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review 2020-06-02 17:47
I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman - Nora Ephron

For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

A very humorous, overall-lighthearted book. Within these pages, Ephron bemoans the struggles of aging necks, messy purses, routine personal upkeep, parenting, and not being able to find a once-loved food, among other things, all with wit and humor.

I really enjoyed the book overall, but I am having a difficult time deciding on a rating. On one hand, there were many humorous and insightful pieces (although certainly from a perspective of privilege), which were fun to read in their exposure of women's everyday lives and many of the first-world problems they face. However, I did find some of her jokes and perspectives off-putting. Based on the title, I obviously wasn't expecting a body positive manifesto, but I was disappointed in the fat shaming scenario in "The Story of My Life in 3,500 Words of Less" in which Ephron recounts how she was 126 in college, "having become a butterball". The emphasis on dieting and losing weight as a form of revenge, a thin body being something to flaunt in front of others, was not to my taste. Similarly, her gross trivialization of a homeless woman's experiences in "On Maintenance" was also disappointing. I understood the point she was trying to make, but in my opinion, it had already been made and poking fun at a homeless woman's appearance was unnecessary.

Still, the book came out almost 15 years ago and there have clearly been changes in values since then. The majority of the book was well-written and funny with a few outdated opinions that are certainly harmful but were much more ingrained in the culture at the time.

Despite this, I especially enjoyed the essays, "I Hate My Purse", "Blind as a Bat", "The Lost Strudel or Le Strudel Perdu", and "On Rapture".

The collection ends with "Considering the Alternative", which was heartfelt and beautifully written, providing a more serious closing to an otherwise very lighthearted book.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. Some aspects of it have not aged very well, but on the whole, I enjoyed most of the essays. Well-written and humorous, its a interesting look at various aspects of human life, especially the gendered issues women face such as the pressure for graceful aging.

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review 2020-02-07 06:23
Nora Ephron writes about aging with courage, wit and honesty
I Remember Nothing: And Other Reflections - Nora Ephron

I Remember Nothing, by Nora Ephron, is a collection of twenty-three personal reflections that address the many aspects of aging with insight and wit.

 

The challenges of new technology, a failing memory and the passing of family members are poignant and relatable.

 

While the piece, Journalism – A Love Story, is a pocket history of the demise of the industry, it’s also a glory-days story, the kind we all love to tell about when we were in our prime and things were different–meaning better.

 

Other topics discussed include humorous personal peccadilloes and relationships; the temporary, the enduring, how some flourish with time, whiles others become unsustainable.

 

If you’re honest, and of a certain age, you’ll agree there’s not one good thing to be said about getting old, including admitting to it. In this short book, Nora Ephron faces it head-on and her courage and honesty are an inspiration to this aging reader/writer.

 

 

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review 2019-05-05 05:29
Heartburn
Heartburn - Nora Ephron

My second Nora Ephron book, but my first experience of her 'fiction'.  I use the quotes because she writes an introduction in this edition, outlining that while the book is nominally a fictional piece, it's entirely based on the breakup of her second marriage, with minor adjustments and major alterations.

 

Ephron wrote comedy, it was her strength, but this is also the story loosely based on her own experiences with infidelity.  So while it's definitely written for laughs, the subject matter automatically makes it harder to actually laugh, although there are a lot of chuckles.  It is Nora Ephron, after all, and the woman was a genius at finding the humor in everything, but most especially in herself.

 

As for the story itself: the characters, the 'plot', the atmosphere; about those I can only say it's a book of its time.  It reads exactly like something written by Judy Blume, only for laughs.  There was just this profoundly screwed-up vibe about the 60's and 70's culture, when infidelity was both expected and intolerable, but mostly accepted because women didn't really believe they had a choice.

 

If you can accept this book as a book of its time and can enjoy cultural stereotyping when it's done with a generous and kind spirit, this is a book well worth reading.  It's the story of a woman who knows she let optimism triumph over common sense and is wise enough to own it, laugh at it, learn from it and move herself on, up and out.

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review 2017-05-26 16:58
Crazy Salad and Scribble Scribble: Some Things About Women and Notes on Media (Vintage) - Nora Ephron 
Crazy Salad and Scribble Scribble: Some Things About Women and Notes on Media (Vintage) - Nora Ephron

Having recently read Crazy Salad again, I didn't feel like I needed to give it another go. But I have never read Scribble Scribble. So, that was great.

Ephron started a s a journalist, and I think that training informs her essays. They are personal, they are reflective, but they are also about something real, not just aimless musing.

Quality writing, often amusing, and still vital and fresh.

Library copy

 

(edited for afterthought) In case you're wondering, apparently none of the material from Scribble Scribble made it into The Most of Nora Ephron, although some from Crazy Salad did. Just to clear things up for anyone else who might be considering a massive Ephron read.

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review 2017-03-03 22:49
Funny, witty, and a little absurd, but all true!
I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman - Nora Ephron

I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman - Nora Ephron   

 

Nora Ephron is a woman I have a lot of respect for.  She wrote my favorite movie of all time, When Harry Met Sally.  I adore that movie and watch at least one per month much to my husband's chagrin (but I digress).

 

I had no idea that she wrote books, so I surprised when I found this book while trying to find something yellow for a reading challenge that I'm in.

 

This book was funny, witty, and sometimes absurd but it was all true.  It was so spot on in the about aging as a woman.  I've been trying to do it with grace but sometimes I wish that I could have appreciated the way everything on body stayed where it was supposed to in my twenties.  I was so worried about being perfect then that I didn't really appreciate that I was perfectly me.

 

Ms. Ephron eloquently described a lot of the things we go through as we age (although I couldn't relate to all of them yet), and I really appreciated her humorous and witty commentary.  But, I will say that now I will probably be spending a lot of time looking at my neck...

 

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