Random House: Bringing You the Best in Fiction, Nonfiction, and Children's Books
Authors
Books
Features
Newletters and Alerts

Buy now from Random House

  • I Feel Bad About My Neck
  • Written by Nora Ephron
  • Format: Trade Paperback | ISBN: 9780307276827
  • Our Price: $14.00
  • Quantity:
See more online stores - I Feel Bad About My Neck

Buy now from Random House

  • I Feel Bad About My Neck
  • Written by Nora Ephron
  • Format: Hardcover | ISBN: 9780307264558
  • Our Price: $21.95
  • Quantity:
See more online stores - I Feel Bad About My Neck

Buy now from Random House

  • I Feel Bad About My Neck
  • Written by Nora Ephron
  • Format: eBook | ISBN: 9780307265944
  • Our Price: $9.99
  • Quantity:
See more online stores - I Feel Bad About My Neck

Buy now from Random House

  • I Feel Bad About My Neck
  • Written by Nora Ephron
    Read by Nora Ephron
  • Format: Unabridged Compact Disc | ISBN: 9780739369937
  • Our Price: $14.99
  • Quantity:
See more online stores - I Feel Bad About My Neck

Buy now from Random House

  • I Feel Bad About My Neck
  • Written by Nora Ephron
    Read by Nora Ephron
  • Format: Unabridged Audiobook Download | ISBN: 9780739342930
  • Our Price: $15.00
  • Quantity:
See more online stores - I Feel Bad About My Neck

I Feel Bad About My Neck

    Select a Format:
  • Book
  • eBook
  • Audiobook

And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman

Written by Nora EphronAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Nora Ephron



eBook

List Price: $9.99

eBook

On Sale: August 01, 2006
Pages: | ISBN: 978-0-307-26594-4
Published by : Vintage Knopf

Audio Editions

$14.99

Published by: Random House Audio

Read by Nora Ephron
On Sale: April 01, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-7393-6993-7
More Info...

Read by Nora Ephron
On Sale: October 24, 2006
ISBN: 978-0-7393-4293-0
More Info...
Listen to an excerpt
Visit RANDOM HOUSE AUDIO to learn more about audiobooks.


I Feel Bad About My Neck Cover

Bookmark,
Share & Shelve:

  • Add This - I Feel Bad About My Neck
  • Email this page - I Feel Bad About My Neck
  • Print this page - I Feel Bad About My Neck
ABOUT THE BOOK ABOUT THE BOOK
ABOUT THE AUTHOR ABOUT THE AUTHOR
PRAISE PRAISE
READER'S GUIDE READER'S GUIDE
Categories for this book
Tags for this book (powered by Library Thing)
humor (147) essays (123) memoir (94) aging (74) non-fiction (70) women (63) biography (14) new york (12) new york city (12) autobiography (10) funny (7) comedy (7) nora ephron (7) short stories (6) women's studies (6) cooking (4) relationships (4) humorous (4) age (4) woman (4) essay (4)
humor (147) essays (123) memoir (94) aging (74) non-fiction (70) women (63)
» see more tags
Synopsis|Excerpt

Synopsis

With her disarming, intimate, completely accessible voice, and dry sense of humor, Nora Ephron shares with us her ups and downs in I Feel Bad About My Neck, a candid, hilarious look at women who are getting older and dealing with the tribulations of maintenance, menopause, empty nests, and life itself.

Ephron chronicles her life as an obsessed cook, passionate city dweller, and hapless parent. But mostly she speaks frankly and uproariously about life as a woman of a certain age. Utterly courageous, uproariously funny, and unexpectedly moving in its truth telling, I Feel Bad About My Neck is a scrumptious, irresistible treat of a book, full of truths, laugh out loud moments that will appeal to readers of all ages.

Excerpt

What I Wish I’d Known

People have only one way to be.

Buy, don’t rent.

Never marry a man you wouldn’t want to be divorced
from.

Don’t cover a couch with anything that isn’t more or
less beige.

Don’t buy anything that is 100 percent wool even if it
seems to be very soft and not particularly itchy when
you try it on in the store.

