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Posts Tagged ‘reading’

I Have No Opinion About My Neck.

nora ephron

I’ve just finished reading Nora Ephron’s new book,¬†I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman. Of course, this book is not actually new. It came out in 2006, but I got pregnant the same month it hit the shelves and so I’m several years behind on all popular media and culture. Yesterday at the gym I finally saw a Lady Gaga video.

I came across Ephron’s book at the library and felt I should read it based on the fact that it is dense with stories of living in New York City, which are exactly the sort of stories that I love, and also because I sat next to Nora and Rebecca Pidgeon at a Ricky Jay performance in 2009, on the day my cat died. The cat is irrelevant to this story but I’ve just read two hundred pages of Nora Ephron and so extraneous details are bound to make it into whatever I have to say for the next forty-eight hours. I also have no great love for Rebecca Pidgeon, but as long as I’m name dropping I might as well get Nick Pileggi, Nora’s husband, in there as well. He sat to her left.

Another reason I thought I should read this book is that Nora’s two favorite topics at the moment are aging and New York City, and since I am not getting any younger and live in Queens I thought she might have some erudite advice. It turns out, however, that Nora Ephron is not like you and me. She may rationalize all her purchases based on amortizing them to the cost of a cappuccino, but she still owns a home on the Upper East Side and has her hair blown out twice a week.

I like the way Nora thinks, but perhaps I’m just not old enough for her insight yet. I’m older than twenty-six, the age at which she feels, in retrospect, that one should parade around wearing a bikini as often as possible, but I’ve yet to replace all my shirts with black turtlenecks. I do, however, agree that “The reason you’re waking up in the middle of the night is the second glass of wine,” and I currently have a blackberry-yogurt pie with a Keebler graham-cracker crust in the oven, because “There’s no point in making piecrust from scratch.”

In writing this post, I discovered that Nora has a new book, by which I mean one that came out last year. It’s apparently about aging and memory. I hope to read it before 2015, but only if I can remember.

Freedom: A Novel

freedomI’ve waited nine years and endured two books of sludgy nonfiction¬†for Jonathan Franzen’s latest offering, Freedom: A Novel.

It’s delicious.

I don’t want to say much about it yet, but if you’d like to read the first chapter, you can find it at The New Yorker. Another chapter was also published in The New Yorker, but I don’t know that it stands on its own. Just buy the book. And then set aside as many long sessions of reading as you can manage. It’s hard to put down.

I am currently suffering from that unsettling mental state that occurs after closing a book that’s occupied you for some time. Despite the fact that the characters lean towards the officious, self-involved and occasionally downright absurd, I already miss them. Fortunately Barnes & Noble was kind enough to send me an email today with a link to a video interview with Franzen, which has scratched the itch. Here’s twelve minutes of Franzen on writing for your viewing pleasure:

Franzen on Freedom