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Whiskey in a Teacup: What Growing Up in the South Taught Me About Life, Love & Baking Biscuits

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Academy award–winning actress, producer, and entrepreneur Reese Witherspoon invites you into her world, where she infuses the southern style, parties, and traditions she loves with contemporary flair and charm. Reese Witherspoon’s grandmother Dorothea always said that a combination of beauty and strength made southern women “whiskey in a teacup.” We may be delicate and orna Academy award–winning actress, producer, and entrepreneur Reese Witherspoon invites you into her world, where she infuses the southern style, parties, and traditions she loves with contemporary flair and charm. Reese Witherspoon’s grandmother Dorothea always said that a combination of beauty and strength made southern women “whiskey in a teacup.” We may be delicate and ornamental on the outside, she said, but inside we’re strong and fiery. Reese’s southern heritage informs her whole life, and she loves sharing the joys of southern living with practically everyone she meets. She takes the South wherever she goes with bluegrass, big holiday parties, and plenty of Dorothea’s fried chicken. It’s reflected in how she entertains, decorates her home, and makes holidays special for her kids—not to mention how she talks, dances, and does her hair (in these pages, you will learn Reese’s fail-proof, only slightly insane hot-roller technique). Reese loves sharing Dorothea’s most delicious recipes as well as her favorite southern traditions, from midnight barn parties to backyard bridal showers, magical Christmas mornings to rollicking honky-tonks. It’s easy to bring a little bit of Reese’s world into your home, no matter where you live. After all, there’s a southern side to every place in the world, right?


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Academy award–winning actress, producer, and entrepreneur Reese Witherspoon invites you into her world, where she infuses the southern style, parties, and traditions she loves with contemporary flair and charm. Reese Witherspoon’s grandmother Dorothea always said that a combination of beauty and strength made southern women “whiskey in a teacup.” We may be delicate and orna Academy award–winning actress, producer, and entrepreneur Reese Witherspoon invites you into her world, where she infuses the southern style, parties, and traditions she loves with contemporary flair and charm. Reese Witherspoon’s grandmother Dorothea always said that a combination of beauty and strength made southern women “whiskey in a teacup.” We may be delicate and ornamental on the outside, she said, but inside we’re strong and fiery. Reese’s southern heritage informs her whole life, and she loves sharing the joys of southern living with practically everyone she meets. She takes the South wherever she goes with bluegrass, big holiday parties, and plenty of Dorothea’s fried chicken. It’s reflected in how she entertains, decorates her home, and makes holidays special for her kids—not to mention how she talks, dances, and does her hair (in these pages, you will learn Reese’s fail-proof, only slightly insane hot-roller technique). Reese loves sharing Dorothea’s most delicious recipes as well as her favorite southern traditions, from midnight barn parties to backyard bridal showers, magical Christmas mornings to rollicking honky-tonks. It’s easy to bring a little bit of Reese’s world into your home, no matter where you live. After all, there’s a southern side to every place in the world, right?

30 review for Whiskey in a Teacup: What Growing Up in the South Taught Me About Life, Love & Baking Biscuits

