The Magnolia Story
This eBook includes the full text of the book plus an exclusive additional chapter from Chip and Joanna that is not found in the hardcover!Are you ready to see your fixer upper?These famous words are now synonymous with the dynamic husband-and-wife team Chip and Joanna Gaines, stars of HGTV’s Fixer Upper. As this question fills the airwaves with anticipation, their legions of fans continue to multiply and ask a different series of questions, like—Who are these people?What’s the secret to their success? And is Chip actually that funny in real life? By renovating homes in Waco, Texas, and changing lives in such a winsome and engaging way, Chip and Joanna have become more than just the stars of Fixer Upper, they have become America’s new best friends.The Magnolia Story is the first book from Chip and Joanna, offering their fans a detailed look at their life together. From the very first renovation project they ever tackled together, to the project that nearly cost them everything; from the childhood memories that shaped them, to the twists and turns that led them to the life they share on the farm today.They both attended Baylor University in Waco. However, their paths did not cross until Chip checked his car into the local Firestone tire shop where Joanna worked behind the counter. Even back then Chip was a serial entrepreneur who, among other things, ran a lawn care company, sold fireworks, and flipped houses. Soon they were married and living in their first fixer upper. Four children and countless renovations later, Joanna garners the attention of a television producer who notices her work on a blog one day.In The Magnolia Story fans will finally get to join the Gaines behind the scenes and discover:-The time Chip ran to the grocery store and forgot to take their new, sleeping baby-Joanna’s agonizing decision to close her dream business to focus on raising their children-When Chip buys a houseboat, sight-unseen, and it turns out to be a leaky wreck-Joanna’s breakthrough moment of discovering the secret to creating a beautiful home-Harrowing stories of the financial ups and downs as an entrepreneurial couple-Memories and photos from Chip and Jo’s wedding-The significance of the word magnolia and why it permeates everything they do-The way the couple pays the popularity of Fixer Upper forward, sharing the success with others, and bolstering the city of Waco along the wayAnd yet there is still one lingering question for fans of the show: Is Chip really that funny? “Oh yeah,” says Joanna. “He was, and still is, my first fixer upper.”

The Magnolia Story Details

TitleThe Magnolia Story
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseOct 18th, 2016
PublisherThomas Nelson
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Biography, Autobiography, Memoir, Audiobook

The Magnolia Story Review

  • Cheri
    January 1, 1970
    I ran across the show Fixer Upper when I was recovering from surgery sometime after their first season, it gave me something to dream about, all the things I wished I could do in my home, if I just had Chip and Joanna’s help. I knew they’d recently come out with a magazine, and I’d frequented their website a few times. The things that I find entertaining, endearing sometimes, are how “normal” they are. Neither comes from a well-to-do family, but clearly from loving families. They are as Ozzie an I ran across the show Fixer Upper when I was recovering from surgery sometime after their first season, it gave me something to dream about, all the things I wished I could do in my home, if I just had Chip and Joanna’s help. I knew they’d recently come out with a magazine, and I’d frequented their website a few times. The things that I find entertaining, endearing sometimes, are how “normal” they are. Neither comes from a well-to-do family, but clearly from loving families. They are as Ozzie and Harriet or June and Ward Cleaver or Mike and Carol Brady as one can be in real life, except Chip likes to occasionally pretend he can still do the things he did as a buff teenager, mostly, I tend to think, to make people laugh. When my friend (and goodreads friend) Victoria reviewed this, I knew I would read it sooner than later. I’m glad I did. With a few books with heavier topics behind me and a few ahead of me, I wanted a nice read not overly filled with pain and suffering. It isn’t that the Gaines have never had tough times, it’s how they pull together rather than point fingers and blame when those tough times hit or are looming. Their faith plays a strong role in their life, and it is mentioned, but not in a pushy way, and it is relatively infrequent, considering. You see their faith most often in how they’ve managed to make it through tough times.As Victoria says in her review, this is their walk down Memory Lane, from the first words Chip spoke to Joanna to her reactions, what they were like in those just-out-of-University years. And how they seemingly magically ended up having this television show, and their perfect life, and how amazingly grateful they are, and how they show their gratitude. And share it in surprising ways. I can’t compare this with some of the finer novels I’ve read this past year, and it doesn’t really fit the bill as the typical memoirs I’ve read of late. It’s hopeful, and filled with love and life and joy despite the obstacles, but it is as real as real can be. Many thanks, again, to Victoria, for pointing this book out to me. Her review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
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  • Victoria
    January 1, 1970
    If I had planned my life, it never would have ended up like this. So maybe it’s kind of fun not to plan. Maybe it’s more fun just to see where life takes you. After all, we’re living proof that sometimes even the messiest stuff and the biggest mistakes can take you someplace wonderful…And now we’re living a dream. We found our way to this place we love through all sorts of twists and turns and bumps and forks in the road. But we’re here. Joanna Gaines I will state right up front that I came late If I had planned my life, it never would have ended up like this. So maybe it’s kind of fun not to plan. Maybe it’s more fun just to see where life takes you. After all, we’re living proof that sometimes even the messiest stuff and the biggest mistakes can take you someplace wonderful…And now we’re living a dream. We found our way to this place we love through all sorts of twists and turns and bumps and forks in the road. But we’re here. Joanna Gaines I will state right up front that I came late to the Fixer Upper party, but now that I’m here, I’m like that drunk uncle who won’t leave and is just making a slobbery mess of himself. I am addicted to the show and I can’t get enough of the Gaines. This delightful couple was featured on a segment of CBS’ Sunday morning programming and I couldn’t believe I’d missed the phenomenon that is The Magnolia Story as I live and breathe the world of design. In any case, as soon as I saw they had a book out I queued up for another installment of the Chip and Joanna life.As the summary suggests, this is a walk down memory lane for the Gaines couple starting with the pivotal moment that changed their lives while shooting the pilot for their now successful series, then moving back in time from their first meeting through all their travails and then circling back to the present. Their authenticity comes through every page as they continually marvel at how they arrived at where they are today. And you believe them when they say it’s not about fame or fortune, it’s about achieving their dream of living on a farm, doing work they love, raising their kids and lifting up a town.This is not literature or an authorial memoir, it is a book filled with reflections and a good story about good people who worked hard, loved and believed in one another and with great faith and perseverance, have managed to turn their town of Waco, Texas into a tourist destination. All the while also lifting up their friends’ businesses as they incorporate their artistry into the show.For those with a sensitivity to mentions of God this might cause some discomfort. They’re not pushing Christianity, but they do have an abiding faith. While I’m not religious, I do have a strong belief so I have a flexible attitude toward anyone on the continuum and I found their transparency refreshing. All in all, these were nice people to spend a few hours reading about and I wish them all their future success.Go and find what it is that inspires you, go and find what it is that you love and do that until it hurts.And that’s as uplifting a message as any of us need right now!
