Two memoirs. And my thoughts on them, which aren’t quite as professional and fleshed-out as they might be in one of my “normal” reviews, so . . . it’s Tuesday, friends, and here you go: Rivenbark and Drummond. Drummond and Rivenbark.
They have nothing to do with one another, but I’m squeezing these ladies into one post.
We’re Just Like You, Only Prettier
by Celia Rivenbark
3.5 of 5 stars
When it comes to the South, Celia Rivenbark has seen and heard it all. The humor columnist from North Carolina shares her “confessions of a tarnished belle” in a book that was laugh-out-loud funny one moment and snooze-inducing the next.
I borrowed this one on audio and listened to it in less than a week, so it was quick — but not very memorable. The vignettes have little to do with one another, and many of them have little to even do with Southern culture; the writer just happens to be Southern. Still, no matter; it was funny and light, albeit no competition for my beloved Jen Lancaster and Laurie Notaro.
The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels
to Tractor Wheels
by Ree Drummond
2 of 5 stars
Marlboro Man is gorgeous. Marlboro Man looks great in his jeans. I act like a fool around MM, but MM makes my insides turn into jelly — which is just as important to note as my parents’ impending divorce and the death of my dog and the effects of an Oklahoma prairie fire.
Look, Ree — I love you. I love your adorable cooking show. I waited in line for four and a half hours to meet you in 2010, which almost led to the demise of my nascent relationship with Spencer. (But also proved a barometer for how patient and awesome my boyfriend is, so actually — thank you?)
But this book? It was pretty dreadful. Boring and repetitive and eye-roll-inducing and all the things I never thought I would ever say about my beloved PW. It read like an overly dramatic romance novel, and honestly? I wondered how such a sassy, spunky woman could come across as such a whiny lemming in her take on the early years of her romance with Ladd, her hunky husband, and their quick-as-lightning courtship. (And marriage. And first child.) The endless references to Marlboro Man’s physique and their obvious attraction to one another made me sip my Diet Coke with disdain, and I only finished the book out of a sense of loyalty to all PW has meant to me over the years. If it had been penned by anyone else, it would have been out. the. door.
Ree’s trademark self-deprecating humor is buried beneath a thick layer of insecurity and inexperience in Black Heels — and not in a charming way. It also came across as . . . very anti-feminist? I don’t know. I didn’t like it. I’m going to end here but still know that I love you, PW, though I will stick to reading your blog and admiring your adorable kids and dogs.
Okay, so I was wrong about not having that much to say about Pioneer Woman. But I feel sort of bad panning the book, so I’m going to hide my thoughts within this “mini” review post because somehow it assuages that odd nagging guilt. Though I’m just being honest. Okay? Okay.
11 thoughts on “Mini book reviews: ‘We’re Just Like You…’ and ‘Black Heels To Tractor Wheels’”
I love memoirs, and Black Heels To Tractor Wheels appealed to me when I first heard about, but it seems that it doesn’t live up to expecations, although I really enjoyed your review of it…well done!
I’m with you. I ❤ Ree. But I'm not sure this can keep my attention.
Speaking of Ree, I do want to check out her Charlie (the basset hound) Christmas book. I saw it at the grocery store the other day.
Ah, well, some memoirs are just a little narcissistic that way. PW is pretty cool, but I’m not sure the hunkiness is as nearly as interesting to us as it is to her. And that is OK. I’m glad she loves her husband, but probably won’t chase this one down.
I’m glad you posted about the PW book. Sometimes blogs just don’t translate well to books and I’ve been thinking about reading that one. I really appreciate saving my time and giving it to another book!
I agreed with you completely about PW’s book. I love her blog but not her book. Ugh.
The Rivenbark book is funny. Light and forgettable.
I’m glad you posted about PW’s memoir, too. It’s definitely one that would have interested me, but it sounds like it’s nothing like her writing on the blog.
Rivenbark can be funny but her humor does get old. Her last book was way too political.
You’re not the first person to say Drummond’s memoir is a stinker.
“…it was pretty dreadful…” I love it!! If nothing else, it was a pretty cover.
I’ve been looking everywhere for a good new book. Thanks for the reviews!
It’s nice to hear that PW isn’t perfect. Judging by her hordes of fans, you’d think the woman could do no wrong.
I just went back and read your post about meeting her. Too cute! Was that the year she was at the National Book Festival? That day, I met her accidentally! She’s such a doll.
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