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Witherspoon's book about southern living covers topics like food, decorating, and getting dressed up, but it doesn't have enough of any one topic to be useful. The recipes are common southern dishes that you've seen a hundred times and probably done better. When she says she scouts flea markets for little decorative items I don't believe her. I like her as an actress and admire her work as a producer, but this book is a cash grab. Review from e-galley.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Part memoir, part cookbook, part family tribute, part southern lifestyle guide...Whiskey in a Teacup: What Growing Up in the South Taught Me About Life, Love & Baking Biscuits has a little bit of everything for those who enjoy the culture of Southern living and/or fans of the actress Reese Witherspoon. In my personal opinion, it's not a super regrettable experience if you can't get your hands on it right away but it was indeed interesting to explore. I listened to the audiobook initially, wh Part memoir, part cookbook, part family tribute, part southern lifestyle guide...Whiskey in a Teacup: What Growing Up in the South Taught Me About Life, Love & Baking Biscuits has a little bit of everything for those who enjoy the culture of Southern living and/or fans of the actress Reese Witherspoon. In my personal opinion, it's not a super regrettable experience if you can't get your hands on it right away but it was indeed interesting to explore. I listened to the audiobook initially, which is narrated by Reese Witherspoon herself, and she made reference to an attached PDF that provides visuals of recipes, photos, etc. Since I borrowed the audiobook from my library's database, I couldn't access the PDF (some compatibility issue), so I went a few days later to the bookstore to sneak a peek at the visuals. There are tidbits, notes, lists, ideas, etc. also that aren't in the audiobook. I'd have to admit, it probably would have been a tedious listening experience if they were all in there. I've listened to audiobooks where whole recipes were narrated and it is pretty pointless in my opinion. While I enjoyed listening to Reese Witherspoon and her fiery Southern drawl, I'd have to recommend the physical book/ebook on this one...unless you are certain you can access the PDF on your device. Enjoy! My favorite quote: "To me, southern womanhood is about both the teacup and the whiskey – the music and the manners, the hospitality and the fight for fairness. Some people think that caring about “silly” things like cooking or fashion is mutually exclusive with “serious” politics. But my mother and grandmother and their friends taught me that finding pleasure at home – whether in a family dinner or a book club or a backyard barbecue – can give us the strength to go out into the world and do incredible things." Recipes I plan to try: Reese's Chicken Pot Pie Casserole Sauteed Baby Kale John's BBQ Sauce

  3. 5 out of 5

    Tina

    I enjoy reading about, "The South." The lifestyle, fashion, food, and history fascinates me. I like Reese Witherspoon and her spin on how growing up in the South (Tennessee) influenced her life. This is a coffee-table type of book. It's not exactly a memoir but just her thoughts on how the South and her family traditions contributed to her outlook on life. The pictures are nice and the stories are cute. There are some standard southern recipes as well. There's nothing really new or substantial in I enjoy reading about, "The South." The lifestyle, fashion, food, and history fascinates me. I like Reese Witherspoon and her spin on how growing up in the South (Tennessee) influenced her life. This is a coffee-table type of book. It's not exactly a memoir but just her thoughts on how the South and her family traditions contributed to her outlook on life. The pictures are nice and the stories are cute. There are some standard southern recipes as well. There's nothing really new or substantial in the book but it's put together nicely and a joy to read. I found it rather sweet. It's a delightful book to flip through with a cup of tea (and perhaps a splash of whiskey.). Why not? Reese says that's the way in the South.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Toni

    Update: Just received the ebook and I may need to update from 3 1/2 stars to 4 just for the pictures! Not only pics of Reese and her family, but her home and surrounding area. Nicely done. Plus, every recipe comes with a perfect picture. Oh my, am I gushing? Very light, but fun read (or listen) on Reese’s take on being a Southern woman. I like Reese as an actor and person so I was willing to continue listening to the very end. I say that because I feel this book is geared more toward twenty/thir Update: Just received the ebook and I may need to update from 3 1/2 stars to 4 just for the pictures! Not only pics of Reese and her family, but her home and surrounding area. Nicely done. Plus, every recipe comes with a perfect picture. Oh my, am I gushing? Very light, but fun read (or listen) on Reese’s take on being a Southern woman. I like Reese as an actor and person so I was willing to continue listening to the very end. I say that because I feel this book is geared more toward twenty/thirty-somethings, since to us mature women, it seems just common sense. It’s mostly about entertaining, decorating, food, etc. The best parts are when she talks about her grandmother Dorothea, and her Mom. Keeping memories is her best advice in my opinion. The audio comes with a PDF of recipes, etc. which I haven’t downloaded yet. I’m sure the ebook includes them. Reese narrates so it’s great to hear her voice However, do yourself a favor, while Reese does have a pleasant voice, the pictures in the ebook are much better. And who wants to fuss with downloading a PDF anyway. Go for the book! . Enjoy!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Dana Al-Basha دانة الباشا

