“I Feel Bad About My Neck and Other Thoughts on Being a Woman” by Nora Ephron

I received I Feel Bad About My Neck and Other Thoughts on Being a Woman by Nora Ephron as a gift from one of my girlfriends. She knew how much I enjoyed Nora Ephron’s work as a screenwriter, film director and playwright. So it was a natural assumption that I’d be tickled by her non-fiction work. And indeed, I was.

I like Nora. She’s real. And she’s smart. An excellent combination. Add in the fact that she shares her witty and candid insights without hesitation or apology, it makes the whole tenor of the book simply delightful! Simply hilarious. Can’t recall ever laughing aloud while reading quite like this! With Nora’s writing, no topic is off-limits.

Much like her screenplays for When Harry Met Sally (1989), Sleepless in Seattle (1993) and You’ve Got Mail (1998), these autobiographical essays laud the Upper West Side. And I love the way she describes New York City almost as though it’s a living, breathing creature that keeps on growing new limbs, changing at each turn. Through her words, I believe it must be.

Nora Ephron has a way with words that any reader or fellow wordsmith will appreciate. In fact, she shares her own celebration of reading in this book. There’s no sense in paraphrasing; you must read it for yourself:

“Reading is everything…

Reading makes me feel I’ve accomplished something, learned something, become a better person. Reading makes me smarter. Reading gives me something to talk about later on. Reading is the unbelievably healthy way my attention deficit disorder medicates itself. Reading is escape, and the opposite of escape; it’s a way to make contact with reality after a day of making things up, and it’s a way of making contact with someone else’s imagination after a day that’s all too real. Reading is grist. Reading is bliss.”

I Feel Bad About My Neck is also packed with other bite-sized wisdom from Nora’s life as a journalist, career-woman, wife and mother. For instance, “There’s no point in making pie crust from scratch.”

But one of my favorite parts of this book, which also appeared in Oprah magazine’s Aha Moment series, is one little sentence. Nora reveals her Aha Moment… “We can’t do everything.”

That’s a good piece of advice to remember as you gallop through life. As Nora says, “You would be amazed at how often things sort themselves out without any help from me whatsoever.”

Now that I’ve read and LOL’d my way through this book, I must journey backwards and read Nora Ephron’s previous books – Crazy Salad: Some Things About Women (1975), about a generation of women (and men) who helped shape the way we live, covering a series of events ranging from Watergate to the Pillsbury Bake-Off; Scribble Scribble: Notes on the Media (1978), an early collection of essays on life and work in the 60s and 70s; Heartburn (1996), a tale about marriage and break-ups; and Wallflower at the Orgy (2007), in which Ephron chronicles her own beauty makeover.

And lastly, I’ll catch up with her latest publication, I Remember Nothing and Other Reflections (2010), which I’ve heard is another batch of succinct essays, covering her amusing observations, reflections back on her career-rise from a New York Post writer in the 60s, and the fascinating people she met along the way.

I look forward to many more laughs from Nora Ephron’s work, both films and books! And if I find myself back in NYC again soon, perhaps a touch of theater. Who’s with me? – Meredith

Meredith is Associate Creative Director at Half Price Books Corporate.
You can follow her on Twitter at @msquare21.

12 thoughts on ““I Feel Bad About My Neck and Other Thoughts on Being a Woman” by Nora Ephron

  1. Thanks Meredith for the blog post and providing more insight into the fabulous Nora Ephron. I had no idea that she had written several books. I particularly love her statement about reading…"it's a way of making contact with someone else's imagination after a day that's all too real". We all have those days when we need a good book to take us away to a different place even for a short period of time. I look forward to finding some of these treasures to read.

  2. Thanks, mrs mommy booknerd & SpecialK! Hope you both enjoy reading Nora's book. Let me know how it goes and what chapter gets you rolling on the floor. Cheers! 🙂

  3. I've listened to this one and also "I Remember Nothing" on audiobook… both are read by Nor Ephron which just adds to the hilarity! If you don't have time to sit down and read them, definitely give the audiobooks a try… well worth it!

  4. Yes read it and I like her honest approach to ageing and how time with her friends conversations progress as they age. It is so funny.

  5. Pingback: An Affair to Remember + Sleepless in Seattle, Plus Other Classic “Movies Within a Movie” | The Half Price Blog

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