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Nora Ephron returns with her first book since the astounding success of I Feel Bad About My Neck, taking a cool, hard, hilarious look at the past, the present, and the future, bemoaning the vicissitudes of modern life, and recalling with her signature clarity and wisdom everything she hasn’t (yet) forgotten. Ephron writes about falling hard for a way of life (“Journalism: A Nora Ephron returns with her first book since the astounding success of I Feel Bad About My Neck, taking a cool, hard, hilarious look at the past, the present, and the future, bemoaning the vicissitudes of modern life, and recalling with her signature clarity and wisdom everything she hasn’t (yet) forgotten. Ephron writes about falling hard for a way of life (“Journalism: A Love Story”) and about breaking up even harder with the men in her life (“The D Word”); lists “Twenty-five Things People Have a Shocking Capacity to Be Surprised by Over and Over Again” (“There is no explaining the stock market but people try”; “You can never know the truth of anyone’s marriage, including your own”; “Cary Grant was Jewish”; “Men cheat”); reveals the alarming evolution, a decade after she wrote and directed You’ve Got Mail, of her relationship with her in-box (“The Six Stages of E-Mail”); and asks the age-old question, which came first, the chicken soup or the cold? All the while, she gives candid, edgy voice to everything women who have reached a certain age have been thinking . . . but rarely acknowledging. Filled with insights and observations that instantly ring true—and could have come only from Nora Ephron—I Remember Nothing is pure joy.


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Nora Ephron returns with her first book since the astounding success of I Feel Bad About My Neck, taking a cool, hard, hilarious look at the past, the present, and the future, bemoaning the vicissitudes of modern life, and recalling with her signature clarity and wisdom everything she hasn’t (yet) forgotten. Ephron writes about falling hard for a way of life (“Journalism: A Nora Ephron returns with her first book since the astounding success of I Feel Bad About My Neck, taking a cool, hard, hilarious look at the past, the present, and the future, bemoaning the vicissitudes of modern life, and recalling with her signature clarity and wisdom everything she hasn’t (yet) forgotten. Ephron writes about falling hard for a way of life (“Journalism: A Love Story”) and about breaking up even harder with the men in her life (“The D Word”); lists “Twenty-five Things People Have a Shocking Capacity to Be Surprised by Over and Over Again” (“There is no explaining the stock market but people try”; “You can never know the truth of anyone’s marriage, including your own”; “Cary Grant was Jewish”; “Men cheat”); reveals the alarming evolution, a decade after she wrote and directed You’ve Got Mail, of her relationship with her in-box (“The Six Stages of E-Mail”); and asks the age-old question, which came first, the chicken soup or the cold? All the while, she gives candid, edgy voice to everything women who have reached a certain age have been thinking . . . but rarely acknowledging. Filled with insights and observations that instantly ring true—and could have come only from Nora Ephron—I Remember Nothing is pure joy.

30 review for I Remember Nothing: and Other Reflections

  1. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    Nora Ephron died a few days ago, and one of the first things I did after reading her obituary was to get this book from the library. It's a delightful read, filled with great quotes and essays about things like getting her start in journalism, what it's like having a movie flop, having a meatloaf dish named after her, getting addicted to online Scrabble games and how forgetful she has become. The book is slight -- only 135 pages -- and some of the stories are only a few pages long, but I was utt Nora Ephron died a few days ago, and one of the first things I did after reading her obituary was to get this book from the library. It's a delightful read, filled with great quotes and essays about things like getting her start in journalism, what it's like having a movie flop, having a meatloaf dish named after her, getting addicted to online Scrabble games and how forgetful she has become. The book is slight -- only 135 pages -- and some of the stories are only a few pages long, but I was utterly charmed by it. I think I annoyed my husband by insisting on reading so many passages aloud to him, but after I was finished he always admitted how good the quote was. Toward the end of the book she has an essay about getting older, and when she wrote it I think she had already been diagnosed with the disease that would eventually end her life. One passage was particularly poignant: "The realization that I may have only a few good years remaining has hit me with real force, and I have done a lot of thinking as a result. I would like to have come up with something profound, but I haven't. I try to figure out what I really want to do every day, I try to say to myself, If this is one of the last days of my life, am I doing exactly what I want to be doing? I aim low. My idea of a perfect day is a frozen custard at Shake Shack and a walk in the park. (Followed by a Lactaid.) My idea of a perfect night is a good play and dinner at Orso. (But no garlic, or I won't be able to sleep.) The other day I found a bakery that bakes my favorite childhood cake, and it was everything I remembered; it made my week. The other night we were coming up the FDR Drive and Manhattan was doing its fabulous magical, twinkling thing, and all I could think was how lucky I've been to spend my adult life in New York City."

