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Crazy Salad: Some Things About Women (Modern Library Humor and Wit) PDF, ePub eBook


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Title: Crazy Salad: Some Things About Women (Modern Library Humor and Wit)
Author: Nora Ephron
Publisher: Published May 30th 2000 by Modern Library (first published June 1975)
ISBN: 9780679640356
Status : FREE Rating :
4.6 out of 5

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The classic Crazy Salad, by screenwriting legend and novelist Nora Ephron, is an extremely funny, deceptively light look at a generation of women (and men) who helped shape the way we live now. In this distinctive, engaging, and simply hilarious view of a period of great upheaval in America, Ephron turns her keen eye and wonderful sense of humor to the media, politics, bea The classic Crazy Salad, by screenwriting legend and novelist Nora Ephron, is an extremely funny, deceptively light look at a generation of women (and men) who helped shape the way we live now. In this distinctive, engaging, and simply hilarious view of a period of great upheaval in America, Ephron turns her keen eye and wonderful sense of humor to the media, politics, beauty products, and women's bodies. In the famous "A Few Words About Breasts," for example, she tells us: "If I had had them, I would have been a completely different person. I honestly believe that." Ephron brings her sharp pen to bear on the notable women of the time, and to a series of events ranging from Watergate to the Pillsbury Bake-Off. When it first appeared in 1975, Crazy Salad helped to illuminate a new American era--and helped us to laugh at our times and ourselves. This new edition will delight a fresh generation of readers. Contents: A few words about breasts.--Fantasies.--On never having been a prom queen.--The girls in the office.--Reunion.--Miami.--Vaginal politics.--Bernice Gera, first lady umpire.--Deep throat.--On consciousness-raising.--Dealing with the, uh, problem.--The hurled ashtray.--Truth and consequences.--Baking off.--Crazy ladies: I.--The pig.--Dorothy Parker.--A star is born.--Women in Israel: the myth of liberation.--The littlest Nixon.--Divorce, Maryland style.--Rose Mary Woods: the lady or the tiger?--No, but I read the book.--Crazy ladies: II.--Conundrum. Portions of this book have appeared in Esquire magazine, New York magazine, and Rolling Stone.

30 review for Crazy Salad: Some Things About Women (Modern Library Humor and Wit)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I found this in my mother's bookshelf when I was 12. It was a revelation -- writers could talk this way? About this stuff? They can publish books about breasts, and bake-offs, and vaginal deodorant? I loved everything about it -- the specificity of Nora's voice, intimate and New York and Jewish, the unflinchingly female topics, the implicit insistence that these were stories that mattered.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Arda

    My friend Hannah lent me this book a little over a month after the passing of Nora Ephron. "Skim through it," she said, "you might enjoy some of the essays. You don't have to read all of it." But of course Nora started this book with "A few words about breasts", and as soon as I finished reading that, I knew that I would read the book in its entirety, and quickly. Nora seems to be free of self-consciousness - she says it as it is without worrying too much about who will think what. This quality My friend Hannah lent me this book a little over a month after the passing of Nora Ephron. "Skim through it," she said, "you might enjoy some of the essays. You don't have to read all of it." But of course Nora started this book with "A few words about breasts", and as soon as I finished reading that, I knew that I would read the book in its entirety, and quickly. Nora seems to be free of self-consciousness - she says it as it is without worrying too much about who will think what. This quality is refreshing, and maybe even rare, seeing that she must have been in her early 30s when she wrote these essays in 1970s New York. What fascinated me most about her writing was that every time, no no, every.single.time, she knew exactly how to finish every.single.essay at just the.right.note. Are all these essays relevant to women? Do her conclusions stand the test of time? Did I identify with all the essays or have insight about the people she was talking about? The answer to all of these questions may be "no", but it really does not matter so much. I didn't know half the people she was talking about, I was not even born in those times, but I'm glad she took the time to give us a glimpse of what it must have been like in the early 70s, and to raise questions about women's lib and see how they translate to our personal lives, and to see that perhaps the more things change, the more they remain the same. * From 'A few words about breasts': "She [the boyfriend's mom] was, as it happens, only the first of what seems to me to be a never-ending string of women who have made competitive remarks to me about breast size. "I would love to wear a dress like that," my friend Emily says to me, "but my bust is too big." Like that. Why do women say these things to me? Do I attract these remarks the way other women attract married men or alcoholics or homosexuals?"

