Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Introducing My First Guest Blogger: Beth Whitney-Lanier

My first Guest Blogger also happens to be my sister.  She loves books like I do, and when I asked her to do a guest post on my blog, she gladly accepted.  She and I like a lot of the same books, but our tastes do differ slightly.  I think that makes a good reading buddy.  She reads a lot of books that I wouldn't think to read, but our tastes are similar enough that most of the time I end up liking what she suggests.

I gave her a list of questions to answer, so we can all get to know her a little better.

1.What's your favorite book?  That's a tough one!  I love Gone With the Wind, however, Little Women, Little Men and Jo's Boys hold an extremely special place in my heart.  I can't choose one, so I suppose four will have to do.

2.Where's your favorite place to read?  My favorite place to read is lying in bed at night in the dark with my book light.  I like peace and quiet when I read.  I feel totally immersed when I read in my favorite place.

3.Where's your favorite place to shop for books?  Anywhere good books can be found!

4.How do you decide what to read next?  I don't have a set way I pick out my books.  A lot of times my sister, Amy, recommends a book that she has enjoyed.  Sometimes I search online, but lately I think about a certain author and get very interested.  I want to read all their books and research about them.  Right now my obsession is Ernest Hemingway and F.Scott Fitzgerald.  Every now and then I come across a good one that takes me by surprise.

5.Who is your favorite literary character?  Another tough one!  It's hard to choose one.  I love Scarlett, but you can't love Scarlett unless you love Rhett too.  Of course, all the March sister are wonderful, but I'll never forget Dan from Little Men and Jo's Boys.  He's special to me.  All of those are my favorites.

Beth Whitney-Lanier
Source:  My Photo

Visitin' Whistle Stop
By Beth Whitney-Lanier

When I sat down to read Fried Green Tomatoes At The Whistle Stop Cafe, by Fannie Flagg, I thought I knew exactly what I was in for.  I have watched the movie several times and loved it.  However, I was totally surprised by how different the novel is from the movie.  For example, Idgie and Big George go on trial for the murder of Frank Bennett after Ruth has passed away.  Also, Stump, Ruth and Idgie's "boy", has a more prevalent role in the book.  His presence allows us to see more into the dynamics of the relationship between Idgie and Ruth, about which I wonder if it is not more than friendly.  I'll let you "ponder" that one!  Fortunately, like most books, it was leaps and bounds better than the movie. 

Idgie and Ruth from the movie

Beginning on page one, you are transported to the charming, yet at times cruel, South of the 1920's, then whisked away to the conservative 1980's and everywhere else in between.  I felt like I was time travelling and so very lucky to hear the story of Whistle Stop and its "tough as nails" inhabitants.

Evelyn and Mrs. Threadgoode from the movie

Ultimately, Fried Green Tomatoes At The Whistle Stop Cafe is a story about strong, dedicated women.  Of course, there are characters like Smokey Lonesome, Big George, and Sipsey that the book would not be the same without.  However, the book revolves around the lives of these four women.

Idgie:  wild, tough, yet irresistible to love

Ruth:  quiet, faithful, loving, and strong

Mrs. Threadegoode:  content, thankful, and full of knowledge that we all crave for

Evelyn:  confused, lost, searching, and on the verge of a breakthrough or maybe a breakdown

These four ladies show us that there are always lessons to be learned and that you can discover secrets of the past that will help you navigate the future.  It is a blessing how the lives of others can touch us decades later. 

I have now placed Fried Green Tomatoes At The Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg in my Top 10 Favorite Books of All Time.  Where it falls on that list I'm not sure, but it is definitely there.  I laughed, cried, and was touched by this book.  So, if you aren't busy, go down to the Whistle Stop Cafe and have some fried green tomatoes with Idgie, Ruth, and all their friends.

My Recipe for Fried Green Tomatoes

1 med. green tomato per person, sliced
1 cup Flour or white cornmeal
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
1 egg, whisked
2 tbsp. milk
oil, enough to cover the bottom of a skillet


1. Whisk egg with milk
2.Dredge tomatoes in the egg and milk mixture
3.Dredge tomatoes in seasoned flour
4.Heat oil
5.Fry tomatoes until golden brown on both sides

Recipe Source:  Beth Whitney-Lanier



  1. Thanks so much for doing this post. It's awsome! I will definately be reading this book very soon. Love you!

  2. I wish I had some fried green tomatoes!!