  2. 5 out of 5

    Carole

    I Remember Nothing by Nora Ephron is what a reader has come to expect of this writer. This is the second time I have enjoyed this book and it is especially enjoyable as an audiobook, read by the author. Ephron passed away a few years after the writing of these essays and knowing this makes the subject matter even more poignant. As usual, her points of view are tinged with a healthy helping of tongue-in-cheek scepticism. It is a review of her interesting life: the good (successful movies), the ba I Remember Nothing by Nora Ephron is what a reader has come to expect of this writer. This is the second time I have enjoyed this book and it is especially enjoyable as an audiobook, read by the author. Ephron passed away a few years after the writing of these essays and knowing this makes the subject matter even more poignant. As usual, her points of view are tinged with a healthy helping of tongue-in-cheek scepticism. It is a review of her interesting life: the good (successful movies), the bad (divorces, dysfunctional parents) and the in-between (which is what makes life worthwhile). Nora Ephron talks about life in such a way that the readers may think that she is expressing their views as well as her own. Highly recommended.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Robin

    Fluffy and delightful. "You always think that a bolt of lightning is going to strike and your parents will magically change into the people you wish they were, or back into the people they used to be. But they're never going to. And even though you know they're never going to, you still hope they will." (p.51) "And every time one of my friends says to me, "Everything happens for a reason," I would like to smack her." (p.129) Fluffy and delightful. "You always think that a bolt of lightning is going to strike and your parents will magically change into the people you wish they were, or back into the people they used to be. But they're never going to. And even though you know they're never going to, you still hope they will." (p.51) "And every time one of my friends says to me, "Everything happens for a reason," I would like to smack her." (p.129)

  4. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    I purchased this book last year. I put in down on a table piled high with books, and then Nora Ephron died. I didn't pick it up until a few weeks ago.I unearthed it, and read it slowly, knowing that it would (barring posthumous publishings) be the last new and original book by her I would read. When I was first married and living in New York, I read her sister's book "How to Eat Like a Child." I related. I continued to read books by Delia and Nora Ephron. I had friends who knew the same people s I purchased this book last year. I put in down on a table piled high with books, and then Nora Ephron died. I didn't pick it up until a few weeks ago.I unearthed it, and read it slowly, knowing that it would (barring posthumous publishings) be the last new and original book by her I would read. When I was first married and living in New York, I read her sister's book "How to Eat Like a Child." I related. I continued to read books by Delia and Nora Ephron. I had friends who knew the same people she did. Had I kept living there, we might have met. Would we ever have been friends? No, but now I feel I have lost an old friend, or at least someone with whom I have been through the wars. In I Remember Nothing: and Other Reflections, she wrote about her life with wry good and great humor, and incidentally, the life my sister and and I are living. In it there are hints of mortality, of the end which approached, I think, much more quickly than was anticipated. She wrote about the added deficits of aging. She made lists, which could be mine: Cary Grant is Jewish,Cary Grant is not Jewish. Her final list, and the last chapter of the book, which while not HER final list, was titled "What I Will Miss." Many of those entries could belong to any one of us. And if I may, I would like to suggest one more item be added to the list of things that will be missed: Nora Ephron.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    [3+] A light and warm hearted collection of reflections. I enjoyed listening to and chuckling along with Nora. But the title is apt for my experience - this is not a memorable book.

  6. 4 out of 5

    ❀Julie

    I don’t have a lot to say about I Remember Nothing after gushing over I Feel Bad About My Neck. There were some mildly amusing parts but listening to the two audiobooks back-to-back I noticed her voice lacked the playful tone that added to that one, which made this one seem more solemn. Although it didn’t have the same vibe to me I still enjoyed it very much because it was more of a glimpse into her personal life and there is so much to be learned from her wisdom and insightfulness. The “What I I don’t have a lot to say about I Remember Nothing after gushing over I Feel Bad About My Neck. There were some mildly amusing parts but listening to the two audiobooks back-to-back I noticed her voice lacked the playful tone that added to that one, which made this one seem more solemn. Although it didn’t have the same vibe to me I still enjoyed it very much because it was more of a glimpse into her personal life and there is so much to be learned from her wisdom and insightfulness. The “What I Won’t Miss” and “What I Will Miss” Lists at the end made for a very poignant ending and gave a sense that she was really thinking of her own mortality as she wrote her last book. I just wish it would have been longer.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Britta Böhler

