Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Ephron on Reading and Other Important Matters

Yesterday my sister handed me a copy of Nora Ephron's book I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman. I read it from cover to cover in just under 24 hours. I laughed aloud more times than I care to admit. There was also guffawing, some snorting, and a few too many nods of recognition. I saw myself in a lot of what she wrote. This particular excerpt, from a chapter entitled Blind as a Bat, is absolute perfection.
Reading is everything. Reading makes me feel like 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. (p. 52)
And the chapter On Rapture is all about reading.
When I was a child, nearly every book I read sent me into rapture. Can I be romanticizing my early reading experiences? I don't think so. I can tick off so many books that I read and re-read when I was growing up--foremost among them the Oz books, which obsessed me--but so many others that were favorites in the most compelling way.
I LOVED this book. If you are a woman over 40 (or will be), or if you are raising an adolescent, or you just love to read, PICK UP THIS BOOK. With chapter titles like I Feel Bad About My Neck and I Hate My Purse, how could it not be funny and insightful? I promise you won't be disappointed.


  1. Another book for the to-read pile! It sounds like just the ticket for an upcoming plane ride at the end of the month. Can't wait.

  2. Tricia, I loved this book too. It felt so amazing honest. What? Hollywood types with the same insecurities and sharp insights as the rest of us? It was too funny.

  3. Tricia,

    I have to get a copy of this book. I laughed aloud when I read Ephron's book "Heartburn" many years ago. Thanks for the recommendation.