  3. 4 out of 5

    Meha Desai

    Hilarious! But I think its only for women. Not necessarily though. Men can read this book too but its too girl-y for me! And I could relate so much with Nora. Funny thing is that...I am always on with such sense of humor & do all these kind of stuffs everyday but somehow read & like Angst/Tragedy genre only! After reading this, I think I should start reading humor now! And there were few parts which did not even affect me in anyway, may be because it was time period issue! I am 90s kid &a Hilarious! But I think its only for women. Not necessarily though. Men can read this book too but its too girl-y for me! And I could relate so much with Nora. Funny thing is that...I am always on with such sense of humor & do all these kind of stuffs everyday but somehow read & like Angst/Tragedy genre only! After reading this, I think I should start reading humor now! And there were few parts which did not even affect me in anyway, may be because it was time period issue! I am 90s kid & 2k teenager so I might not get few points from an American in 60s to 80s era! Maybe...not sure though! My personal favourite chapter - Divorce, Maryland Style! I really found it funny but somewhere it was mix of emotions such as anger, sadness & hurt and that too ego hurt! #FunnyYetEmotional All in all, a good book!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Paula Johnson

    If you can get your hands on it, I recommend reading the original hardback/paperback issued in the seventies. You get all the essays in their completeness. Before reading this book, I was only familiar with Nora Ephron from Sleepless in Seattle and You've Got Mail. These essays, unlike the movies, are not schmaltzy in the least. They are sharply observant, acerbic, and very funny. I especially enjoyed her writings on the sixties/seventies women's movement. Although Ephron was a feminist and a supp If you can get your hands on it, I recommend reading the original hardback/paperback issued in the seventies. You get all the essays in their completeness. Before reading this book, I was only familiar with Nora Ephron from Sleepless in Seattle and You've Got Mail. These essays, unlike the movies, are not schmaltzy in the least. They are sharply observant, acerbic, and very funny. I especially enjoyed her writings on the sixties/seventies women's movement. Although Ephron was a feminist and a supporter of the movement, she was also clear-eyed about its many shortcomings (for example, she questions the efficacy of "consciousness raising" rap groups. Too often the "personal is political" devolves into useless navel-gazing.)

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lix Hewett

    This was going four-stars great (so many interesting anecdotes! pretty fascinating to see a woman's point of view on the women's lib movement as it was happening) until I got to the very last essay, which is filled to the brim with ignorant, unapologetic transphobia (from the author) and misogyny (from the transperson the article is about), which... well, really put a dampener on my feelings about the book. I'd have taken the rating all the way down to one or two stars save for the fact that thi This was going four-stars great (so many interesting anecdotes! pretty fascinating to see a woman's point of view on the women's lib movement as it was happening) until I got to the very last essay, which is filled to the brim with ignorant, unapologetic transphobia (from the author) and misogyny (from the transperson the article is about), which... well, really put a dampener on my feelings about the book. I'd have taken the rating all the way down to one or two stars save for the fact that this was written in the 70s, which isn't really much of an excuse at all.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kris Patrick

    Megan Daum recommended Crazy Salad when I saw her speak at Butler as part of their Visiting Writers Series last month. Ephron's influence on Daum's writing is evident. A good thing! Love their ears and eyes for social irony, and their habit of wrapping up essays with a tough question or a jewel of wisdom. Learning about Ephron's work as a feminist activist and thinker give me a new appreciation for Sleepness in Seattle and You've Got Mail. Her passing is such a loss. We could really use her wit Megan Daum recommended Crazy Salad when I saw her speak at Butler as part of their Visiting Writers Series last month. Ephron's influence on Daum's writing is evident. A good thing! Love their ears and eyes for social irony, and their habit of wrapping up essays with a tough question or a jewel of wisdom. Learning about Ephron's work as a feminist activist and thinker give me a new appreciation for Sleepness in Seattle and You've Got Mail. Her passing is such a loss. We could really use her wit and sense of humor to make sense of these interesting times...

