• Bring Your Baggage and Don't Pack Light

  • Essays
  • By: Helen Ellis
  • Narrated by: Helen Ellis
  • Length: 2 hrs and 50 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (53 ratings)

1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $17.50

Buy for $17.50

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

The best-selling author of American Housewife and Southern Lady Code returns with a viciously funny, deeply felt collection of essays on friendship among grown-ass women.

When Helen Ellis and her lifelong friends arrive for a reunion on the Redneck Riviera, they unpack more than their suitcases: stories of husbands and kids; lost parents and lost jobs; powdered onion dip and photographs you have to hold by the edges; dirty jokes and sunscreen with SPF higher than they hair-sprayed their bangs senior year; and a bad mammogram. It's a diagnosis that scares them, but could never break their bond. Because women pushing fifty won't be pushed around.

In these 12 gloriously comic and moving essays, Helen Ellis dishes on married middle-age sex, sobs with a theater full of women as a psychic exorcises their sorrows, gets 20 shots of stomach bile to the neck to get rid of her double chin, and gathers up the courage to ask, "Are you there, Menopause? It's Me, Helen."

A book that reads like the best cocktail party of your life, Bring Your Baggage and Don't Pack Light is chockablock with fabulous characters: cat-lady plastic surgeons and waterpark Adonises; bridge ladies and poker players; platinum medallion fliers and Garage Sale Swindlers; 40-year-old divorcées; 50-year-old new moms and still-young octogenarians. Alive with the sensational humor and ferocious love for her friends that won Helen Ellis legions of fans, this book has a raw vulnerability and an emotional generosity that takes this acclaimed author to a whole new level of accomplishment.

©2021 Helen Ellis (P)2021 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

Southern Book Award Finalist

A New York Post Best New Book to Read

A Garden and Gun Best Book of the Year

A New York Times New and Noteworthy Book

A PureWow Best Beach Read of 2021

A Buzzfeed Book to Read this Summer

A People Best Book of the Week

"An uproarious joyride, best enjoyed with a souvenir cup of white wine. Her tales of travels and tribulations with her middle-aged crew are both deep and deeply funny, seeded with bumper-sticker lines like, 'Instead of a chip on my shoulder, I keep a Nestlé morsel under my brastrap.'” (Martha Stewart Living)

"What do you get when you cross an Alabama debutante with an Upper East Side socialite and a world class poker player? You get Helen Ellis’ new collection of essays, delivering home truths with an iron fist wrapped in a cashmere glove. Whether she's writing about the outrageousness of 'her kind of people' or why she needs to take the Greyhound for her trips to Atlantic City, you'll chuckle along on every page." (Emily Crowe, Buzzfeed)

“Sharply funny… Ellis has clearly found her stride - or, in her case, her strut. The writer who so memorably opened American Housewife with a Beyoncé-inspired 'stallion walk to the toaster' is indeed noticeably unbridled and self-assured in this collection.... The spirit of Nora Ephron…hovers over this book…. Ellis' prose is filled with so many laugh lines, you might want to go ahead and book the Botox…. Ellis is a hoot. She's also a force…. She has come to own the power of her personality - and her work.” (Heller McAlpin, NPR)

What listeners say about Bring Your Baggage and Don't Pack Light

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    28
  • 4 Stars
    9
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    2
Performance
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    24
  • 4 Stars
    9
  • 3 Stars
    8
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    22
  • 4 Stars
    8
  • 3 Stars
    10
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    2

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Takes You Away from the Everyday To Laugh Out Loud, Raise Your Martini Glass or Gym Water Bottle Places

Takes you away from the everyday to Laugh Out Loud, Raise Your Glass or Water Bottle places. Also sage advice about your neck. Be careful listening on Audible you may exclaim or laugh out loud and everyone will stare. Enjoy this fun summer fare.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

amusing & endearing

she tells it like it is & feels like girls night out sharing stories & laughs!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Laugh out loud funny

Short and sweet, funny and real. This book is probably geared toward women aged mid 30's to their 50's. I'm 42 and could definitely relate. I really enjoyed it and laughed out loud more than once. I will definitely be looking for other books by this author.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Not for me

I think this book was written for the 40 somethings out there. As an older woman I did not find it funny or even very interesting. I have better books to read. thanks

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

lol fun

Loved this....so real...full of LOL moments....current. A must for every woman. I'm her people. thank you.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Feels like a conversation with a friend

This book is delightful and insightful. It is read by the author and hits home on so many levels as a woman in my late thirties. I appreciated all the stories and characters and only wish that the author concluded the story with a little more, the ending felt abrupt. However, I look forward to reading more by this author.

.