American Housewife

American Housewife

Stories

Book - 2016
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Meet the women of American housewife: they wear lipstick, pearls, and sunscreen, even when it's cloudy. They casserole. They pinwheel. They pump the salad spinner like it's a CPR dummy. And then they kill a party crasher, carefully stepping around the body to pull cookies out of the oven. These twelve irresistible stories take us from a haunted prewar Manhattan apartment building to the set of a rigged reality television show, from the unique initiation ritual of a book club to the getaway car of a pageant princess on the lam, from the gallery opening of a tinfoil artist to the fitting room of a legendary lingerie shop. Vicious, fresh, and nutty as a poisoned Goo Goo Cluster, American Housewife is an uproarious, pointed commentary on womanhood. --Publisher
Publisher: New York : Doubleday, 2016
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780385541039
0385541031
Branch Call Number: FIC ELLIS 2016
Characteristics: xi, 188 pages ; 20 cm

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Bus Reads for July

American Housewife: Stories by Helen Ellis is an entertaining and hilarious take on the ups and downs of domesticity. These twelve stories take you from disputes of interior design to suggestions on how to be a grown-ass lady to a stream of consciousness in the day in the life of housewifedom. Some of the stories were definitely relatable, even to a non-housewife like myself. I’ve recommended (more)

Girls, Girls, Girls! Coming to a book title near you

I made just one new year’s reading resolution this year: Read no books with the words “girl” or “wife” in the title.
A few days into 2016 and I failed with American Housewife by Helen Ellis (a pure delight to read and sure to be one of my favorite books of the year), followed shortly after by The Forgotten Girls by Sara Blaedel (Denmark’s “Queen of Crime”). (more)


From Library Staff

The wives in these guffaw-out-loud short stories by novelist Ellis (The Turning Book: What Curiosity Kills, 2010, etc.) are a wonderfully wacky crew.

The wives in these guffaw-out-loud short stories by novelist Ellis (The Turning Book: What Curiosity Kills, 2010, etc.) are a wonderfully wacky crew.

A sharp, funny, delightfully unhinged collection of stories set in the dark world of domesticity. Features murderous ladies who lunch, celebrity treasure hunters, and the best bra fitter south of the Mason Dixon line.

This is a stocking-stuffer-sized book of snark. In 12 short stories Ellis gives the reader a book group with an unexpected price for entry; celebrity treasure hunters; and the best bra fitter south of the Mason Dixon line. Give to the reader in your life who likes a little bit of darkness with th... Read More »


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l
lendmeyourears2017
Jun 02, 2019

This book is filled with jewel-like jokes such as, “Wives are like bras, the most matronly can be the most supportive.” Just reflect on that statement for a moment and then laugh to yourself…I did.

It’s a collection of humorous and slightly poignant short stories from many women’s points of view. The characters range from New York high-end apartment dwellers, third tier celebrities, Southern ladies…all through the spectrum of adult womanhood in these modern days.

The readers, Kathleen McInerny, Lisa Cordileone, Rebecca Lowman, and Dorothy Dillingham Blue, each expertly paint a picture of the scene and characters for the short story they are reading. These women’s voices add humor and engage the listener employing their skills with dialects and comedic timing.

This book is a great companion as you go through your day…commuting to work, household upkeep, running errands. It’s an amusing take on what women think and say when they are being at their most candid.

t
TheresaAJ
Apr 08, 2019

If you like dark, sarcastic humor about the American housewife, this short story collection is for you. The stories range from just a few pages to almost 50 pages. From the Southern Lady Code of not so nice behaviors wrapped up in sweet Southern words to a reality show based on dumpster diving to the book club from hell, Ellis skewers this long-cherished American tradition. This quick read is perfect for the beach or a rainy afternoon curled up on a couch with hot tea and an afghan.

l
Lady_Librarian
Nov 05, 2018

I went in to reading this with pretty low expectations since the reviews seemed to be pretty mixed but it ended up being a good read. Some of the stories were stronger than others. I enjoyed "The Wainscoting War," "The Fitter," and "Dead Doormen." It's a quick read so I think it's worth checking out if you like reading short stories that are a bit quirky.

b
becker
Jun 02, 2017

A collection of very short - short stories, all narrated in a sarcastic, somewhat snarky tone that made them quite humorous. This was a great book to pick up when trying to squeeze some reading into a busy day. Almost all the stories are quick, fun reads.

TSCPL_Miranda Feb 15, 2017

This was recommended by several friends, and it didn't disappoint! A quick read, and one I've found myself thinking about quite a bit since I finished it. Snarky and hilarious, but also thoughtful and dark. Like many prim and polished housewives of popular culture, there is much more beneath the surface than readers might initially suspect.

StaffPickles Jan 24, 2017

Kim’s pick: Irreverent, funny short stories about a certain kind of domesticity that rings too true in some places. Ellis picks up on the nuances of – and celebrates - being a homemaker …but without the guilt or the excuse of having children! Read this for the first two stories alone. Check out her funny Twitter account @WhatIDoAllDAy People magazine called it “Darkly comic stories about, and for, grown-ass ladies.”

r
readwithliz
Oct 13, 2016

I was expecting more "ha-ha" humor and less dark humor from this book. Enjoyable and well written.

b
books4kidz
Sep 28, 2016

I tried to enjoy these short stories. I wanted to read a short and humorous book, but this just didn't do it for me. I opted not to finish and waste any more time with it. I'm surprised at the number of reviews that say it is "hilarious."

Dark and wry humor combine with unforgettable characters in this collection of short stories. Unusual and quite enjoyable (and the audiobook is also quite good!).

u
uncommonreader
Aug 11, 2016

I was sceptical when I first heard about this book, but it IS funny, in a light way.

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TheresaAJ
Apr 08, 2019

"She's has a big personality" means she's loud as a T. rex."

j
JanPruatt
Aug 05, 2016

I keep my paddle raised until I hear "Sold."

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JanPruatt
Aug 05, 2016

JanPruatt thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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JanPruatt
Aug 05, 2016

Great collection of twelve short stories by Helen Ellis. In the first story of the group is "What I Do All Day." It’s less than three pages. In first person point of view, our first housewife begins - “Inspired by Beyonce, I stallion-walk to the toaster … I go to the grocery store and find that everyone else has gone to the grocery store and, as I maneuver my cart through Chips and Nuts traffic, I get grocery aisle rage.”

In "Wainscoting Wars" we find Angela Chastain-Peters and Gail Montgomery in an email exchange at each other’s throats over Angela’s wainscoting wallpaper, and among other things upon which they don’t see eye to eye.

You can feel the cattiness crawling up your skin as these two snarl and hiss at each other and agree to disagree.

As one reviewer tells us “I want to throw a cocktail party for Helen Ellis’s beautiful, demented, touching heroines …” And you may feel the same way she does when you’ve finished with these funny fics filled with fluff and flamboyance!

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