Home Feed
Home
Search
Search
Add Review, Blurb, Quote
Add
Activity
Activity
Profile
Profile
Southern Lady Code
Southern Lady Code: Essays | Helen Ellis
The bestselling author of American Housewife ("Dark, deadpan and truly inventive." --The New York Times Book Review) 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.
Amazon Indiebound Barnes and Noble WorldCat Goodreads LibraryThing
Pick icon
100%
review
akfreeborn
post image
Pickpick

I loved these funny essays about life as a Southerner in New York and those quirky sayings and behaviors that people don‘t always understand who weren‘t raised in the south. Well observed and hilarious. Great quick read!

18 likes1 stack add
review
Sarahreadstoomuch
post image
Pickpick

Needed something to listen to that would #makemelol and this did! Quick collection of light short stories that is read by the author with her amazing Southern accent that can just drip with sarcasm. #booked2020 @Cinfhen @4thhouseontheleft @BarbaraTheBibliophage

Cinfhen I‘ve been wanting to read this since @Megabooks reviewed it!!! Thanks for the reminder 😊 1w
Megabooks This is a good one! 1w
17 likes3 comments
review
Readswithcoffee
post image
Pickpick

Very entertaining in that sugary, snarky kind of way Southern women are so good at. The audiobook was especially enjoyable as it was read by the author herself. I particularly liked “Straighten Up And Fly Right” and “Dumb Boobs.”

HerDarkHuntress1 My favorite way to be nice is by saying “Bless your heart!” Or “Isnt that just sweet!” 1mo
31 likes1 comment
blurb
Sharpeipup
post image

Hoping to hone my sarcasm before the holiday festivities begin. Note: my #adventcalendar in the background #tbr #wintergames #festivephotochallenge
@StayCurious @Clwojick @BarkingMadRun

BarkingMadRun Love it! 2 points 2mo
26 likes1 stack add1 comment
blurb
Gnora
post image

Spent my day off crafting and listening to Southern Lady Code by Helen Ellis. I did not know she was from Alabama before this book. She narrates the audio, and while she claims her Southern accent is unchanged, I can definitively tell you that it has. She might sound Southern to New Yorkers, but it‘s like a weird hybrid to my ear.

#essays #southern #nonfiction #audio

12 likes1 stack add
review
Crinoline_Laphroaig
post image
Pickpick

Fun listen; except for the Chapter about Strong Women. That one will break your heart. Not so memorable that I wanted my own copy.
#borrownotbuy #listenwhileyouwork

34 likes1 stack add
blurb
mrsmarch
post image

Verity I really enjoyed this one 3mo
mrsmarch @Verity I‘m not a Southern Lady by birth or raising, but I felt very *seen*, and sometimes judged. Wait — doesn‘t everyone have a lazy Susan for their sprinkles? My mother does — I do — 3mo
28 likes2 comments
review
Verity
post image
Pickpick

I really, really enjoyed this. There‘s something about Helen Ellis‘s writing style that really speaks to me. This is funny and a little sly and although it‘s essays, it still keeps you guessing a little about the line between fact and fiction. Right in my wheelhouse.

quote
Verity
post image

This really spoke to me. I‘m not ruling out having kids just yet, but I‘m not ready for it yet and I‘m not sure if I will be. But I‘m ok with that and I love the life I have with Him Indoors.

blurb
Verity
post image

Latest library hold to come in!

13 likes1 stack add
blurb
peacegypsy
post image

I love books about Southern women! 🌺

32 likes2 stack adds
review
swishandflick
post image
Panpan

As a southern woman now living in NYC I expected to relate to this at least a little bit, but ultimately found the "humor" to be dated and just kinda boring. The "Southern Lady Code" was basically one sentence per essay and the only one I liked is on the cover. Otherwise, the essays felt like weirdly pieced together ramblings and I only finished because it was short. Bless her heart, Helen was just not my cup of tea I'm afraid.

Lcsmcat Is that “Bless her heart” ⬆️ or “Bless her heart” ⬇️ 😆 5mo
swishandflick @Lcsmcat "Bless her heart" is my own southern lady way of throwing shade sweetly ? 5mo
cathysaid @Lcsmcat 🤣🤣🤣 I see what you did there. Intonation is everything in that phrase. 5mo
Lcsmcat @cathysaid Yep. We can say the same words and mean the exact opposite. It‘s all in the inflection. 5mo
78 likes4 comments
review
lovelybookshelf
post image
Panpan

This book just got worse and worse. The humor felt completely outdated, and I didn't find it funny. Ellis romanticizes some really messed up stuff, does that gross "gay friends as trophies" thing that straight women so often do, is casually ableist, and brushes off racism like it's a cute, innocent character flaw. I really enjoyed the stories in AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE, and that's the only reason I held out hope for this book. I wish I'd DNF'd instead.

