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The bestselling author of American Housewife is back with a fiercely funny collection of essays on marriage and manners, thank-you notes and three-ways, ghosts, gunshots, gynecology, and the Calgon-scented, onion-dipped, monogrammed art of living as a Southern Lady. Helen Ellis has a mantra: "If you don't have something nice to say, say something not-so-nice in a nice way." The bestselling author of American Housewife is back with a fiercely funny collection of essays on marriage and manners, thank-you notes and three-ways, ghosts, gunshots, gynecology, and the Calgon-scented, onion-dipped, monogrammed art of living as a Southern Lady. Helen Ellis has a mantra: "If you don't have something nice to say, say something not-so-nice in a nice way." Say "weathered" instead of "she looks like a cake left out in the rain." Say "early-developed" instead of "brace face and B cups." And for the love of Coke Salad, always say "Sorry you saw something that offended you" instead of "Get that stick out of your butt, Miss Prissy Pants." In these twenty-three raucous essays Ellis transforms herself into a dominatrix Donna Reed to save her marriage, inadvertently steals a $795 Burberry trench coat, witnesses a man fake his own death at a party, avoids a neck lift, and finds a black-tie gown that gives her the confidence of a drag queen. While she may have left her home in Alabama, married a New Yorker, forgotten how to drive, and abandoned the puffy headbands of her youth, Helen Ellis is clinging to her Southern accent like mayonnaise to white bread, and offering readers a hilarious, completely singular view on womanhood for both sides of the Mason-Dixon.


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The bestselling author of American Housewife is back with a fiercely funny collection of essays on marriage and manners, thank-you notes and three-ways, ghosts, gunshots, gynecology, and the Calgon-scented, onion-dipped, monogrammed art of living as a Southern Lady. Helen Ellis has a mantra: "If you don't have something nice to say, say something not-so-nice in a nice way." The bestselling author of American Housewife is back with a fiercely funny collection of essays on marriage and manners, thank-you notes and three-ways, ghosts, gunshots, gynecology, and the Calgon-scented, onion-dipped, monogrammed art of living as a Southern Lady. Helen Ellis has a mantra: "If you don't have something nice to say, say something not-so-nice in a nice way." Say "weathered" instead of "she looks like a cake left out in the rain." Say "early-developed" instead of "brace face and B cups." And for the love of Coke Salad, always say "Sorry you saw something that offended you" instead of "Get that stick out of your butt, Miss Prissy Pants." In these twenty-three raucous essays Ellis transforms herself into a dominatrix Donna Reed to save her marriage, inadvertently steals a $795 Burberry trench coat, witnesses a man fake his own death at a party, avoids a neck lift, and finds a black-tie gown that gives her the confidence of a drag queen. While she may have left her home in Alabama, married a New Yorker, forgotten how to drive, and abandoned the puffy headbands of her youth, Helen Ellis is clinging to her Southern accent like mayonnaise to white bread, and offering readers a hilarious, completely singular view on womanhood for both sides of the Mason-Dixon.

30 review for Southern Lady Code

  1. 4 out of 5

    JanB

    Southern Lady Code: "If you don't have something nice to say, say something not-so-nice in a nice way." After a couple of books that were misses, Marialyce and I decided to go a different route and read a book of humorous essays, Southern Lady Code. We were ready for some laughs. At 224 pages this is a quick, easy read, perfect as a palate cleanser. Helen Ellis is witty and snarky and delivers more than a few lines that made me chuckle out loud. Other essays were misses, but overall I would recomm Southern Lady Code: "If you don't have something nice to say, say something not-so-nice in a nice way." After a couple of books that were misses, Marialyce and I decided to go a different route and read a book of humorous essays, Southern Lady Code. We were ready for some laughs. At 224 pages this is a quick, easy read, perfect as a palate cleanser. Helen Ellis is witty and snarky and delivers more than a few lines that made me chuckle out loud. Other essays were misses, but overall I would recommend it as a good book to toss in the beach bag. 3 stars For our review, and others, please check out Marialyce's blog https://yayareadslotsofbooks.wordpres... *many thanks to Edelweiss, Doubleday, and the author for a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review

  2. 5 out of 5

    Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)