You can’t be friends with people who call after 11 p.m.

Block everyone on your instant mail.

The world’s greatest babysitter burns out after two and
a half years.

You never know.

The last four years of psychoanalysis are a waste of
money.

The plane is not going to crash.

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.

Write everything down.

Keep a journal.

Take more pictures.

The empty nest is underrated.

You can order more than one dessert.

You can’t own too many black turtleneck sweaters.

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.

Back up your files.

Overinsure everything.

Whenever someone says the words “Our friendship is
more important than this,” watch out, because it almost
never is.

There’s no point in making piecrust from scratch.

The reason you’re waking up in the middle of the night
is the second glass of wine.

The minute you decide to get divorced, go see a lawyer
and file the papers.

Overtip.

Never let them know.

If only one third of your clothes are mistakes, you’re
ahead of the game.

If friends ask you to be their child’s guardian in case
they die in a plane crash, you can say no.

There are no secrets.


From the Hardcover edition.
Nora Ephron

About Nora Ephron

Nora Ephron - I Feel Bad About My Neck

Photo © Ilona Lieberman

Nora Ephron was the author of the bestselling I Feel Bad About My Neck as well as Heartburn, Crazy Salad, Wallflower at the Orgy, and Scribble Scribble. She wrote and directed the hit movie Julie & Julia and received Academy Award nominations for Best Original Screenplay for When Harry Met Sally. . ., Silkwood, and Sleepless in Seattle, which she also directed. Her other credits include the script for the stage hit Love, Loss, and What I Wore with Delia Ephron. She died in 2012.

Praise

Praise

“Wickedly witty. . . . Crackling sharp. . . . Fireworks shoot out [of this collection].” —The Boston Globe“Long-overdue. . . . Executed with sharpness and panache . . . . [Nora Ephron] retains an uncanny ability to sound like your best friend, whoever you are. . . . It's good to know that Ms. Ephron's wry, knowing X-ray vision is one of them.” —The New York Times“Women who find themselves somewhere between the arrival of their first wrinkle and death have to hear only the title to get the message.”—Los Angeles Times“Wry and amusing. . . . Marvelous.” —The Washington Post Book World
Reader's Guide|About the Book|Author Biography|Discussion Questions|Suggestions

About the Book

“Wickedly witty. . . . Crackling sharp. . . . Fireworks shoot out [of this collection].”
The Boston Globe

The introduction, discussion questions, and suggestions for further reading that follow are intended to enhance your group's discussion of I Feel Bad About My Neck, Nora Ephron's disarming, intimate, frank, and often hilarious essays about coping—or failing to cope—with growing older.

About the Guide

Nora Ephron feels bad about her neck, but she doesn't want to have surgery, either. She worries that she'll end up looking in the mirror and seeing someone unrecognizable who looks like a drum pad. She does try to stop the clock in other ways—the expensive face creams, the hair dye, the treadmill, the trainers. She has little faith in these methods, but can't help trying to keep age at bay. In fact, it's nearly a full-time job.

She also chronicles her life as an obsessed cook, passionate city dweller, and hapless parent. She recounts her anything-but-glamorous days as a White House intern during the JFK years and shares how she fell in and out of love with Bill Clinton—from a distance, of course. But mostly she speaks frankly and uproariously about getting older and dealing with the tribulations of maintenance, menopause, empty nests, and life itself.

I Feel Bad About My Neck is a book of wisdom, advice, and insight that is utterly courageous, wickedly funny, and unexpectedly moving in its truth telling.

About the Author

Nora Ephron is the author of the novel Heartburn, as well as Wallflower at the Orgy and several other books of essays. She received Academy Award nominations for Best Original Screenplay for When Harry Met Sally. . . , Silkwood, and Sleepless in Seattle, which she also directed. Her other credits include the film Michael and the play Imaginary Friends. She lives in New York City with her husband, writer Nicholas Pileggi.

