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I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman

3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  24,546 ratings  ·  3,369 reviews
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 . . . discusses everything
Audio, 0 pages
Published October 24th 2006 by Random House Audio (first published 2006)
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Aug 29, 2007 Beli_grrl rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: wealthy older women
I listened to the audio book on CD, which is read by the author. That was not the way to go with this one. She has odd inflections and an unnatural reading cadence. For example, she might read like this:

We lived (pause)
in a white house (pause)
and I didn't (pause)
like it.

Partly because of her reading style and partly because of the content, I had trouble getting into it. It's supposed to be funny but isn't especially. She describes all the "maintenance" older women do to keep up their appearances
Despite the clever and sometimes funny observations about aging, I couldn't shake the feeling that this book of essays was...trivial. Except for the final chapter (Considering the Alternative), Ephron spends a lot of time writing about superficial aspects of growing older (the skin on her neck, her disorganized purse, her worsening eyesight) that make her seem shallow and self-absorbed. In the essay focused on all the hours she devotes to maintaining her appearance (On Maintenance), she describe ...more
Sitting in a movie theater back in the eighties, not my eighties -- the 1980s, I am smiling, laughing, just having a good ol' time when suddenly TERMS OF ENDEARMENT goes from funny to ominous to dark as turds that can signal upper g.i. bleeding. I'm thinking, "Shit, no, don't take this story there." I'm not walking out of a movie with Shirley MacLaine and Jack Nicholson in it; that fact means watching a character who's about my age die of cancer. She's got three young kids; I have one and one ba ...more
"Osećam se loše zbog svog vrata" sam kupio (svojevremeno na nekoj Deretinoj akciji na kojoj je dotična knjiga bila na neverovatnom popustu) prvenstveno kao posledicu ponovljenog gledanja skoro pa kultnog filma "When Harry Met Sally".
Iako je tekst na koricama obećavao kako će Norin humor da razoruža čitaoca i da će postojati momenti kada će se čitaoci smejati na sav glas - ti momenti su kod mene izostali. Bilo je momenata kada su se usne blago izvile u neki poluosmeh (ili je to možda bio grč jer
Sue Cook
The thing is this. Nora and I are not sisters.
In "On Maintenance": "When and how did it happen that you absolutely had to have a manicure?" er, never? I also don't care that much about make up or matching handbags or wrinkles. I JUST REALLY DON'T CARE.
What I care about is women being raped, beaten up, paid less,not let in, talked down to and generally fucked over because they are women.
"I Feel Bad About My Neck" adopts a universal voice but talks only about a sliver of privileged society. It i
Sandy T
So I bought this book thinking it was going to be full of humor about what happens to women when they reach that "certain age". I was expecting to relate to and be amused by her musings about getting older. And that did happen... certain chapters really made me smile, and I could relate to more than I would like to admit! But for about half the chapters, the only people who would relate to it would be rich, famous, New York socialites. That obviously doesn't describe me, so even though her writi ...more
Sep 12, 2010 Malbadeen rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Malbadeen by: shallow people such as myself
Here's the thing, I would've never listened to this book if it weren't for the fact that years ago I gifted it to someone in those last few moments of Christmas-oh-shit-I-forgot-to-buy-that-person-a-gift hysteria.

I was married at the time and was, by default, put in charge of figuring out what EVERYONE should be given. My mother-in-law and I had a so-so relationship. I mean she did accuse me of purposely putting pins in her bed when she stayed the night and got poked a few times with left over
Nora Ephron is, hands-down, one of the funniest women in America. Her novels, movies, and essay collections have brought me to tears by way of laughter more than once. That's why I was a bit disappointed by this collection of essays, loosely tied around the topic of aging.

The essays on aging were amusing, but not particularly funny or fresh. It was like eating a day-old doughnut -- still tasty, but probably not worth all the calories. The weird thing -- her non-age-related essays were brilliant

I've finished another book...

I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron

I like Nora. She's real. And she's smart. Nice combination. Add in the fact that she shares her wisdom freely, and also in a funny way, and it makes her even better.

I could have written her exact words on reading...