    This was a fun easy read, just a couple of hours of stories that were suppose to inform Southern ladies about the way they act, which of course is always the correct way. Being a transported Southern lady, I was anxious to see what I needed to do to be part and parcel of the Southern Lady culture. Along the way, I picked up a few pointers, chuckled a few times, and pretty much liked the essays presented. You can't be a Southern lady though without the term "Bless your heart" a phrase that has mor This was a fun easy read, just a couple of hours of stories that were suppose to inform Southern ladies about the way they act, which of course is always the correct way. Being a transported Southern lady, I was anxious to see what I needed to do to be part and parcel of the Southern Lady culture. Along the way, I picked up a few pointers, chuckled a few times, and pretty much liked the essays presented. You can't be a Southern lady though without the term "Bless your heart" a phrase that has more meaning and innuendo then I ever imagined. Sadly though it was missing in these essays, but that being said the bits and pieces we learn about Southern ladies was cute and full of whimsy. While some of the essays made me chuckle, there were some that seemed to fall a bit on the not so funny side for this Southern lady. However, on the whole this collection is a good way to while away one's time on the beach or traveling. Jan and I read this one and are interested in looking into this author's other stories. Recommended to those who long for a book that has short bits and pieces of a culture many of us embrace as our own. Thank you to Helen Ellis, Doubleday Books and Edelweiss for a copy of this book which is publishing today! You can find our reviews of this book here: http://yayareadslotsofbooks.wordpress...

  3. 4 out of 5

    Valerity (Val)

    Southern Lady Code: Essays  This is an entertaining collection of funny essays by Helen Ellis written with wit and candor and touching on family and marriage. Having lived in the South for a couple of decades now, I found plenty to grin at and relate to. If you’re Southern or know someone who is, you’ll likely enjoy it too, or if you like sassy, slightly snarky humor. I enjoyed the style of humor. My thanks for the advance electronic copy that was provided by NetGalley, author Helen Ellis, and th Southern Lady Code: Essays  This is an entertaining collection of funny essays by Helen Ellis written with wit and candor and touching on family and marriage. Having lived in the South for a couple of decades now, I found plenty to grin at and relate to. If you’re Southern or know someone who is, you’ll likely enjoy it too, or if you like sassy, slightly snarky humor. I enjoyed the style of humor. My thanks for the advance electronic copy that was provided by NetGalley, author Helen Ellis, and the publisher for my fair review. Also on my BookZone blog: https://wordpress.com/post/bookblog20...

  4. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    Helen Ellis is hilarious, brilliant, and utterly mad. Southern Lady Code will make you a better woman or a better man — once you have cleaned up the coffee you spit through your nose from laughing so hard. I loved this book: every essay and every word.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Bunny

    Received via Netgalley in exchange for a fair and unbiased review. I love good southern humor. We bless hearts and sip sweet tea and smile sweetly as we mention that your outfit is so daring, we could never pull that off. This is not good southern humor. This doesn't even come close to good southern humor. I believe Helen Ellis is probably a fantastic oral story teller. When you tell a funny story in person, you get to embellish, make hand gestures, enunciate different words. The presentation of Received via Netgalley in exchange for a fair and unbiased review. I love good southern humor. We bless hearts and sip sweet tea and smile sweetly as we mention that your outfit is so daring, we could never pull that off. This is not good southern humor. This doesn't even come close to good southern humor. I believe Helen Ellis is probably a fantastic oral story teller. When you tell a funny story in person, you get to embellish, make hand gestures, enunciate different words. The presentation of a funny story is far more important than the story itself. In person, maybe the story of Helen accidentally mistaking someone else's $800 coat for her own $800 coat is hysterical. But there's no umph to this story. She calls two people, confirms it's not their coat, then she and her husband go to a store to buy a $1200 coat to make her feel better about her belief that the coat she has is not her own. This story is a lot of things, but funny isn't one of them. Same for the story of a friend's husband's tale of a three-way he witnessed. That sounds like an amazing set up, but too much time is spent dissecting the husband's story telling method, and the wife's response to hearing the same story repeatedly. That is not humor. It's barely story telling in itself. The only story I enjoyed was Serious Women, wherein Helen sits in the courtroom while her friend prosecutes a woman who murdered a former high school classmate and cut her baby out, pretending it was hers. There was no humor in this story. There wasn't supposed to be. And the story telling itself wasn't particularly good. But I kept thinking, "Damn, did someone write a book about this? Because I would read it." Then I set this book down and started googling the news story. This is not a good book. There's no Southern Lady Code word for that. It's just bad.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Scott

