Sunday, December 28, 2014

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NY1 teams with contributors from The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, New York Magazine, and Essence Magazine to review the latest books and book-related trends.

The Book Reader: ‘The Most of Nora Ephron’

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Parul Sehgal of The New York Times Book Review reports for NY1 on newly released book titles and the world of publishing in "The Book Reader."

This week let’s look at “The Most of Nora Ephron,” a collection of writing by the beloved essayist and screenwriter who died last year.

The volume includes essays on feminism and food, her novel, “Heartburn”; a movie script, “When Harry Met ¬Sally . . . ”; and a play, “Lucky Guy.”

It’s 577 pages and contains only a tiny sliver of her prodigious output. As her son pointed out, in the last six years of her life, while battling leukemia, she still “wrote 100 blog posts, two books and two plays, and directed a movie.”

All of her work seems to be an effortless blend of philosophical and prosaic; a typical passage might go, “Do you splurge or do you hoard? Do you live every day as if it's your last, or do you save your money on the chance you'll live twenty more years? … And where do carbohydrates fit into all this? Are we really all going to spend our last years avoiding bread, especially now that bread in American is so unbelievably delicious?”

The book was reviewed for the New York Times Book Review by Gail Collins, a Times op-ed columnist and friend of Ephron’s. Collins pointed out that while Ephron was often compared to Dorothy Parker, “What really interested her, for all her clever writing about food, politics and overcluttered purses, were matters of the heart. She is the exact opposite of Dorothy Parker. She is wit without cynicism, the ultimate romantic.”

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