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

by Nora Ephron

Hardcover, 2008

Call number

814.54 E

Publication

Vintage (2008), Edition: Reprint, 160 pages

Description

From the screenwriter who brought us When Harry Met Sally comes a hilarious, candid look at issues that concern women. With her disarming, intimate, completely accessible voice, and dry sense of humor, Nora Ephron discusses everything - from how much she hates her purse to how much time she spends attempting to stop the clock: the hair dye, the treadmill, the lotions and creams that promise to slow the aging process but never do. Oh, and she can't stand the way her neck looks. But her dermatologist tells her there's no quick fix for that. Ephron chronicles her life as an obsessed cook, passionate city dweller, and hapless parent in an audiobook that is utterly courageous, wickedly funny, and unexpectedly moving in its truth telling.

User reviews

LibraryThing member bookworm12
This collection of essays is written by Ephron, who is the mastermind behind beloved movies like When Harry Met Sally and most recently, Julie & Julia. She waxes philosophical about everything from purses to parenting. She is honest about the frustrating aspects of being a woman, like constantly
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having hair removed. In one essay she says she saw an unkempt homeless woman on the street and thinks that she would look exactly like that in very little time if she let her "maintenance" regime go and stopped dying her hair, exercising, etc.

I really loved her essay called "Moving On" when she discusses how New York City is very livable, it's when you leave and try to visit that it feels foreign. I felt that way about London. Loved it, but when you visit later that pub is closed, that restaurant moved and you somehow feel your nostalgia has been betrayed. Her essay "On Rapture" was probably my favorite. She talks about the rapture you feel after reading an amazing book. The feeling of being so enthralled by it that all you want to do is disappear into its pages. I think we can all relate to that.

It was a fun quick read, but didn't leave me thinking anything too deep.
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LibraryThing member JessicaStalker
This is a personal, heartwarming and funny collection of stories. Some sad, some sweet, all creatively written. Though I am not yet at the age where I feel bad about my neck, I appreciated Ephron's insight into aging and the array of issues surrounding it. Most surprising were the chapters about
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her personal heartache and discussion of death. I laughed and I cried. What more could you ask for?
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LibraryThing member maggie1944
If you remember laughing your fool head off when watching "When Harry Met Sally" you know how funny Nora Ephron can be. She delivers in this book, too. I don't know whether the reader must be over the age of 45 to "get the jokes" but since I am I laughed out loud more than once, and was tempted to
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pick up the phone to read a section or two to friends I knew this is a humorist I love having in my life. Now that is a good book.

She also appreciates a good book: "There's something called the rapture of the deep, and it refers to what happens when a deep-sea diver spends too much time at the bottom of the ocean and can't tell which way is up. When he surfaces, he's liable to have a condition called the bends, where the body can't adapt to the oxygen levels in the atmosphere. All this happens to me when I surface from a great book."

Isn't that a great way to describe the feeling of having to come back to reality when it is past time to put that book down?
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LibraryThing member glade1
Quite an enjoyable collection of essays on women, aging, home, and food. I particularly liked the essays that discussed being a reader : )
LibraryThing member bookwormteri
I looked forward to reading this book for quite a while. I was not disappointed when I got to it. Although I am not of the age where I feel that I have to hide my neck, the book was humorous and poignant (where it should be) and a slice of life for a New Yorker. I enjoyed it very much. Any woman
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who is not in her early twenties could "get" this book and find quite a few laughs in Ms. Ephron's words and wisdom.
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LibraryThing member deadgirl
Nora Ephron's writing is hilarious. Though this book is catered for an older age group of women, I didn't feel like a bystander while reading it; I was hooked and empathized completely.
LibraryThing member Whisper1
While Nora Ephron certainly has a wonderfully, wicked sense of humor and has given us great scripts such as Heartburn, this book is a BIG disappointment.