    Legally Blond wrote a book! I must get this one!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Mellie Antoinete

    “How do you make it to adulthood without ever picking up at least one verse of “Joy to the World?” Were you raised in a bunker?” Well this was just pure Southern charm, with a side o whiskey fun in a coffee table book! That Reese Witherspoon is adorable! Knows who she is, proud of her roots and isn’t afraid to throw a suggestion out there! Enjoyable!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)

    This is a charming book that covers everything quintessentially Southern. Realistically, there's absolutely nothing new or super creative here; the recipes are all classic dishes and the information provided will have Southerner's nodding in agreement/understanding and may get a giggle from someone not familiar with the Southern culture. I do love the design layout and photographs included and enjoyed the hour I spent with it start to finish.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Stefanie Kellum

    Having deviled eggs on Reese Witherspoon’s porch is definitely on my bucket list now. This is a sweet and heartfelt love letter to the South with yummy recipes and personal stories thrown in. *I read a digital ARC of this title from the publisher via Edelweiss.

  9. 5 out of 5

    fortuna.spinning

    I’m a bad southern woman. 😆 I don’t wear a lot of color or patterns, no lipstick, definitely no monograms, and I haven’t a clue how to roller my hair, but I adore Reese and loved listening to her talk about growing up in Nashville. If you listen to the audio, be sure to check out the PDF which is full of pretty photos, family recipes, and party playlists.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lynn Gionette

    I liked this book! I love Reese Witherspoon so yeah I'm going love a big ok she writes about her southern traditions. Its part memoir, part cook book, part hosting book. A nice light read. I'm also going to try a few of the dishes! It was exactly what you'd expect from her.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Anita

    This book is pure pleasure. An ode, and love story to southern food, words, heritage and family. Reese is a woman who shares her tales and secrets. A woman of great depth beyond what we see on the screen. We’ve seen her career in production bloom and recently her passion for reading has been shared with her book club. Thank you to Touchstone for the digital early copy. I will be buying the book because it’s just the type of book we all need hanging around our homes. Recipes and reference and war This book is pure pleasure. An ode, and love story to southern food, words, heritage and family. Reese is a woman who shares her tales and secrets. A woman of great depth beyond what we see on the screen. We’ve seen her career in production bloom and recently her passion for reading has been shared with her book club. Thank you to Touchstone for the digital early copy. I will be buying the book because it’s just the type of book we all need hanging around our homes. Recipes and reference and warm feelings of Southern love. Grab this one!!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sam

    Such a cute, fun read as an audiobook! I loved that Reese Witherspoon narrated the audiobook! ❤ Such a cute, fun read as an audiobook! I loved that Reese Witherspoon narrated the audiobook! ❤️

  13. 4 out of 5

    Margie

    What can I say . . . I was born and raised in the South and while reading this book I remember doing some of the exact same things that the author did - helping my grandmother take care of the gardens, catching fireflies in mason jars, sucking on honeysuckle, and dinner parties - my grandmother had a tablecloth she used for every special occasion. Guests would sign their name in pencil and add the date underneath. My grandmother would embroider each name and date. When you returned for another d What can I say . . . I was born and raised in the South and while reading this book I remember doing some of the exact same things that the author did - helping my grandmother take care of the gardens, catching fireflies in mason jars, sucking on honeysuckle, and dinner parties - my grandmother had a tablecloth she used for every special occasion. Guests would sign their name in pencil and add the date underneath. My grandmother would embroider each name and date. When you returned for another dinner, you would find your name and add the current date. The pronunciation key was fun to look at - and it is correct! Our family never held Kentucky Derby parties, but that sounds like a great tradition to start. Most of the recipes are familiar to me, but there are a few that I can't wait to try. The author is a famous actress and entrepreneur, and I believe she wrote this book because she is truly proud of her roots and Southern history. I really enjoyed her stories.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Rebekah O'Dell

    Fun and better-than-expected writing!!! I intend to make a recipe or two from this book and loved the accompanying essays!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Anelis

