‘Not That Fancy’ Gives Readers a Behind-The-Scenes Look Into The Life of Country Music Icon Reba McEntire

From never-been-seen-before photos to never-been-heard-before stories and beyond, “Not That Fancy: Simple Lessons on Living, Loving, Eating, and Dusting Off Your Boots” has it all.

By

Melanie Rooten

Originally from Southern California and currently residing in Music City, Melanie graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a BA in Journalism before beginning her career as a music and entertainment journalist. Beginning to write for Music Mayhem in August of 2023, she has also contributed to Holler, Country Now, Country Chord, Celeb Secrets, Celeb Secrets Country, We Got This Covered and Decider throughout her career thus far. When she is not writing, Melanie enjoys going to concerts and music festivals, binging her favorite television shows, spending time with her friends and family and cheering on the Oklahoma Sooners (of course).

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Posted on November 17, 2023

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Reba McEntire

After loads and loads of anticipation, the queen of country music, Reba McEntire, has released her first book in over two decades titled Not That Fancy: Simple Lessons on Living, Loving, Eating, and Dusting Off Your Boots. In the book, which has topped bestseller lists from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and Publishers Weekly since its October 10th release, Not That Fancy: Simple Lessons on Living, Loving, Eating, and Dusting Off Your Boots gives readers an inside look into the life of the Country Music Hall of Famer, featuring nearly 200 never-been-seen-before photos, numerous never-been-heard-before stories, dozens of recipes for Reba’s favorite dishes, appetizers, sides, desserts, cocktails and more.

To top it all off, McEntire included various lifestyle tips, from how to achieve her one-of-a-kind hairstyle, to how to plan the perfect date night, to how to throw the ultimate dinner party and beyond. If you are yearning for a behind-the-scenes look into the life of the global sensation, Not That Fancy: Simple Lessons on Living, Loving, Eating, and Dusting Off Your Boots is truly a must-read.

In an interview with Music Mayhem and other media, the GRAMMY Award-winning artist gushed about all things surrounding the book, diving into the process of creating it, as well as teasing some of the things it contains.

Reba McEntire - Not That Fancy Book Cover Art
Reba McEntire – Not That Fancy Book Cover Art

Foreword from Garth Brooks

To open up Not That Fancy: Simple Lessons on Living, Loving, Eating, and Dusting Off Your Boots, country music lovers are in for a real treat.

Fellow Country Music Hall of Famer Garth Brooks wrote the foreword for the book itself, and Reba admits that she was “really flattered that he said yes.”

She then proceeded to gush about her longtime friend, praising not only his illustrious career, but also his character.

“I was grateful, thankful, humbled. It really moved me what he said about me in the book, because I was with Garth at the beginning of his career professionally, when he toured in 90 with me — 90 and 91. I saw the uniqueness. I saw the specialness. Furthermore, I saw a kid from Oklahoma coming out, being bigger than life itself, so for him to say those things about me, it was really nice. It moved my heart tremendously, because he’s a hard worker. He’s a very dedicated person,” she shared passionately.

Concluding with a beaming smile, Reba revealed, “What you see is what you get with Garth. I love him.”

Reba McEntire, Garth Brooks; Photos by Andrew Wendowski
Reba McEntire, Garth Brooks; Photos by Andrew Wendowski

Collecting 200+ Photos for the book

To follow the foreword, Not That Fancy: Simple Lessons on Living, Loving, Eating, and Dusting Off Your Boots features a couple of hundred pictures from Reba’s personal life, with many of them stemming straight from her cell phone.

Describing how she landed on the decision to include so many photos in her book, Reba shared with us, “I mainly at the beginning stuck with telling the stories through my little app, and then it was, ‘We need pictures.’”

“I have a lot of pictures,” she continued, “They’re in the hundreds of thousands, and it’s something that I have to go through and, you know, delete every once in a while, when I’m just sitting around. Maybe on a plane, I’ll delete, because I have so many.”

Reba McEntire; Photo Courtesy of UMG Nashville
Reba McEntire; Photo Courtesy of UMG Nashville

With so many pictures featured throughout the book, as well as within her cell phone, readers have just one question — how did she find all of these never-been-seen-before photos?

