Sunday, August 27, 2023

Book Review: Not That Fancy

The best things in life are really not that fancy. This photo-driven book featuring all-things-Reba invites you to get back to the basics of life: fun, food, friends, and family. In her first book in over two decades, actress and country music legend Reba McEntire takes you behind the scenes and shares the stories, recipes, and Oklahoma-style truths that guide her life.

Not That Fancy: Simple Lessons on Living, Loving, Eating, and Dusting Off Your Boots by Reba McEntire will be published on October 10, 2023. Harper Celebrate provided an early galley for review.

I became a fan of Reba first through her sitcom in the early 2000's. Sure, I had seen a couple of her music videos on TV prior to that, and about a decade back when I got into a country music period I did a deep-dive into her back catalog. But my first impressions of her was from her show. She came across as welcoming, fun and easy-going.

This book is a lot like what I expected from those impressions. The stories are casual and personal as if you're sitting on her back porch just talking. The over 200 photographs in the book come from her personal albums, so you feel like you're sitting there flipping through them in her living room while she tells you the tales behind them. And, of course, the more than 60 recipes come from her own kitchen, from her friends and family, and from her restaurant Reba's Place in Atoka, Oklahoma. It is easy to feel like these are all things she'd serve up if you were invited to her home for a meal.

This was a quick and pleasant read, and Reba's life advice is intuitive and universal. I appreciated the quick index in the back to all the recipes, making it easier to reference them when looking for a dish or drink to make.

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