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  • Sue
    January 1, 1970
    I'm a huge fan of Fixer Upper, so I was looking forward to reading Chip and Jo's memoir more than I care to admit. Unfortunately, I found it neither uplifting nor inspiring - nor even particularly interesting. And sadly, it tarnished for me their Fixer Upper image as a couple - not sure I'm going to enjoy watching the show nearly as much as I used to.It's not that the book reveals heinous deep-dark secrets from their past; quite frankly, the book is largely a fluff piece, barely touching upon so I'm a huge fan of Fixer Upper, so I was looking forward to reading Chip and Jo's memoir more than I care to admit. Unfortunately, I found it neither uplifting nor inspiring - nor even particularly interesting. And sadly, it tarnished for me their Fixer Upper image as a couple - not sure I'm going to enjoy watching the show nearly as much as I used to.It's not that the book reveals heinous deep-dark secrets from their past; quite frankly, the book is largely a fluff piece, barely touching upon some of the struggles they faced and breezing over any dark-night-of-the-soul moments. But some of what's discussed just doesn't gel with their on-screen personas. For example, Chip has a tendency to sell the family's home on a whim and buy random flip projects for them to renovate and move into - all without discussing with Joanna. According to the book, Jo's response is always to cry for a few moments, then get on board with Plan Chip because Chip knows best. And the book presents these episodes as periods of growth and improvement for Chip and Jo as a couple, for their family, and for their business. If I'm being honest, every single one of these accounts turned my stomach. This wasn't a couple working together as partners - it was an irresponsible, selfish man-child doing what he wanted and leaving his wife and family to make the best of his choice. And every time Joanna justified Chip's unilateral decisions, it smacked of some weird combination of Stockholm syndrome / Battered Wife syndrome (though obviously on a far lesser scale).My other major problem was the book's message - that if you work really hard, all your dreams will come to fruition. In this day and age, that's a ridiculously facile, almost insulting statement. Throughout the United States and around the world, there are millions of families and individuals busting their asses and failing to even keep their heads above water, much less realize their dreams. But the hard work mantra is particularly difficult to take when you read how much help (divine and otherwise) the Gaines family had in their path to the top. I definitely don't mean to imply that Chip and Joanna haven't worked hard for their success - far from it. It was sometimes difficult to keep track of all the various irons they had in the fire at any one time. But most people don't have parents who can afford to go in with them on land deals or random acquaintances willing to cut them a six-figure check at a moment's notice or landowners who spontaneously decide to sell their properties well below their asking costs. To say the Gaines have led a charmed life would be a massive understatement.I do respect Chip and Joanna for their commitment to their community. They've used their success to give back to Waco and to foster the careers of other area artisans. I think they're talented individuals who cleverly integrated their skills to form an appealing business and brand. But they've been extraordinarily lucky / blessed along the way, and it's this more than anything else that's led to their success. The book, however, downplays these incredible turns of fortune, placing the reins of success firmly in Chip and Joanna's hands. As an inspirational story, it therefore falls flat. And as a memoir, it fails to dig deeply enough into the lives and mindsets of its subjects. I'm not exactly sure what I wanted this book to be; I just know it failed to deliver on all fronts.