    Re-reading this, it made me so sad that this was Ephron's last work, and that she died only two years after the publication. Re-reading this, it made me so sad that this was Ephron's last work, and that she died only two years after the publication.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kristina

    Eh. This book is a collection of blandly interesting anecdotes about Ephron's life. The kind of blandly interesting anecdotes you tell friends over dinner (and they do not feel obliged to repeat), not the kind that turn into juicy, zesty, jaw-dropping books. I can only imagine the meeting with her editor. Editor: We want you to write a book about your life. Ephron: I'm in the middle of something. Editor: Okay, make it short. Just write anything down. People know who you are. They've seen When Ha Eh. This book is a collection of blandly interesting anecdotes about Ephron's life. The kind of blandly interesting anecdotes you tell friends over dinner (and they do not feel obliged to repeat), not the kind that turn into juicy, zesty, jaw-dropping books. I can only imagine the meeting with her editor. Editor: We want you to write a book about your life. Ephron: I'm in the middle of something. Editor: Okay, make it short. Just write anything down. People know who you are. They've seen When Harry Met Sally. We put it out right before Christmas, they'll buy it, no problem. Ephron: But I don't remember anything I haven't already written about. Edior: Even better! We'll call it, "I Remember Nothing"! The good news is that this book is only 130 pages, so if you're in a contest with someone to see who can post more books as "Read" on goodreads, it's a good choice. Otherwise, it's not.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Melanie Storie

    Three of Nora Ephron's movies are on my list of top favorite movies of all time. I remember watching "Sleepless in Seattle" in high school and just falling in love with it. After that, any time I broke up with a guy, I would watch "Sleepless in Seattle" to remind myself that there was probably a Tom Hanks out there somewhere for me and there was but his name is Matt. When I heard Nora Ephron died, I made my husband and sons sit down and watch "You've Got Mail" with me and we all laughed and love Three of Nora Ephron's movies are on my list of top favorite movies of all time. I remember watching "Sleepless in Seattle" in high school and just falling in love with it. After that, any time I broke up with a guy, I would watch "Sleepless in Seattle" to remind myself that there was probably a Tom Hanks out there somewhere for me and there was but his name is Matt. When I heard Nora Ephron died, I made my husband and sons sit down and watch "You've Got Mail" with me and we all laughed and loved it. So, when I sit down to read "I Remember Nothing," I sit down pretty biased. I loved this book. It was interesting and funny and sad all at once with these neat little observations on everything from chicken soup to email to believing the stories of an alcoholic mother. Ephron has been rubbing elbows with some pretty famous people since she was a child in Hollywood - she drops plenty of names which would make one think she's full of herself, but she comes across as self-effacing, someone you might like to have lunch and just chat with. I have read some negative comments about the book on this site, mainly that she makes references to famous people or being a democrat or something of that nature. A few comments suggest that she's petty or spoiled. I think those folks have missed the whole point of the book. In the end, these little moments of getting lost in traffic or a recipe for bread pudding or Scrabble Blitz addiction speak so much more about our own humanity than the big ones do - and they represent all these small things that make up a big life. The book ends with two lists. The first: "What I Won't Miss" and "What I Will Miss" - I couldn't finish reading them with dry eyes.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jacki (Julia Flyte)

    The fabulous Nora Ephron wrote this at 69, two years before her premature death from complications from leukemia. It's a short book, a collection of anecdotes about her life, thoughts on things that annoy her and how it feels to be getting old. Although she doesn't mention her health, she alludes to it when she lists things that she will and won't miss after she passes on, and thanks her doctors at the end. Nora is - was - a wonderful writer and she can tell stories that don't amount to much in The fabulous Nora Ephron wrote this at 69, two years before her premature death from complications from leukemia. It's a short book, a collection of anecdotes about her life, thoughts on things that annoy her and how it feels to be getting old. Although she doesn't mention her health, she alludes to it when she lists things that she will and won't miss after she passes on, and thanks her doctors at the end. Nora is - was - a wonderful writer and she can tell stories that don't amount to much in such a way that you enjoy every moment of the telling. I especially enjoyed her thoughts about how your memory goes as you get older - how you start off thinking it's somewhat amusing that you can't locate the name of a movie you saw or a book that you read, but how you eventually start to feel disconnected from the life that you have lived because you can't remember huge chunks of it, even though some insignificant details stick insistently in your brain. I liked this book. It's both funny and melancholy. It makes you think about small things that you don't usually think about and it makes me sad to think that this will be the last book she wrote.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Debbie "DJ"

