Today on the Today Show, authors of different literary genres--chick lit, mystery, detective novels--were sharing their summer reading suggestions, and I'll be honest, I didn't find many to add to my list. I'm a reading snob, but only in the most inconsistent way. I loved Harry Potter, but I just can't get into the Twilight series beyond book one (probably because the two are in no way literarily comparable.) There are some authors I ignore on general principle, although I try to be tactful when others gush about their books.
But I love Celia Rivenbark. Her books could be shelved under humor or under Southern--and honestly, doesn't Southern humor merit its own section in the bookstore? I had read Bless Your Heart, Tramp and We're Just Like You, Only Prettier before she appeared at Hickory's library for a "girls' night out" reading. She was equally entertaining in person. I love to have the real voice for my own internal soundtrack, especially when the author's writing has strong literary voice.
Since then, I buy her new books while they're still in hardback. (Then I give them as gifts to just the right people when they come out in paperback.) I mean no disrespect to Ms. Rivenbark when I say that her books provide the perfect bathroom reading. They sit right there on the back of the tank with the Reader's Digest. I just finished her latest, You Can't Drink All Day If You Don't Start in the Morning," the title coming, if I recall correctly, from a cousin's tee shirt. Since some of my friends are about to start out on their second annual RV trip back and forth across America. (Last year's was called "The Big Heads and More" as they headed toward Mt. Rushmore. This year's goal is the Big Ditch--the Grand Canyon.) Rivenbark's observations on camping should make for perfect road reading.
In a week or two, I am attending an engagement party for the daughter of a friend, and the fiance's parents will be in town from Scotland. I don't know what I'll get the happy couple, but I think his mother is going to need a couple of books like these to help her understand the Southern future in-laws and wedding protocol.