Fat Girls and Lawn Chairs

Title: Fat Girls and Lawn Chairs
Author: Cheryl Peck
Country: US (2002)
Pages: 246
Genre: Memoir (?)
Challenges: TBR Cover
Rating: *

Okay to preface this post, I'm not really quite sure why Fat Girls was on my TBR list.  I don't know about you, but I have an enormous ongoing list (set up in an Excel spreadsheet, so if I'm in the mood to read Literature I can scan those selections rather than general Fiction, or Young Adult, or even Non!)  So, anyway, I'm at the library with a couple of titles from the list and I pick up this one.  I barely glance at the back, because you know, I've already at some point thought about it - it had in the past for some reason grabbed my attention.  I also knew that I had not followed through yet with reading any non fiction.  The cover, which is of a orange cat with a purple wig, bright lime green glasses, flower necklace and (wait for it...) its tongue sticking out seemed to be appealing in the "Oh well, I'll start my non-fiction off with a cheesy collection of personal anecdotes.  It might be enough to ease me in."

So I began reading it.  And it was awful.  The book is sectioned off into about 25 or 30 anecdotes with titles such as "Of Cats and Men" or "Tales from the Duck Side".  ( I should point out that there are titles that are quite simple such as "Disobedience"). 

The stories within are quite trite: my least favorite is "Staring at the Light" which takes on the voice of her cat Babycakes and his dislike of momma staring at this bright light emanating from a source that he can't figure out.  His final antic to grab momma's attention from the warm heater is hacking in a way that appears to be emergency level, only to calm down once the attention is back on him.

So why did I continue reading this book?  Because it seemed as if everyone in amazon world ruled it a "heck ya" this book is hysterical.  I began asking myself "what's your problem; *obviously* you're missing something."  So I trudged on.  

Intermixed within the short anecdotes were a small collection of poems.  In some ways the poetry was the only redeeming quality.  Initially I thought of them as an annoyance, but the further that I read and the clearer the voice became, the more I appreciated them. They spoke beautiful emotion.  The final one coming to mind as the most poignant.  Peck shares her emotions of her mother's cancer eating away at her body. 

So that's about that.  I trudged through with very little reward.  I am however using this book toward completing the TBR challenge.  One of the categories is "Cover" - a cover that you find to be the most amazing, or the most hideous.  I can't decide how I feel about this cover.  It is both hideous and yet, quite funny looking.  It is definitely an attention grabber and a conversation beginner.  


  1. I thought it was a rooster dressed up. It's what some people would call "fugly".

    At least it's imaginative photography.

    Sorry you didn't enjoy it.

    Thanks for presenting this for the Cover category of 9 for '09 challenge.

  2. Refreshingly honest review. And.. from one English teacher to another, I will say, I too dislike grammar and I find that teaching it in isolation has as much impact on kids' learning as throwing jello at a wall and hoping it will stick. :)

    Beth Fehlbaum, author
    Courage in Patience, a story of hope..
    Ch. 1 is online!


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