Bring Your Baggage and Don't Pack Light : Essays
by Ellis, Helen

Grown-Ass Ladies Gone Mild
She's A Character
Happy Rirthday, You're Still Fuckable!
She's Young
Are You There, Menopause? It's Me, Helen
Call Me
The Backup Plan
The Last Garage Sale
My Kind Of People
I'm A Believer!
I Go Greyhound!
There's A Lady At The Poker Table
I Feel Better About My Neck

"The bestselling author of American Housewife and Southern Lady Code returns with a viciously funny collection of literary essays on love, family, and friendship among grown-ass women"-

HELEN ELLIS is the author of <i>Southern Lady Code, American Housewife</i> and <i>Eating the Cheshire Cat.</i> Raised in Alabama, she lives with her husband in New York City. You can find her on Twitter @WhatIDoAllDay and Instagram&nbsp;@HelenEllisAuthor.

With titles such as "She's Young," "Grown-ass Ladies Gone Mild," and "I Feel Better about My Neck," it's evident aging weighs on the mind and psyche of best-selling humorist Ellis (Southern Lady Code, 2019). Whether she's skewering the indignities of menopause or grappling with the allure of Botox, Ellis tackles these annoyances as she does whatever else life tosses her way, with a simmering sense of "what the heck?" tempered by a bubbly dose of "why the heck not?" Growing older may be getting under her distressingly sagging skin, but soldiering on is made so much sweeter through treasured friendships, old and new, and embracing the healing power of kindred spirits. With the ongoing pandemic, many are in need of a good laugh. Thankfully, Ellis' essays deliver hilarity on every page, providing the perfect way to get one's socially distanced jollies. A seasoned Manhattanite by way of Alabama, Ellis entertains with a spicy blend of good-ol'-gal snark and seasoned urban savvy, disarming folks with her tongue-in-cheek Southern belle charm and shocking the unsuspecting with her flinty, no-nonsense persona. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.

The author of American Housewife and Southern Lady Code cuts loose with uproarious observations on friendship, middle age, and her own life. In this essay collection, Ellis considers her everyday world from the perspective of a quirky midlife Southern woman who sees the lighter side of everything, including dire situations. In the first piece, "Grown-Ass Ladies Gone Mild," the author recounts a series of excursions with childhood friends. Just before the first trip, one friend was diagnosed with breast cancer. Through quasi-adolescent hijinks-including zany water park rides, an evening at a Smoky Mountain theater watching Long Island Medium Theresa Caputo, and a text-message celebration of the friend's new breast implants-Ellis and her friends strengthened their "lady gang" bonds in defiance of death. Another essay, "Are You There Menopause? It's Me, Helen" satirizes Judy Blume's classic, Are Your There God? It's Me, Margaret. Ellis observes how the unpredictable, sometimes embarrassing bodily changes brought on by the climacteric are just like puberty. The only difference is that women, rather than boys, are "the ones who get a mustache." Other essays showcase the author's deadpan humor, such as the mock-manifesto "I'm a Believer!" There, Ellis lets her "freak flag" fly and writes, "I believe in what goes around comes around, reincarnation, and time travel, so my idea of heaven is being Betty White on Match Game." In "There's a Lady at the Poker Table," Ellis cheerfully details how the same Southern lady "primness" she undercuts throughout the book helped make her a formidable opponent in the all-male world of high-stakes poker. This smart, sassy, page-turning collection will appeal to fans of the author's work as well as anyone who enjoys the quick-witted jocularity of a singular Southern woman who refuses to let anything-or anyone-get her down. Like her previous books, this one is darkly hilarious and nearly always on-point. Copyright Kirkus 2021 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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