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You Can't Drink All Day If You Don't Start in the Morning

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  2,801 ratings  ·  298 reviews
From the author of the bestselling classics We’re Just Like You, Only Prettier, and Bless Your Heart, Tramp, comes a collection of essays so funny, you’ll shoot co’cola out of your nose. Topics include such gems as:

• Why Miss North Carolina is too nice to hate

• How Gwyneth Paltrow wants to improve your pathetic life

• Strapped for cash? Try cat whispering

Hardcover, 256 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by St. Martin's Press (first published August 29th 2009)
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3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,801 ratings  ·  298 reviews

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Jan 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
So I've read through a few of the one-star ratings of this book. If you don't like Southern humor, don't like the word "y'all," aren't fond of the nicknames and niceties so common in the South, and hate grits, you probably won't like this book.

At all.

But for the rest of y'all, read on! Her commentary on everything from raising a family to Clay Aiken to mom jeans to going green is slap-your-momma hilarious. This is the book I loan to anyone who needs a better understanding of what I experienced
After I finished this book and headed to Goodreads, I considered writing a review to explain my one-star rating. In the end I decided that I need to because a) dammit, I wanted humor but was handed 242 pages of stale personality and b) I simply feel the need to justify a low rating when the average is higher.

Note that before I requested this book from the library, I read the title and thought, Witty. I don’t judge books by their covers, but I often judge them by titles before I get around to rea
Mary Claire Parker
Jun 29, 2015 rated it liked it
As always, I love a smart Southern girl with a dirty mouth.
Apr 09, 2012 rated it really liked it

You know those goofy ice breaker questions people ask at corporate events? Things like “If you were stranded on an island, what three items would you want with you?” and “If you could be any ice cream flavor, what would you be?” My favorite though, is always, “If you could have a dinner party with anyone, living or dead, who would you invite?” It’s my favorite because most people try to do the ass-kissy thing and rattle off names like Gandhi, Mother Theres
Jul 21, 2011 rated it liked it
I've got mixed feeling about this book. It didn't make me laugh out loud, but there were quite a few things that I thought were funny. I don't know if you have to be Southern to get her humor, but I'm sure it wouldn't hurt. I did think she played up the Hick-Factor a bit too much, and I found it a little tiring towards the end.

However, Rivenbark caught my attention right off the bat by lampooning something that I have long hated...The Perfect Attendance Award. I cringe inside every time some po
Oct 06, 2009 rated it did not like it
I have been trying to read this book for 3 months, waiting for something to pull me in and make me want to keep reading. It never happened, so, barely 100 pages in, I'm cutting my losses and moving on.

I've lived all but 11 months of my life in Texas, the majority of that in a mostly rural area on the southeast side of the state. The author clearly has a different idea of the South than I do so I couldn't relate to many of her characterizations. The inclusion of random recipes at the end of some
Sarah Brannon
Jul 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Hilarious! I'm loaning this to my mom, a born and bred southern woman who will appreciate little gems that complete entire chapters, such as: "Things a Man Never Says to His Southern Wife" (or something along those lines. Answer: "Honey, I cleaned the cast iron skillet. Man that thing was dirty--like it had never been washed!" I think the author is coming out with another book and will absolutely, happily be a continued reader.
Jun 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Another fun, sassy, and easy read from Celia Rivenbark, with some yummy-looking recipes thrown in the mix. Recommended if you are a fan of her other works and enjoy her sarcastic sense of humor.
Christine Zibas
Feb 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
With the wisdom and humor of a North Carolina belle, Celia Rivenbark takes it all on in her latest book, You Can't Drink All Day If You Don't Start in the Morning, a piece of wisdom she gained along the way. As you read these hilarious essays, you, too, will be tempted to grab your sweet tea-infused vodka bottle and join along.

From perfect attendance awards at the grade school to cat whispering, she covers it all in a context most of us understand, that being common sense. Whether she's skewerin
Jan 04, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2010
This is an easy, entertaining read. I am half done and started it last night! She is bold in her statements, but somethings are hilarious! I love the bit on bingo-being a bingo fan myself... and there is a "scene" from an airplane that is a riot. Also, there are strategically placed recipes among the anecdotes. I want to make the pecan pie--I personally do not like nuts, but mom does--I thought I could make several small (personal sized) ones, freeze and send.
eventhough this book is not the mos
In one word....BLAND. I skimmed through this book trying to find something worthy of my time and came up empty. I was sad about this fact. Because, well, she is a Southern lass and I wanted her to represent my clan well. I think she fell short. I did not laugh. I was sad that this book was even written. The author may have talents, but I don't think being an author is one of them. Boo. Hiss. I was really hoping for this to be a 5 star book. >.<
Jan 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
Celia Rivenbark's essays are always hilarious and this collection doesn't disappoint. You don't even have to be from the South to enjoy them either. The recipes at the end of each chapter are a really nice touch and I copied several of them before I send this book on to a friend.