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  • Amy (Foxy)
    January 1, 1970
    The Magnolia Story was a daily audible deal that I grabbed because I know my husband enjoyed their TV show. We listened to this on a day road trip. Both Chip and Joanna narrated the book. The way they told the story made it feel like I had gone out to dinner with them and they were sharing their life story with me. It was entertaining and inspiring to listen to how these two began and where they are today in both their professional and personal lives. If you're a fan of their TV show then I thin The Magnolia Story was a daily audible deal that I grabbed because I know my husband enjoyed their TV show. We listened to this on a day road trip. Both Chip and Joanna narrated the book. The way they told the story made it feel like I had gone out to dinner with them and they were sharing their life story with me. It was entertaining and inspiring to listen to how these two began and where they are today in both their professional and personal lives. If you're a fan of their TV show then I think you'll enjoy getting to know them even more through their book. Follow Foxy Blogs at: Blog ♥ Twitter ♥ Instagram ♥ Facebook
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  • Jason Koivu
    January 1, 1970
    This book was my bowling-ball-with-my-name-on-it gift to my wife this Christmas, à la Homer's gift to Marge in that old Simpsons episode. What I'm saying is I bought this for her, but it was really for me. Thing is, I knew she'd love it, and she did. She read it in its entirety on Christmas day. I finally got around to it just now, but once I got into it, I also gobbled it up quick. You see, we're both big fans of Chip and Jojo, the hosts from the tv show Fixer Upper. We've watched plenty (too m This book was my bowling-ball-with-my-name-on-it gift to my wife this Christmas, à la Homer's gift to Marge in that old Simpsons episode. What I'm saying is I bought this for her, but it was really for me. Thing is, I knew she'd love it, and she did. She read it in its entirety on Christmas day. I finally got around to it just now, but once I got into it, I also gobbled it up quick. You see, we're both big fans of Chip and Jojo, the hosts from the tv show Fixer Upper. We've watched plenty (too many) home remodeling shows over the years, especially around the time when we were looking to buy a house, but Chip and Jo meshed with our personalities more than others. While a handsome couple in their own way, they're not "Hollywood handsome" like some others.And their interactions feel more natural. Or at least they're not as irritating as some. No doubt that's because Chip and Joanna Gaines are a married couple with a family and a past. They worked on house building and remodeling projects prior to the show, and so their onscreen conundrums and strategies to overcome real obstacles that pop up in the process feel real. They also have almost polar opposite personalities that play off one another well onscreen. Chip's occasional Puck-like behavior can be entertaining, too.It was the Gaines' past and the behind-the-show stories that I was interested in reading about when I picked up The Magnolia Story. Unfortunately this is a slim, fluff piece. Yes, there is plenty of their past to read about, but the thing is, their pasts aren't that interesting. Meh, my fault. I mean, I asked for it. It's not their fault that they haven't lived torturous and depraved lives. No wait, it is their fault! Lol! Anyway, what I'm saying is, don't expect huge amounts of drama and degradation in their history. The lack of behind-the-scenes info on the tv show is something a little more substantial to complain about. That's what drove me, and no doubt many other readers, to this book. I wanted to hear about the production, what it takes to put the show together, how they decide on the properties to be featured, what makes good tv and what gets left on the cutting room floor, etc. Aside from the story of how the show's producers found them and how it eventually clicked, it's just not there. Possibly it's just not interesting.All in all though, I can't complain. This is what it is and I didn't truly expect the world from this book. I got a fan's perspective and that's all one honestly deserves. I suspect most of the show's fans will be perfectly happy with The Magnolia Story. I scanned over a few reviews and noticed complaints that I hadn't considered, but in hindsight, yes, they do bother me too. Such as, Chip's manchild-like habit of buying new houses and even houseboats without consulting his wife, or forgetting that he's a dad and leaving his newborn to go to the store on multiple occasions, really does not endear me to the man. Some of it can be forgiven for reasons given in the book, but still, there was some negligible behavior going on there. Also, if you don't want to hear the name God spoken every other page, steer clear. I didn't realize they were so churchy, because you don't get much sense of that on the show. And there were times when I want to shake them and say "No, you were the cause of the that, not anyone else!" whether it be for good or bad reason. Often decisions are attributed to "the voice of God" and I want to say, "Actually, you decided to sell that property to the Gaines' at their asking price, because they're good people who are very charming, and jeez louise, it's an old farmhouse in the middle of Waco, Texas during a time when Waco wasn't all that! You weren't about to get a better offer and you know it!"Charming, as I said above. This couple and their family are quite charming, and so is this book. If you're already a fan of Chip and Jojo, I recommend The Magnolia Story.
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  • Jean
    January 1, 1970
    “Are you ready to see your fixer-upper?” HGTV fans know these words well. They are spoken by Waco, Texas’, most famous couple, Chip and Joanna Gaines, on their weekly television show as they are about to reveal the fruits of their labors to the homeowners who eagerly await the first look at their newly refurbished homes.The Magnolia Story recounts Chip and Joanna’s story in their own words. They tell us how they met, how they struggled, and how they overcame tremendous obstacles. Why “magnolia”? “Are you ready to see your fixer-upper?” HGTV fans know these words well. They are spoken by Waco, Texas’, most famous couple, Chip and Joanna Gaines, on their weekly television show as they are about to reveal the fruits of their labors to the homeowners who eagerly await the first look at their newly refurbished homes.The Magnolia Story recounts Chip and Joanna’s story in their own words. They tell us how they met, how they struggled, and how they overcame tremendous obstacles. Why “magnolia”? The magnolia is one of Jo’s favorite flowers. It is both beautiful and tough, and I think it represents these individuals, this couple, and their relationship. Most of the telling is Jo’s, with Chip chiming in now and then (he does admit that Jo is right almost all the time). She says that they are proof that opposites attract; she was a communications major who tends toward the introvert side of the spectrum. Chip is anything but. He can charm anyone, and if this book is any indication, he usually does.I love their show. Chip is a total goofball, and Jo good-naturedly puts up with his adolescent nonsense. But the man is a skilled craftsman, and Jo points out time and again in the book what amazing business sense he has. As a business major, he had learned the basics at Baylor, and he was a born entrepreneur. Even as a young child, his mind was churning with ideas of what businesses he could run. Yes, he has taken a lot of chances, but he has had mentors along the way, and he has listened and learned well. Jo found her design inspirations while living in New York during her internship with CBS News. She fell out of love with TV journalism, but she found her calling when she browsed the boutiques and shops in the Big Apple.I expected more humor, honestly. That’s not to say that there aren’t some pretty outrageous moments recalled in these pages. What struck me the most, however, was the strength of the bond that these two people have with each other and with their family. They agree that they are stronger when they work together than when they are apart. They don’t need that alone time that many couples crave. Another lesson that Jo puts so well is sort of an “aha moment” that she had amidst the chaos of being a tired mom in a messy house when she realized that her home would never be “perfect.” It was when she realized that the happiness of her kids came first and that enjoying them was more important than anything else. So with all of their financial difficulties and so many projects on their plate, she realized that she could “strive or thrive.” The Magnolia Story is filled with moments like these.As a fan of the show, it was fun for me to get to know Chip and Joanna Gaines as people and to know that the people who appear on camera really are being themselves. They are simple, honest folks with good hearts. When they remodel a fixer-upper for a couple or a family, it is very personal. They are passionate about each project, and it shows. That sounds like an old-fashioned business model, doesn’t it? Honest. Real. Hard-working. Refreshing.
