Sunday, September 25, 2011

You Don't Sweat Much for a Fat Girl by Celia Rivenbark

I'm trying to cover all my bases here, so, since I reviewed a book this week that I finished months ago, I'm going to do the flip side, too. I'm reviewing the book I finished today. Absurd? Maybe not for you, but definitely for me. I have always been the sort of procrastinator reviewer that a takes a few days between the completion of a book and the writing of the review. I was always of the opinion that this procrastination letting my thoughts about the book marinate a few days lead to better, more thoughtful reviews. And perhaps they did. Of late, though, the procrastination marination leads mostly to reviews just about never getting written. This is the type of madness with no method that simply must stop, therefore I am coming to you live (well, probably not live since this will most likely end up becoming a scheduled post - methodic madness!) with Celia Rivenbark's southern-tinged (marinated?) book of humorous essays.

Humorous essays? Really? Why, yes. Because for once in my life I actually knew myself and my own reading weakness. What is this self-awareness? Things really are getting crazy around here. I've alluded, on Twitter, to the fact that I have spent the last almost month slogging through The Grapes of Wrath in hopes of making a triumphant return to a book group I am more or less (but mostly less) involved in. When I was on the cusp of starting this lengthy classic novel journey, the lovely Emily from Wunderkind PR showed up in my e-mail box offering me You Don't Sweat Much for a Fat Girl for review. A little light bulb flashed on above my head, and I thought, what better way to break up the reading of a lengthy classic (the likes of which I haven't tried in quite some time) than with some humorous essays. Of course, it didn't go exactly as I planned because I am no good at book polygamy, but once I flipped that last page of The Grapes of Wrath, I was all over these essays. I needed their light, readable, laugh out loud-ness to recover from my many weeks with the Joads and their many hardships.

The essays in You Don't Sweat Much for a Fat Girl leave no stone unturned as they poke fun at everything and everyone from snuggies to crazed science fair parents to all the "Loonies on the Learning Channel" to society's weird obsession with cuteness that threatens to put Rivenbark's trademark snark out of business while everyone tunes into the latest YouTube viral video. In just a few pages each, Rivenbark's essays can have readers laughing out loud at a variety of topics as we try to keep up with Rivenbark's stream-of-consciousness rantings that swing rapidly from Oprah to the art of writing discipline with the sort of lengthy attention span that would only a gnat could envy. Rivenbark never lingers too long on harpooning any one subject, which is refreshing. (Especially after finishing The Grapes of Wrath)

You Don't Sweat Much for a Fat Girl is the perfect antidote for too much deep, dark reading. Rivenbark's writing is compulsively readable, entertaining, and, at times, downright laugh out loud funny. If you've got a bitter sarcastic streak, a cynical eye for some (most?) of the clowns on TV these days, or you just need a breather from books that take themselves too seriously, definitely pick up a copy of You Don't Sweat Much for a Fat Girl!

And just out of curiosity, if you're a blogger/reviewer, when do you write your reviews? Right away or wait a few days? (or months? LOL)


  1. I sometimes wait a day or too...claiming I was busy and other times I will do it right away.

  2. I've got this one sitting on my shelf. It looks fun and I just might delve into it soon for a taste of something different than what I've been reading lately.

    On reviews, I usually try to write them within 2-3 days of reading a book. Otherwise, I forget everything. I take notes, but that doesn't always help, you know? I'm kind of brainless that way.

  3. LOL LOL...I think I will love this one. Gotta dig out my copy soon.

  4. Wasn't that book fun! Rivenbark was here for a lunch and she's hilarious!

    I try to write my reviews right away, but sometimes life gets in the way.

  5. I liked this one too! I also listened to one of her earlier collections on audio and it was very good.

    I am such a procrastinator so I tend to wait to write my reviews unless I have committed to post by a certain date or I have nothing else to post. I am trying to get better with that, though, because I am now completely backlogged.