    "From here on out I'll consider myself an antique lamp. I am worth something and polished. I may be fragile, but I've survived. I am a conversation starter. I'll never be too old to light up a room." -- Helen Ellis I have to begin by (again) complimenting my local library system - without them obtaining and then displaying Ellis' Southern Lady Code on their new release shelf I probably wouldn't have even heard of it or read it. I do like a good collection of diverse humorous essays, and this is o "From here on out I'll consider myself an antique lamp. I am worth something and polished. I may be fragile, but I've survived. I am a conversation starter. I'll never be too old to light up a room." -- Helen Ellis I have to begin by (again) complimenting my local library system - without them obtaining and then displaying Ellis' Southern Lady Code on their new release shelf I probably wouldn't have even heard of it or read it. I do like a good collection of diverse humorous essays, and this is one of those books. Ellis, an Alabama native now residing in New York City, references the 'Southern Lady Code' in most of her twenty-plus succinct compositions. Said 'Code,' which she learned from her mother who is also named Helen (and who I imagine to sound like the late great actress Dixie Carter, best known from TV's Designing Women and Family Law), is being sort of diplomatic or at least less verbally blunt using a certain phrase or phrasing. (For example: 'put together,' in regards to clothing - "You can take me to church or a [chain restaurant] and I'll fit in just fine." More honey, less vinegar - got it?) Ellis riffs on all sorts of subjects - marriage, health issues, etiquette, and a particularly memorable 13th birthday party. Possibly my favorite - and there were only one or two duds in the line-up - was the penultimate and uncommonly serious 'Serious Women,' in which she shadowed a friend she greatly respects, an assistant district attorney who is prosecuting a shocking kidnapping / murder case.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Madalyn (Novel Ink)

    A decidedly average essay collection. I loved some of these essays and loathed others. Helen Ellis has a strong voice that shines through all of her writing, but sometimes she misses the mark with humor. She leads such a clearly privileged life that it's often hard to relate to some of the things she deals with (ex. having to buy a new $1,500 Burberry coat after she misplaces her old one). Also, as a born and bred Southern Lady™️ myself, I really wanted this to be more... Southern. With themed e A decidedly average essay collection. I loved some of these essays and loathed others. Helen Ellis has a strong voice that shines through all of her writing, but sometimes she misses the mark with humor. She leads such a clearly privileged life that it's often hard to relate to some of the things she deals with (ex. having to buy a new $1,500 Burberry coat after she misplaces her old one). Also, as a born and bred Southern Lady™️ myself, I really wanted this to be more... Southern. With themed essay collections, I like the thread of the theme to be present throughout each essay, and I felt like this theme often got lost.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)

    Southern Lady Code: a technique by which, if you don't have something nice to say, you say something not so nice in a nice way. Just a couple days before the release of Southern Lady Code, Helen Ellis tweeted: I am the kind of woman who likes to make you clutch your pearls. — Helen Ellis (@WhatIDoAllDay) April 14, 2019 And bless her heart, she succeeds with this new collection of essays!  From witnessing a man fake a shooting at a Halloween birthday party full of eighth-graders in Party Foul to bein Southern Lady Code: a technique by which, if you don't have something nice to say, you say something not so nice in a nice way. Just a couple days before the release of Southern Lady Code, Helen Ellis tweeted: I am the kind of woman who likes to make you clutch your pearls. — Helen Ellis (@WhatIDoAllDay) April 14, 2019 And bless her heart, she succeeds with this new collection of essays!  From witnessing a man fake a shooting at a Halloween birthday party full of eighth-graders in Party Foul to being the only woman invited to a bachelor party in A Room of One's Own (That's Full of Gay Men), Ellis offers up some entertaining and often embarrassing stories!  She covers everything from being the slob in her marriage, the decision to remain child-free, and the certainty she's stolen another woman's Burberry trench coat. Sprinkled throughout are some Southern Lady Code gems: My husband fell in love with a creative woman. '"Creative" is Southern Lady Code for slob. "Trying" is Southern Lady Code for telling everyone and your mother that you're having intercourse to conceive. "It's an heirloom" is Southern Lady Code for cold steel and ammunition. "Put together" is Southern Lady Code for you can take me to church or Red Lobster and I'll fit in fine. Throw in some stories about pornography, marijuana, and ghosts (and also some brief mentions of Designing Women) and you have an amusing collection of essays that will allow people who are not Southern by the grace of God to interpret the code of Southern ladies. If you love to laugh, this is a great collection you can breeze through in an hour or so.   If you enjoy the book, I recommend the author's podcast also titled Southern Lady Code; all episodes of season one are available to download! Southern Lady Code was released by Doubleday on April 16, 2019. For more reviews, visit www.rootsandreads.wordpress.com