Ephron comes across as a privileged, whining, snotty rich girl who complains a lot. One of the chapters is actually titled "I Hate My Purse." My
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response to this is: Who the heck cares!
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LibraryThing member csmirl
Quick, hilarious, written with all the right words and attitudes and emotions. This book is about being a women, being a less-than-perfect woman, aging, writing, New York, aging in New York, and rent control.The screenwriter of movies ‘When Harry Met Sally,’ ‘Sleepless in Seattle,’
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‘You’ve Got Mail,’ and more- Ephron is the funniest woman in her generation, and possibly in any. Oh, I just saw this title made the best seller list this week– New York Times, I think. Bravo.Available at Teton County Library, call number 814.54 Ephron
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LibraryThing member elliepotten
A cute little collection of journalism and mini-essays by the late, great Nora Ephron (as in, the screenwriter and director, creator of When Harry Met Sally and You've Got Mail, two of my favourite movies of all time. OBVIOUSLY). Each piece is loosely themed around being a woman - a woman in love,
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a woman trying to hold on to her looks, a woman in the kitchen, a woman with children, a woman in New York, and so on. Although generally written about the experience of being a woman of a certain age in the US, this definitely had plenty to offer me as a twenty-something Brit as well, and Ephron's trademark warm humour and wry observations work just as well on the page as they do on the screen. As it happens, it was just what I needed to get me through some dark days when I wanted something light, jovial and full of heart to fill an hour or three... I look forward to reading more of her writing in the years to come!

Favourite part: Just about every moment she's talking about New York. She makes it sound so dynamic and appealing and even, dare I say it, friendly, like an ever-shifting cornucopia of great food, abundant amenities, cultural opportunities, 24-hour convenience and interesting people.

Least favourite part: Maybe the parts where she is obviously particularly addressing the older reader (Ephron was in her early sixties when many of these pieces were written). Not that these parts weren't still funny and a good read - after all, we're all going to get there one day - but obviously in my mid-twenties it was harder to relate to in terms of the experience and the humour.
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LibraryThing member toad97
Quick read and a book you can relate to once you reach a certain age. she's funny and sardonic, like a toned down, female Augusten Burroughs.
LibraryThing member hklibrarian
This was a nice light read, and I, for one, have been a long time fan of her work. This is on a much more personal level--something all women can relate to but yet not super heavy.
LibraryThing member maggiereads
By the time you read this article, I will have added a zero to my existence on earth, and become middle aged. Fortunately, I have spent most my life laughing: unfortunately, I have the lines to prove it. I thought I was okay with the milestone—well, until I read Nora Ephron’s new book, I Feel
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Bad about My Neck.

Apparently, the neck of a woman begins to morph around the age of forty-five—a magical time when v-necks mysteriously vanish and turtlenecks, mandarin collars and scarves appear. Remember the funny scene in Something’s Gotta Give when Jack Nicholson asks Diane Keaton, “What’s with the turtlenecks? I mean it’s the middle of summer.”

We know Diane’s secret: young, smooth skin becomes, turkey waddles, Greek columns, or swollen butterflies as we age. My neck is exhibiting the early stages of what I like to call the classical period. Picture a large, marble, Palladian column with polished surface, such as found in Venice, Italy. Now, add thousands of years of sea breezes and summer suns. The result, a chalky pillar with huge gaps between the sections, becoming less classical and more shabby-chic.

Considering the options, wearing clothing to downplay the area is a viable solution. Author Ephron continues to say the offending neck cannot be “fixed” without a full-blown face-lift. Why not skip the expensive procedure and buy a stylish choker instead?

For twenty weeks this book has remained on the bestsellers list for a good reason. Ephron’s point of view on aging is priceless. The neck business is just the first chapter. There are 15 chapters dealing with aging, parenting annoyances, and cooking disasters. Her chapter on cookbook history is lost on me, but I thoroughly enjoyed the imaginary conversations she carries on with the chefs. Just what would you serve Craig Claiborne if he came to dinner?

If the Ephron name sounds familiar, it is because she co-wrote movie favorites, When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle. She also wrote the book and screen play, Heartburn, which told of her divorce to Watergate journalist, Carl Bernstein.