"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 tal
For most of you who are my Goodreads friends, you will be too young to really appreciate the humor in this book -- after all, you still have firm, unwrinkled necks which you have probably never even given a single thought. BUT take my word for it, someday you will. And then, you should run right out and find a copy of this book. (Perhaps you can find one cheap in the garage sales that members of my generation will be having as we downsize into assisted living apartments!) Anyway, when it comes t ...more
I am of an age that I now empathize with these stories instead of just finding them amusing.

Ok. I don't relate to all the stories. For instance, I don't live in an apt. in NYC, though I do completely understand having a ridiculous amount of love for one's home and community.
I don't do the maintenance thing. Well, except now I've started paying more attention to my neck because maybe these last few years or months of preventative measures will make a difference.

"Consider the Altern
Phillip Smith
Oct 19, 2007 Phillip Smith rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Amanda W.
It won't change your life, but it is quite a treat for a sunny afternoon. I read most of it lying in the sunshine on my bed shortly after lunch on a Saturday.

Ephron, like Sedaris & Degeneres, has a gift for expressing mundane thoughts in the most delightful phrases. The one that's in my head right now is when she describes loving cabbage strudel in the 1960s: "I don't want to get too sentimental, but it's practically the only thing I remember about my first marriage." You'll be chuckling the
I have to say I'm a little baffled by Nora Ephron. She was in intern in the JFK White House and had a free pass to roam its halls. She was a reporter at Newsweek in the 1960's, before they even had female reporters. She's been married three times. One of her husbands was Pulitzer Prize winner Carl Bernstein of the Watergate scandal. And when he had an affair it wasn't just with any old woman, but with the wife of the British ambassador to the United States. She's been nominated for three academy ...more
Barbara Rice
I have a love-hate relationship with Nora Ephron. On the one hand, she's a Democrat, so I feel a certain allegience with her. I want to like her. Sometimes I actually get what she's saying.

Other times I think, can you hear yourself? Is that really what you think? Are you that vapid? She makes a point, a brilliant point, then suddenly punctures it with a denigrating remark - perhaps to keep us from taking her too seriously, perhaps to make us laugh - but it detsroys the momentum and lets us down.
Seth Fiegerman
I'm not a woman. Nor am I a parent or a successful screenwriter or a particularly ambitious cook. But I still found myself nodding my head over and over as I related to Ephron's insights on life. She writes plainly but with great humor and candidness about her abusive relationship with her apartment building, why parenting is more about quantity time than quality time and how something always seems to go wrong when she tries to exercise. It's the portions about New York that really got me, thoug ...more
I took a break last night from reading about conservation, zoos, and How to Save the Wild to read this delightful collection of essays by Nora Ephron (whom you may recognize as the woman who co-wrote When Harry Met Sally). She writes about the agony of aging, especially the terrible things that happen to your neck, but also shares the fruits of aging, in her pearls of wisdom and wonderful, witty stories from her life. She writes about falling into (and then slowly out of) love with her apartmen ...more
If you are over 35 you will find something in this bood to relate to and laugh about.
Sarah Beth
I stinking love Nora Ephron. She's brilliant and witty while at the same time being down to earth and just plain real. As an American woman, I can relate to her. I get what she's talking about when talks about the extensive time women spend on the "maintenance" of their bodies and feel her struggle to figure out where she falls when it comes to clothes, cooking, and decorating styles. I loved her passage on reading; "Each minute I spend away from the book pretending to be interested in everyday ...more
At first I thought: This is just not something that I can ever in any way understand or comiserate with. Nora Ephron is filthy rich, twice (thrice?) divorced, extreamly successful in her career, living in Manhattan, and 64 years old. She begins with a long discourse on the pain-in-the-neck-ness of having to dye her hair to illiminate gray (I am at least 10% gray and not in the least bit upset or willing to do a thing about it), the ins and outs of purchasing expensive handbags (never, ever cross ...more
Watching the "in memoriam" montage at the Oscars on Sunday night reminded me that I hadn't yet gotten around to writing about Nora Ephron, one of our country's great writers, who died last year.

