"Sue Ellen's Girl Ain't Fat, She Just Weighs Heavy" by Shellie Rushing Tomlinson

When I think about the term "Southern," lots of things come to mind - etiquette, comfort food, funny accents, big hair…and a few things I can't quite wrap my head around like Nascar. So when I heard about the book Sue Ellen's Girl Ain't Fat, She Just Weighs Heavy by Shellie Rushing Tomlinson, I knew I had to pick it up and see if I could understand Southerners a bit better.

Using principles from the "Belle Doctrine" Tomlinson covers a wide range of topics such as fitness, men, time management, manners, politics, holidays and regional differences. Included amongst the observations and advice are Southern recipes and anecdotes from readers about growing up Southern. Right from the start this book screams "go-to book on all things Southern."

This is a follow-up to Tomlinson's best-selling book Suck Your Stomach In & Put Some Color On! but the book does stand alone so you don't have to have read the first one. Though I'm sure you'll want to once you've finished with this book.

I will admit that some of this book was hard for me to get into. I loved the personal stories and many had me laughing out loud. But there was quite a bit that I just didn't get. I justified this during my reading in that I just don't have much knowledge of the American South and therefore just wouldn't get why some things are funny. I likened it to a non-Canadian reading a book about us and our crazy ways. I mean, if you don't know what Tim Hortons is you just wouldn't understand why we consider a doughnut shop to be a national institution.

So I will say that if you are Southern, have spent time in the South or just happen to know a lot of people from there you will find this book hilarious, and you'll be laughing and nodding your head the whole way through. If you aren't from the South then you may not have the same experience with the book.

But no matter where you are from, there are a lot of lessons that can be taken from this book. One thing those Southerners sure can do is point out the absurdities of this world and teach you how to behave with a little bit of dignity in this crazy world we live in.


  1. Dear Shan, a Google Alert with the name of my book brings me by! Just happened to be online and saw when it posted. Glad I did. I enjoyed your take on my work--and, of course, I completely understand your not "getting" all of it. Still, I thought you were very even-handed with your review and I appreciate the kind words. Blessings on you and yours! Oh, and I see that you are a believer in our sweet Jesus. Well, now, I invited you back to my website and my blog where you'll find my weekly thoughts on my journey with Him. Now, THERE'S my greatest passion. Again, thank you.

  2. How cool is it that the author stopped by!!

    This looks like a a great book. We have some crazy habits and hypocritical ways that make complete sense to us... and some of us that live here don't get things like NASCAR either!

  3. The title of the book cracks me up. It looks like a fun book. Thanks for the review!

  4. I love these books! They make me smile!
    I just wanted to let you know that I have a surprise for you at my blog: http://www.curlingupwithagoodbook.com.

    Check it out! Keep up the great work.

  5. Hi Shan I think it's good that you were open to
    learning about the South but I live here I and sometimes I don't get it myself


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