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kaethe

    Crazy Salad - Nora Ephron Ephron amuses me, even if I don't always agree with her.   ***   It’s been a long time since I read this, which I’ve wanted to do ever since the recent Ephron buddy binge with Veronica. But I couldn’t find our copy. And then I did! It was a housekeeping miracle. These essays originally appeared in the early seventies for Esquire. So in turn, that ties back into the women’s college tour, and the Steinem emphasis of this spring. I say “our copy”, but it isn’t: it’s the Spouse Crazy Salad - Nora Ephron Ephron amuses me, even if I don't always agree with her.   ***   It’s been a long time since I read this, which I’ve wanted to do ever since the recent Ephron buddy binge with Veronica. But I couldn’t find our copy. And then I did! It was a housekeeping miracle. These essays originally appeared in the early seventies for Esquire. So in turn, that ties back into the women’s college tour, and the Steinem emphasis of this spring. I say “our copy”, but it isn’t: it’s the Spouse’s copy that he brought to the marriage. That makes this one of the reasons why I married him. The books and the feminist cred. Personal copy

  8. 4 out of 5

    Heidi Brydon

    The essay in this book called "Miami" is one of the best things I ever read, basically it details how Betty Friedan picked the biggest catfight of all Feminism with Gloria Steinem, basically because she was so much thinner and prettier than she was. I love that Nora Ephron told the truth about that, because it was that kind of behavior within Women's Groups at my own college that initially turned me off on the idea of calling myself a Feminist. I've changed on that, and I say, don't let the bitch The essay in this book called "Miami" is one of the best things I ever read, basically it details how Betty Friedan picked the biggest catfight of all Feminism with Gloria Steinem, basically because she was so much thinner and prettier than she was. I love that Nora Ephron told the truth about that, because it was that kind of behavior within Women's Groups at my own college that initially turned me off on the idea of calling myself a Feminist. I've changed on that, and I say, don't let the bitches keep you from being a Feminist. And I'm not being sexists, because you shouldn't let the bastards stop you from being a Feminist either! I'm so sad Nora Ephron is dead. I'm so sad I didn't know more about her until she died.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Daisy

    Just curious -- but it's not really my thing. In fact, in the 1983 Introduction to the 1975 Preface both by Ephron herself, she says, "Some of them seem dated--which is inevitable with magazine pieces; some of them that seem dated nonetheless have a kind of quaint historical value." Maybe the latter will come true with time. Steve Martin's Introduction to the Modern Library Humor and Wit Series is very funny however.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Martin

    I just finished “Nixonland” and needed a softer view of the early 1970s, though I don’t think that’s what I got. I believe that Ephron places herself in the tradition of Dorothy Parker, and I am so far convinced that this is deserved. However, where Parker’s era compelled her to write in a prose that is artful but removed, Ephron is able to write directly of her experiences. Perhaps this annoys her detractors, who wish that she were more like Parker. She does get in some good zingers, though. In I just finished “Nixonland” and needed a softer view of the early 1970s, though I don’t think that’s what I got. I believe that Ephron places herself in the tradition of Dorothy Parker, and I am so far convinced that this is deserved. However, where Parker’s era compelled her to write in a prose that is artful but removed, Ephron is able to write directly of her experiences. Perhaps this annoys her detractors, who wish that she were more like Parker. She does get in some good zingers, though. In reviewing a non-fiction exposé, “The Girls in the Office” she states that perhaps the only way to faithfully portray the lives of young working women in New York is as a B-novel, slightly sensational and vaguely condescending. She writes extensively about her ambivalence about certain aspects of the feminist movement. She states that Moses kept the Hebrews wandering for 40 years knowing that no one raised in slavery would be able to found a nation, and she relates this to the women of her generation. Her self-loathing about Wellesley 10-year reunion is quite moving as she concludes that searching and independent thought was bred out of her classmates at this most prestigious school. She provides terrific coverage of the 1972 Democratic National Convention in Miami, and observes the attempts of Betty Friedan to remain relevant and Gloria Steinem’s quest to be taken seriously as a leader. Ephron sees “Deep Throat” one night because it was the only film that no one in her party had seen, and she feeling upset by certain acts and implications in the film, but even more disturbed that all of the men in her group told her not to take it so seriously, that it was only a movie. She describes a consciousness raising group in which women were to look into a vagina, the better to know this part of the body which, Ephron notes in several essays, has been demonized throughout history. She writes of her belief in the idea of consciousness raising groups, and that she has heard about groups elsewhere accomplished their stated goals, but because of the self-disclosure encouraged by such groups, her own group descended into a soap opera of its members talking about their problems with their men. The book ends circa 1973, and is preoccupied with the women surrounding Nixon’s fall due to Watergate: dutiful daughter Julie Nixon Eisenhouer, loyal secretary Rose Mary Woods, and Martha Mitchell, the unstable but truth-telling wife of Nixon’s 1972 campaign director. These profiles examine the supportive (or not) roles of women near powerful men, and how they may feel compelled (or not) to present themselves unflatteringly to protect said men. I also enjoyed a review of the autobiography of Barbara Howar, a 1960s D.C. socialite who may have lived before her time, as her rebellious nature lacked direction or intent. I have read reviews of "Crazy Salad" that claim many of these topics are no longer relevant, or that they are primarily useful as a window into the early 1970s. I do concede that they are a great view into that era, but if you think that any of the issues discussed here have been resolved, you have not been paying attention.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Marissa Morrison

