I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.
Where to begin... this was a Christmas gift from a friend here in Oz; a very thoughtful gift, as she saw it and thought, as a Southerner myself, it might be a touch of home for me while I am here on the bottom of the world.
This is what I'd call a 50/50 split of lifestyle and recipe book. I'm mostly not a fan of lifestyle books, mostly because I'm pretty hopeless with the 'style' part, and I can't be bothered to care about my shortcomings. I do enjoy a good recipe book though.
I also know very little about Reece Witherspoon, except that for reasons I cannot explain even to myself, Sweet Home Alabama is a movie that has stayed with me over the years. The smattering I do know about her seems admirable and anyone who uses their fame to start people reading is winning, as far as I'm concerned.
So, I went into this book with no clear expectation of what I'd think when I was done. I'm done, and mostly, I feel meh. But only because I'm certain I'm not the true target audience. This feels like a book that was written almost exclusively for her fanbase. Maybe. Or maybe I just missed something.
What I did enjoy was the reminder of all the ways being a Southerner is a wonderful thing. I spent a lot of time yelling "Yes! This!" in my head about things such as, in no particular order, the kind of manners that were drummed into my head (I still use ma'am and sir, which does not fly here in Aus, let me tell you); frog catching; playing outdoors until the streetlights came on; how to carry on a phone conversation; how you introduce yourself. I loved the section about accents, which made me laugh, because I still use a lot of those idioms and pronunciations.
The recipes look good too - there are a few I'd love to try, though MT has been shoved kicking and screaming onto the gluten free bandwagon for the foreseeable future to try to curb his inflammation levels (which, sadly for my love of all things gluten, might be working really well). Since all the ones that sound best to me (chilli pie with cornbread topping) are not gluten free, they'll have to wait a bit.
All in all, not a book I'd have bought myself, but one I'll be happy to keep on the shelves. This one may connect much more with readers who are actively fans of Witherspoon's, as she comes across as genuine, honest, and sincere.