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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
I think Nora Ephron could write about the telephone book and make it entertaining (one brief section in this book about parenting proves the point). Here's an example. Most writers don't want to think about aging. If they do, they want to prescribe "solutions." Nora Ephron has a different idea: Simply describe aging as something we foolishly try to stave off (pretty unsuccessfully) by sharing her own experiences.

That concept is best captured by her essay "On Maintenance" that describes in detail the time, money, and effort she puts into trying to look as good as she can. I'm reminded of a conversation I had with my cousin (who in her more naive days was a beauty queen) who always looks terrific. When I complimented my cousin on her appearance once, she replied, "You have no idea how much more effort it takes every year." Now, I do!

The essay "I Feel Bad About My Neck" is very funny. I don't think I ever look at women's necks . . . but now I know that some women do. Apparently it's all downhill after 43. The essay ends with the irony that Ms. Ephron cannot do anything about her neck without a facelift, and she's not a good candidate for a facelift.

I also liked her essays about how we fall in love with concepts, places, and people . . . for no particularly good reason. But that temporary embrace is soon replaced by another one that will probably be even more satisfying. Although not described that way, you get a sense that she views her prior two marriages much in the same way. This concept is beautifully explored in "Serial Monogamy: A Memoir" (about her affection for various cookbook authors), "Moving On" (about her 10 year delight in a large apartment in New York), "The Lost Strudel" (her desire to recreate happy experiences through food that's no longer easy to find), and "Me and Bill: The End of Love" (about her feelings about Bill Clinton as a leader).

Some of her essays border on being rants. I found those the least appealing. These include "I Hate My Purse" and "Blind as a Bat."

Vignettes are powerfully shared. I loved her humorous take on probably being the only White House intern JFK didn't make a pass at and her expert explanation about why typing was irrelevant as an intern in the JFK White House in "Me and JFK: Now It Can Be Told." She also does vignettes brilliantly in "The Story of My Life in 3,500 Words or Less."

She ends with thoughts about dying, and humor fails her. But "Considering the Alternative" is the section where you see the real woman most clearly.

Writers will love her mother's advice: "Everything is copy." The older I get, the more I realize that's true.

Those who like to fall asleep with a smile will find it makes sense to read one essay a night before turning off the light.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on December 13, 2006
I hope that this book will make you think about life and your place in the world. At least this is what it did to me. As you will surmise aging is not a walk in the park. As you age along with losing some of the people you care about you feel the world passing on to the next generation. As time passes both good and bad things happen. You may choose to focus on the good or the bad, but ultimately aging is a struggle, pure and simple. It's a struggle physically, mentally and emotionally. Keeping that all in mind, the author attempts to find the funny in the sad. Discovering some humor in it can help us come to terms with the passing years. By the way, this book isn't just for women, as men also have their struggles with aging and the changes in their bodies and the changing social situations that time brings. I recommend the book as a good reading for anyone that likes to reflect on their lives. Another two books that I recommend are Energy Psychology, and Can we live 150 years. The latter one is actually a health guide for aging with dignity, and with no pain and/or suffering (as much as it is possible)
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on March 25, 2007
I'm normally one to stick with the latest bestseller--you know, "Da Vinci Code" or "Katzenjammer by McCrae?" but instead decided to try this book as it was recommended over and over by friends. Glad I did. Ephron is funny and wry, and she pulls no punches in this tell all and a little bit more essay/memoir. She admits to being an intern at the White House in the 60s, but says she never had an affair with JFK. Other observations are just as wry and knowing. The book deals with aging and all that goes with it, especially for women. From covering everything in "your purse" to reading a copy of Vogue and then spending twenty thousand dollars, it's just one great story after another. I highly recommend it.
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on May 17, 2014
I read this book for a book club meeting I will be attending in a few weeks. It was available in the library, so I snapped it up now.

When you are doing comedy, the safest target to pick on is yourself. That is because, because if you can't laugh at yourself, you do not have the right to laugh at anyone else. This author has dome a great job of laughing at herself. I think what makes it appealing, is that a lot of people can relate to what she is saying in the book. There is no story to this book. It is just a bunch of funny stories and observations.

I had first thought that the audience for this book would be female. I think that men can get a laugh out of this book. The book was a light read, about 140 pages. It did not take long to read.

I enjoyed the book. The author is very funny. She has an impressive resume when it comes to comedy writing. It shows here.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I remember reading Heartburn many years ago, and I thought I remembered that I liked it. Nora Ephron's neck may be losing it, but her writing is as fresh and vibrant as ever. Very funny, very honest. Immensely likeable. She talks about maintenance being a second career because a lot of women are pre-empting age. For example, hair dying, botox etc. She talks about her husbands theory of women either being birds, muffins or horses and that is the shape of your face. If you are a muffin, you can have a zillion face lifts and be fine, but other shaped faces - not so much.

She talks more seriously about reaching 60 and start loosing friends. You have to come to grips with reality and realise that we aren't invincible and won't die - it's getting closer to being on the cards. She also mentions things she wishes she'd known You can't be friends with people who call after 11pm, Write everything down, Back up your files etc.

She's very funny (a very dry sense of humour) and it shows through this book. It's a good read that is sometimes serious but overall will be thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining. If you are a fan of her movies, you will definitely love I Feel Bad About My Neck ...
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 8, 2007
It's great to read a book about aging that actually makes you laugh. It's an honest, straight forward, very entertaining read --- I highly recommend it. Pamela D. Blair, Author, The Next Fifty Years: A Guide for Women at Midlife and Beyond
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on June 18, 2015
This book described a lifestyle I hope I never live. Very better as well. Although being faced with a cancer diagnosis could do that to some one. A well spoken feminist to say the least.
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on September 10, 2013
Nora Ephron is witty and spot on with her reflections of being an aging woman. Funny, true, rueful nodding of head while reading.
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on November 10, 2012
Un des livres les plus drôles que j'ai lu. Très touchant et très bien écrit. J'ai adoré ! Nora Ephron à son meilleur !!!
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