    I enjoyed this lively (though at times quite serious) collection of Ephron's columns from the 1970s. Ephron begins with several uninhibited pieces. In "A Few Words About Breasts," she reveals that insecurity about the size of her breasts is her self-defining characteristic. In "On Never Having Been a Prom Queen," she revisits the theme: "Once I had a date with someone who thought I was beautiful. He talked all night, while I--who spent years developing my conversational ability to compensate for I enjoyed this lively (though at times quite serious) collection of Ephron's columns from the 1970s. Ephron begins with several uninhibited pieces. In "A Few Words About Breasts," she reveals that insecurity about the size of her breasts is her self-defining characteristic. In "On Never Having Been a Prom Queen," she revisits the theme: "Once I had a date with someone who thought I was beautiful. He talked all night, while I--who spent years developing my conversational ability to compensate for my looks (my life has been spent in compensation)--said nothing. At the end of the evening, he made a pass at me, and I was insulted." Mostly this book focuses on the Women's Movement. Ephron identifies herself as a feminist and writes from inside the storm of early Women's Lib. At her Wellesley reunion, Ephron feels embarrassment on behalf of her fellow alums who are staying home to raise children ("housewives," in the parlance of 1972). She sympathizes with Gloria Steinem, found crying and feeling betrayed by George McGovern at the 1972 Democratic Convention. Eprhon issues a lengthy, detailed, and altogether wonderful condemnation of female deodorant spray. And, with open jaw, she observes women competing in the annual Pillsbury Bake-Off. Yet Ephron is unable to support all feminist efforts: she wonders what to say when reviewing a pro-woman book that isn't actually very good in one essay, and in another she recounts how joining a consciousness-raising group ruined her marriage. The later essays collected here, from the mid-to-late 70s, are more frivolous and less gripping than her earlier efforts. I mostly skipped the pieces where she summarizes the plot of "Upstairs, Downstairs" and the content of Gourmet magazine, adding her own opinions here and there. One thing that disturbed me about this book is Ephron's habit of criticizing real people by name. In one instance, she identifies her high-school boyfriend, Buster Klepper, as a pimpled, not "terribly bright" boy. I wonder what hapless Klepper and his mother (who also makes an appearance) did to deserve Eprhon's derision. Similarly, Eprhon ridicules Christine Turpin, newsletter editor for Eprhon's co-op building, for her journalistic efforts.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ben

    It seems terrible form to give this book a bad review, but here I am doing it. First things first: Nora Ephron was an amazing talent and hilarious voice. But if you're looking for a sampler of that wit that feels lively and relevant to today, I suggest you look elsewhere. "Crazy Salad" is not a collection that, for anyone born in the last 40 years, has aged terribly well. Though a few excellent essays transcend time, many of the rest feel so dated and trapped in their own historical era that you h It seems terrible form to give this book a bad review, but here I am doing it. First things first: Nora Ephron was an amazing talent and hilarious voice. But if you're looking for a sampler of that wit that feels lively and relevant to today, I suggest you look elsewhere. "Crazy Salad" is not a collection that, for anyone born in the last 40 years, has aged terribly well. Though a few excellent essays transcend time, many of the rest feel so dated and trapped in their own historical era that you half expect shag carpet to begin growing underneath your feet as you read it. (Want to read about the interpersonal dynamics between Bella Abzug, Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedan at the 1972 Democratic Convention? Don't worry - there are TWO essays in this collection that address this topic.) There is no question that Ephron was an incisive writer and razor wit and I don't doubt this particular collection read great when it was published in the 70s but I think this book begs some editorial deletions (and combination with other collections) to be interesting to a casual reader today.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Harriett Milnes