Eyelit Yikes! That‘s really unfortunate 😕 5mo
Sarahreadstoomuch Bummer. I also liked the Housewife book. 5mo
BookNAround Yes. Yes. 100% yes. 5mo
10 likes3 comments
blurb
swishandflick
post image

It's like the unofficial rule of library holds - they always, always, always seem to come in at once! I just started one of last month's BOTM picks and then I'll have to dive into one of these - they're all so different I'm not even sure where to start 😆

Megabooks I enjoyed Southern Lady Code! 5mo
IndoorDame Dread Nation was great! 5mo
CarolynM I love Alexis Hall's books. I've just started a reread of the two Billionaire books in preparation for the final book coming out next month. 5mo
73 likes3 comments
quote
Lindy
post image

“Is this homemade?” a guest will ask. What she means is “that looks like a chew toy.”

(Internet photo of a cheese log.)

Bibliogeekery 😂 6mo
AmyG Hahaha...my first thought when I saw this was “what the hell IS this?”. (edited) 6mo
Suet624 @AmyG I'm with you. 6mo
Lindy @Bibliogeekery @AmyG @Suet624 I‘m glad you all enjoyed this. Lots of zingers in this collection. 😁 6mo
53 likes1 stack add4 comments
review
Chelsea.Poole
post image
Pickpick

Funny-ish little stories. Semi relatable. I don't think it's something that'll stick with me but it was entertaining. Less actual southern experiences and more NYC essays written by someone from the south.

80 likes1 stack add
review
Lindy
post image
Pickpick

Brief nonfiction humour pieces about etiquette and modern life, collected in a short (3-hr) #audiobook narrated by the author in her southern lady voice. Most of the content is amusing in its wackiness, but one piece offended me (Young Ladies Listen to Me) and the final piece is a complete change of mood. I liked her short story collection better, but I recommend this if you‘re in the mood for genteel irreverence.

Megabooks I liked this one better. As a Southerner, I recognize a lot of myself & friends in her works. 6mo
Lindy @Megabooks 😊👍 6mo
48 likes2 comments
blurb
Lindy
post image

“Making the bed is my cardio because to make a bed properly you have to circle it like a shark. And all the while, I listen to audiobooks I would be too embarrassed to be caught reading.”

I guess I don‘t make my bed properly, since a quick toss of the duvet is all it usually gets. Nevertheless, I am totally on board with listening to audiobooks while doing housework.

twohectobooks I mean I make my bed pretty well every morning and it takes about three minutes and two trips from side to side, not sure how much audiobook listening I‘d get done in those circumstances. Maybe her bed has lots of extra pillows and blankets! 6mo
Lindy @twohectobooks The bed cardio sentence came at the end of a list of other household chores that the author has learned to embrace. Out of context, it does seem ludicrous that you would get so much listening time (ie during bed making). So, two trips from side to side? That sounds thorough. 6mo
twohectobooks I could probably do it in one but I don‘t like reaching over the bed to place the pillows on the other side haha 6mo
Lindy @twohectobooks It sounds like you get a much tidier effect than I do. 😊 6mo
45 likes1 stack add4 comments
review
Nitpickyabouttrains
post image
Mehso-so

This book didn‘t really resonate with me. When I got it I didn‘t realize it was based on a famous social media. Cute but not for me.

8little_paws Oh it is? I didn't realise that either. I'll pass on it then. 6mo
20 likes1 comment
blurb
Chelsea.Poole
post image

My grandma's apple pie 🥧
Witty new book 📕
Happy weekend vibes

Megabooks 👍🏻😁 6mo
84 likes4 stack adds1 comment
blurb
Chelsea
post image

Got off to a late start, but book 1 is complete. #24in48

Sweettartlaura Love Helen Ellis 🙌🏻♥️ 6mo
Megabooks Fantastic book!! 6mo
9 likes2 comments
review
xxjenadanxx
post image
Pickpick



This was a super fun, super relatable book. I must have highlighted half the dang thing because it was just “so me”. The jury is still out on whether that‘s a good thing or not.

“My new ways were so new he assumed I was making sexual advances. It‘s understandable - so much dirty talk sounds so hygienic: salad spinning and putting a teabag on a saucer. It‘s like Martha Stewart wrote Urban Dictionary”

Megabooks This book is definitely hilarious! 6mo
59 likes4 stack adds1 comment
review
QueenJen
post image
Pickpick

4⭐
So many "laugh out loud" moments!
One thing that did kind of surprise me was the number of graphic moments or "hard topics" and in all the reviews I read, not even so much as a hint. One essay in particular was kind of hard to read, but I did enjoy this book immensely.

blurb
mdemanatee
post image

I am about as Midwestern as they come but I like Helen Ellis after American Housewife. And I definitely like easily digestible essays after a long day at work.