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jenny (Reading Envy)

    A light read with some giggles for anyone who knows southern women. I like the idea of an Alabama southerner serving onion dip and cheese log to their friends in Manhattan but had a hard time identifying with coats around $1k.. must be a different south from mine! I had a copy of this from the publisher from NetGalley. The book came out April 16, 2019.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Haley Caldwell

    I DNF'd this book around halfway through. I wanted to like it so much - I'm from the south and I love witty, honest portrayals of what life is like. But this book was just everything I hated about where I grew up, and none of the good parts. Ellis is sexist, fetishizes her gay friends, and thinks she's way funnier than she really is. I DNF'd this book around halfway through. I wanted to like it so much - I'm from the south and I love witty, honest portrayals of what life is like. But this book was just everything I hated about where I grew up, and none of the good parts. Ellis is sexist, fetishizes her gay friends, and thinks she's way funnier than she really is.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Beth Dean

    Southern Lady Code gives us a peek into what it is to be a lady. Imagine me crossing my legs daintily and lifting my teacup while saying “lady.” While it doesn’t have the same venom and bite of American Housewife, Southern Lady Code gives us more down-to-earth tips and tricks on surviving as a lady in a man’s world. Some of the tips and observations here are hilarious. For example: “And then came Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Or as I like to call it: “Surprise, You’re Sti Southern Lady Code gives us a peek into what it is to be a lady. Imagine me crossing my legs daintily and lifting my teacup while saying “lady.” While it doesn’t have the same venom and bite of American Housewife, Southern Lady Code gives us more down-to-earth tips and tricks on surviving as a lady in a man’s world. Some of the tips and observations here are hilarious. For example: “And then came Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Or as I like to call it: “Surprise, You’re Still a Hoarder!” Helen Ellis, Southern Lady Code Yep. I’ve had that feeling. The real-life wife portrayed here is a bit softer than the fictional one in American Housewife. A bit more compromising, sometimes old-fashionedly so. She urges us to incorporate the football foam finger into lovemaking on Superbowl Sunday and tells us what it is to be properly put together. I may be a bit biased in Ellis’ favor, though. I am a grandchild of a proper southern lady. My Grandmere, Rubye, was a force. She sold mass amounts of Tupperware and attended Eastern Star meetings in formal dresses she sewed herself. Southern ladies live on. And they are fabulous. Many thanks for Netgalley and Doubleday Books for providing an advance e-reader copy in exchange for an honest review.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    Hilarious candid essays by this former "southern lady" now living on the Upper East Side of NYC. If you can wait, get this in audio as I believe it would be entertaining to have the author read these essays. In the meantime, subscribe to her podcast. Thanks to the publisher for the advance reading copy. Hilarious candid essays by this former "southern lady" now living on the Upper East Side of NYC. If you can wait, get this in audio as I believe it would be entertaining to have the author read these essays. In the meantime, subscribe to her podcast. Thanks to the publisher for the advance reading copy.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Tyler Goodson

    SOUTHERN LADY CODE is Southern Lady Code for the perfect essay collection. It’s sharper than a shattered Christmas ornament, but an ornament with a sense of humor. You might cut yourself, but you’ll laugh about it. Would I give just about anything to spend a Friday night at her apartment, drinking and putting together a spooky owl puzzle? Why, yes. Yes, I would.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Melora