    This is a tough one to rate. Nora Ephron is absolutely hilarious. I loved the first few stories on not remembering anything, which sadly I related to a lot. But, the rest was too dated for me. She sure is funny, but I just didn’t know a lot about pop culture from her time.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    3.5 StarsIn I REMEMBER NOTHING, Nora Ephron remembers a lot. At first, I didn't much care for the book, well at least the first 25%, began skimming and almost DNF, but by 40%, I felt like I was getting to know Nora, her sense of humor and liked her....a lot.She began as a newspaper reporter in the 30's and attained her dream of becoming a journalist in New York City plus so much more! She wrote the screenplay for one of my favorite movies, When Harry met Sally, and it was the big one that change 3.5 StarsIn I REMEMBER NOTHING, Nora Ephron remembers a lot. At first, I didn't much care for the book, well at least the first 25%, began skimming and almost DNF, but by 40%, I felt like I was getting to know Nora, her sense of humor and liked her....a lot.She began as a newspaper reporter in the 30's and attained her dream of becoming a journalist in New York City plus so much more! She wrote the screenplay for one of my favorite movies, When Harry met Sally, and it was the big one that changed her life. I liked Sleepless in Seattle too which she wrote and directed.When she mentioned her book and the movie Heartburn, it rang a bell, but the only thing I remembered was a young Jack Nicholson getting a much deserved pie in the face. So after the book informed me she based the novel on her second husband's philandering ways, I had to rewatch it....and it was good too. Now I intend to read the book.Through most of her life, Nora interviewed and rubbed elbows with numerous celebrities, Meryl Streep becoming a good friend. When she became ill, she pretty much kept it a secret, but succumbed to pneumonia/leukemia in 2012 at the age of 71. This information not in book although hints at a possible illness near the end when she lists "things she will miss and won't miss." Glad I read it!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    4 stars. 🌟🌟🌟🌟 Nora Ephron in any form is witty, sharp and insightful. I really enjoyed this collection of thoughts and views on life in general and hers specifically. They are seen as snapshots that are mostly relatable to any woman of a certain age but it is also clear that she did lead an extraordinary and somewhat privileged life as well. This woman left such an indelible mark on the world with her wonderful writing and movies (think "When Harrry met Sally", "Sleepless in Seattle" and more) it 4 stars. 🌟🌟🌟🌟 Nora Ephron in any form is witty, sharp and insightful. I really enjoyed this collection of thoughts and views on life in general and hers specifically. They are seen as snapshots that are mostly relatable to any woman of a certain age but it is also clear that she did lead an extraordinary and somewhat privileged life as well. This woman left such an indelible mark on the world with her wonderful writing and movies (think "When Harrry met Sally", "Sleepless in Seattle" and more) it is sad to think that this was the last book before her untimely death . I am so glad that my library had this one to borrow!!!! Quick and enjoyable read.

  14. 4 out of 5

    britt_brooke

    “And I survived. My religion is Get Over It.” I have a weakness for nonfiction essays, especially ones that make me feel like we’re all human, it’s cool, we all have shit. I enjoyed these snippets of Ephron’s personal and professional life and her random observations on the modern world. Written in 2010, it’s a little dated, but still relatable. Her audio narration is flawless; her humor perfectly deadpan.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jeanette (Again)

    Not particularly funny, but still pretty interesting. I enjoy little autobiographical snapshots in essay form. There's probably more namedropping here than in any book I've ever read, but the Ephron girls grew up around so many famous people that they might not recognize namedropping when they do it. Not particularly funny, but still pretty interesting. I enjoy little autobiographical snapshots in essay form. There's probably more namedropping here than in any book I've ever read, but the Ephron girls grew up around so many famous people that they might not recognize namedropping when they do it.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie