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  • Courtney
    January 1, 1970
    I like Chip and Joanna. HOWEVER. I have a feeling this is going to be an unpopular opinion, but I thought this book made them look...not good. Whether it was Chip leaving his newborn baby home alone TWICE, tying said baby's car seat to his 4-wheeler, or buying multiple homes and forcing his wife/family to move, supposedly without ever discussing it with her,or whether it was Joanna lamenting over her tiny yard that somehow could hold a garden, a pergola, a dining area, and a chicken coop. Or may I like Chip and Joanna. HOWEVER. I have a feeling this is going to be an unpopular opinion, but I thought this book made them look...not good. Whether it was Chip leaving his newborn baby home alone TWICE, tying said baby's car seat to his 4-wheeler, or buying multiple homes and forcing his wife/family to move, supposedly without ever discussing it with her,or whether it was Joanna lamenting over her tiny yard that somehow could hold a garden, a pergola, a dining area, and a chicken coop. Or maybe it was the impression given by the show that this was a couple who somehow hit the jackpot of exposure allowing them to become rich and famous, when in reality, they had enough money prior to Fixer Upper to be able to run several businesses, own several properties, and were in the middle of being the owners/builders of an entire subdivision of homes. Or possibly it was their multiple errors in using the word "literally" (No, Chip, you and Joanna are not LITERALLY from two different universes). I did not like this book.
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  • Kelly (and the Book Boar)
    January 1, 1970
    Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ I have a confession to make. My name is Kelly and I am addicted to Fixer Upper. Maybe not as much as the woman I see all around town wearing various shirts with stuff like this on the front . . . . I have one thing to say to her . . . . But I am addicted enough that the DVR is set to record every episode and I watch every single one of them – even the ones I’ve already seen three or four times. I arrived late to the Fixer Upper part Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ I have a confession to make. My name is Kelly and I am addicted to Fixer Upper. Maybe not as much as the woman I see all around town wearing various shirts with stuff like this on the front . . . . I have one thing to say to her . . . . But I am addicted enough that the DVR is set to record every episode and I watch every single one of them – even the ones I’ve already seen three or four times. I arrived late to the Fixer Upper party – only discovering it this year. I’m not a big television watcher to begin with and thanks to a house full of men with sports and Netflix addictions, there was no way Chip and Joanna could even ping my radar. Then one day I was home alone, sick in bed and flipped over to HGTV just in time for an episode of Fixer Upper. Since I am an idiot who doesn’t know how to use a remote control, I ended up hitting the button that would record the entire series. Thank goodness, because I was instantly hooked and completely smitten with both Chip and JoJo. While I had no idea before, I quickly discovered that my style probably easily falls into the “modern farmhouse” category . . . . (With a lot more color than Joanna’s “nearly everything should be white” line of thinking.)I found out my most favorite day is definitely . . . . DEMO DAY!And I was even willing to go to my arch enemy . . . . Ugh, Target . . . . In order to check out the new Magnolia Home line. Or as my husband would say: “SHIPLACK” . . . . I don’t care if this little book is an additional money grab by the Gaines family or a puff piece or whatever else anyone wants to call it. Chip and Joanna seem legitimately wonderful (and I am terrified of discovering they aren’t as perfect as they appear to be) who should cash in on these “15 minutes” of fame to the fullest extent. That being said, I probably won't ever get around to reading this BECAUSE it is most likely not much more than fluff and a money grab and I don’t want to have to be honest and give it a low rating should I read it and not like it. I’m simply going to leave this little bit of nothing out in the universe since I do like this couple so much . . . . and I don’t like anyone so that’s really saying something. I’m also going to leave this here . . . . . I swear Joanna must be a saint. Chip makes for fun T.V., but living with him would be like herding cats : )
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  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
    January 1, 1970
    How can you help but love Chip and Joanna Gaines! ❤ A few quick thoughts that have stuck with me since listening to this audio. Chip and Joanna narrated this - love that, and they had their banter, talking together thing just like the show. I love love love that they don’t own a tv (wish I could do that...). They are a real couple who have worked through their own life struggles, but they consistently come out on top because they are a true TEAM when times are tough. I wasn’t expecting to feel i How can you help but love Chip and Joanna Gaines! ❤️ A few quick thoughts that have stuck with me since listening to this audio. Chip and Joanna narrated this - love that, and they had their banter, talking together thing just like the show. I love love love that they don’t own a tv (wish I could do that...). They are a real couple who have worked through their own life struggles, but they consistently come out on top because they are a true TEAM when times are tough. I wasn’t expecting to feel inspired and uplifted after listening to this...but I did!
