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I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman Hardcover – Deckle Edge, August 1, 2006
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This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
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From Publishers Weekly
[Signature]Reviewed by Toni BentleyThe honest truth is that it's sad to be over sixty," concludes Nora Ephron in her sparkling new book about aging. With 15 essays in 160 pages, this collection is short, a thoughtful concession to pre- and post-menopausal women (who else is there?), like herself, who "can't read a word on the pill bottle," follow a thought to a conclusion, or remember the thought after not being able to read the pill bottle. Ephron drives the truth home like a nail in your soon-to-be-bought coffin: "Plus, you can't wear a bikini." But just as despair sets in, she admits to using "quite a lot of bath oil... I'm as smooth as silk." Yes, she is. This is aging lite—but that might be the answer. Besides, there's always Philip Roth for aging heavy.Ephron, in fact, offers a brief anecdote about Roth, in a chapter on cooking, concerning her friend Jane, who had a one-night stand, long ago, with the then "up-and-coming" writer. He gave Jane a copy of his latest book. "Take one on your way out," he said. Conveniently, there was a box of them by the front door. Ephron refuses to analyze—one of her most refreshing qualities—and quickly moves on to Jane's céleri remoulade.Aging, according to Ephron, is one big descent—and who would argue? (Well, okay—but they'd lose the argument if they all got naked.) There it is, the steady spiraling down of everything: body and mind, breasts and balls, dragging one's self-respect behind them. Ephron's witty riffs on these distractions are a delightful antidote to the prevailing belief that everything can be held up with surgical scaffolding and the drugs of denial. Nothing, in the end, prevents the descent. While signs of mortality proliferate, Ephron offers a rebuttal of consequence: an intelligent, alert, entertaining perspective that does not take itself too seriously. (If you can't laugh, after all, you are already, technically speaking, dead.) She does, however, concede that hair maintenance—styling, dyeing, highlighting, blow-drying—is a serious matter, not to mention the expense. "Once I picked up a copy of Vogue while having my hair done, and it cost me twenty thousand dollars. But you should see my teeth." Digging deeper, she discovers that your filthy, bulging purse containing numerous things you don't need—and couldn't find if you did—is, "in some absolutely horrible way, you." Ephron doesn't shy away from the truth about sex either, and confesses, though with an appropriate amount of shame, that despite having been a White House intern in 1961, she did not have an affair with JFK. May Ephron, and her purse, endure so she can continue to tell us how it goes. Or, at least, where it went. Toni Bentley is the author, most recently, of Sisters of Salome and The Surrender, an Erotic Memoir. She is writing about Emma, Lady Hamilton, for the Eminent Lives series.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
From Bookmarks Magazine
Nora Ephron, best known for her screenplays When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, and Silkwood and best sellers Heartburn and Crazy Salad, has written a sort of Ephron retrospective. Though humorously self-deprecating and poignant, critics agree that the essays, some published previously,are uneven. Readers may love "I Hate My Purse"unless they find it outdated. Other essays came off as vain, stale, or elitist in their carefree attitude toward luxury items. Only "Considering the Alternative" received uniform praise for its generous introspection. Despite the collection's lightweight feel, Ephron still writes "like someone who has something useful and important to tell her readers" (Los Angeles Times). "When your children are teenagers," for example, "it's important to have a dog so that someone in the house is happy to see you."
Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.
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Top customer reviews
However I ended Up LOVING every darn page
Cmon women pick this up --it is Great
I wanted to share it with my sister, so purchased the hard copy on Amazon. Much to my disappointment, the title (obviously the first title) did not say, "I Hate My Neck" but rather "I Feel Bad About My Neck." Whichever version you read, if you are an aging woman, you will find this telling of incidents from the author's life, stories with which you can relate! It will keep you in stitches.
Warning: Read only one story at a time. If you read it straight through, it will loose some of the pizzazz!
My sister loves it too!
The first part of the book is the more humorous part. It focuses on changes that every woman alive goes through...or will go through. According to Ephron, even the skinniest of young chicks can expect to have a little roll of fat sometime around 45 regardless of how much she starves herself or how many sit-ups she does. Towards the end of the book, the author's tone turns serious as she talks about death, especially that of her best friend.
There are many good sections that I hope I can remember. Right now I'm chuckling as I remember her description of the contents of her purse. I can identify! Others aren't so funny, and yet they're memorable. After writing about maintenance and how expensive and time consuming it is, the author says she's about eight hours a week from looking like a bag lady she sees on the street, frizzy hair and pot belly and bushy eyebrows.
If you're a woman in midlife (or getting close) looking for a quick read with both serious and funny aspects, you'll enjoy "the neck book."