What I’m Reading: The Magnolia Story

I just finished up listening to The Magnolia Story by  Chip Gaines, Joanna Gaines and Mark Dagostino.   Most people know that this is the story about Chip and Joanna Gaines the due behind the HGTV show Fixer Uppers.  I’ll admit that I did a little binge watching of Fixer Uppers last year when I was on the couch with my foot surgery.    Although it’s a cheesy show, I surprisingly found myself not minding watching.  

I saw that they had a book out and decided to give it a try.


It’s kind of fun to learn how people get to where they are.  I was on the waiting list for a long time and happily this book came just when I needed it.  I had been listening to a lot of heavy WWII books and although I like them, sometimes I need a little fluff.  This was perfect.

Here’s what Amazon had to say: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 way

And 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.”

I ended up really liking the book and ended up liking the couple more than I had.  I love Joanna’s philosophy on making a home livable for everyone and also like her emphasis on wanting to make a home a reflection of the family that lives there.

Amazon readers gave the book 4.9  stars.  Originally I really expected this to be a cheesy fluff book but I ended up really liking it and that really surprised me.  I agree with the 4.9 stars.

P.S. Has anyone read their magazine Magnolia Journal?  I was was wondering if it’s any good.

5 thoughts on “What I’m Reading: The Magnolia Story

  1. Pat

    I bought the book as soon as it came out, and like you, I like them even more now! I love their family values and interactions and enjoyed the book immensely. They are truly an example of opposites attracting!

    Reply
  2. Linda

    I loved the book too and how Chip and Joanna relate to each other….I liked the magazine , but I have only read one of them….I also want them to come to my house ….

    Reply
  3. Carol J Wallace

    Loved the book! I live in Waco and reading about their story and knowing the places mentioned was so neat. Met them before the show took off. They are the real deal.

    Reply

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