivenbark isn't her unoriginal observations, but the unbelievability of her Southerness. Sure, she knows a few Southern "endearments." And she might hail from North Carolina, but her attitudes are distinctly un-Southern.

Many of her essays were about how lazy in the home and in the kitchen she is (Southern women are nothing if not prideful of their ability to keep a house
Oct 10, 2010 Lauren rated it liked it
A collection of columns, these observations on life (from a Southern perspective) are, as a whole, amusing. I wish the book had been organized chronologically rather than by “subject” (the first section makes it seem like it’s going to be run-of-the-mill Mommy humor, which can be entertaining but was, on the whole, the weakest part of the book) and that the references had not been updated to coincide with the republishing (I read the 2006 library edition, and a mention of Ashton and Demi dating ...more
Sep 09, 2008 Angela rated it it was amazing
This book is hilarious! Anyone, especially a southern woman, will get much enjoyment out of reading this book. She pokes fun at all southerns and our other antics, as she herself is Southern. Written in short series of tons of stories, related to her, her family, neighbors, friends, and even strangers. Many of the stories I could relate to myself in my own life, being from the South I found these stories have played out in my life at times too. I found myself NUMEROUS times laughing out loud, ev ...more
I was given this book along with three other's by the author from a friend's bookshelf. Maybe I shouldn't have started with this one... I thought it was "meh". I didn't think she was that funny. I thought she was narrow minded. And I thought the vignettes were too short to really have any substance. Ugh, I still have three more of hers to go.
Mar 07, 2015 Kristie rated it it was ok
Bless Your Heart, Tramp was an impulse buy at my local used bookstore that I picked up because I laughed at the title. Unfortunately, that's where I did most of my laughing. The book is a series of short essays divided into themes such as "In the Home," "Southerners," and "Everyone Else." To be honest, not much of it felt really Southern. I couldn't really relate to the stories (I did laugh at some of them), since 1) I wasn't born here (transplant), and 2) I'm not really basic (I hope), which is ...more
Kathy (Bermudaonion)
May 08, 2009 Kathy (Bermudaonion) rated it really liked it
Bless Your Heart Tramp: And Other Southern Endearments by Celia Rivenbark is a quick, fun read that will have you laughing out loud. It isn’t really a novel; it’s a collection of 3 and 4 page humorous observations about life, told from the female perspective. At first, I thought you’d have to have some familiarity with the Deep South to understand it, but quickly discovered I was wrong. (There are some passages that may be lost on non-Southerners, though.) I found myself laughing out loud and re ...more
more funny essays by celia rivenbark. & i actually have something to say this time! this book was nuts because it read like it was published in 1996. there were references to bob dole, linda tripp, janet was so weird! & look at that cover. that is STRAIGHT out of 1996. that pale yellow accent? horrifying. that FONT? dear god.

i think this is kind of an older book, & maybe rivenbark's first? she is a newspaper columnist & i assume, based on the subject matter & length
Jun 15, 2015 Kaiulani rated it really liked it
This book is a quick and easy read, there are parts that are unbelievably funny (the Amish Friendship Bread anecdote left me in tears, as did the chapter following.) I gave it four stars-- but really it deserves 3 1/2. It's a great book if you want something quick and lighthearted to read, but it lacks real depth (which I think is the point).

I am also giving it three and a half points, because despite it's humor, it's also pretty narrow-minded, and the whole "Women are from Venus, Men are from
Vonze (Yvonne)
I wasn't sure what to expect with this book. At first glance, I thought it was going to be a collection of essays about why Southerns are the way we are (history lesson, maybe?). However, the book is actually a collection of funny "slice-of-life" moments from columnist Celia Rivenbark's adventures as wife, mother and Southerner. The book is broken into three sections: At Home, The South, And Everywhere Else. Of the three sections, I enjoyed At Home, where she mainly writes about her husband and ...more
Jul 10, 2007 Candis rated it liked it
Recommends it for: People With a Short Reading Attention Span
The book was sometimes incredibly funny, and somtimes incredibly cliche, and sometimes (as a Southern-born-and-bread woman) incredibly off-the-mark with my personal experiences...but overall, I enjoyed it and will probably read her other books. The reading experience was very much like reading a collection of witty newspaper columns. If you are a woman and have a short attention span when it comes to reading, you will enjoy this book because the chapters are short - you will not have time to get ...more
Apr 26, 2012 Deodand rated it did not like it
Shelves: humour, unfinished, usa
I grow impatient with Rivenbark's "men are from Mars, women are from Venus" shtick. My husband doesn't have stinky socks, I can send him to the grocery store with a list, and he can complete a chore. He doesn't care for football. And...none of these things make him unusual around here.