    0 stars for the memoire, 3 for the recipes ~random thoughts~ The South is THE BESTEST!!!1 Seriously this book is a huge collection of lists about, mostly, "the south" and how to be a proper lady/host/guest/cook/whatever. Very awkward attempt to advocate about the non-racism of THE SOUTH by listing the accomplishments of black women and men. But OF COURSE she would love gender reveal parties. "You don't have to lose your femininity to be a strong woman." A possible summary could be the quote "there's a 0 stars for the memoire, 3 for the recipes ~random thoughts~ The South is THE BESTEST!!!1 Seriously this book is a huge collection of lists about, mostly, "the south" and how to be a proper lady/host/guest/cook/whatever. Very awkward attempt to advocate about the non-racism of THE SOUTH by listing the accomplishments of black women and men. But OF COURSE she would love gender reveal parties. "You don't have to lose your femininity to be a strong woman." A possible summary could be the quote "there's a time and a place for chewing gum." OF COURSE she monograms stuff. God damn this really feels like it was written in a past decade, I cannot imagine how a modern woman can be so clueless. Don't mind the recipes, it'll be fun to try them out. I cringe at the photos that look like ones from a catologue for expensive furniture. All in all, a very rich-and-white kind of book. I would expect this from Goop, but Witherspoon? I hoped for better.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Darcy

    Reese Witherspoon is one of my favorite actresses, so when I saw she had a book and my library had it I knew I had to check it out. I hate to say it, but to me this is a huge vanity project. The audio book was not much over 2 hours long, the book might have been the better way to go. I was glad that she provided what was basically the book in pdf form so that you could see. I'm sure the paper book had big glossy pages, there sure were a lot of pictures, not a lot of words.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Andee

    Why did I buy this book? I’ve had such guilt about it since the moment I tossed it in the cart. Love Reese Witherspoon films, she’s a great actress. Cannot stand Reese Witherspoon the hypocritical lying person. Ever since she had her DUI during which she was horribly obnoxious and rude to the police officer and pulled the - Don’t you know who I am! - line, which is always so disgusting. Who she truly is doesn’t really square up with her carefully cultivated, cutesy little image of a sweet, well Why did I buy this book? I’ve had such guilt about it since the moment I tossed it in the cart. Love Reese Witherspoon films, she’s a great actress. Cannot stand Reese Witherspoon the hypocritical lying person. Ever since she had her DUI during which she was horribly obnoxious and rude to the police officer and pulled the - Don’t you know who I am! - line, which is always so disgusting. Who she truly is doesn’t really square up with her carefully cultivated, cutesy little image of a sweet, well mannered, conscientious and caring Southern belle. That said, this book is precisely what I feared - a bunch of fake bullshit that I would bet a million dollars Reese Witherspoon has no link to at all except for depositing checks into her bank account. The book is just a substance lacking, shallow project for someone who wants a new hobby. Book, check; cookbook, check (this book has mediocre recipes too); clothing line, check; furniture, unknown; overpriced boutique of stupid crap; probably in the works. This ranks up there with wasting precious moments of your life on a Goop website. If you really must have a copy, look for it at garage sales near you for $.50 in a few months.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Stacie Boren

    I purchased this book from Amazon to read. All opinions are my own. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 Whiskey In A Teacup by Reese Witherspoon. What a great insight into Reese's world! Everything from how to hot roll your hair to what to put on your dinner party table. An amazing book that will definitely be on my list for Christmas gifts for all the women in my family! Review also posted on Instagram @borenbooks, Library Thing, Go Read, Goodreads/StacieBoren, Amazon, Twitter @jason_stacie and my blog at readsbystacie.com

