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I Remember Nothing: And Other Reflections Paperback – November 1, 2011
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“Fabulous. . . . Masterly. . . . She’ll dazzle you with strings of perfect prose.” –Carolyn See, Washington Post Book World
“Breathlessly funny. . . . Chatty, witty, self-effacing and candid.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Candid, self-deprecating, laser-smart, and hilarious. . . . A master of the jujitsu essay, Ephron leaves us breathless with rueful laughter.” —Booklist
“She’s never been more real than in this collection—a full pleasure to read.” –New York Journal of Books
“Delicious. . . . Gleaming with youthful innocence.” –More Magazine
“Tantalizingly fresh and forthright. . . . She’s like Benjamin Franklin or Shakespeare: her words are now part of the fabric of the English language. . . . She’s familiar but funny, boldly outspoken yet simultaneously reassuring.” —Alex Kuczynski, New York Times Book Review
“Breezily funny prose. . . . As candid and hilarious as before.” —Kansas City Star
“A delightfully succinct and completely hilarious and sometimes poignant collection of essays. . . . A terrific holiday gift for any smart woman, or a fun palette cleanser for your book club. . . . Sure to amuse readers with its relatable charm and wit.” —Bookreporter
“The power of these essays often comes from a voice clearly looking back at a riveting life with a clear-eyed wisdom and, at times, twinges of regret.” —Salon
“Classic Ephron: gloriously opinionated—and on target. . . . Ephron sure does know how to tell a story and entertain.” —Heller McAlpin, “Books We Like,” NPR
“Nora Ephron is, in essence, one of the original bloggers—and if everyone could write like her, what a lovely place the Internet would be. . . .If this is Nora Ephron’s last word, it’s a stylish one—but here’s hoping she’s got a few more up her cashmere sleeve.” —Seattle Times
“A slim, candid, and always witty package of Ephron’s insights, written and bound before they slip her mind forever.” —Elle
“Candid and witty. . . . Filled with intimate and sometimes shocking details. . . . Ephron shares sage reflections on everything from her love of journalism to growing up in Beverly Hills with alcoholic parents. . . . Ephron has lived life to the fullest, and is not shy about dispensing the intimate details (none of which she seems to have forgotten). . . . Ephron fans will not be disappointed,” —The Jewish Journal Boston North
“When you start to read her work, you can’t stop. You don’t want to stop. Her writer’s voice is remarkably engaging and fresh.” —Buffalo News
“She’s still smart as a tack and funny, funny, funny.” —Press Herald
“Vivid. . . . [An] entertaining collection of stories about her life so far. . . . She remains the neighbor we all wish we had. Someone to share a cup of coffee with. Or better yet, a glass of wine. Maybe two.” —USA Today
About the Author
Nora Ephron was the author of the bestselling I Feel Bad About My Neck as well as Heartburn, Crazy Salad, Wallflower at the Orgy, and Scribble Scribble. She wrote and directed the hit movie Julie & Julia and received Academy Award nominations for Best Original Screenplay for When Harry Met Sally. . ., Silkwood, and Sleepless in Seattle, which she also directed. Her other credits include the script for the stage hit Love, Loss, and What I Wore with Delia Ephron. She died in 2012.
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There's an awful lot to laugh about in this book and as with her previous books, I loved every minute of it. But when it was done, I felt sad. Ephron has so much, but she seems depressed. She's wealthy and the excitment of living in NYC, while clearly dear to her, is not new. She's still on top of her game writing and directing movies, and yet there seems to be little that thrills her about that. (She barely mentions Julie & Julia.) Ephron badly misses her best friend Ruthie, who passed away and worries about her other friends. There is a strange essay about an annual Christmas dinner among friends where the hostess takes away Ephron's traditional assigned task of making dessert. The hostess's behavior is so odd that you can't help but wonder what else there is to the story--or what the hostess's reaction is going to be when she reads and extended chapter in a best selling book, about taking the job of pie maker away from Nora Ephron.
I couldn't put this book down, but it is very, very short and I finished it in a day. "I wish it were longer," is generally a great thing to say about a book but this book really should have been longer, 100% longer, to justify the price. Had it been a reasonable length, I would have given it five stars. If you love Nora Ephron, and I really do, keep that in mind.
Having read her 2010 book "I Remember Nothing and Other Reflections", Nora would write about growing old but how life was changing for her as friends have died, how she was starting to forget things at 69 but most importantly, sharing experiences about her life now and memories of her life. A few of these experiences have made it into her films.
Nora Ephron was a woman who was full of life and was interested in learning about other people's lives. For those that knew her, she was more interested in the personal stories of an individual rather than talk about herself. If anyone has watched an interview featuring Nora, you can always see her trying to probe and learn more about the individual, and as they try to deflect their answering about how much they love her work, she would deflect it back to know more about their life.
She was a person who embraced life, embraced love despite having had painful relationships and enduring two divorces before marring for the third time. After reading her last book "I Remember Nothing and Other Reflections", written after she learned of her illness, Nora confronts her life of growing older, losing friends but the realization that she had a few good years remaining in her life. While most people who read the book wondered why was there a hint of sadness in this book... I can't help but think that Nora knew that she didn't have many years ahead and wanted to share her life with her readers. It's not so much a book about forgetting but more about a book about remembering memories, enjoying life but also learning from the pain one experiences in life.
Nora talks about divorce, about wanting to make changes at a theater chain that she became a board member of, Pentimento, Christmas dinner with friends, e-mail and more. This was not meant to be anything like her 2006 book and if you read the plethora of reviews of people writing this book is not as good as that book, its understandable.
But now since her death, many are coming to realize that "I Remember Nothing and Other Reflections" was a book about a woman who has learned of her illness, knowing that she probably doesn't have many years to live and wanting to share her memories about life, what she will remember about life and also the joys and pain of life in this one book. A book that was probably written as a way for family, friends and all of us to remember her as she looks back at her life, her accomplishments and wondering if she had only a short time to live, how would she live that life.
Ephron ends the book with what she won't miss and what she will miss in life. Her kids, her husband Nick, spring, fall, waffles, bacon, a walk in the park, dinner with friends, to name a few. When Nora wrote about how she would like to live her last day, she said her perfect day would be to eat a frozen custard at Shake Shack, a walk in the park, followed by a Lactaid. Her perfect night is a good play and a dinner at Orso (although no garlic, or else she wouldn't be able to sleep). Life is indeed uncertain but I really enjoyed how she handled life, whether or not she succeed or failed, she did it, she experienced it and would try to use those experiences to help others.
Is it is a short book? Yes. It's a book that one will go through quickly in a few hours but I was entertained by it. I was grateful to Nora Ephron for writing this book and like her films, essays and novels before this, I was entertained by it. But also inspired by it as well.
Living life, learning new things...May it be writing a play, writing a book, making plum pudding that no one would eat on Christmas Day (but her) or playing multiple games of "Blitz Scrabble" or was it "Scrabble Blitz", Nora was a woman that lived life the best way she can and touched the hearts of many people through her films, her screenplay, essays and novels. And if I ever make my way to the Monkey Bar, I will surely request Nora's meatloaf or someday try cherries form Wisconsin or peppermint pie. And maybe even play a game of "Scrabble Blitz" or was it "Blitz Scrabble"?
Thank you Nora!
Nora is entertaining, thoughtful and wise. Especially in this, her last book. Her observations on aging are spot on. Pun not intended.
As for the reviewers who don't get it. Well, wait awhile, young folk. It will all become obvious. We seniors won't be able for wait around for your future apologies, but we know they'll be coming.