You would probably like this if you enjoy Dave Barry, Jen Lancaster or Laurie Notaro.

Jul 03, 2013 rated it liked it
Why didn't I know about this Author? She's like Jen Lancaster, but SOUTHERN! Felt like stories from a close, hilarious friend...almost wanted to drive straight to Wilmington and ask Celia to be exactly that!
Christine Zibas
Nov 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing
With the wisdom and humor of a North Carolina belle, Celia Rivenbark takes it all on in her latest book, “You Can’t Drink All Day If You Don’t Start in the Morning,” a piece of wisdom she gained along the way. As you read these hilarious essays, you, too, will be tempted to grab your sweet tea-infused vodka bottle and join along.

From perfect attendance awards at the grade school to cat whispering, she covers it all in a context most of us understand, that being common sense. Whether she’s skewer
Jun 19, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves sarcastic wit and Southern Humor
Recommended to Shelley by: A very good friend who knew I needed a laugh
Started this earlier today and it is hilarious! I love Southern humor and sarcasm and this book drips with both. It also has some great recipes in it. I am going to try a couple of them this week. They sound really yummy. I hope to finish this tonight before I go to sleep but I may finish it tomorrow instead.

Well I ended up going to sleep last night so I finished it this morning. It is a hoot! I read a lot of negative reviews from people who did not find it amusing or did not understand the hum
Oct 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
If I had read some of her other books, perhaps I would have felt differently upon beginning with a chapter describing how she hates kids who achieve perfect attendance in school, especially at the health expense of other kids at the school. Had she simply said what I stated above and not boo-ed the children off the stage, maybe I would have been fine with it.

I do take a little offense to someone from North Carolina thinks she's a true Southern girl. That's like somewhere I read that Kentucky was
Jun 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I registered a book at!

This was a funny and touching collection of essays by Celia Rivenbark looking at snips of Southern life and culture. There were even a few recipes that are channeling Paula Deen (anything that calls for 2 sticks of butter...)

Some of the quotes I liked:

"This is usually a prelude to something that is going to be pretty harsh. Just as we bless the heart in the South before we remove it and stomp on it."

"It's easy to
As Celia Rivenbark says herself, it's humorous non-fiction. And it's great! This lady may prove to be a Southerner with her quirky sayings and her charm, but her forthrightness and outspokenness could've come straight from the North! Trust me, I've lived in both and she could pull it off.

Now, these types of books are extremely hard to review, because well... there's no synopsis of a story. Yet, Rivenbark still manages to entertain, give you a chuckle, and lead you straight to outright laugh-out
Jul 06, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, essays
Rivenbark is a Southern humor writer, and her book is filled with catty observations about her town, witticisms regarding Southern life and even a few F-bombs. She doesn't hold back, and takes absolute glee in letting loose on whatever and whomever her target may be, from Gwyneth Paltrow to "the cat whisperer." Oh, and Claymates (Clay Aiken fan club members). That was a pretty hilarious chapter. There are some poignant moments (the death of her father, a trip to NYC with her daughter), which hel ...more
Corielle Hayley
Dec 03, 2014 rated it liked it
When I picked this up, my sister warned me that Celia Rivenbark is the most annoying woman alive. While I may not want to make her my BFF, I nonetheless thought that You Can't Drink All Day If You Don't Start in the Morning, which is basically a collection of diatribes against the world written by a slightly drunk Southern woman, was pretty fucking funny.

“I have several close friends who have run marathons, a word that is actually derived from two Swahili words: mara, which means 'to die a horri
Jul 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
This is the third book I have read (or listened to) by Celia Rivenbark, as usual, she does not disappoint. I could listen to her tell her stories forever. This is Southern humor at it's finest.