    “On some level, my life has been wasted on me. After all, if I can’t remember it, who can? The past is slipping away and the present is a constant affront.” I Remember Nothing: and Other Reflections, Ephron’s last essay collection published before her death in 2012, touches on the tragedy of aging and is probably not something that I could fully appreciate only being in my 30s (but I still loved it). She discusses becoming forgetful, about physical changes, but she touches on stories from her “On some level, my life has been wasted on me. After all, if I can’t remember it, who can? The past is slipping away and the present is a constant affront.” I Remember Nothing: and Other Reflections, Ephron’s last essay collection published before her death in 2012, touches on the tragedy of aging and is probably not something that I could fully appreciate only being in my 30s (but I still loved it). She discusses becoming forgetful, about physical changes, but she touches on stories from her life that she has managed to remember in vibrant detail. She also includes several recipes, in particular, one for ricotta pancakes in an essay about Teflon (which is far more riveting than it sounds at first glance.) She bemoans the discovery of the hazards of Teflon since her ricotta pancakes never come out quite the same in any other pan and in the recipe, instructs you to heat up a Teflon pan until carcinogenic gas is released into the air. I will always adore her wit though and her random stories that may seem inconsequential but are just anecdotes into the life of a pretty extraordinary sounding woman. Reading her discussion on the personal tragedy that led to her only fiction novel, Heartburn, was emotional. “I mention all this so you will understand that this is part of the process: once you find out he’s cheated on you, you have to keep finding it out, over and over and over again, until you’ve degraded yourself so completely that there’s nothing left to do but walk out.” You can tell when she writes that it’s old news, but it’s still something that managed to transform her into who she is today, leaving that unseen yet indelible impression. “People always say that once it goes away, you forget the pain. It’s a cliché of childbirth: you forget the pain. I don’t happen to agree. I remember the pain. What you really forget is love.” It will be a sad day when I no longer have any new Nora to read. The Most of Nora Ephron will be my last so I’m saving that one for a rainy day.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sterlingcindysu

    Now realize this is a memoir and it's called, "I remember nothing." I thought it would be ironic, that she HAD remembered alot, but no. If you like poor little rich girls whining, this is for you...sorry, I can't muster much sympathy for a girl who waltzes into a job at Newsweek, meets famous people and doesn't remember anyting about them and complains about only getting $40K as a surprise inheritance. To add insult to injury, then there's a chapter about her "flops", remember these are movies s Now realize this is a memoir and it's called, "I remember nothing." I thought it would be ironic, that she HAD remembered alot, but no. If you like poor little rich girls whining, this is for you...sorry, I can't muster much sympathy for a girl who waltzes into a job at Newsweek, meets famous people and doesn't remember anyting about them and complains about only getting $40K as a surprise inheritance. To add insult to injury, then there's a chapter about her "flops", remember these are movies she has written and/or directed, and she's complaining about them? A chapter on emails would have been timely a dozen years ago. One thing I found surprising is in a list she has of things she will miss, she does NOT include watching movies, and reading is only included as "reading in bed." Take note of the page count, yup, only 135 pages. (copied review) Nora Ephron returns with her first book since the astounding success of I Feel Bad About My Neck, taking a cool, hard, hilarious look at the past, the present, and the future, bemoaning the vicissitudes of modern life, and recalling with her signature clarity and wisdom everything she hasn’t (yet) forgotten. Ephron writes about falling hard for a way of life (“Journalism: A Love Story”) and about breaking up even harder with the men in her life (“The D Word”); lists “Twenty-five Things People Have a Shocking Capacity to Be Surprised by Over and Over Again” (“There is no explaining the stock market but people try”; “You can never know the truth of anyone’s marriage, including your own”; “Cary Grant was Jewish”; “Men cheat”); reveals the alarming evolution, a decade after she wrote and directed You’ve Got Mail, of her relationship with her in-box (“The Six Stages of E-Mail”); and asks the age-old question, which came first, the chicken soup or the cold? All the while, she gives candid, edgy voice to everything women who have reached a certain age have been thinking . . . but rarely acknowledging.

  18. 4 out of 5

    ML

    Nora Ephron is clever and observant - and sometimes surprisingly wise - as in her essay about the impossible demands placed on children of divorce. As for laughing, I enjoyed most "The O Word" (O for Old). My only LOL moment, however, came from the catalog designation: this book has been categorized as wit and humor about "Middle-aged women". "Middle-Aged"? The book is all about being OLD. Nora Ephron is clever and observant - and sometimes surprisingly wise - as in her essay about the impossible demands placed on children of divorce. As for laughing, I enjoyed most "The O Word" (O for Old). My only LOL moment, however, came from the catalog designation: this book has been categorized as wit and humor about "Middle-aged women". "Middle-Aged"? The book is all about being OLD.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    So far she seems to be describing ME! Quick read for those of us getting older and not liking it one bit!!!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    I was expecting something different, so I rated it "it was ok" because it didn't deliver to my expectations. After laughing throughout "I Feel Bad About My Neck", (and Sleepless in Seattle and When Harry Met Sally) and having so many "Oh yeah! Me too!" moments, I wasn't pleasantly surprised to realize this book is more of a memoir, and Nora fills it with references to lots of people I probably should be impressed about, but instead I felt I was joining in on a stranger's conversation (make that I was expecting something different, so I rated it "it was ok" because it didn't deliver to my expectations. After laughing throughout "I Feel Bad About My Neck", (and Sleepless in Seattle and When Harry Met Sally) and having so many "Oh yeah! Me too!" moments, I wasn't pleasantly surprised to realize this book is more of a memoir, and Nora fills it with references to lots of people I probably should be impressed about, but instead I felt I was joining in on a stranger's conversation (make that soliloquy) at a dinner party and realizing we don't know the same people. Now that we've laughed about our necks together, Nora is dealing with the fact that there's an end in sight, and it's not all sunshine and laughter at this perspective. Nora does a lot of reflecting in this book (as I should have known by the title), luckily the chapters are short so when it gets depressing, it's time to move on to a new topic.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Anni

