I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman Book by Nora Ephron

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Hello readers, a little bit of sad news today which is never a nice way to start a post. One of my favourite book stores in Hanley, Webberley’s book store is closing down and has started selling books for pennies. Although I cannot complain, getting a brilliant read for twenty pence, it is a little saddening that I will no longer be able to wander in on my lunch break and have a browse. The day I found that the store was shutting *cries* I picked up this lovely little read which I think my lovely female readers will adore maybe as much as I did.

Academy Award-winning screenwriter and director Nora Ephron (When Harry Met Sally, Heartburn,Sleepless in Seattle, You’ve Got Mail) turns her sharp wit on to her own life.

* Never marry a man you wouldn’t want to be divorced from
*If the shoe doesn’t fit in the shoe store, it’s never going to fit
*When your children are teenagers, it’s important to have a dog so that someone in the house is happy to see you
*Anything you think is wrong with your body at the age of thirty-five you will be nostalgic for by the age of forty-five
*The empty nest is underrated
*If only one third of your clothes are mistakes, you’re ahead of the game.

I guess the first thing to point out is that before this I was yet to read anything from Nora Ephron which makes me feel like I am definitely missing out on some stunners. I did have a nosy in the Amazon reviews and one stated ‘Ephron could write about the telephone book and make it entertaining’ and I completely and utter agree. The book is  a selection of essays that are based on the idea of getting older (kind of explains the neck bit I guess,) and the way we can and should embrace these changes. It’s one of those books that makes you think and take a minute to appreciate what you have.

One of the best of the ‘essays,’ is named ‘On Maintenance.’ The writing describes how much time we spend making ourselves look perfect and how over time these few minutes of time add up to years and years of time. It puts into perspective the things we do each and every day and how much time we spent trivalaising over things that are so very insignificant in our lives. The essay entitled ‘I Feel Bad about my Neck’ is terribly funny and lead to me spending a good ten minutes inspecting my neck. It leads from the idea that you never know what you had until it’s gone. One day we will all mourn for the wonder of our twenty year old necks – I’m sure.

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The essays take on a number of different topics; falling in love with different concepts, people and places, and especially apartments and the reason we do so with very little reason. We become sentimentally attached to things and yet years, months, maybe as little as days later they get replaced by something else that we will find ever more satisfying. Whether that is relationships, places, books or food choices we are at one time or another going to move on with our lives and find something new to appreciate and that is okay. These concepts are really wonderfully described in the essay ‘Serial Monogamy: A Memoir’ about her affection and obsession with several different cookbook authors.

Some are ranting – most seen in the hysterical ‘I hate my purse’ but they have a positive feel throughout and all feel as though the author is sat just streaming out her ideas and emotions. This writing I adore; it is honest, candid, and frank. It’s not trying to do something, it’s not trying to sell a lifestyle it’s an honest look at things many of us women do and an understanding that it’s okay; maybe sometimes a little irrational but that really is the beauty of life.  “The Story of My Life in 3,500 Words or Less” shows this perfectly.

I found this book utterly delightful and yet a little mournful; it made me think and take a moment to step back. Many of you will know I’ve been spending a lot of time stepping back and looking at my life, the things that fuel my insecurities and how to deal with them and whenever I have an internal struggle this will be the book I pick up. An essay a night would be perfect way to fall asleep feeling a little calmer with the world.






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