05 January 2016

Today's Read & Giveaway: American Housewife by Helen Ellis

Review: American Housewife by Hellen EllisIf you can't laugh at yourself (or the people you love), then what can you laugh at? The twelve stories in Helen Ellis's collection are the perfect winter boost and the cure for the post-holiday blues. Some women are driven slightly crazy by their lives—could you (or I) be one of them?

If someone moves to make room for you, take up more room. If someone is looking over there, there's something to see. If someone sneezes, run. If someone brings a bag into your home, look inside it. If you don't want someone to leave, sit on his suitcase.
American Housewife by Helen Ellis (Doubleday, 2016, p. 155 of eGalley, opening to "Take It from Cats")

Quick Facts
  • Setting: modern times; definitely America
  • Genre: Short stories, humor, social commentary
  • General thoughts: I really liked all the stories in this book, which rarely happens. True, some clicked with me more than others, but still, this is a solid collection. All the pieces are funny, but not in a belly-laugh kind of way. You'll chuckle, you'll nod your head, you'll be grinning. Even when a story didn't describe my life, I could still relate; after all, I'm a woman living in America and so I know the same people Ellis does.
  • One of my favorites: I'm a Yankee and I particularly loved the story "Southern Lady Code." I needed this dictionary cause I didn't know things like this: " 'She's the nicest person' means she's boring as pound cake."
  • A few more that made me laugh: "Hello! Welcome to Book Club" is a great commentary on what it means to be in an exclusive club. Yeah, the members are welcoming on the outside, but inside they're making comments about your reading tastes and cultural touch points. "Dead Doorman" offers some dark humor, and "Take It from Cats" is absolutely on target and perfect for cat lovers (like me).
  • Recommendations: This is a quick read with some great lines you'll want to read out loud to your family and friends. Even if you aren't normally a short story person, I bet you'll like this collection. Come on, you need some lightness to warm your soul this month. (The book will be released on January 12.)
The Giveaway

Thanks to the nice people at Doubleday, I'm happy to be able to offer one of my readers with a U.S. mailing address a copy of Helen Ellis's American Housewife. All you have to do to be entered for a chance to win is to fill out the following form. I'll pick a winner, via a random number generator, on January 15. Once the winner has been confirmed and I've passed the name and address along to the publisher, I'll erase all personal information from my computer. Good luck!


rhapsodyinbooks 1/5/16, 6:13 AM  

I love these kind of books for the car; they are perfect for quick trips when you just would like an amusing anecdote.

XXXX 1/5/16, 6:57 AM  

Yay! This title is on my most anticipated release for 2016. Here's hoping!


I'll never understand why my name doesn't ever show up, even after I sign using my Google account. Anywho, it's Cathy Holst. :)

JoAnn 1/5/16, 7:23 AM  

Oohh, this sounds like great fun!!

Sarah (Sarah's Book Shelves) 1/5/16, 7:36 AM  

This one is up next for me...looking forward to it! How about that fabulous cover?!

Julie P. 1/5/16, 7:47 AM  

Sounds perfect to me! Just what I need right now!

Unknown 1/5/16, 8:01 AM  

Sounds like a fun read! I hope you enjoy it.

My Teaser Tuesday.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea 1/5/16, 8:04 AM  

This sounds terrific. I have the eGalley and am looking forward to it.

Juli Rahel 1/5/16, 8:25 AM  

I really like the sound of this one! I feel like I've seen it around before but I'll need to have another look. I'd join the giveaway in a heart beat if I lived in the USA! Thanks for sharing :) I hope you have a great week!
My Tuesday Post
Juli @ Universe in Words

rhonda 1/5/16, 8:32 AM  

This is on top of my wish list.

Yvonne 1/5/16, 8:42 AM  

This sounds like fun. I'm going to add it to my wishlist.

bermudaonion 1/5/16, 9:10 AM  

This sounds terrific! Thanks for the giveaway!

Karen White 1/5/16, 9:29 AM  

I just saw this somewhere else yesterday. Looks like a lot of fun.

Suzie Quint 1/5/16, 10:42 AM  

I'm not generally a fan of short stories, but I'd love to read Southern Lady Code.

Literary Feline 1/5/16, 11:09 AM  

This sounds so hilarious! I will have to read this. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.

westmetromommy 1/5/16, 11:18 AM  

This sounds like a great book--and one I can relate to!

Laurel-Rain Snow 1/5/16, 12:06 PM  

I don't usually like short story collections, but when there is a common thread that connects the stories, like this one, I'm in. Especially if there are moments of pure fun, with chuckling.

I like the idea of the Southern Lady Code...it reminds me of something a Southern writer once said: if someone is annoying, you say to her "bless your heart."

Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

Sandra Nachlinger 1/5/16, 12:41 PM  

This sounds like a delightful short story collection that I'd enjoy - especially the "Southern Lady Code." (We don't sweat or perspire. We glow.) I'll be watching for its release..
Thank you for visiting my blog today.

Kathy Martin 1/5/16, 1:00 PM  

I'm not a big fan of short stories but these do sound humorous. My teaser comes from The Bitter Season by Tami Hoag. Happy reading!

Alice Audrey 1/5/16, 1:29 PM  

Sit on his suitcase? LOL!

Great teaser. My teaser is '

Daryl 1/5/16, 1:56 PM  

if a Southerner ever says 'well, aren't you sweet' .. it means they think you're a loon

Anonymous,  1/5/16, 2:35 PM  

A great mix of short stories, sounds good.

Cleopatra Loves Books 1/5/16, 3:32 PM  

This sounds great and you're not the first person to give all the stories the thumbs up - sadly I don't live in the US but I'm sure someone will be delighted to win this.

Margot 1/5/16, 5:17 PM  

I like the unexpected writing in the first paragraph. It's fun and funny.

Anonymous,  1/5/16, 5:23 PM  

Wait! Are the people at Doubleday boring as pound cake? I love pound cake, to be honest....

Kay 1/5/16, 6:00 PM  

I just love that cover. It's great!

Monica's Bookish Life 1/5/16, 6:08 PM  

I love the cover, too, and the opening! This one looks like fun!

(Diane) bookchickdi 1/5/16, 6:21 PM  

Oh my goodness, this one sounds perfect for me. How is this the first I've heard of it?

Nise' 1/5/16, 8:00 PM  

I normally don't read short stories, but do have a few sitting around just in case.

Eustacia Tan 1/6/16, 6:30 AM  

Oooh, I've heard good things about this book! Sadly, I can't participate in the giveaway :/

Catherine @ Book Club Librarian 1/6/16, 9:03 PM  

Read a flattering review of this one today--I may have to put it on my wish list.

Lisa 1/11/16, 8:12 AM  

Love the cover on this one!

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