Mamas on Bedrest: “You Don’t Sweat Much for A Fat Girl” Our Mamas BookClub Review

October 17th, 2012

This month’s Mamas Bookclub read was You Don’t Sweat Much for a Fat Girl by Celia Rivenbark. Unfortunately, I can’t say that I liked it.

This is our second book for Mamas Bookclub and admittedly, we are feeling our way. I find it hard to choose books because we all have such different tastes and books (to me anyway) are such personal forms of entertainment. Finding something with mass appeal is a challenge at best; finding something that will amuse, entertain and please Mamas on Bedrest raises the challenge to another level.

Putting the word out on Twitter and Facebook for suggestions, one I received was, “Anything by Celia Rivenbark”. After looking over her work on, I chose this book. While I was initially a bit offended by the title, the book got good reviews, the clips seemed funny and I thought, “Let’s keep it light for Mamas on Bedrest, given all that they are going through.”

Well, I have to say, I didn’t like the book. Not only didn’t I like the book, I was unable to finish it. While I understand that Rivenbark is a humorist, I find that humor, like book selection, is very individual. I chose this book because after reading the reviews and clips on, I thought we’d get a humorous look at pop culture. While Rivenbark does in fact make many comments and really valid observations about pop culture, I found the southern inflection annoying, overused and distracting. After a while, I couldn’t even see the humor because of the heavy use of southern reference. I realize that this is Ms. Rivenbark’s style and has become her trademark. But as a “damned Yankee” as I have been called, the repeated reference to her southern roots really distracted and took away from her points. After a while, I found myself kind of tuning out her words when she lapsed into a southern reference. Eventually I put the book down altogether. I did thumb through to the end to capture what pop culture topics she covered, but did not find enough interest to overcome the writer’s style.

While I am sure that many people are amused and entertained by this style of writing, I cannot include myself amongst that cohort. I did like the topics that Rivenbark addressed, but would have appreciated the commentary more without the southern reference. This is just my opinion and would really like to hear other people’s opinions of the book and, in particular, this “regional” writing style.

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