In her fabulous new book, Southern Lady Code, Helen Ellis writes with a staccato humor about thank you notes, her mother’s quirky and completely pragmatic etiquette lessons, the secrets behind her long and happy marriage and how she went home one evening in a Burberry trench coat that wasn’t hers. These are just a few of the subjects of her 23 sparkling essays. She has lived in Manhattan for decades, but her Alabama accent is unmistakable. For Ellis, there are only two types of people in the world, Halloween people, those who like to dress up in costumes, or Christmas people, those who like to decorate trees in themes. The best kind of cookbook is dog-eared, stained and filled with family favorites which can be made ahead of time. She pours deserved praise on the lowly cheese log. Like David Sedaris, Ellis will make you both laugh and think. Pack this book away for a great read over the July 4th holiday.
Contributed by Maureen Millea Smith, a librarian at the Edina Library and a Minnesota Book Award-winning novelist.