I never liked that type of humour where a woman says, Ladies, aren't men all just a bunch of barely-civilized grunting gross pigs? No, they aren't. The dirty little secret is that they're just like us, only with a
Jenny France
Feb 19, 2016 Jenny France rated it really liked it
Entertaining. Like hanging out with your fun friend.
Sue Lusk
Feb 13, 2016 Sue Lusk rated it it was amazing
Loved this pick up - put down book...Celia is just plain southern humor and reads
Apr 05, 2011 Jaime rated it really liked it
While I do like her sense of humor and sarcasm, I had a little problem with some of the more "Southern" stuff that she writes about. I was born and raised in the south and had the most country grandmother in the world and I can say that I NEVER heard her use terms that Celia Rivenbark uses in her columns. I even called some Southern friends and asked if they heard of some of the terms and mannerisms and they were as puzzled as I was.

But besides that little problem, I did enjoy the book.
Jun 21, 2011 Bunny rated it it was amazing
Okay, seriously? Love this author.

She's far more Southern than I am, but most of what she says I can relate to from being in the South for so long. She's ridiculously funny, and I was sitting outside in my backyard, laughing so loudly I'm fairly certain my neighbors think I'm the crazy lady who just moved in a few months ago and don't ever borrow a cup of sugar from her.

I adore her. I have to read more by her, ASAP. She's amazing for a good laugh.
Marilyn Lagier
Jan 21, 2015 Marilyn Lagier rated it liked it
This was a rather amusing book. Since it was printed in 2000, some of the references were rather outdated, but that didn't make it any less funny. Each "chapter" is written more as a newspaper column than an actual chapter. Though I am not Southern born or bred, there is enough Southern in me, courtesy of my grandmother, to be able to relate to many of the things she writes about. Nothing deep here, just good plain fun reading.
Wendy Williams
Apr 05, 2015 Wendy Williams rated it liked it
While this book started out like all of Celia's other books I've read (laughs in every chapter), I must admit that the last 1/3 of the book just kinda fell flat for me. The stories just weren't as funny as her usual stuff and some of them just felt like filler to get the book done. It pained me to do it but I could only give this one 3 stars because it was a hard book for me to finish, unlike all of her other books I've read.
May 07, 2009 Cari rated it it was ok
Shelves: humor, essays, 2009
I liked the shorts in Bless Your Heart, Tramp, but unfortunately, they were too short. In this, Rivenbark's writing felt choppy and disconnected, making her first book the least enjoyable for me, despite the ready humor. (I enjoyed two others by her much, much more.) Plainly, these essays started out as newspaper columns; too bad nobody thought to have her flesh them out a little more for the book.
Mar 11, 2013 Kathryn rated it really liked it
Celia is a relative of mine and yes, she is funny, smart, and thoroughly Southern (minus the Confederate perspective TG) Some of her snarky, suburban Southernisms are beyond or below my frame of reference, but if you don't LOL at least once while reading any of her books, well, I'm sure she'd have some kind of remark about you that could be construed to be taken as complimentary or sympathetic. Bless your heart...
Beth Lind
Nov 01, 2014 Beth Lind rated it liked it
I liked the short passages, but unfortunately, they were too short. Overall, the writing felt choppy and disjointed -- BUT there were some essays that made me laugh then causing me to have to read that part to my husband. I just wish there could have been someone who encouraged Rivenbark to expand her thoughts so that it didn't feel so much like reading one blog post after another.
May 18, 2014 Julie rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
This was a book club selection- I had never read anything by this writer before. I only made it through about 8 anecdotes and could not read anymore. I did not find her the least bit amusing. Perhaps because I am a transplanted northerner ( though I have lived in the south ( VA, NC, GA) for a total of 10 years).
Short little stories that take only a couple of minutes each, but that often elicit out-loud laughter! LOVED the bit about Subarus and lesbians :) :).

Some of the essays were just so-so, but many were laugh out loud worthy.
Dec 07, 2013 Sarah rated it did not like it
Shelves: southern-lit
I didn't like this book because the author bases most of her humor on big, fat stereotypes. When it was supposed to make me laugh, it merely irritated me. So I quit reading it. I am still irritated, however.
Marty Hatcher
Jun 21, 2015 Marty Hatcher rated it it was ok
While there are funny moments in this book, and one excellent story (which happens to be a more serious than humorous story), overall I wasn't impressed with the writing.
Jan 20, 2010 Gretel rated it it was amazing
So funny! If you are a Southerner you will get it. If you are a Yankee you might not like it. It's like Mormon Joke, only Mormon really appreciate and understand the joke.
Lisa G
Aug 17, 2015 Lisa G rated it liked it
A collection of very funny, but somewhat dated, essays in the Sweet Potato Queens vein. Rivenbark is charming and funny - the essay subjects seem old-fashioned, though.
Jan 26, 2014 Gwenn rated it really liked it
As a mother of small children, having been raised in the south, and being a working mother, I can relate. I retread some parts just to laugh out loud again!!!
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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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“I really loathe [the bumper sticker] 'Proud Parent of a Terrific Kid!'

Why not a bumper sticker for the unlucky parents, something like: 'My Fifteen-Year-Old's in Detox and Not Speaking to Any of Us' or 'My Kid Robbed a 7-Eleven and is in a Center for Youthful Offenders.”
“I'd sooner wear white shoes in February, drink unsweetened tea, and eat Miracle Whip instead of Duke's than utter the words 'you guys'.” 55 likes
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