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  • Cooper
    January 1, 1970
    I was late to the Fixer Upper show on HGTV. Fortunately, I was able to binge watch all 3 seasons over a lazy weekend and fell in love with the Chip and Joanna show. I have absolutely nothing in common with this couple - Happily single! Happily childfree! Happily a big city girl! Yet the authenticity and genuine love they have for each other, their family, and what they do, it's impossible to just not want to hug them.The book reflects their life's journey from Joanna's and Chip's perspective, fr I was late to the Fixer Upper show on HGTV. Fortunately, I was able to binge watch all 3 seasons over a lazy weekend and fell in love with the Chip and Joanna show. I have absolutely nothing in common with this couple - Happily single! Happily childfree! Happily a big city girl! Yet the authenticity and genuine love they have for each other, their family, and what they do, it's impossible to just not want to hug them.The book reflects their life's journey from Joanna's and Chip's perspective, from their youth, to their meet-cute, to their marriage and kids, to the show. So often we hear people complain about their jobs, but this is a couple who work hard and loves what they do (I'm sure there are moments they'd disagree). I admire their work ethic, love of family, and love of life.This was an easy read that provides a happy feel good feeling. Can't wait for the 4th season of Fixer Upper to begin. I just purchased some holiday items from Magnolia Market and can't wait to holiday up my home. Lovely couple.
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    This book is much like the "Fixer-Upper" TV show that made Chip and Joanna Gaines famous -- wholesome, light, a little bit funny, and no real drama. Die-hard fans of the show will likely love the book. The basic message here is "work hard and follow your dreams. And don't forget that God has a plan for your life". If you like these two, and this sort of message resonates with you, this will be one quick read. Just know that there's not a lot of substance.
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  • Brittnee
    January 1, 1970
    ...And they always found the exact amount of money that they needed. And they always happened to have a wealthy friend that could bail them out. And they always had a direct intervention from God. And it always works itself out in the end. And they all lived happily ever after... There's a chance that I'm too cynical for this book. I think I'll stick with their show and call it good.
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  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    The delightful story of the life and times of Chip and Joanna Gaines. SUMMARYThe Magnolia Story is the first book from Chip and Joanna, and it offers a detailed look at their life together, from how they first met to how they became the media darlings of HGTV. It includes the very first renovation project they ever tackled, the project that nearly cost them everything, childhood memories that shaped them both, and the twists and turns that led them to the life they share on the farm today. “I re The delightful story of the life and times of Chip and Joanna Gaines. SUMMARYThe Magnolia Story is the first book from Chip and Joanna, and it offers a detailed look at their life together, from how they first met to how they became the media darlings of HGTV. It includes the very first renovation project they ever tackled, the project that nearly cost them everything, childhood memories that shaped them both, and the twists and turns that led them to the life they share on the farm today. “I realize that my determination to make things perfect meant I was chasing an empty obsession all day long. Nothing was ever going to be perfect the way I had envisioned it in the past. Did I want to keep spending my energy on that effort, or did I want to step out of that obsession and enjoy my kids, maybe allowing myself to get messy right along with them in the process? I chose the latter—and that made all the difference.”REVIEWThis book was so much fun to read, that I listened to it twice! Chip and Joanna performed the narration, so hearing the story of their life and times in their voice was perfect! If you like Fixer-Upper you will love this book. If you want to know the answer to the question of whether Chip is really that funny, you’ll find it here. I laughed when Joanna told the story about the time Chip went to the grocery store, while Joanne was out running, but he forgot to take their new baby with him. I was amazed when I heard the story about Chip buying a houseboat site unseen and it turned out to be a leaky wreck, but that wreck also turned out to be the start of their huge HGTV television hit. I appreciate how Joanna uses the word “thrive” to describe their life, and I was most impressed by the maturity of this young couple and learned a great deal from this book. I loved hearing about how this couple has grown a business, a television series and a family. The Magnolia Story is bright and breezy, and in a word, delightful. Publisher Thomas Nelson Published October 18, 2016Narrator Chip and Joanna GainesReview www.bluestockingreviews.com“It was such a blessing to find myself thriving in the middle of the pain. Unless you find a way to do that, there’s always going to be this fake illusion that once you get there—wherever “there” is for you—you’ll be happy. But that’s just not life. If you can’t find happiness in the ugliness, you’re not going to find it in beauty, either.”“I always thought that the “thriving” would come when everything was perfect, and what I learned is that it’s actually down in the mess that things get good.”