    A mixed bag of essays about life as a "Southern lady." The "code," of course, is the mindset, euphemisms, and habits that allow a southern lady to sail gracefully through any situation, blithely accepting family ghosts, rendering men compliant with a withering glance or charming phrase, and confidently justifying her choices with an airy "Well, of course I did." A few of the essays were really fun -- my favorite was "The Ghost Experience" -- but most were just okay. Ellis seems to feel surprisin A mixed bag of essays about life as a "Southern lady." The "code," of course, is the mindset, euphemisms, and habits that allow a southern lady to sail gracefully through any situation, blithely accepting family ghosts, rendering men compliant with a withering glance or charming phrase, and confidently justifying her choices with an airy "Well, of course I did." A few of the essays were really fun -- my favorite was "The Ghost Experience" -- but most were just okay. Ellis seems to feel surprisingly defensive about her decision not to have children, and that got tiresome. I listened to this, read by the author, and she is a good reader (though I wish she would cut back on her use of her "cutesy" voice). However, the audio led to a mortifying situation for me, and I'm (completely unfairly) rounding my rating down rather than up for that. What happened was this... I had about an hour left of book and decided to listen to it at the hair salon, where I was getting my color rejuvenated. I had my wireless earbuds in and everything was going fine until my stylist bumped an earbud while wrapping foil around a strand of hair. I was on the chapter called "An Emily Post for the Apocalypse," in which Ellis talks about her mother's advice on what a lady should do in various outrageous situations. At the moment my earbud was bumped, which caused the audio to stop transmitting through the buds and start blaring through my phone's speaker, she was describing what one does when one comes home and finds a repairman mast*****ing in one's living room. There was dead silence in the salon. "Awkward" falls utterly short. And if Ellis's mother had a trick for smoothing over the unexpected broadcast of what sure sounded like a filthy book in a peaceful salon, Ellis didn't include it here. Anyway, this is quick and moderately amusing.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Robin Bonne

    A fast read. These essays weren’t that interesting to me. I couldn’t connect to the topics.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jeri

    Was an okay read. Not near as funny as I thought it would be from the description.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Basic B's Guide

    Sassy, salty and fresh this was a fun book of essays. I’m coming up on nearly a decade of living in Texas so I think I can officially call myself a southern lady. Honestly before moving here I thought it was all cowboys and nothing in the world prepared me for the damn heat. Awe she smells sweet is southern lady code for you have massive body odor from the 1000-degree temperature outside so go jump in the shower please. Some of my favorite essays were; How to Stay Happily Married, Straighten Up an Sassy, salty and fresh this was a fun book of essays. I’m coming up on nearly a decade of living in Texas so I think I can officially call myself a southern lady. Honestly before moving here I thought it was all cowboys and nothing in the world prepared me for the damn heat. Awe she smells sweet is southern lady code for you have massive body odor from the 1000-degree temperature outside so go jump in the shower please. Some of my favorite essays were; How to Stay Happily Married, Straighten Up and Fly Right, Tonight We’re Gonna Party Like it’s 1979 and That Kind of Woman. There were a few essays I didn’t particularly connect with but overall this was an enjoyable read and has something for everyone. So, mind your manners and pick up a copy (available now). Don’t forget to send me a thank-you note after you are done reading. Bless your heart xoxo

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    While I enjoyed reading her book of short stories, "American Housewife," this book just did not hold up. Too much of it simply came across as judgmental (i.e., in a section titled 'Young Ladies, Listen to Me', she writes, "Leggings are not pants. Dying your hair gray is not a good idea. And neither are those inner-arm, rib-cage, and finger tattoos" (171)). It's too bad, but I will not be reading any other works she may possibly write in the future. While I enjoyed reading her book of short stories, "American Housewife," this book just did not hold up. Too much of it simply came across as judgmental (i.e., in a section titled 'Young Ladies, Listen to Me', she writes, "Leggings are not pants. Dying your hair gray is not a good idea. And neither are those inner-arm, rib-cage, and finger tattoos" (171)). It's too bad, but I will not be reading any other works she may possibly write in the future.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    Such an enjoyable read! I loved her collection of stories (American Housewife), and this book of essays is brilliant as well. She is so funny. I had to put this book away and pick up something else to read during my daughter's cello lesson, because I couldn't hold in my laughter and was about to cause an unwelcome distraction. I recommend Helen Ellis to pretty much everyone! Such an enjoyable read! I loved her collection of stories (American Housewife), and this book of essays is brilliant as well. She is so funny. I had to put this book away and pick up something else to read during my daughter's cello lesson, because I couldn't hold in my laughter and was about to cause an unwelcome distraction. I recommend Helen Ellis to pretty much everyone!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sue Fernandez