Discussion Guides

1. In “I Feel Bad About My Neck,” Ephron writes that she avoids making truthful comments on how her friends look, even when they ask her directly [pp. 3–4]. Why is this a wise decision? She says, “the neck is a dead giveaway” [p. 5]. When women seek each other's opinions about how their necks, and other features, really look, do they want the truth, or do they want to be reassured?

2. According to Ephron, most authors who write about aging say “it great to be old. It's great to be wise and sage and mellow” [p. 7]. What, for her, is wrong with this approach? How would you compare I Feel Bad About My Neck with other books you have read about aging or menopause? Is it more useful?

3. In “I Hate My Purse,” Ephron sees her purse as a microcosm of her life—it is the symbol of her inability to be organized. Given the current obsession with expensive purses in American fashion, why is her choice of a plastic MetroCard bag amusing [pp. 15–16]?

4. What do the foods we cook, the cookbook authors we seek to emulate, and the way we entertain guests, say about how we want life to be? Why does Ephron give up her attachment to Craig Claiborne and begin “to make a study of Lee Bailey” [p. 26], and then later move on to Martha Stewart and Nigella Lawson?

5. Heartburn was a “thinly disguised novel about the end of my marriage” [p. 28]. If you have read Heartburn or seen the film, think about how Ephron presents her current stage in life, and what has changed for her. What is her attitude as she reflects on earlier and more difficult periods of her life?

6. Ephron writes, “I sometimes think that not having to worry about your hair anymore is the secret upside of death” [p. 32]. She also says that going to a hair salon twice a week and having her hair blown dry is “cheaper by far than psychoanalysis, and much more uplifting” [p. 34]. For Ephron, “maintenance” has larger implications than just taking care of one's appearance. What are the larger meanings of these annoying, repetitive actions, for her—and by implication, for women in general?

7. What would this book be like if written by a man? Do men have similar issues about growing older, and do they talk or think about them in similar ways? Think about and share ideas about what well-known man—a writer or a celebrity, perhaps—might be capable of writing the male version of I Feel Bad About My Neck.

8. In “Parenting in Three Stages,” Ephron revises some commonly held notions. Adolescence, for instance, is a period that helps parents separate from their children, and there is “almost nothing you can do to make life easier for yourself except wait until it's over” [p. 62]. Later in the book she says, “the empty nest is underrated” [p. 125]. How does being in her sixties, with her children out of the house, change Ephron's perspective on motherhood?

9. In “Moving On,” Ephron writes about an important and prolonged episode in her past: a love affair with an apartment building. How does she eventually “move on”? Does this essay suggest that she has become more pragmatic with time? How does she change her mind about what makes sense for her, as she gets older?

10. Why is “The Story of My Life in 3,500 Words or Less” such an effective way of telling one's life story? What does Ephron focus on as the most important issues in this miniaturized autobiography? What lessons has she learned?

11. While this is undoubtedly a funny and enjoyable book, in what ways is it also a serious book? What are Ephron's most important insights in “Considering the Alternative”?

12. What, if anything, does I Feel Bad About My Neck have to say about the benefits of growing older?

13. Certain small pieces in this collection might provoke you and members of your group to try writing your own version. What would you include, for instance, in your own list of “What I Wish I'd Known”?

14. What is the funniest moment in this collection, and why?

Suggested Readings

Regina Barreca, ed., The Penguin Book of Women's Humor; Erma Bombeck, The Best of Bombeck; Michael Chabon, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay; Wilkie Collins, The Woman in White; Fran Lebowitz, The Fran Lebowitz Reader; John le Carré, Smiley's People; Doris Lessing, The Golden Notebook; Dorothy Parker, The Portable Dorothy Parker; Paula Poundstone, There's Nothing in This Book That I Meant to Say; Amy Sedaris, I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence; Anthony Trollope, The Way We Live Now; Edith Wharton, The House of Mirth.

  • I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron
  • April 08, 2008
  • Humor - Essays
  • Vintage
  • $14.00
  • 9780307276827

Your E-Mail Address
send me a copy

Recipient's E-Mail Address
(multiple addresses may be separated by commas)

A personal message: