Read this book because of I’ll Have What She’s Having. I’d actually been meaning to read I Feel Bad About My Neck, but never got around to it. Then I saw Erin Carlson quote Nora Ephron from this book saying something like every young woman should put a bikini on right now and not take it off until they turn 34 and was like okay let me give this a go.
Ephron’s voice and subject matter kind of reminded me of my own writing. She’s talking about stuff like bad purses and good books and great food and okay apartments. It’s all light, easy reading. Got through it quickly. As you might guess from the title, there is a lot of awareness of the body. Not just how it betrays you by getting older but all the maintenance that goes into it and all the conversations around it. How to be polite with friends, how to mentally prepare for changes, how to deal with death. Around the time of this publication, she was diagnosed with leukemia and kept it to herself until the very end.
I think my favorite piece was “The Story of My Life in 3,500 Words or Less.” It’s made up of little vignettes. One topic in there is her journalism background. The class she took that changed her world and her mother teaching her that “everything is copy”–as in, write everything down and use it. On her first trip to NYC, she says she worried about being there and being the type to never know anyone. Then she quotes the scene from When Harry Met Sally, and you see Sally talking about moving to NYC to be a journalist and Harry taunts her with the idea of being no one and knowing no one. It was a cool example about how reality translates into fiction.
Best line (this is actually about an apartment lol but still): Why hadn’t I left at the first whiff of the other woman’s perfume? Why hadn’t I realized how much of what I thought of as love was simply my own highly developed gift for making lemonade? What failure of the imagination had caused me to forget that life was full of other possibilities, including the possibility that eventually I would fall in love again? (Ephron 83)
I have this book for sale at Ten Dollar Books. Click here to view.
Or click here to see my book FEM: New Millennium Beauty & Fashion on Ten Dollar Books, which has a similar vibe to this one.