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I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts…

I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman (original 2006; edition 2006)

by Nora Ephron

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Title:I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman
Authors:Nora Ephron
Info:Knopf (2006), Hardcover, 160 pages
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned
Tags:library, january 08, oh right! I don't care about Nora Ephron!, 2008

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I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman by Nora Ephron (2006)

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    Heartburn by Nora Ephron (kc.teadrinker)
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    Yes Please by Amy Poehler (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: By turns touching and hilarious, these memoirs relate both what it is to be a woman and what Hollywood is really like. Celebrities -- they really are just like us!

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Originally published at TheBibliophage.com.

I picked up I feel Bad About my Neck by Nora Ephrata on a Sunday afternoon when I needed a little levity. Having loved her movies but never read her books, this was a happy find at a library book sale. And it did make me laugh some, and groan quite a lot.

Sometimes a book suffers in comparison to the books you read around the same time. Unfortunately, this is what happened to me here. It’s a great book to read along with other books about privileged white women living in Manhattan, like a [a:Candace Bushnell|4415|Candace Bushnell|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1435063350p2/4415.jpg] or [a:Melanie Benjamin|2958717|Melanie Benjamin|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1437063095p2/2958717.jpg]. It’s a good book to make you think about aging gracefully, and would be a more lighthearted pair with the much heavier [b:Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End|20696006|Being Mortal Medicine and What Matters in the End|Atul Gawande|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1408324949s/20696006.jpg|40015533].

It is, however, a bad pick alongside a book like [b:We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy|33916061|We Were Eight Years in Power An American Tragedy|Ta-Nehisi Coates|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1507903203s/33916061.jpg|54881780]. Reading about racism, slavery, and social justice just made me find Ephron’s book to be shallow and mildly offensive. Not that she meant to offend me, but I just couldn’t relate to a whole essay about loving her apartment and building on the Upper West Side. Mind you, I’ve always said that’s the part of New York City I’d want to live in. But it struck me as vacuous and wildly privileged in this moment as I also read about predatory mortgage and real estate practices.

I did however love the essay called, On Rapture, where Ephron discusses her adoration of books and reading. Being a bibliophage, I can relate to this perfectly! She writes letters to the authors she reads, most never sent.

“But mostly I write letters of gratitude: the state of rapture I experience when I read a wonderful book is one of the main reasons I read, but it doesn’t happen every time or even every other time, and when it does happen, I am truly beside myself.”

Another of Ephron’s essays, titled Considering the Alternative, was a funny and poignant reflection on becoming that age where your friends are dying. She tells of the passing of her best friend, Judy and another friend Henry. It’s clear that no matter how much we have or don’t have in our lives, everyone feels the death of a friend as a gut punch. Ephron’s reaction is not different, but perhaps more eloquent than most of us would be.

I might hang onto this and see if it resonates more with different books alongside it. Or I might share it with another book-loving woman friend of a certain age. ( )
  TheBibliophage | Mar 20, 2018 |
I like Nora Ephron well enough but this seemed somewhat of a rehash of already published essays. Still funny and enjoyable especially for those of us dealing with the aspects of aging. ( )
  bostonterrio | Nov 21, 2017 |
The chapters on purses and neck were laugh out loud funny. It the rest was ok ( )
  afarrington | Oct 18, 2017 |
I simply loved this. It made me laugh, a lot, in solidarity. It made me feel like I could have been friends with Nora Ephron, which of course I know I couldn't actually have been. I certainly felt a connection, a kindred spirit. ( )
  lissabeth21 | Oct 3, 2017 |
Hilariously funny book about women and aging. A laugh out loud book. The title pertains to how women can 'fix' their faces to look younger but there is not a heck of a lot to do about your neck. Your neck really shows your age. ( )
  camplakejewel | Sep 26, 2017 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307264556, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:34 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

A collection of essays offers a humorous look at the ups and downs of being a woman of a certain age, discussing the tribulations of maintenance and trying to stop the clock, menopause, and empty nests.

(summary from another edition)

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