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  • Pamela
    January 1, 1970
    "It was such a blessing. . . thriving in the middle of pain. Unless you find a way to do that there's always going to be this fake illusion that once you get there - wherever "there" is for you - you'll be happy. But that's just not life. If you can't find happiness in the ugliness, you're not going to find it in the beauty, either." ~ Joanna GainsIf there is a more gracious, talented, hard-working, joyful, morally astute, and down-to-earth reality-show couple featured on HGTV (or any other netw "It was such a blessing. . . thriving in the middle of pain. Unless you find a way to do that there's always going to be this fake illusion that once you get there - wherever "there" is for you - you'll be happy. But that's just not life. If you can't find happiness in the ugliness, you're not going to find it in the beauty, either." ~ Joanna GainsIf there is a more gracious, talented, hard-working, joyful, morally astute, and down-to-earth reality-show couple featured on HGTV (or any other network for that matter) I'm not sure who they would be. I'd be hard-pressed to name a close second. And if their show "Fixer Upper", along with their lovely memoir, is any indication of the sincerity and integrity of Chip and Joanna's hearts, they will continue to shine bright for years to come.Beautifully honest, artfully complied, elegantly simplistic, memorable and wise are thoughts that come to mind when thinking of The Magnolia Story . When things come against us we can either turn on each other, or we can come together." ~Chip GainesAlternating narratives between Chip and Joanna, the book reads much like sitting down with a cool glass of lemonade and a plate of heavenly scented baked goodies for a casual, heart-to heart chat about life, love, dreams, ambitions, false expectations, courage to succeed, courage to fail. And of course, what it's like to be (and live with) the insanely unpredictable, but oh so upbeat and funny, Chip Gaines - and the gorgeously amazing and talented, decor savvy and level-headed Jo-Jo. I loved everything about this book: Gorgeous dust cover; unencumbered fluid writing; beautifully poignant glimpses into Chip and Jo-Jo's individual and joined lives; artfully composed and organized; intimate full color photographs; touches of humor and a sprinkle of sorrow; positive uplifting encouragement for parents and entrepreneurs.... All the way around, well worth the purchase price. And certainly worth recommending to readers everywhere.FIVE ***** Beautifully Honest and Elegantly Simplistic and Down-to-earth; Exemplary Memoir *****STARS
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  • Sarah Grace
    January 1, 1970
    Ya'll, this was awesome. Chip and Joanna are some of the most amazing people. They are just some of the most down to earth and real people I have ever heard of. This book was a wonderful glance into their busy, beautiful life. It made me laugh hysterically, (Chip has the effect on people, I imagine) and *almost* made me cry. They are just real people, with real issues, and a VERY real God! There is no romanticization, drama, or anything like that with either the TV show or this book. What you se Ya'll, this was awesome. Chip and Joanna are some of the most amazing people. They are just some of the most down to earth and real people I have ever heard of. This book was a wonderful glance into their busy, beautiful life. It made me laugh hysterically, (Chip has the effect on people, I imagine) and *almost* made me cry. They are just real people, with real issues, and a VERY real God! There is no romanticization, drama, or anything like that with either the TV show or this book. What you see is what you get. To quote Joanna: "We love our kids, we love each other, we love this town, and we love our clients That's the heart behind our show. We're a real couple and a real company, and we do real jobs or people with real budgets."They devotion to God, their family, and their business is so inspiring, and their honesty and integrity is motivational. This books was very encouraging to my own entrepreneurial efforts. A must read!!!
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  • Gina
    January 1, 1970
    I would absolutely let the Gaines remodel a house for me, but this book was just OK. Like a lot of propaganda biographies written during the height of popularity, this one skims the surface giving just enough sweet and insightful information to be interesting but lacks in depth. This isn't a bad book at all, but I can't rate it higher than "it was OK" given the light on detail (at least in some important areas) and repetitive nature of the prose.
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  • Rhonda Ruff
    January 1, 1970
    Such a wonderful book!! After reading this I love this family even more! Their faith and love of family is inspiring. I will miss their show on hgtv but it is not surprising they want more time for the important things!
  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    Very sweet and inspirational. I loved the encouraging words towards having a happy marriage and family the most. They're certainly hard workers and God has used them to glorify Him in all they do. I am glad that they have shared their story with us all. The audio was read by the couple themselves and I really enjoyed it.
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  • Celeste
    January 1, 1970
    I have a slight addiction to HGTV. It’s not a constant addiction; it merely flares up from time to time. However, there is one HGTV show that I always watch as soon as an episode airs, and that show is Fixer Upper. I love Chip and Jo’s relationship, and the family dynamic they have with their four kids. I love seeing little snippets of their life on their farm and how Jo handles Chip’s endearing but exasperating dorkiness. I love how involved they are in their community, and how supportive they I have a slight addiction to HGTV. It’s not a constant addiction; it merely flares up from time to time. However, there is one HGTV show that I always watch as soon as an episode airs, and that show is Fixer Upper. I love Chip and Jo’s relationship, and the family dynamic they have with their four kids. I love seeing little snippets of their life on their farm and how Jo handles Chip’s endearing but exasperating dorkiness. I love how involved they are in their community, and how supportive they are of artisans in their area and how they do their best to promote them. I love their lifestyle, laid-back and kind of old-fashioned and unapologetically Christian but in a way that loves instead of judges. And, obviously, I love their designs, how they take a run-down house that others would bulldoze without a second thought and make it a home that is perfect for their clients. When I saw that Chip and Jo had written a book, I honestly just picked it up because I love them and want to support them. I’m not a big nonfiction reader, so I wasn’t sure that I’d ever actually read it. But I needed something bright and positive and inspirational, and this tiny book was exactly what I was looking for. Here is a couple who has faced hardships and muscled their way through with prayer and unflagging optimism. From a really rocky start after returning from their honeymoon to becoming HGTV’s darlings, they’ve worked incredibly hard for everything they have. (They’ve never even owned a television!) What I loved most about this book was seeing the evolution of their relationship with each other, and how it’s the foundation upon which they built every aspect of their business. Even in the pages of the book, each of them was present on every page, with Chip and Jo each having their own font. It was adorable.The Magnolia Story was so inspirational to me. It focused so much on family and helping each other follow their dreams. If something is your passion, share it with those you love most and start working to attain it. That’s not to say that there won’t be highs and lows. There will be seasons of feast and seasons of famine, seasons of celebration and seasons of mourning, in every life. Because that is life! I know personally, I appreciate the highs in life so much more for my time spent in the trenches. But sometimes that fixation on hills and valleys can lead up to putting off our dreams until the perfect moment. Forget someday; dive in now. You never know where God will take you. You can find this review on my personal blog, Celestial Musings, and you can find more of my reviews on Booknest.
