Posts Tagged ‘Nora Ephron’

Here’s how bad my memory is. I thought I had already blogged about that new book by whats-her-name. You know. The essayist and screenwriter I’ve adored for years, ever since she was The Wallflower at the Orgy. Crazy Salad. Scribble, Scribble. Once called Julie Nixon a chocolate-covered spider. Heartburn. When Harry Met Sally. Sleepless in Seattle. You know. Recently felt bad about her neck. Now more reflections on getting older. Same last name as my friend Seth only spelled differently. Ephron! Nora! Nora Ephron!

I think I may have met her once at some Knopf publishing thing, or maybe we just talked on the phone when I was doing a story on the reissue of Noel Streatfeild’s Ballet Shoes and Theatre Shoes, which I read and reread as a kid and which Meg Ryan raved about in You’ve Got Mail. But after reading her new collection — the aptly titled I Remember Nothing — I’m almost positive that Nora Ephron won’t recall any conversation we might have had. After all, this is a woman who was surprised to run into her sister at the mall and didn’t even recognize her at first. Well, maybe her sister changed her hair. No, the whole reason Nora was at the mall was to meet her sister.

I hope she doesn’t mind me calling her Nora. Even if we haven’t talked — although I really don’t think I would have imagined it, her being kind of an idol of mine — I feel we’re on a first-name basis. I so relate to so much of this new book, although between “Google” moments (such a better name than “Senior” moments) and lupus fog, I may soon forget which parts.

Oh, “My Life as an Heiress,” in which Nora recounts how she and her sisters expected a large legacy from their Uncle Hal, reminded me of when a great-uncle I never knew died when I was high school or maybe college. He’d been in the state mental hospital for years and years because of “brain fever,” and died without a will, so his share of his father’s estate went to his many siblings and their descendants, including my mother. But like Nora, she never entered the “the fifth stage of inherited wealth: Wealth.”

And how could I not identify with “Journalism: A Love Story” ? Nora recalls working all hours of the night and into the morning as a mail girl at Newsweek. “It was exciting in its own self-absorbed way, which is very much the essence of journalism: you truly come to believe that you are living in the center of the universe and that the world out there is on tenterhooks waiting for the next copy of whatever publication you work at.” So true. Even if that publication is your own occasional blog.

Some of these essays are mainly lists or short paragraphs. Amusing, but I prefer the more substantive, such as “My Life as a Meat Loaf.” I wish I’d had had the chance to dine on Nora’s Meat Loaf at Monkey Bar before Larry Forgione changed the menu and recipe. Larry Forgione? Do I know him? I know I know the name. Wait, wait. It will come to me, but maybe not until the middle of the night or next week or never. Might as well Google it now.  Aha! He’s the new Iron Chef. I just saw him win the title last month on the Food Network.

Speaking of food, I agree with Nora when it comes to pie.

Open Book: I hope that if I ever meet Nora Ephron again, I recognize her. Maybe we can compare Arubas. I bought my copy of I Remember Nothing (Knopf) according to my credit card statement.

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My mother’s been visiting for three days and already has read four books, two of which — Kathy Reichs’ Spider Bones and Nicolle Wallace’s Eighteen Acres — are still on my TBR list. As for me, I finished re-reading Dennis Lehane’s Gone, Baby, Gone and the terrific new sequel, Moonlight Mile, but haven’t gotten around to blogging about them because I’ve been too busy reading about books.

Some days are like that, I told a class of UCF journalism students last night. I spend the day on the net, which is the now and future of book reviewing and reporting, as every article on the nervous state of publishing seems to believe. I start my morning with the wonderful  “Shelf Awareness,” which appears in my inbox, along with the recommended “The Daily Dose” from Powell’s Books, then move on to Facebook and Twitter. I update the nook’s Daily and check out bn.com’s Deal of the Day.

 Today, after reading reviews of the newspaper novel Rogue Island in the Washington Post and Antonia Fraser’s Must You Go, about her marriage to Harold Pinter, at NPR, I downloaded samples of both books to the nook for further consideration. Those samples joined about a dozen others. I pre-ordered Nora Ephron’s new collection. I checked in on some of my favorite blogs and commented on a post on “Moby Lives” about judging book awards. I took a survey on NPR’s book coverage. While at the NPR site, I listened to Lev Grossman, author of The Magicians, reading from one of my all-time favorites, T.H. White’s The Once and Future King, which I reread a couple months ago. (Even as the new books stack up, I’ve vowed to do more reading from my older books, shopping my shelves, so to speak).

I signed in at NetGalley and spent awhile looking at what books are coming out in early 2011. I entered a book giveaway contest sponsored by Crown Publishing on Facebook because The Black Apple’s Paper Doll Primer reminds me how much I like playing with scissors if I ever stop reading long enough to do some art projects. I saw the New York Times “Paper Cuts” blogged about John Fowles’ The Tree, which I wrote about last week. The old reporter in me rejoiced at my “scoop.”

Then I looked at the TBR stack that Mom has been whittling away on. I picked up John le Carre’s Our Kind of Traitor, read three pages and fell asleep — not because the book is boring but because I needed one of my twice-daily naps. Mom kept on reading. And she’s reading now, although I’ve assured her that she can take the book home with her to S.C. in the morning. I’ll read it when I come up in December.

I started writing this because I couldn’t bear watching election results. A friend has just called with condolences. Time to go to bed. Like the sun, the TBR books will be there in the morning. Tomorrow is another page. . .

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