Megabooks I loved this book. Very funny! 7mo
11 likes1 stack add1 comment
review
kbuggle
post image
Pickpick

I loved American Housewife and I knew that I would love Southern Lady Code. Helen Ellis makes me laugh with her pointed sarcasm and I appreciate her for it.
Ate this right up on a train trip to NYC last weekend where I walked and read and visited bookstores. It was lovely.

BlameJennyJane Love that definition on the cover! It‘s one of my favorite things about the southern women in my life! 7mo
swishandflick I've got to read this! I'm from the South and have a feeling some of these tidbits will remind me off my mom 😂 7mo
kbuggle @BlameJennyJane it is so true! 7mo
kbuggle @swishandflick haha it‘s sharp and smart- I bet it will ;) 7mo
10 likes2 stack adds4 comments
review
Addison_Reads
post image
Pickpick

Hilarious, fast paced read that as a Southern I could relate to more than I'd care to admit. 😁 Lots of these essays made me laugh out loud. I've been a fan of Ellis for many years, and this one did not disappoint.

21 likes1 stack add
review
megnews
post image
Pickpick

This was a slow start for me but it‘s still a quick read with lots of laugh out loud moments. 3.5 ⭐️

Book 184/265 5/21/19

quote
megnews
post image

Minus poker, this is my lifestyle in my forties too! 😂

#lunchtimereading

review
Skeebies05
post image
Pickpick

This statement is incorrect but other than that this book was cute. She has a few dated ideas and comments but 🤷🏽‍♀️

blurb
Skeebies05
post image

Ahaha!!!! 😹😹😹 It has nothing to do with the essay but that is why its so funny!

suvata This book is on my TBR. It sounds so funny. 8mo
wanderinglynn 😂😂😂 8mo
20 likes2 comments
blurb
Lola
post image

Spent this Mother‘s Day moving our daughter to her summer dorm. Found a couple of snippets to down time to read a few of these fun and funny essays. Bless my heart.

35 likes1 stack add
review
KimM
post image
Mehso-so

This was a short (single afternoon) and amusing read.

#NetGalley
#Southernladycode
#Doubleday

review
Dorianna
post image
Pickpick

There was only one essay I found kind of tiresome, but other than that this book was a delight and fun to read and even more enjoyable to listen to.

quote
Dorianna
post image

I love Helen Ellis. Also the audiobook is narrated by her and it‘s delightful to read along with it.

wanderinglynn 😂😂😂 Me too! That would be awesome! 9mo
12 likes1 comment
review
SW-T
post image
Mehso-so

Humorous, but it felt more forced than natural. That said, still got a few quiet chuckles out of it.

review
Well-ReadNeck
post image
Pickpick

Welp, this was a super fun way to spend the afternoon!!!

AlaMich It was a pretty fun read! 9mo
Addison_Reads I just finished this one earlier this week and loved it. Growing up in the South, the author wrote about so much I could relate to. Definitely a fun read. 💚 9mo
93 likes2 stack adds2 comments
review
jdiehr
post image
Pickpick

As the author herself says, this is a collection of silly stories. She talks about cheese logs, Burberry coats, and the importance of thank you notes.

Not a life changing book, but mostly good fun. Listening to the audio and hearing Ellis's southern accent was a plus.

rather_be_reading i just heard about this book! sounds interesting 9mo
21 likes2 stack adds1 comment
review
lahousewyfe
post image
Pickpick

"If you don't have anything nice to say, say something not-so-nice in a nice way." ??? Too true! I giggled my way through this book of essays, occasionally stopping to make my wife listen to me read one. We quickly started a ritual of "the reading of the Southern Lady Code" each evening. Fun!

review
LWagoner
post image
Pickpick

From the author of “American Housewife: Stories,“ these new essays will make you chuckle and maybe cringe a bit as well. Ellis speaks her mind and shares her stories in the true “Southern Lady Code “ fashion. The audiobook was entertaining- but don‘t listen to this with kids in the car (Southern Lady code for swearing and discussions on mature topics 😉)

38 likes1 stack add
blurb
kyraleseberg
post image

Helen Ellis is so charming. She read her essay Party Foul and some friends mentioned in that essay were actually in the crowd, as well as her parents, so we got to meet them and hear their perspective on the story! If you've listened to the Southern Lady Code podcast, you know how well she tells a story so it was exciting to be there in person. It was a great way to end the day in Athens!

blurb
nomadreader
post image

I have had an egalley of this for months but opted to wait for audio and imagine Helen is my friend telling me her funny stories over martinis.

