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Friday, February 17, 2012

I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron

I loved Ephron's short essays in I Feel Bad About My Neck, even if I didn't always identify (because, well, I can't imagine living in New York, being that talented, being rich, or having much of an interest in cooking).    Still, I found something with which to identify in each essay.

Some of the essays are so funny and revealing of our culture of youth, and it feels good to discover shared feelings with those who also fail to keep track of their reading glasses, are unable to locate what they need in their purses, and recognize the benefits of an empty nest.

The essays provide glimpses into the funny side of being a woman of a certain age as recounted by a woman who can see the humor in the mundane and writes with a clear and vivacious voice, but in the midst of humor, Ephron doesn't try to hide her definite regret about the process.

I saw an interview with Ephron several years ago and found her witty and refreshing and  added the book to my "list," then promptly lost that particular list and forgot about the book.  When Nancy of Pomegranate Trail recommended it, and I ordered a used copy.  Thank you, Nancy!

A short read, mostly amusing, sometimes serious, the book is revealing about the positive and negative aspects of Ephron's personality.  She's human and honest, self-deprecating and funny.  She wrote the screenplays for Sleepless in Seattle and When Harry Met Sally; was married to Carl Bernstein, wrote Heartburn, and knew who Deep Throat was long before the rest of us.  She may share some universal feelings, but her gift is the ability to make us laugh.

Nonfiction.  Memoir/Essay.  2008.  160 pages.


  1. I have heard about this book since it came out, but haven't really felt any sort of pressing desire to read it...

  2. I read this a few years ago and enjoyed Ephron's wit. The part about her friend buying the vintage Hermes bag in Paris and placing it on top of the table where they were lunching as some sort of shrine was hilarious.

  3. Kailana - Her essays appeal to any age, but more so to "women of a certain age." :)

    Kim - Can you imagine paying that much for a purse? Cracks me up!

  4. I read this shortly after it was published and thoroughly enjoyed it (4.5/5 rating). I've also read I Remember Nothing and while I enjoyed it, I don't think it was as good as I Feel Bad About My Neck.

  5. This is one of the those books that I've kept because I know I will enjoy reading it again sometime. It's nice to find some humor in being a "woman of a certain age."

  6. Les - Something about Ephron is so down to earth. To be able to have that "common touch" AND a sense of humor makes her so much fun.

    Framed - I agree; returning to some of these essays would be a pleasure. Which reminds me that I'd like to read some Erma Bombeck.