“It was starting at the beginning with what is on my computer and my phone and just dragging them over onto my desktop and saying, ‘I’d like this,’ and if that had been out before, we stayed away from that, because we wanted new pictures and Lord knows we had them,” the Oklahoma native revealed.

She concluded with a grin, “It was the pictures. It was the memories, and that took a lot of time.”

Favorite Story in the Book

Of course, within the book there are numerous never-been-heard-before stories that accompany said photos, featuring anecdotes that talk about rodeoing with her family, pulling pranks with her fellow country music friends Brooks & Dunn, going on dates with her actor-turned-boyfriend Rex Linn, and more.

When asked her favorite story, Reba could not pick just one…

“My favorite story is about Rex and me going to Sonic for Valentines, and then, you know, all the others are fun, funny stuff… Scaring each other when we’re playing. He loves scary movies — I don’t — but he loves to scare me and I love to scare him, so that’s a lot of fun,” she dished, before diving into some of the more family-oriented stories featured throughout Not That Fancy: Simple Lessons on Living, Loving, Eating, and Dusting Off Your Boots.

“Reminiscing about cleaning out Mama and Daddy’s home, and being with family, and getting to put the restaurant together” are a few more of her favorite things mentioned within the book.

Reba McEntire; Photo by Andrew Wendowski
Reba McEntire; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

Favorite Recipe in the Book

With photos and stories aside, the recipes featured within Not That Fancy: Simple Lessons on Living, Loving, Eating, and Dusting Off Your Boots are arguably the best part, stemming from her friends and family, her personal kitchen, and even her restaurant in Atoka, Oklahoma, Reba’s Place.

“The recipes were so much fun to get to collect from friends and family. Some of my favorite dishes are in this book,” the CMA Award-winning artist prefaced, prior to revealing what those favorites are.

“Every time I go to the restaurant in Atoka, I’m always trying to find something new to eat, but I always go back to my favorites — my quail poppers. I just absolutely love them. That and the chicken fried steak, which we have in the book,” she spilled.

Recording the Audiobook

As if the book could not get any better, Reba McEntire released an audiobook version of Not That Fancy: Simple Lessons on Living, Loving, Eating, and Dusting Off Your Boots, featuring tons and tons of bonus features.

The audiobook includes a conversation with her and her siblings about growing up a McEntire, as well as exclusive stories from some of the biggest names in the country music industry and beyond — Dolly Parton, Brooks & Dunn, Vince Gill, Terri Clark, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Lauren Daigle, Hillary Scott, Kristen Chenoweth and more.

Dives Into Her Emotional Side

With all the goofiness and lightheartedness aside, portions of the audiobook were extremely hard to record for the 68-year-old, forcing her to dive into her more emotional side.

According to Reba herself, speaking about her late mother, Jacqueline, who passed away in 2020 “was the hardest part.”

“It was totally emotional… I think I had to stop four or five times and regroup and go back and do it again,” she explained, before gushing about how her mother shaped her.

Reba McEntire And Her Mom Jacqueline; Photo Courtesy of YouTube
Reba McEntire And Her Mom Jacqueline; Photo Courtesy of YouTube

The world renowned singer/songwriter continued passionately, “I’ve got a picture of her right here on my desk. She’s just smiling, and that’s the way I remember her so well. She was a strong woman, and I get that from her. Daddy was strong too, but Mama was really tough.”

To take a deep dive into the life of Reba McEntire, you can purchase Not That Fancy: Simple Lessons on Living, Loving, Eating, and Dusting Off Your Boots now.

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Originally from Southern California and currently residing in Music City, Melanie graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a BA in Journalism before beginning her career as a music and entertainment journalist. Beginning to write for Music Mayhem in August of 2023, she has also contributed to Holler, Country Now, Country Chord, Celeb Secrets, Celeb Secrets Country, We Got This Covered and Decider throughout her career thus far. When she is not writing, Melanie enjoys going to concerts and music festivals, binging her favorite television shows, spending time with her friends and family and cheering on the Oklahoma Sooners (of course).

See more posts from Melanie Rooten