Reading Roundup: Marshall Afternoon Book Club Recommends a Favorite Author
You may have never read anything by Nora Ephron, but you most certainly are familiar with some of her award-winning movies. “Silkwood,” When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle were all nominated for an Academy Award for Best Writing, and her last movie, Julie & Julia, was a recent hit. Nora Ephron, a highly successful screenwriter, was also a prolific essayist and novelist. Her first published novel, Heartburn, is autobiographical, based on her second marriage to Carl Bernstein and the breakdown of that marriage. Witty, insightful, and at times hilarious, this book is a great introduction to Nora Ephron beyond her screenplays. At a memorable book club meeting, readers were invited to choose their own favorite from this versatile author.
Mary, a long time book club member, has a very personal connection to Nora, one of her favorite authors. “Nora Ephron and I were born hours apart, a fact I did not learn until I attended the NY production of her last play, performed coincidentally on the anniversary of her death. However, it explains to me why I have always felt such a connection to her, and an affinity to her writings. She wrote about what I cared about, and always with a sense of humor no matter how serious the situation. How to write about my favorite? I cannot pick one favorite but I can pick one of her books of essays. I Remember Nothing was published in late 2010 when she knew her illness was mostly likely terminal, a fact that she kept from her friends. It is a collection of essays about growing older, and of course they are screamingly funny. She seems to have “faced the thoughts of mortality unvarnished and boots forward” as described by Lisa Belkin. I couldn’t agree more. I read this book before she died so I did not know of her illness, but clearly remember the impact the essay “What I Won’t Miss” and “What I Will Miss” had on me. People my age reflect in this way whether we have good or bad health and it had such poignancy. I don’t think I need to say more except to show her list.”
“What I won’t miss.” Dry Skin. Bad dinner like the one we went to last night. E-mail. Technology in general. My closet. Washing my hair. Bras. Funerals. Illness everywhere. Polls that show that 32 percent of the American people believe in creationism. Polls. Fox TV.
“What I will miss.” My kids. Nick. Spring. Fall. The concept of waffles. Bacon. A walk in the Park. The idea of a walk in the park. The park. Shakespeare in the Park. The bed. Reading in bed. Fireworks. Laughs. The view out the window. Twinkle lights. Butter. Dinner at home just the two of us. Dinner with friends.
∼ Mary, Marshall Afternoon Book Club
Even if you don’t agree with all of Nora’s politics or takes on life, everyone can find something to appreciate in her open honesty, keen eye and sense of humor.
The Marshall Afternoon Book Club meets on the second Wednesday of the month at 1:00. We are currently selecting books for our 2016 book list. It promises to be another great year of reading. Come join us!
Deborah, Branch Manager, John Marshall branch library