Who doesn't love the Paula Deen we see on tv? This book give us insight into her life and tells you so many things that you can't imagine this bubbly, energetic woman going through. And there are a few recipes too!
I read this book without being a fan. She had a complex yet simple life and I found her extremely empowering and uplifting. I'm glad that she is seeing some success and wish her happiness in her future. Very inspiring book.
Paula Deen shows herself to be the brash, lovable, right-there Southern woman she seems to be on television. Her story is inspiration in what I call the "strong woman" genre, where a woman who doesn't realize her strength and potential is forced by circumstances to fold or bring her greatness forward. I like Paula even more after reading this book.
Good book, Paula goes into much detail about her failed marriage, her 10 year affair with a married man and the trials and tribulations of a single working mother trying to support herself and 2 sons. It is very easy to see how she isn't afraid to laugh at herself and allows others to laugh with her.
This has been one of the best autobiographies I've ever read! You can just hear Paula Deen's voice as you're reading the book. She is witty, funny, and smart as a whip! Plus she snuck a couple great recipes in the book!
I absolutely loved this book especially because Paula reads it. I am a Southern woman and I already liked her show and accent, so that may color my opinion. Paula reveals a lot of little secrets about herself that do make her more of a real person to me. I laughed and laughed as I drove down the road and that was just what I needed. If you aren't a Paula fan already this may not be the book for you, but it is one of my top 10 audio books.... I just loved it "yall"
If you like Paula Deen, you will enjoy the book. The same personality that comes across in her shows comes through the text on the page. Paula promised to tell her story warts and all which she does. What you learn is that she's absolutely human--we all do or say things we aren't necessarily proud of later on in life. She's very respectful of her first husband and while we learn why the marriage doesn't work Paula doesn't stoop to the level of trashing him. Paula has worked hard for her success and took chances that others might not have. Hard work combined with a winning personality has brought her a long way from having been afraid to leave her home.
I'm not a fan of her food particularly, and I'm west coast born and bred--not particularly crazed about southern food, I mean. I also own none of her cookbooks and don't want to I suppose--or I would (I have about 3,000 cookbooks). BUT I found myself *enthralled* by Paula Deen's book. I read it cover to cover like an addict. It is MOST inspiring. I have raved about it to several people, especially people who seem to be worth more then they appear to feel OR they just didn't get some of the good breaks that others have. This AMAZING Paula gal was in BED and DOWN/OUT much of her adult life!! I was shocked that she has only recently KICKED LIFE IN THE BUTT! What will-power and energy she has now. I think everyone (women especially) should read this book!!!! And BTW, bravo to her for raising her boys to be the rocks they have been to their mom in biz and in personal life. THEY are really accomplishments!!
Whew wee what a fabulous book!! I'm southern too and felt a real connection
to the people and the way of southern living. This was a well written book and I
enjoyed every single page. Kudos to Paula Deen and her family!
Wow. I felt like I'd pulled back the curtain to the "wizard that's Paula Deen." She reveals some mighty powerful stuff in this book, and the insight she gives into her past that shaped her is incredibly raw and brave. Add to that the stories of her "here and now" plus a few recipes thrown in for good measure, and this is one heck of a memoir.
This was a great book. I really like Paula Deen and this is a great story about how she got to where she is today. From a little girl through her teen years, to marriage, children, divorce, a new marriage and who and how her cooking was inspired. A very touching reality story and it was especially nice to hear her read the story as if she were telling it to you directly. Anyone who loves Paula would love to hear her story. I really wish it would have been longer.
Abridged, 6 CDs, 7 hours
Read by Paula Deen
It seems better to have a memoir read by the author if possible and it is true of this book. And Paula's voice and accent are very distinctive. Her reading is a little uneven, but overall she does a nice job. Possibly a function of the abridgement, I had a little trouble following the time line, not sure if the current topic was happening before or after other events. An interesting look into how she got where she is.
Brenda L. reviewed Paula Deen: It Ain't All About the Cookin' on
Helpful Score: 1
Good memoir. Gets a little boring in the "how to start your own restaurant" chapters, but she's funny, upfront, and tells it like it is. Good, fast, easy read. This is a book to enjoy lightly. Nothing hard about this book. Just her life story. Recipes after every chapter also.
I honestly liked this book-- it was very open, honest, and felt like sitting down having a conversation with The Lady herself. I did not know some of the things she revealed in this book, but, a lot of it explains the agoraphobia-- though to think she suffered through that for her children's entire childhood... that's so SAD...
I had a few impressions that were proven wrong in this book:
1.) I thought "The Bag Lady" was something she did when the kids were still in middle school-- false, they were just out of high-school
2.) I assumed her to be widowed-- false, her ex-husband, Jimmy Deen, is still alive, but they divorced because of his drinking and emotional neglect/abuse (though, the abuse wasn't physical, she stresses)
She admits that when she first started on her own, becoming an entrepreneur, it wasn't all roses, it was hard WORK-- things don't just fall into your lap. She even admits that she was a bitch on wheels until she got into a solid relationship with her now-husband Micheal Groover. (She just needed some good lovin', y'all!) She had no clear goals to be a TV personality whatsoever, but grew to love it. (I honestly just wish I could send her MY cookbook to see what she would say-- I'd like her opinion. Not looking to BE her by any means-- I just love writing and cooking and would love to hear what she had to say; it'd make my week if she even said she liked one recipe in there.)
I have always felt bad because she gets criticized so on the internet and in the media for either being too much herself or hiding some things. Well, just because she is famous doesn't mean the world is entitled to anything she doesn't want to share, and if she weren't herself, she'd be a phony, and not as loveable. She's like the crazy aunt you loved to visit as a child, and her warmth and genuine love for the people around her shines through.
And, though she speaks honestly about herself, and owns up to the mistakes she has made, I feel she handled her ex-husband and his addiction with class, constantly stressing that she still loved him and he WAS a good father, even if he wasn't the best provider. (And when she mentions the fact that his faults got all brushed aside so long because he was so good at "it"... I had to laugh a little, because I could just hear that coming from her mouth.) And, when she mentioned that the new family had some trouble blending, I thought it was nice she didn't candy-coat it and was just plain-spoken. Her boys wanted to be sure their Momma wasn't being taken for yet another ride (she didn't go straight from Jimmy to Micheal), and his daughter felt her position as the only woman in Daddy's life was being usurped, and Paula worried that Daddy's Little Princess was going to wreck the whole shebang. Fortunately, they learned to love each-other in their own way, and that's what's really important in the end.
I enjoyed this book about Paula before she became "famous". She started out in her kitchen with her boys to help and she put in alot of work to becaome the person she is today, It was a good read and I think I liked her alot more than I do today