    Oh my goodness. First, thank you to Doubleday Books and NetGalley for an e-ARC of Southern Lady Code. I started this book in the late evening, in bed, and that might've been a mistake. I was laughing out loud just as my husband was drifting off to sleep. The big surprises 1. I'd never read Helen Ellis' books prior to this; 2. there is also heart and poignancy in her writing mixed in with the humor. It's genuine, a fun read and a little laughter is something we can all use. Best of all: I use mor Oh my goodness. First, thank you to Doubleday Books and NetGalley for an e-ARC of Southern Lady Code. I started this book in the late evening, in bed, and that might've been a mistake. I was laughing out loud just as my husband was drifting off to sleep. The big surprises 1. I'd never read Helen Ellis' books prior to this; 2. there is also heart and poignancy in her writing mixed in with the humor. It's genuine, a fun read and a little laughter is something we can all use. Best of all: I use more southern phrases than is probably wise, and I've added a few to my mix. LOVE this book.

  21. 4 out of 5

    britt_brooke

    As a southern “lady” (heh) myself, I laughed so hard at many of Ellis’s anecdotes. She’s a southerner in NYC trying to stay true to her Alabama roots while embracing the city. These personal essays are mostly surface-level entertaining, but a couple really dive in. This collection was just the distraction I needed. Listened in one afternoon.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Trin

    It was a mistake for me to read this book -- and, in retrospect, an obvious one. It would be difficult for the contents to be further from my personal ethos or sense of humor. My only excuse? I was beguiled by the cover model's excellent lipstick. It was a mistake for me to read this book -- and, in retrospect, an obvious one. It would be difficult for the contents to be further from my personal ethos or sense of humor. My only excuse? I was beguiled by the cover model's excellent lipstick.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    I'm glad I read American Housewife first and loved it, because if I had read this one first, I never would have read another book by her. She seems spiteful and definitely not like someone I want to know, much less keep reading about. I'm glad I read American Housewife first and loved it, because if I had read this one first, I never would have read another book by her. She seems spiteful and definitely not like someone I want to know, much less keep reading about.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Blue Cypress Books

    Funny, smart and Southern. This was my first time reading Helen Ellis and it will NOT be my last!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sarah at Sarah's Bookshelves

    Thanks to Harper Books and Edelweiss for an advanced copy of this book. Ellis’s short story collection, American Housewife (my review), was hit and miss for me, but the hits led me to believe I’d love her brand of nonfiction social commentary. And, I was mostly right! Ellis has an inappropriate, outrageous sense of humor (my favorite!). And, pairing it with her spot-on social commentary on the South can be magic. Ellis now lives in New York, which I think gives her some necessary perspective on t Thanks to Harper Books and Edelweiss for an advanced copy of this book. Ellis’s short story collection, American Housewife (my review), was hit and miss for me, but the hits led me to believe I’d love her brand of nonfiction social commentary. And, I was mostly right! Ellis has an inappropriate, outrageous sense of humor (my favorite!). And, pairing it with her spot-on social commentary on the South can be magic. Ellis now lives in New York, which I think gives her some necessary perspective on the South that makes her commentary even better. She covers marriage, thank-you notes, general etiquette (courtesy of her mother), and crazy stories from her childhood a la Jenny Lawson (I loved these). Some of these essays are outrageously funny, while some are still fairly outrageous (but less so for Ellis), but also poignant. And, the ones with some poignancy were my favorites. She writes poignantly about her decision to be child-free in “Free to Be…You and Me (and Childfree)” and her friend Meredith’s work as an Assistant District Attorney in the Bronx in “Serious Women.” And, her social commentary shines in “Party Foul” (a crazy story from her childhood) and “Emily Post for the Apocalypse” (her mother’s view on manners for “extreme situations”). The only mis-step for me was the mini-essays that are collections of one-sentence thoughts on a topic…these just didn’t work for me and broke up the rhythm of collection. Southern Lady Code was exactly the balm I was looking for following the immersive experience of Miracle Creek! Visit https://www.sarahsbookshelves.com for more reviews.