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  • Kate Willis
    January 1, 1970
    I love reading biographies, and this one was especially fun since it's about a hilarious, dynamic couple. One of my favorite things was seeing how the different backgrounds, personalities, and skills God gave them ended up being tailor-made for each other. I've watched some of their show, so it was fun to see the different stages their business morphed through. (I didn't even know about Magnolia Homes! I'm gonna have to look up pictures.) Even though I differ with them slightly on principles of I love reading biographies, and this one was especially fun since it's about a hilarious, dynamic couple. One of my favorite things was seeing how the different backgrounds, personalities, and skills God gave them ended up being tailor-made for each other. I've watched some of their show, so it was fun to see the different stages their business morphed through. (I didn't even know about Magnolia Homes! I'm gonna have to look up pictures.) Even though I differ with them slightly on principles of stewardship and family life, I was blessed to read about this unique family striving to serve God as entrepreneurs. :D And now I really want to visit Magnolia Market!
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  • Faith
    January 1, 1970
    Follow God. Follow your dreams. Stop surviving and start thriving. Never give up. Contentment and joy are found during the journey. This is what I got from this book, and Chip and Joanna's story was amazing. <3 :)
  • m a r y l i z
    January 1, 1970
    I love Chip and Joanna. I can't help it. Even though I've only seen a couple episodes of their show Fixer Upper, I still feel like I know the two personally. They're some of the most realistic, honest, down-to-earth people. Their love for their home, family, work, and Jesus is evident in everything they do--a rare and beautiful find in the world of reality TV.Overall? This book was a lot of fun! Chip cracks me up and makes me wonder how Joanna doesn't go insane. XD It was great learning about so I love Chip and Joanna. I can't help it. Even though I've only seen a couple episodes of their show Fixer Upper, I still feel like I know the two personally. They're some of the most realistic, honest, down-to-earth people. Their love for their home, family, work, and Jesus is evident in everything they do--a rare and beautiful find in the world of reality TV.Overall? This book was a lot of fun! Chip cracks me up and makes me wonder how Joanna doesn't go insane. XD It was great learning about some of their adventures--from sleeping in a trailer in the pouring rain next to a cemetery to buying the farm they always dreamed of owning. There were so many great things to glean from this book, as well. I was especially touched by Joanna's journey in overcoming perfectionism and realizing that not everything has to be perfect. This is something I've been personally struggling with, so it really hit home with me.Anyway, a great read to break up all the fiction I've been devouring lately. I didn't love it, but it was still good. ^_^4 stars!
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  • Jessica
    January 1, 1970
    I rarely dish out five stars for anything that was written in this century but this book touched my heart so deeply, I had to rate it so highly. Obviously like the rest of society, I've fallen under the Magnolia spell. Chip and Joanna Gaines are worthy of all the praise dished their way because they quickly direct it to our Supreme Creator. I'm embarrassed to admit, but I didn't think anyone who wasn't LDS could describe how I see and experience the world. I no longer believe that. Joanna Gaines I rarely dish out five stars for anything that was written in this century but this book touched my heart so deeply, I had to rate it so highly. Obviously like the rest of society, I've fallen under the Magnolia spell. Chip and Joanna Gaines are worthy of all the praise dished their way because they quickly direct it to our Supreme Creator. I'm embarrassed to admit, but I didn't think anyone who wasn't LDS could describe how I see and experience the world. I no longer believe that. Joanna Gaines is a hero of mine now because she has done something extremely difficult. Explained her faith in a non-apologetic way that is warm and inviting. There is something very special and sacred to me when someone shares their story. Thank you Chip and Joanna for your confidence and faith in a Higher Power. You've increased my faith in God. I should also specify that I listened to the book. Chip and Joanna read it themselves and I can't recommend reviewing it that way enough.