Ephron was best known as a screenwriter and has been nominated for three Oscars and won a Writers Guild Award. Many of her movies were also incredibly huge hits. She wrote films as intelligent as Silkwood and Julie and Julia and as accessible as Sleepless in Seattle and You've Got Mail. And, of course, sh
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 Alternat

I have mixed feelings about this - equally mixed - collection. Some essays are outstandingly good: these are "Moving On", "The Story of My Life in 3,500 Words or Less", and "Considering the Alternative". I appreciated "Serial Monogamy: A Memoir", "Parenting in Three Stages " and "The Lost Strudel or Le Strudel Perdu", and found "Me and JFK: Now It Can Be Told" really amusing. These seven essays made the collection worth reading for me; the remaining eight are shrug-worthy. I think at least some ...more
Picked up this and I Remember Nothing because I adore Nora Ephron's screenplays and was wondering if her essays were comparable. While I did enjoy a number of her musings, the book comes off fairly privileged in a way I did not anticipate would bother me (e.g. outrageously high key-money for apartments, weekly manicures, worrying about whether or not to get plastic surgery). But then other points were so simple and lovely; for example, the last section on death, dying, and how to spend your fina ...more
I think Nora Roberts is an almost David Sedaris. Not quite as funny, probably because her topics are safer and less random. She writes about female things, with great wit and perspective, and I enjoyed each chapter. However, it's been several weeks and now I find the entire book a bit unmemorable. Regardless, it was a nice lighthearted, pick-up-when-I-only-have-a-few-minutes-to-read kind of book.
Intendeded for an audience a smidge my senior, but I was still able to appreciate every word from Nora (yep, I'm calling her Nora because she feels like my bff now!). She is honest, quippy, sincere, and relatable. Love this lady. I look forward to spreading the joy by passing this easy, enjoyable read onto a girlfriend.
It's been a rough couple years...I mean days. I grabbed this book off the shelf in the library and sat behind my son as he played some cartoony anatomy game wherein he places organs in the correct spot on a very happy looking skeleton (even though I have noted several key organs are simply not there...but I digress.). Anyway, I really had to leave the library because I was cracking up. This collection of essays includes some that are very funny and some that are less so but I had several laugh o ...more
I didn't think I'd be the kind of person who likes "celebrity books" (though in this case, to be fair, Nora Ephron's celebrity mostly comes from her writing), and I didn't think an audiobook narrator could make such a difference. But it turns out that when authors read their own non-fiction/autobiographical books with some skills, it is so great. This audiobook felt like Nora Ephron and me (plus some friends, probably) were sitting around a fire in a house we rented for the weekend, and my new f ...more
Rebecca Foster
Just the right book for a woman of a certain age (or any age). Ephron is funny and good-natured, never feeling sorry for herself as she points out the absurdities in how women try to turn back the clock, performing ‘maintenance’ as if they were half-broken jalopies, only just holding together. (This alongside Diana Athill’s Somewhere Towards the End would provide a good balanced tone.)

This collection is also, somewhat surprisingly, very wise on the subject of reading. From “Blind as a Bat”:

If there's anything more divine than Nora Ephron's writing, it is Nora Ephron reading Nora Ephron's writing, which is what you get on this audiobook, a perfect companion for the irritant of driving around Los Angeles, or, I suspect, anywhere, but Los Angeles is especially irritating. Am I channeling her, now? She writes very simple, almost flat sentences, each word carefully selected for maximum punch, as if the whole thing were waiting for her to deliver it in her empathetic deadpan voice. Here ...more
In this series of essays, Nora Ephron explores what it means to be a woman of a certain age. She's funny and smart and feels likes someone you'd like to get to know.

I found myself longing for her to be my eccentric aunt or my mom's friend so that I could go to lunch with her and listen to her pontificate on fighting wrinkles, struggling to find the right purse, fall in love with books and apartments, and maybe explain to me the bittersweet truth of life: No matter what? It ends.

As someone who
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Nora Ephron was an American film director, producer, screenwriter, novelist, and blogger.

She was best known for her romantic comedies and is a triple nominee for the Academy Award for Writing Original Screenplay; for Silkwood, When Harry Met Sally... and Sleepless in Seattle. She sometimes wrote with her sister, Delia Ephron.
More about Nora Ephron...
I Remember Nothing: and Other Reflections Heartburn When Harry Met Sally Crazy Salad: Some Things About Women (Modern Library Humor and Wit) Wallflower at the Orgy

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“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.” 794 likes
“When your children are teenagers, it's important to have a dog so that someone in the house is happy to see you.” 168 likes
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