Don’t let the title scare you away. This book can induce laughs from a variety of woman, no matter their age. As my new age indicates, I’m pretty much on the downhill slide, so why not buckle-up, raise my (flabby) arms, and go down laughing?
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LibraryThing member dianemb
A lighthearted look at some of the changes women go through as we age. Written from the perspective of a well-to-do woman from New York. So some things I could relate to, some things not.
LibraryThing member readaholic12
A book club selection that I would not likely choose to read on my own, I Feel Bad About my Neck left me feeling slightly bad about reading it. Yes, Nora Ephron is a gifted comedic script writer, but this book felt thrown together to me, a suspicion I confirmed upon discovering that several
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chapters were previously published articles in the New Yorker. While I did enjoy a few chuckles, and I can relate to the shocking indignities of aging, I struggled to sympathize with her privileged lifestyle. And yes, the last two chapters are a bummer, cancer sucks and strikes unfairly every day, but I was left wishing Nora Ephron had made the inclusion of this story line count for more somehow.
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LibraryThing member maneekuhi
Observations after reading "Neck".
Per word, it may be the most expensive book I've ever bought.
Thank God I'm a male.
Not sure what the chapter about the apartment had to do with "Neck"
Ephron has written some very interesting, amusing, poignant.......screenplays.
LibraryThing member volvomom
I've been reading Ephron since college, and I adore her books. In the past I've found a since of humor in her writing that's been uniquely female - sad, funny, hopeless, yet hopeful all at the same time.

However, "I Feel Bad About My Neck" disappointed me in more ways that I can comment. I felt as
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if I were reading bad blog entries. Perhaps the book will relate to a specific age group, and not my own. Her writing didn't make feel a thing. I was excited about her quest for Hungarian cabbage struedel, but event that turned flat.

Let's hope Ephron bounces back with something more memorable. Or at least turns this into blogspace and lets it float away into Cyperspace.
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LibraryThing member harveywals
Fun, quick read. Especially loved On Maintenance. Can totally relate at 50.
LibraryThing member LeHack
What a fun book! I feel bad about my neck too! This is not a book to read in public, because you will laugh out loud. Aging isn't fun and not for the weak of heart. I borrowed it from the library, then wished I had purchased it instead. I did give it as a gift to a friend.
LibraryThing member Periodista
A few laughs, a few sharp observations about the aging process as experienced by a very comfortable Manhattanite. Also, this truth: when you start justifying a purchase, or exorbitant rental outlays, in terms of amortization (Over 25 years, it will work out to be only $2.50 per month!), you are
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paying way too much.

But you'll finish the whole book in 27 minutes. Am I glad I borrowed this from the library. Anyone who shells out $22 for the hardcover has a right to demand a partial refund. Even paperback buyers will be annoyed.
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LibraryThing member veranaz22
Reading this, I honestly did not know who the author was and what her other works were. It seems this book was aimed towards the older demographic, but I found it enjoyable to read. I loved her essay "On Maintenance" as I realized and appreciated how I do not feel the need to go to the salon and
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get my nails done, etc and spend endless amounts of money on things we don't need to survive. Wise and witty, the essays were entertaining and insightful. Three and a half out of five.
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LibraryThing member readingrat
I humorous collection of anecdotes about aging and living in New York. I imagine those who are the author's contemporaries would probably get the biggest kick out of this.
LibraryThing member sharlene_w
I lave loved Nora Ephron's style and wit since I read Heartburn years ago. A humorous look at aging.
LibraryThing member CarolO
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I found her reflections on aging humorous but I LOVED her descriptions of reading and I quote:

“Reading is one of the main things I do. Reading is everything. Reading makes me feel I’ve accomplished something, learned something, become a better person. Reading
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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.”

Of everything she wrote in this book, her passion for reading is what I identified with.
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LibraryThing member brsquilt
Funny stories about her life, aging, etc.
LibraryThing member Citizenjoyce
Lord preserve us from whiny, self absorbed rich people - which is all Nora Ephron is for the first half of this book. After she stops kvetching about her NYC apartment problems the essays do get better, and the last one about death and aging is wonderful. I wish the rest of the book had lived up to
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it.
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Pages

160

ISBN

0307276821 / 9780307276827
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