Since I listened to the book, I can't really go back and find my favorite parts. One that stayed with me was her take on Gweneth Paltrow's website. She talks about Gweneth's ideas on how to help us lead a fuller life. One of the Gwennie's suggestions is to "cook a meal for one you love". Celia's reply, "I
Maria BF
Feb 15, 2015 rated it did not like it
Way to negative for me! I'm sure the author meant to be humorous in a sarcastic way, but all I walked away with was an overwhelming sense of the author's general grievances about pretty much everyone and everything. I really tried to keep reading in hopes that I would eventually "find the funny" in the writing, but I found myself only getting depressed from the barrage of negative and criticizing commentary. Who wants to spend hours reading a book that's supposed to make you laugh only to find e ...more
Sep 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I'm just going to say it: I've been a huge fan of Celia Rivenbark since I picked up Bless Your Heart, Tramp: And Other Southern Endearments in a Palm Springs gift shop for a January poolside read (you can do that in January at Palm Springs). So, every time I run across a new-to-me title, I pick it up for what I know will be a ripping good read.

Filled with her trademark humor, Rivenbark uses this outing to lampoon everything from cussing at appliances to people who were mad when Clay Aiken came o
Kitty Jay
This is not a book so much as a collection of columns - which is fine, but it definitely is a bit of a jolt, as the author sort of meanders in and out of subjects at an alarming rate.

The other thing is, though I'm a Southern girl myself and some things certainly rang true, it's a bit crass at parts and a lot of the humor is based around current events. For instance, I have never seen, nor would ever want to, Kate and 8 or whatever that show is called. There is an entire column surrounding it. Ho
Feb 27, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: book-club-2-0
THis book was okay, I was able to finish the whole thing, but it definitely wasn't as good as I expected and hoped it to be. I would say the Target Audience is probably a mother, and possibly someone who lives in the south, because I just didn't resonate with a lot of content in this book. THere were plenty of out-dated popculture references that made me twinge a little bit. Most of it was mildly-amusing at best but there was some one liners that were really clever. For example, I liked this lin ...more
Mell Simons
Aug 25, 2013 rated it liked it
It's important to remember that memoirs are just that: memories from someone's childhood and/or adulthood. They are anecdotal stories meant to offer up a different perspective than our own. While this was no remarkable literary experience, there were pieces that made me laugh. I appreciated the first chapter where she discussed parents who are motivated by an OfficeDepot piece of paper celebrating perfect attendance, while their children are hosts of the viral plague. Not being from the South, I ...more
Apr 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
If you like Southern Humor you have got to read Celia Rivenbark's books I really enjoyed this book, I listened to it (twice actually) on audio its read by the author. It is laugh out loud funny she has a way of telling a story that has commentary on life told in an irreverent funny way. I loved the chapter about faith based toys, and when she is talking about listening to Flo Rida and pronounces it Florida just to bug her daughter. Every chapter will make you laugh and you'll see people in your ...more
Sep 14, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: chic-lit
Like several other reviewers have stated, I have mixed feelings about this book. It seemed to take forever for me to finish it, but I often enjoyed reading it once I took the time to pick it up.

The chapter where Rivenbark talks about Gweneth Paltrow's ideas on helping her blog followers lead a fuller life were great. I love me some Gweneth, but according to Rivenbark, one of the Gwennie's suggestions is to "cook a meal for one you love". Rivenbark's reply, "I do. It's called dinner, and I do it
Aug 18, 2011 rated it it was ok
This is my second Rivenbark read. I really want to like her and her humor, but I just don't. Some things come across as very funny (kids who go to school with the measles), but much of it is just not funny. At all. How much does she need to go on about Gwyneth Paltrow being wealthy? It's just not funny. Every so often, she does say something that makes me laugh out loud. This time -- "you're uglier than a sack full of armpits." If that doesn't make you laugh, you'll definitely hate this book. It ...more
Mar 04, 2012 rated it liked it
Delightful Southern female humor with that hint of irony and quirkiness that I know oh so well. I read this and thought 'this woman must be able to read my mind!'

To be fair, I'm a southern gal myself that doesn't take the world and other people too seriously. So I might be biased on how wonderful and hilarious I found her musings :)

But seriously, if you're looking for a quick, light read that will make you chuckle out loud give this a go. And then go look up The Lazy Book Reviewer blog who knows
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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
“I have several close friends who have run marathons, a word that is actually derived from two Swahili words: mara, which means 'to die a horrible death', and thon, which means 'for a stupid T-shirt.' Look it up.” 30 likes
“Pecans are not cheap, my hons. In fact, in the South, the street value of shelled pecans just before holiday baking season is roughly that of crack cocaine. Do not confuse the two. It is almost impossible to make a decent crack cocaine tassie, I am told.” 18 likes
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