    The title is misleading because Nora Ephron regales us with lots of entertaining reminiscences and delightful anecdotes in her razor-sharp witty style. There are so many quotable passages I could have highlighted most of the book by the end. So sad there won't be any more. The title is misleading because Nora Ephron regales us with lots of entertaining reminiscences and delightful anecdotes in her razor-sharp witty style. There are so many quotable passages I could have highlighted most of the book by the end. So sad there won't be any more.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sarina Bowen

    Reviewers are correct that there is a great deal of overlap with I Feel Bad About My Neck. But I love Nora Ephron, and had fun reading it nonetheless.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mel

    Exactly what I needed as a companion to an afternoon of work/errands. Nora Ephron is undeniably honest about her personal failures (marriages or flopped movies), insecurities about not being able to remember anything (facts, details, faces), and she easily provides a refreshing & relatable burst of joy despite discussing subjects not usually considered humorous. Will forever love her wit and her words.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Cindy

    News of her death prompted me to choose this book, a series of essays on growing old(er), though she died too young at 69. I probably enjoyed it more than the average reader since I am nearing that age myself and it is reassuring to know that I'm not the only one dealing with memory issues...even famous, successful, wealthy people suffer too! Her writing is witty and down-to-earth. News of her death prompted me to choose this book, a series of essays on growing old(er), though she died too young at 69. I probably enjoyed it more than the average reader since I am nearing that age myself and it is reassuring to know that I'm not the only one dealing with memory issues...even famous, successful, wealthy people suffer too! Her writing is witty and down-to-earth.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Julia

    I've only known of Nora Ephron as a writer of films, and I had enjoyed "When Harry Met Sally". So I was very surprised and disappointed that I never laughed once at this slim volume of her "reflections". The entire atmosphere she breathed seemed to be the shallow one of the wealthy, so the 23 small vignettes here came across as some of the most self-centered pieces I've ever read. My favorite essayist is Kurt Vonnegut, who can make me laugh and think at the same time. Ephron does neither for me. I've only known of Nora Ephron as a writer of films, and I had enjoyed "When Harry Met Sally". So I was very surprised and disappointed that I never laughed once at this slim volume of her "reflections". The entire atmosphere she breathed seemed to be the shallow one of the wealthy, so the 23 small vignettes here came across as some of the most self-centered pieces I've ever read. My favorite essayist is Kurt Vonnegut, who can make me laugh and think at the same time. Ephron does neither for me. Her first essay, "I Remember Nothing", seems both frivolous and cruel, since I'm living in a retirement community where the loss of memory (or the fear of it) is part of the world in which we live. The various pieces on her family are painful to read--both of the Lillian Ross encounters seem vapid to me, based on a world where appearances seemed to be everything. And her mother's alcoholism is tragic and sad; no amount of attempts at humor make that suffering appropriate for a public essay. The flippancy of her tone became really grating for me; in one section, she's serving on the Loews board, and during a phone conference goes to have a manicure. Her diatribes about the egg-white omelette, salt, and dessert spoons are ludicrous--I've never read anyone so opinionated about issues that simply don't matter! And the effect on her identity of "Nora's Meat Loaf" is pitiful, as is her addiction to "Scrabble Blitz" But the penultimate example of her narcissism is the shift in her attitude toward geese in "The O Word". When she was younger, the sound of the geese "was one of the things that made the summers out there so magical." Then, when she's "old", "I began to hate them" because they became a measure of time passing. Geese are part of the natural order, doing their eons-old rhythms--but for this woman, they are only seen through her personal feelings. I know she was very important to many people in her lifetime--and I'm sure she was not a shallow, flippant dilettante with those she loved. However, I have to agree with the person who gave the book one star on Amazon: "Too much of the book was about who her parents partied with when they were in "the business" in LA, and who she knew when she worked in journalism. Nora Ephron was one of those people who thought America consisted of three places; NYC, LA, and everywhere where only dull people live. She comes across as very impressed with herself. There was too much name dropping, and too much bragging about her special life. I've had that impression before in her earlier books, but this book was really too much."

