Image Credits: Draper James / Amazon

Reese Witherspoon wowed us all when she brought Elle Woods to life in Legally Blonde, but now she’s taking a step back from that New England law school and going back to her southern roots. Her first book, Whiskey in a Teacup, is a lifestyle book full of anecdotal stories about her childhood, recipes, pictures, and ideas for making your own life a little more southern. It’s not an in depth celebrity memoir, it doesn’t mention Legally Blonde once, but if you love the South and want to reminisce in what it means to be southern for a few hours, this book will suit you well.

We all have a lot of misconceptions about celebrities, things we likely believe to be true simply because of what roles they’ve played or what People Magazine has said about them, but books like Whiskey in a Teacup help us tap into the true spirit of a star like Reese Witherspoon. She’s far more June Cash than Elle Woods, but the lack of discussion of Hollywood and movies in this book almost felt deceitful for me. Sure, Reese, I would love your pan-crusted chicken recipe and I love hearing about what you think about the different types of monograms, but not mentioning the movies that made you famous, except for the Johnny Cash movie Walk the Line, which won her an Oscar, felt weird. She talks a lot about her relationship with her mother and grandmother and growing up Southern and how she throws parties now, but we all know that Reese Witherspoon isn’t just sitting at home on a farm in Tennessee making sweet tea. I would have found it far more interesting to learn how she balances her southern charm and her family values with Hollywood and traveling to make movies with Oprah and starring in a TV show that centers on domestic violence.

So, if you don’t get talk about Hollywood or Reese Witherspoon’s work life, what do you get? A lot of practical advice about being a good host, giving great gifts, making the most of your family time, and decorating. Here’s a snippet from the book, called Dorothea (Reese’s grandmother)’s 7 Tips for Guests, which I think we can all agree we can learn from as young women.

1) RSVP promptly. Everyone’s time is valuable and it’s no joke to organize a party.

2) When in doubt about how fancy it is, dress up. Better overdressed than under-dressed.

3) Bring something. You can’t go wrong with a bottle of wine.

4) Introduce yourself to everyone you know-first and last name – even if you think they should already know who you are.

5) Offer to help the host carry trays, pour water, etc. It’s always nice to offer, even if they say no.

6) Leave at a reasonable hour. Never be the last one to leave a party.

7) Send a quick, genuine thank you note the next day-by phone, email, or handwritten note.

Overall, Whiskey in a Teacup was cute. It was fluffy and light-hearted and left me with a bit of a twang for a day or two. I listened to the audiobook, and Reese Witherspoon’s narration was perfection, but I’m still crossing my fingers that one day she’ll write a celebrity memoir about her life, her family, and how she became Elle Woods.

Get your copy of Whiskey in a Teacup here!

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Aryssa D
FFL Cabinet Member