12 likes1 stack add
quote
ReadingEnvy
post image

Alex20 Hello how you doing I can see you read alot of books so I was wondering if we could be friends am still very new to English 9mo
57 likes1 comment
review
KathyWheeler
post image
Pickpick

This is a quick and enjoyable read. It didn‘t make me laugh out loud, but it was amusing. My favorite essay wasn‘t the least bit funny — it was about watching her friend try an extremely grizzly murder case, and was, ultimately, about friendship. However I couldn‘t relate to the one about replacing a $795 Burberry coat with one that cost almost $1500 — rich people problems— because she‘d picked up the wrong coat but couldn‘t find who had hers.

review
lauralovesbooks1
post image
Pickpick

Made me laugh so hard that sweet tea came out my nose. This essay collection is pure enjoyment.

Chelleo Stacking...this sounds fun! 9mo
24 likes3 stack adds1 comment
blurb
biblio_ginger
post image

Soooo my Mom, my seester @LitDrivenGirl , and I went to a library booksale yesterday and I may or may not have gone overboard. 🙃 In my defense we hadn't been to this library booksale in a little over a year. 😄 #librarybooksale #booksale #bookhaul

RedLeaves I have Soppy! Looove it always makes me smile 9mo
biblio_ginger @RedLeaves I can't wait to read it! I've read some of the comics on instagram and love the art style! 😄 9mo
BookishMarginalia What a fabulous #bookhaul! Enjoy! 9mo
See All 12 Comments
biblio_ginger @BookishMarginalia thank you! 😁 I'm enjoying just looking at them! 9mo
AmyG Lucky! 9mo
biblio_ginger @AmyG the book gods were smiling on me! 😁 9mo
RedLeaves @biblio_ginger Hope you enjoy 👏🏻 9mo
biblio_ginger @RedLeaves thank you! 😊 9mo
readordierachel Well done! 9mo
biblio_ginger @readordierachel thank you! 😁 9mo
MStew Sweet haul 9mo
biblio_ginger @meghan2714 thank you! 😁 9mo
39 likes12 comments
blurb
KathyWheeler
post image

Reading this tonight. Although I‘ve lived most of my life in the South, I‘m not a Southern lady — my parents are Canadian. I do recognize a lot of the behavior though. 😊

CouronneDhiver 🙌🏽🇨🇦🙌🏽 9mo
AnneFindsJoy 🙌 Woohoo, Canadian living in the south! 🤗🇨🇦 9mo
KathyWheeler @AnneFindsJoy Born in the South too.😊 9mo
30 likes1 stack add3 comments
quote
kyraleseberg
post image

"Creative" is Southern Lady Code for slob.

Accurate ?

Mdargusch 😂😂😂 9mo
32 likes1 comment
review
Megabooks
post image
Pickpick

This was better than her short story collection! I won‘t spoil what happened at her eighth grade birthday, but that essay alone makes it worth reading.

Here are some ones, that I, as a Southern all my life (almost - 6 months in NJ), most related to. I am a Winter, and Clinique Black Honey is the shit! My mom did write my grandmother a thank you note for thank you notes.

Megabooks Oh, and my grandmother‘s thank you notes were totally passive-aggressive!! 9mo
LeahBergen I‘m a “winter”, too, and I haven‘t thought of Clinique‘s Black Honey in years! 😆😆 9mo
Megabooks @LeahBergen Lol! My mom was addicted to the seasonal book! She is a Spring. In the 90s, Black Honey was my thing. (And everyone else‘s. 😉) My mom still wears Raspberry Glaze. She has for the majority of my life. I think we‘re stockpiled for life with all the “free gifts” 😂 (edited) 9mo
See All 13 Comments
Cinfhen Hahaha!!!! I‘m dying!!! I know those shades so well!!!! 9mo
Libby1 Autumn 🙋🏼‍♀️ 9mo
jenniferw88 Winter! 9mo
AlaMich I couldn‘t be less of a southern lady (Chicago-born, California-bred) but now I have to read this!! 9mo
Schuhbox Summer! In the 90s, I was Clinique Raspberry Glaze 9mo
Megabooks @Cinfhen Like the backs of our hands! (Where the saleswomen tested them!!!) (edited) 9mo
Megabooks @Libby1 nice!! 9mo
Megabooks @jenniferw88 High five! 🖐🏻 9mo
Megabooks @AlaMich I hope you think it‘s funny!! 9mo
Megabooks @Schuhbox It really was a good color for summers! 😁😁 9mo
87 likes6 stack adds13 comments