04 April 2015

Review of I Feel Bad about My Neck by Nora Ephron

Title:  I Feel Bad about My Neck:  And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman
Author:  Nora Ephron
Publication Information:  Alfred A. Knopf, August 2006
How I Got This Book:  Bought it at a local bookstore.

Goodreads Synopsis:  With her disarming, intimate, completely accessible voice, and dry sense of humor, Nora Ephron shares with us her ups and downs in "I Feel Bad About My Neck, " a candid, hilarious look at women who are getting older and dealing with the tribulations of maintenance, menopause, empty nests, and life itself.

The woman who brought us "When Harry Met Sally . . ., Sleepless in Seattle, You've Got Mail, "and" Bewitched, " and the author of best sellers "Heartburn, Scribble Scribble, " and "Crazy Salad, " discusses everything--from how much she hates her purse to how much time she spends attempting to stop the clock: the hair dye, the treadmill, the lotions and creams that promise to slow the aging process but never do. Oh, and she can't stand the way her neck looks. But her dermatologist tells her there's no quick fix for that. 

Ephron chronicles her life as an obsessed cook, passionate city dweller, and hapless parent. She recounts her anything-but-glamorous days as a White House intern during the JFK years ("I am probably the only young woman who ever worked in the Kennedy White House that the President did not make a pass at") and shares how she fell in and out of love with Bill Clinton--from a distance, of course. But mostly she speaks frankly and uproariously about life as a woman of a certain age. 

Utterly courageous, wickedly funny, and unexpectedly moving in its truth telling, "I Feel Bad About My Neck" is a book of wisdom, advice, and laugh-out-loud moments, a scrumptious, irresistible treat.

My Thoughts:  We all know I love Nora Ephron.  I read this collection a few weeks after my papa's funeral.  Again, it was the right book at the right time for me.  I'll keep this short and sweet and highlight a few of my favorite essays from this collection.

It's difficult to pick favorite essays from her collections because they all speak to me on some level.  I think from this collection, "I Hate My Purse" was my favorite.  I've always been a purse lady.  I love the never-ending search for the perfect purse.  I love the act of changing out purses and deciding what to put in and what to leave out, how to organize things to make life easier, how to make the purse I carry a statement of who I feel like that day.  So in many ways, this didn't apply to me.  No, it was my favorite because of how much it reminded me of my mom.  She is not a purse lady.  She stuffs her pockets full of her wallet, her cell phone, notes, keys, whatever or she hands it off to me to put in my purse.  Annoying.  I wish I could get her to read this essay because I think she will see a lot of herself in it.

I also really loved the lengthy essay "Moving On," about her first apartment after the break-up of her second marriage.  It was such a love story for a place that we all know--home.  The place where things just kind of fall together for you and help you grow.  The place can change over time, but the feeling of belonging doesn't.

Another favorite is "What I Wish I'd Known."  This is another humorous list that has a touch of seriousness.  Definitely a lot to take away from this essay.  And it will definitely make you think about your own life.

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