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  • Denise
    January 1, 1970
    First off, I am a fan of Fixer Upper and Chip and Joanna Gaines! I loved their personality, their family values and their creativity. The book The Magnolia Story, allows to reader to travel back to Chip and Joanna's childhood, high school, college years, courtship, honeymoon and their struggles to begin their business. Throughout the book, one learns about their beliefs in God, family and community. "Go after your dreams, don't quit and don't give up. Know that God has been there from the beginn First off, I am a fan of Fixer Upper and Chip and Joanna Gaines! I loved their personality, their family values and their creativity. The book The Magnolia Story, allows to reader to travel back to Chip and Joanna's childhood, high school, college years, courtship, honeymoon and their struggles to begin their business. Throughout the book, one learns about their beliefs in God, family and community. "Go after your dreams, don't quit and don't give up. Know that God has been there from the beginning - and He will be there until......."I look forward to watching their 2017 season and maybe someday visit Waco Texas! Great inspirational read. 4.5 stars
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  • Ethan
    January 1, 1970
    "Are you ready to see your fixer upper?"The husband and wife duo of Chip and Joanna Gaines have captured the imagination of DIY enthusiasts with their hit HGTV show Fixer Upper. Faithful followers of the program will know that the couple's reach extends way beyond the TV screen. Chip and Joanna are the owners of Magnolia, a multifaceted company that focuses on real estate, renovation, and design. In their first book together, The Magnolia Story, Chip and Joanna give readers some insight into the "Are you ready to see your fixer upper?"The husband and wife duo of Chip and Joanna Gaines have captured the imagination of DIY enthusiasts with their hit HGTV show Fixer Upper. Faithful followers of the program will know that the couple's reach extends way beyond the TV screen. Chip and Joanna are the owners of Magnolia, a multifaceted company that focuses on real estate, renovation, and design. In their first book together, The Magnolia Story, Chip and Joanna give readers some insight into their life together and how their booming business came to be.At the heart of the Gaines's story lies Waco, Texas. The small town that rests about halfway between Austin and Dallas serves not only as a backdrop to their story, but an integral part of their lives. The couple met in Waco, raised their kids there, and station all of their business dealings there. If you ever get a chance to visit the city, you'll find it hard not to notice the impact they have had on it. At the center of town is the Magnolia Silos, a large shopping complex that mixes home design with family fun. There's shopping, food trucks, a bakery, and a large lawn with games and gardens. The couple have found a way to permanently and positively highlight the beautiful town that they love.By the time Joanna met Chip from behind the counter of her father's local Firestone shop, the two could not have been on more different paths. Joanna was back home from a once in a lifetime internship in New York with Dan Rather. After realizing the news business may not actually be for her, she was contemplating her place in the world. Chip, on the other hand, was out to make his next big business deal. Ever the entrepreneur, he was busy running his own lawn care service, selling fireworks, and flipping and renting out homes surrounding Baylor University. They may have been polar opposites, but the two were immediately drawn to each other. The rest, as they say, is history. The couple dated, married, and started a family.While Chip managed his multiple business dealings, Joanna had a business idea of her own. Even though they had little money, Chip encouraged her to follow her dream of opening a small shop of home decor. Devoutly religious, the couple writes about how their faith helped them through the numerous tough spots on their way to success. The most fascinating fact from the book is that their hit show almost never came to be. In the end, personality and staying true to their values seems to have been the true secret to getting to where they are today.I really enjoyed reading about this couple. Granted, fans of the show are likely the ones to get the most out of the book, but I think their message of perseverance, learning from mistakes, and supporting each other no matter what the situation is universal to all readers. The Gaines's have announced that this current season will mark the end of their show. Whatever path they choose to embark on next, I'm certain it will be another great chapter in The Magnolia Story.
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  • Kris
    January 1, 1970
    I feel like this is going to be an unpopular opinion, but here goes: I wish I hadn't read this book. I like Fixer Upper. It is a fun, distracting show, and I enjoyed the hosts and their farm and their kids and their antics. I knew about the whole anti-gay church thing, but I hoped they would address that, and I was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.Instead, where I once found Chip charming, I am now appalled that he buys homes without consulting his wife and expects her to just deal I feel like this is going to be an unpopular opinion, but here goes: I wish I hadn't read this book. I like Fixer Upper. It is a fun, distracting show, and I enjoyed the hosts and their farm and their kids and their antics. I knew about the whole anti-gay church thing, but I hoped they would address that, and I was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.Instead, where I once found Chip charming, I am now appalled that he buys homes without consulting his wife and expects her to just deal with it. I am annoyed that he left his newborn son alone, not once, but twice, because he just kind of forgot that he existed, and then bungee corded him in a car seat to the front of a four-wheeler and didn't see any problem with that. Where I once found Jo level-headed, now I am frustrated that she doesn't call her immature husband out on his crap. They thank God for all of the blessings in their lives, and basically preach that if everyone would just rely on God, it will all work out. But they have led charmed lives, and not everything works out, even for those who pray really hard. Jo talks about the young mother of four who died of cancer and how she learned so much from her, but why didn't it work out for that woman? Just stop, Chip and Jo. You've worked hard, and you've been lucky, and you have friends who can lend you $100,000 to get you back on your feet. Not everyone has that kind of life. I should have just stuck with the show.
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  • Guy Austin
    January 1, 1970
    What can I say... I was a fan of the show the first moment I saw it on HGTV. It became instant must see TV. For me it was Chip. I had a bit of a Man Crush. I admit it. He is just a cool dude in a loose mood. The book is probably more enjoyable because I am a fan of the show... and the both of them. It really is an inspired story. They did it with blood, sweat and tears. They have skin in the game. If you like a solid pleasure read, a Memoir. This is a good easy one.
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  • Brooke
    January 1, 1970
    This was so good! I loved listening to them narrate their own story. They are hands down two of the most inspirational people on tv today. Who needs all the drama and vulgar aspects?! They prove that you can be real and not shy away from your faith in God and inspire others through being normal. Through hardships, through good times, and through each other. I love that.
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  • Carrie Turansky
    January 1, 1970
    What a fascinating look at Chip and Joanna Gain's lives. I listened to the audio and loved hearing them "tell" their story. There is so much more to this wonderful couple than just what we've seen on Fixer Upper. They have wisdom to share and faith to inspire. I loved this book and recommend it to others.
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  • Lauren
    January 1, 1970
    This was SUCH a good book! I enjoyed every second & was sad when it was over. I always liked them from Fixer Upper, I don't watch all the time or anything... but after reading this book I LOVE them! Even though this story is about their life and how they got to where they are, it is packed with life lessons. I found myself really thinking about my own decisions and if fear is holding me back from certain things.. etc. It is not a self-help book but I got so much from it. A rare 5-stars from This was SUCH a good book! I enjoyed every second & was sad when it was over. I always liked them from Fixer Upper, I don't watch all the time or anything... but after reading this book I LOVE them! Even though this story is about their life and how they got to where they are, it is packed with life lessons. I found myself really thinking about my own decisions and if fear is holding me back from certain things.. etc. It is not a self-help book but I got so much from it. A rare 5-stars from me!
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