  26. 5 out of 5

    MsLadyCritic

    Cute, fun, short. And funny.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Erica

    I read this book in less than two hours. It was funny, I guess, but it was less about cute things Southern ladies say (i.e., "bless their heart" is throwing shade), and more about rich people people problems (i.e., accidentally picking up someone else's $800 coat and feeling so "weird" about the coat's wrongness that you end up buying a new $1800 coat). I’m not mad that I read it, but I probably won’t remember it in two weeks. I read this book in less than two hours. It was funny, I guess, but it was less about cute things Southern ladies say (i.e., "bless their heart" is throwing shade), and more about rich people people problems (i.e., accidentally picking up someone else's $800 coat and feeling so "weird" about the coat's wrongness that you end up buying a new $1800 coat). I’m not mad that I read it, but I probably won’t remember it in two weeks.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    A book of humorous essays from a Southern lady living in New York City. I thought this was a super quick and easy read. I read through the whole thing in just 3-4 treadmill work outs where I like to read on my Kindle. Helen Ellis is funny with a touch of that Southern charm that I've always loved! While none of the stories were laugh out loud funny to me, they were silly and enjoyable. I didn't necessarily relate much to her (wealthy, Southern bred lady), but I enjoyed her take on life and her "S A book of humorous essays from a Southern lady living in New York City. I thought this was a super quick and easy read. I read through the whole thing in just 3-4 treadmill work outs where I like to read on my Kindle. Helen Ellis is funny with a touch of that Southern charm that I've always loved! While none of the stories were laugh out loud funny to me, they were silly and enjoyable. I didn't necessarily relate much to her (wealthy, Southern bred lady), but I enjoyed her take on life and her "Southern Lady Code," which is basically saying something not so nice but in a nice way. I'd definitely read more from her. In fact, I'd kind of like to be her friend. If you're in the mood for something light, check this one out.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Donna Davis

    Helen Ellis makes me laugh out loud. If you can use some of that, you may want to read this book. Thanks go to Doubleday and Net Galley for the review copy. Southern Lady Code is a title that carries a code of its own. Some people use the word “lady” to describe European royalty; some to describe a courteous woman, which is what I anticipated here; and some use it to describe a well-mannered woman with a very comfortable income, which appears to be the author’s operating definition. In terms of Helen Ellis makes me laugh out loud. If you can use some of that, you may want to read this book. Thanks go to Doubleday and Net Galley for the review copy. Southern Lady Code is a title that carries a code of its own. Some people use the word “lady” to describe European royalty; some to describe a courteous woman, which is what I anticipated here; and some use it to describe a well-mannered woman with a very comfortable income, which appears to be the author’s operating definition. In terms of the “code,” I thought I’d be reading straight satire, but discovered that she has provided a combination of self-help tips and searing, sometimes raucous humor. It works surprisingly well. I have never made a cheese log before or wanted one, but Ellis’s recipe sounds so persuasively delicious that I may try it. That said, my favorite essays were short on advice and long on humor. I nearly hurt myself laughing over the construction man she found masturbating in her bedroom—did I mention that she gets a little edgy here? And “The Ghost Experience” is massively entertaining. There’s a lot of good material. Though at times her outlook is a little more conservative than my own, I like the things she says in support of gay and trans friends. Ultimately, I suspect that I am not the target audience for Ellis, who in her middle-aged years is dispensing life skills wrapped in bountiful amounts of humorous anecdotes. She is writing to her peers and to those women younger than herself. I am ten or twenty years older than this woman, but I still came away impressed. So, ladies and women, if you can look past the assumption of a greater-than-average income, you’ll have a good time here, and if you can’t, try to get this collection at the library and read selectively, because more of these essays will resonate than not, for all of us. I rate this book four giggles, and it will be available to the public tomorrow, April 16, 2019.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Missie

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this hilarious book of essays, so much so I read parts out loud to my husband of 27 years. Growing up in the south in the same time frame I could so relate to your southern childhood and motherly advice. It is truly a wonderful way to be raised, the basis of kindness and being polite is something that really makes the world a better, happier place. This is the first thing I have read by Mrs. Harris, but it will not be the last! From one dense breast to another MAMA L I thoroughly enjoyed reading this hilarious book of essays, so much so I read parts out loud to my husband of 27 years. Growing up in the south in the same time frame I could so relate to your southern childhood and motherly advice. It is truly a wonderful way to be raised, the basis of kindness and being polite is something that really makes the world a better, happier place. This is the first thing I have read by Mrs. Harris, but it will not be the last! From one dense breast to another MAMA LIKE! Thank you NetGalley for the ARC and the opportunity to find a new favorite author for a review.

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