I read Suck Your Stomach In and Put Some Color On!: What Southern Mamas Tell Their Daughters that the Rest of Y'all Should Know Too by Shellie Rushing Tomlinson on my flight home from San Diego on Sunday. Yes, the longest title ever, and yes, I read it all on Sunday.
Now, I didn't grow up Southern, but I still really enjoyed this book, which is fun, informative and humorous all at the same time. Essentially, it is a series of very short, entertaining stories divided into related chapters (marriage, raising babies, manners, etc). I especially enjoyed the little "advice" reader quotes from women all over the south scattered about the book. Here are a few of my favorites little nuggets of advice -
“It’s fine to dress so they know you’re a woman, as long as they can still tell you’re a lady.”
Along with the looming possibility of cross-examination, we girls always left our house toting that heavy Southern responsibility to “remember who you are” and “don’t forget your raising,” seeing as how “your actions reflect on this family, whether you like it or not.”
When something was wrong, my Southern Mama would deal with it by saying, “Oh, nobody will know it in a hundred years.”
My tormentors would get a whoopin’ and I’d get even. That’s another Southern trait, although we well-brought-up Southern ladies don’t like to think of it as revenge. We prefer to think of ourselves as being resourceful.This book is a quick, fun read. It's full of entertaining stories with great morals and useful advice. In fact, after I finish this I am going to write out a pile of way, way overdue Thank You Notes. I mean, this book has me feeling guilty for not sending out Thank You Notes for things that happened a year ago. I'm also feeling recommitted to cooking. At the end of each chapter, there is a collection of delicious recipes. They all sound amazing. I tried out Rice Consomme and Mushrooms on Monday as a side dish to my fish entree. Delicious. Like, definitely going to be a favorite. And most importantly, it was so easy to make.
I'm not going to lie when I say that I'm seriously considering the Southern Mama way of parenting when the time comes. I'm a little jealous I don't have a Southern Mama of my own for advice (Northern Mamas are just as adept at guilt tripping, but seem to be less inclined to give advice...except for that whole "blunt truth" thing. My mom has got that one down pat).
I enjoyed this book so much that I'm going to pick up Sue Ellen's Girl Ain't Fat, She Just Weighs Heavy: The Belle of All Things Southern Dishes on Men, Money, and Not Losing Your Midlife Mind, also by Shellie Rushing Tomlinson. Shellie runs a website and blog, The Belle of All Things Southern, and has a radio program, All Things Southern, that you can listen to on podcast. I encourage you to check out her website and all the various features, as I am liking them quite a bit myself.
Apparently today is Literary Junkies Link Up, which is rather serendipitous!
This month’s link-up questions: 1) What are you currently reading? Tell us a bit about it!
Alas, I am not reading anything at the moment because I literally just finished Suck Your Stomach In and Put Some Color On! I'm not sure what I'm going to pick up next!
2) What are your five most recent book purchases?
Hm. A Modern Witch (A Modern Witch Series: Book 1), A Hidden Witch (A Modern Witch Series: Book 2), Suck Your Stomach In and Put Some Color On!: What Southern Mamas Tell Their Daughters that the Rest of Y'all Should Know Too, Outlander (I've read this before, but just bought it for myself for the first time and am re-reading it), The Devil's Horizon (Devil's Fire, Book 3) by Matt Tomerlin...and the 5th was so long ago I don't even remember. Super Sad Face. Although I have downloaded some free kindle books and immediately returned them because I didn't find them to be that good. That might count for something?
3) Have you ever named/nicknamed anything (person, pet or thing) after a character?
No, but I would be lying if I didn't say Jamie from the Outlander series wasn't my first love, and that I fully intend to have a child with that name someday. Am I alone here? Surely someone else must have had a crush on a character at some point in time!
4) If you could live in one book, all of its characters and in the town, which would it be?
The Amelia Peabody series, of course! But I would also get to be their friend and travel around the world and Egypt with them.
5) Can you think of a book you read that taught you something concrete that you’ve never forgotten?
I don't usually read self-help or advice books, but I've certainly been affected by stories and had favorite books that have stayed with me for years. The books I read in middle school by Tamora Pierce certainly did that.