  26. 5 out of 5

    Simon Howard

    This is delightful. It's a short book, full (mainly) of short anecdotes and reflections on events in Nora Ephron's life. Sometimes, these take the form of full-on autobiographical anecdotes, such as her story of how she got into journalism. Others are just straight-out opinions, such as her six stages of her relationship with email. All are joyously funny; some are also quite touching. The whole gives a real sense of Ephron as a person. And the quality of the writing throughout is just sublime. So This is delightful. It's a short book, full (mainly) of short anecdotes and reflections on events in Nora Ephron's life. Sometimes, these take the form of full-on autobiographical anecdotes, such as her story of how she got into journalism. Others are just straight-out opinions, such as her six stages of her relationship with email. All are joyously funny; some are also quite touching. The whole gives a real sense of Ephron as a person. And the quality of the writing throughout is just sublime. Some other reviewers have complained about a degree of "bitchiness" in this book - and it's true to say that Ephron's opinions aren't universally positive about everything. But I read these opinions as honestly held, and found them endearing. There are glorious descriptions of some of Ephron's reactions to the absurdity of celebrity, and the challenges of ageing: from how she reacts to finding a dish named after her in a restaurant, to coping with an inability to remember names. There's a chapter in this book that deals with Ephron's "flops": her films and plays that have failed to become financial successes. She describes with honesty how this feels, how it can never quite be forgotten, and how the failures stayed with her far longer than the successes. I'm someone who generally advocates embracing and learning from failure, and this chapter really made me view this in a different way. In a creative context, "success" and "failure" are difficult to define: Ephron considers her finest play to be one that commercially flopped. How can one learn from failure when, in the liberal arts, failure is very subjective? I know that's probably obvious to most people, but this chapter really made a mark on me as it helped me realise this for the first time, so I thought that was worth mentioning in my review! I know that some have been irritated by the brevity of this book. It is very short. Yet I find it difficult to criticise something just because it's brief: this is brief but excellent, and I wholeheartedly recommend it.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    More of Ephron’s delightful recollections about aging, memory, coping with new technology, ridiculous food fads, marriage and divorce, writing, filmmaking and – especially here – her early love of journalism. Not quite so laugh-out-loud funny as I Feel Bad About My Neck , or so wry and bittersweet as Heartburn , but still a delicious read that will fly by. More of Ephron’s delightful recollections about aging, memory, coping with new technology, ridiculous food fads, marriage and divorce, writing, filmmaking and – especially here – her early love of journalism. Not quite so laugh-out-loud funny as I Feel Bad About My Neck , or so wry and bittersweet as Heartburn , but still a delicious read that will fly by.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Mo

    FAVORITE BOOK READ IN 2019 This hysterically funny (and at times painfully honest) book resonated with me, and I remembered it long after I had read it. Anyone over the age of 60 should read this. It is just so damn relatable! She wrote things like: Anything you think is wrong with your body at the age of thirty-five you will be nostalgic for at the age of forty-five. At the age of fifty-five you will get a saggy roll just above your waist even if you are painfully thin. This saggy roll just abov FAVORITE BOOK READ IN 2019 This hysterically funny (and at times painfully honest) book resonated with me, and I remembered it long after I had read it. Anyone over the age of 60 should read this. It is just so damn relatable! She wrote things like: Anything you think is wrong with your body at the age of thirty-five you will be nostalgic for at the age of forty-five. At the age of fifty-five you will get a saggy roll just above your waist even if you are painfully thin. This saggy roll just above your waist will be especially visible from the back and will force you to reevaluate half the clothes in your closet, especially the white shirts. And also things like: Why do people write books that say it’s better to be older than to be younger? It’s not better. Even if you have all your marbles, you’re constantly reaching for the name of the person you met the day before yesterday. Even if you’re in great shape, you can’t chop an onion the way you used to and you can’t ride a bicycle several miles without becoming a candidate for traction. I have been sixty for four years now, and by the time you read this I will probably have been sixty for five. I survived turning sixty, I was not thrilled to turn sixty-one, I was less thrilled to turn sixty-two, I didn’t much like being sixty-three, I loathed being sixty-four, and I will hate being sixty-five. I don’t let on about such things in person; in person, I am cheerful and Pollyannaish. But the honest truth is that it’s sad to be over sixty. The long shadows are everywhere—friends dying and battling illness. A miasma of melancholy hangs there, forcing you to deal with the fact that your life, however happy and successful, has been full of disappointments and mistakes, little ones and big ones. There are dreams that are never quite going to come true, ambitions that will never quite be realized. There are, in short, regrets. Edith Piaf was famous for singing a song called “Non, je ne regrette rien.” It’s a good song. I know what she meant. I can get into it; I can make a case that I regret nothing. After all, most of my mistakes turned out to be things I survived, or turned into funny stories, or, on occasion, even made money from. But the truth is that je regrette beaucoup. Nora Ephron passed away 6 years after writing this book, at the age of 71. RIP ----------------------------------------------- Original Review: God Bless you Nora Ephron. You have reassured me that I am not alone. I have to admit, at times I was uncomfortable while reading your book ... it frequently hit a little too close to home.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jack