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

    Mostly fluff, not much substance. I live in “The South” and, yes, women like to wear makeup, dress up, entertain, etc and have been raised to do these things. Not sure why stating those well known facts warranted a book. Still, it was an enjoyable audiobook as it was read by the author.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    Whiskey in a Teacup is an instruction manual on how to entertain and cook like a southern woman. Filled with childhood memories and advice for most social occasions, Reese Witherspoon provides readers with a lighter, warmer version of most hostess books (think Martha and Ina, for example). The recipes look delicious, and I know I’ll attempt the shrimp and grits and buttermilk biscuit recipes as they are two of my favorite dishes. I adored the paragraph on telephone etiquette because it is exactly Whiskey in a Teacup is an instruction manual on how to entertain and cook like a southern woman. Filled with childhood memories and advice for most social occasions, Reese Witherspoon provides readers with a lighter, warmer version of most hostess books (think Martha and Ina, for example). The recipes look delicious, and I know I’ll attempt the shrimp and grits and buttermilk biscuit recipes as they are two of my favorite dishes. I adored the paragraph on telephone etiquette because it is exactly how I asked my children to answer the phone. The book is peppered with fantastic southern says from her mother, Betty, and grandmother, Dorothea. Whiskey in a Teacup is likely to be adored by the author’s fans and those who follow her book club reading suggestions. I enjoyed it, but I am happy that I borrowed it from the library. Bless your heart, y’all! For more reading recommendations, visit Book Junkie Reviews at www.abookjunkiereviews.wordpress.com

  21. 5 out of 5

    Alison

    I really thought this would be a fluffy celebrity cookbook with not a lot of substance. But Reese weaves a lot of truths about the value of family legacy, dignity, and honor in all the Southern traditions that can appear trite at first glance. I made some of the recipes and they were delicious! This may be the first cookbook that I’ve ever read cover-to-cover, including the photography credits.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Aryssa

    Not really what I was expecting. Very short (a 2 hour audiobook) and extremely lifestyle anecdote based. Her narration was great and I laughed out loud at some parts, but I’d rather the childhood anecdotes and party planning talk be woven into a real memoir of her life and mention Legally Blonde at least once, which this book didn’t do. Boo.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Gina

    I love this book!! It’s like the sweet southern friendship of Steel Magnolias and the joy of sipping tea on a shaded porch in the summer. I miss the days of kids just running around playing outside and heading over to each others’ homes without a care in the world. I was a kid in Kentucky, and I sure do relate to some of the stories Reese shares in her book. It’s comforting, nostalgic, and informative. I do believe I might just try that hot roller routine, and maybe make up some good ole souther I love this book!! It’s like the sweet southern friendship of Steel Magnolias and the joy of sipping tea on a shaded porch in the summer. I miss the days of kids just running around playing outside and heading over to each others’ homes without a care in the world. I was a kid in Kentucky, and I sure do relate to some of the stories Reese shares in her book. It’s comforting, nostalgic, and informative. I do believe I might just try that hot roller routine, and maybe make up some good ole southern hoe cakes.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ella (Элла)

    Interesting read about Reese & she is the audiobook narrator. Not sure about one thing: multiple times she called herself an “actor” vs. “actress”. Did anyone else notice that too?

  25. 4 out of 5

    Melanie

    If you are a fan of Reese Witherspoon you should enjoy this book. It's part memoir, part etiquette book, and part cookbook. It is an enjoyable read with beautiful pictures. I liked learning a little bit more about Reese's family and traditions. The recipes are ones that anyone could make and some are very familiar. The etiquette part was interesting also, even though a lot of it was just common sense and basic manners.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mira Prater

    This book was so fun! Recipes, stories about her upbringing, and sweet traditions. I loved it!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Katie (katieladyreads)

    Part cookbook, part autobiography, this was a cute audiobook.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Colleen

    It took me, what, a week to listen to the last 15 minutes of this book? Yeah, I’m not gonna rate this since I am sooooo not the target audience.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Beth Ann

    Love, love, love this book! Filled with tons of Southern charm ! Reese Witherspoon shares a little bit of everything in this book. From childhood stories to well used recipes and playlists each page was a surprise and a delight. Perfect book to gift a Southern friend or someone who needs to understand the charm of all things Southern. Highly recommended and one I will reread just for fun!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kylie Tingley

    3.5/5. While listening to Reese narrate her book was great, there was a lot of “refer to the PDF”, so I think this one would probably be better if you read a hard copy.

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