Showing posts with label Fannie Flagg. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fannie Flagg. Show all posts

June 11, 2011

SUMMER READ SATURDAY: June 11, 2011

Welcome to another installment of Summer Read Saturday, where we share a good summer beach read with other readers.  Please join in by commenting on this post or sharing your own Summer Read Saturday post by using the link below. Grab the button above or on the left sidebar to share.

Here is what I am sharing from my beach bag this week: 

FRIED GREEN TOMATOES AT THE WHISTLE STOP CAFE by Fannie Flagg

BOOK DESCRIPTION:  Folksy and fresh, endearing and affecting, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe is the now-classic novel of two women in the 1980s: of gray-headed Mrs. Threadgoode telling her life story to Evelyn, who is in the sad slump of middle age. The tale she tells is also of two women--of the irrepressibly daredevilish tomboy Idgie and her friend Ruth--who back in the thirties ran a little place in Whistle Stop, Alabama, a Southern kind of Cafe Wobegon offering good barbecue and good coffee and all kinds of love and laughter, even an occasional murder. And as the past unfolds, the present--for Evelyn and for us--will never be quite the same again. . . .


This one is a bit of an oldie but quite the goodie.  If you like Southern fiction and strong female friendships, Fannie Flagg is your lady. 

Ms. Flagg has the ability to not only weave wonderfully involving stories but to do so with bright, unforgettable characters.  Tomatoes reads like a soapy southern fiction, complete with illicit love, abusive relationships, deep friendships, murder and a resulting trial.  Are you intrigued?  You should be - - this book is as delicious as fried chicken, potato salad and pecan pie.

The book alternates between present day (circa 1987, the time the book was published) when Evelyn Couch listens to fascinating stories of the small town of Whistle Stop, Alabama from elderly Mrs. Threadgoode, and flashbacks to the times Mrs. Threadgoode reminisces about.  Normally when I read books that have present day versus flashbacks I have a preference to one time period or the other.  With Tomatoes, I loved both settings and characters so much I could never choose between the two. 

The book provides wonderful insight into not only small town Southern America but also the special dynamics in female friendships.  We see it with Idgie and Ruth in the flashback scenes but also see it very strongly with Mrs. Threadgoode and Evelyn, who develop an almost mother-daughter bond over their weekly visits.  There are a handful of male characters present, and vital, to the tale but they truly are secondary to the wonderful women in this story.

Tomatoes is a great beach read not just because of its Peyton Place meets small town Alabama nature but also because it will have you laughing out loud.  Pages of the book will tickle your funny bone as people and conversations jump off the page and come alive for you.  Certain characters are simply a hoot and surely while reading this book you will recognize someone you know, or at least a portion of them, in a certain character or characters. 

Tomatoes is a quick and breezy read, not taxing and perfect to whip out while you're getting comfortable on your towel or lawn chair.  This book was the first I read by Fannie Flagg and it led me to her others.  It will likely do the same for you.

As an added bonus, pair the book with the splendid 1991 film (shortened to Fried Green Tomatoes) and have a wonderful day or weekend with Fannie Flagg and her southern ladies.  As an aside, the film follows the book relatively closely but there are a few things the book offers the movie does not.

If you'd like to add Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe to your library, please shop at my Amazon store here

What is your summer read for this week? 

September 22, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday: September 22, 2010

Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

I Still Dream About You
by Fannie Flagg
Publication Date:  November 9,2010
Synopsis (from Barnes & Noble): 


The beloved Fannie Flagg is back and at her irresistible and hilarious best in I Still Dream About You, a comic mystery romp through the streets of Birmingham, Alabama, past, present, and future.



Meet Maggie Fortenberry, a still beautiful former Miss Alabama. To others, Maggie’s life seems practically perfect—she’s lovely, charming, and a successful real estate agent at Red Mountain Realty. Still, Maggie can’t help but wonder how she wound up in her present condition. She had been on her hopeful way to becoming Miss America and realizing her childhood dream of someday living in one of the elegant old homes on top of Red Mountain, with the adoring husband and the 2.5 children, but then something unexpected happened and changed everything.


Maggie graduated at the top of her class at charm school, can fold a napkin in more than forty-eight different ways, and can enter and exit a car gracefully, but all the finesse in the world cannot help her now. Since the legendary real estate dynamo Hazel Whisenknott, beloved founder of Red Mountain Realty, died five years ago, business has gone from bad to worse—and the future isn’t looking much better. But just when things seem completely hopeless, Maggie suddenly comes up with the perfect plan to solve it all.


As Maggie prepares to put her plan into action, we meet the cast of high-spirited characters around her. To Brenda Peoples, Maggie’s best friend and real estate partner, Maggie’s life seems easy as pie. Slender Maggie doesn’t have to worry about her figure, or about her Weight Watchers sponsor catching her at the Krispy Kreme doughnut shop. And Ethel Clipp, Red Mountain’s ancient and grumpy office manager with the bright purple hair, thinks the world of Maggie but has absolutely nothing nice to say about their rival Babs “The Beast of Birmingham” Bingington, the unscrupulous estate agent who hates Maggie and is determined to put her out of business.


Maggie has heartbreaking secrets in her past, but through a strange turn of events, she soon discovers, quite by accident, that everybody, it seems—dead or alive—has at least one little secret.


I Still Dream About You is a wonderful novel that is equal parts Southern charm, murder mystery, and that perfect combination of comedy and old-fashioned wisdom that can be served up only by America’s own remarkable Fannie Flagg.



I just love Fannie Flagg.  Have you read Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe or Redbird Christmas or Standing in the Rainbow?  She tells a wonderfully warm story with incredibly colorful characters, all with a Southern focus.  She certainly doesn't write books quickly enough to satisfy me, so I am looking forward to this newest work of hers. 

What's your "waiting on" pick this week?