    I got this ebook from the library because the one about her neck wasn't available. I was sad when Nora died. She was one of those great New York dames who was always just so alive and opinionated about it all. And, Jesus, talk about accomplished. While reading Nora's obit I realized that I had never read any of her prose and so figured why not. I love that I could get it online from my library. How cool is that? A thrill like stealing. The book is quixotic and charming. -Why quixotic? I don't kn I got this ebook from the library because the one about her neck wasn't available. I was sad when Nora died. She was one of those great New York dames who was always just so alive and opinionated about it all. And, Jesus, talk about accomplished. While reading Nora's obit I realized that I had never read any of her prose and so figured why not. I love that I could get it online from my library. How cool is that? A thrill like stealing. The book is quixotic and charming. -Why quixotic? I don't know, but it's such a great word. Mercurial. Another great word. Nora was also mercurial. The book is basically chick lit for the New York grandmother set. It's sweet. I especially liked the pieces that involved food. I think this was so because I miss my wife. She's out of town this weekend and she is really into food - the cooking AND eating of it. If she was here I would have read those passages out loud to her. Especially the bits about egg whites, bacon and butter. If someone tells my wife that she is cutting out bread, butter, salt, bacon, egg yolks or sugar, she gets angry. It's like a personal affront to her. Food is Life to my wife. Something to be enjoyed and celebrated, not pinched and tortured like detainees at Gitmo. I love that about her. Personally, I never used to care that much about food. I could take it or leave it. To me, food was just fuel. My wife has changed that. Because of her, I actually taste what I eat now and can often tell what is in something. "There is a hint of roasted tomato in this," is something that I might, in all seriousness, say now. I also can't eat crap with the same kind of abandon that I used to. Just today I stopped at Starbuck's because I needed a roll of quarters for laundry but was told by the cashier that she couldn't open the register unless I made a purchase. I bought a muffin. It was disgusting. I took two bites and tossed it. Believe me, that never would have happened before I met my wife.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ivonne Rovira

    I couldn’t help but be saddened by I Remember Nothing, as it is Nora Ephron’s final book. I was fortunate enough to listen to the audio version, which was read by Ephron herself — making the book even more special. Listening to her voice, it was impossible to believe she was really dead. While not as fabulous as Ephron’s Scribble, Scribble: Notes on the Media or I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman, I Remember Nothing is a worthy valedictory, and it contains some great ge I couldn’t help but be saddened by I Remember Nothing, as it is Nora Ephron’s final book. I was fortunate enough to listen to the audio version, which was read by Ephron herself — making the book even more special. Listening to her voice, it was impossible to believe she was really dead. While not as fabulous as Ephron’s Scribble, Scribble: Notes on the Media or I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman, I Remember Nothing is a worthy valedictory, and it contains some great gems: the poignant “The Legend” and “Pentimento”; the astute “I Just Want to Say: The World Is Not Flat” (which I made my husband hear) and “The D-Word”; the screwball “My Life as an Heiress” and the fabulous “Journalism: A Love Story” — enjoyable for everyone but particularly perfect for journalists and recovering journalists. Readers will find the rest of the pieces — most of them previously published in either The Huffington Post or The New York Times — amusing, particularly “Who Are You?”, “I Just Want to Say: The Egg-White Omelette,” “Christmas Dinner” and “Flop.”

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