    These are a collection of articles written for Esquire magazine in 1972 - 74. She is a good writer; she sees themes in current event stories. But what I like most was the flash, no the jolt, of recognition of names I had once thought would never be forgotten and that I had not thought of in 40 years: Phillippe Halsman, the photographer of the jumping subjects, Alix Kates Shulman, Ti-Grace Atkinson, Gloria Steinem, Bella Apzug, Betty Friedan, Shirley Chisholm -- ok, maybe I have thought of some o These are a collection of articles written for Esquire magazine in 1972 - 74. She is a good writer; she sees themes in current event stories. But what I like most was the flash, no the jolt, of recognition of names I had once thought would never be forgotten and that I had not thought of in 40 years: Phillippe Halsman, the photographer of the jumping subjects, Alix Kates Shulman, Ti-Grace Atkinson, Gloria Steinem, Bella Apzug, Betty Friedan, Shirley Chisholm -- ok, maybe I have thought of some of them in 40 years. The Loud family, Jan Morris, the articles go on and on, a true picture of the early 70s. She also writes about consciouness-raising groups, and looking at one's own uterus with a plastic speculum. FDS. Bobby Riggs. Great book for women of a certain age.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Tori

    I feel so appreciative for all of the women who came before me that paved the way for women to have all of the options that we have today. I really enjoyed learning more about this period in history where so much change was taking place. Some of the essays seemed really irrelevant and didn't stand the test of time, but many of them were still very interesting to read. I learned aspects of the women's movement that I had never heard anything about before. A lot of the essays just happened to be w I feel so appreciative for all of the women who came before me that paved the way for women to have all of the options that we have today. I really enjoyed learning more about this period in history where so much change was taking place. Some of the essays seemed really irrelevant and didn't stand the test of time, but many of them were still very interesting to read. I learned aspects of the women's movement that I had never heard anything about before. A lot of the essays just happened to be written in the months just before and just after I was born, and it was really cool to read what was going on at that time.

  15. 4 out of 5

    NatFran

    I always enjoy the writing of Nora Ephron. After reading these articles, that notion was further confirmed as was the idea that I'm glad that I didn't have to live through the early 1970's. Though I think women's rights still have a long way to go in order to achieve true equality, it is clearly apparent that we have come such a long way already. This was an eye opening book for some who did not experience those days first hand.

  16. 4 out of 5

    nicole

    Continuing my tour de Ephron, specifically to read "The Girls in the Office" after reading three direct references. I felt as if this were a window into a particular moment in the women's movement, and history, and Ephron's life, one I enjoyed peeking through even if I didn't understand some of the references. I fell asleep a lot while reading this one, at odd times, face-deep into it, proclaiming it would only take me one day to finish. It took four.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Diem Le

    The amazing thing about these essays is that much of the commentary can be made today as when she wrote it in the 1970s. But otherwise it's too much of a hodgepodge and unfocused. A few great articles but too many "you had to be there" moments.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Li Sian

    Nora Ephron's contemporaneous review of the second-wave feminist movement is interesting in some ways and dated in others. Punctuated by occasional flashes of brilliance that appear much more consistently in her later work, I found this a compelling read mainly insofar as it provides a milestone in Ephron's writing career, and Nora Ephron is a writer I have come to care increasingly about since I read her other works ('I Hate My Neck' and 'Heartburn' especially). First, the datedness: I will conf Nora Ephron's contemporaneous review of the second-wave feminist movement is interesting in some ways and dated in others. Punctuated by occasional flashes of brilliance that appear much more consistently in her later work, I found this a compelling read mainly insofar as it provides a milestone in Ephron's writing career, and Nora Ephron is a writer I have come to care increasingly about since I read her other works ('I Hate My Neck' and 'Heartburn' especially). First, the datedness: I will confess to not care very much about feuds in the second-wave feminist movement. I have maybe a faint idea of who Betty Friedan was, and who the other one was, so why they fought and who was to blame is just not that interesting to me, though I have no doubt it was compelling at the time. The same goes to her (at the time) controversial evisceration of her alma mater Wellesley, which she described as having "turned out a generation of docile and unadventurous women". I'm sure the subject must have been very fascinating to some people deeper into the millieu. But: I didn't care. More seriously, there is an entire essay that is transphobic and gross so... this is a very strong reason to not read the collection. I'm putting this under 'datedness', because do I think second-wave feminism was deeply troubling for a whole host of reasons, including the trans-exclusionary ideology that was very common amongst its proponents? Yes. Do I think transphobia and claims about 'real womanhood' (adjacent to, eyeroll, 'universal womanhood') exist in contemporary social discourse and are people hurt by it now? Definitely!!! Either way, it's a cruel, cutting little essay and in this instance Ephron is certainly punching down rather than up for her beloved copy. The strengths: I thought that Ephron is at her joyous best when she digs into human follity. You saw it a little in her essays about Friedan and whoever else (I can't decide if it's my bad memory, or the forgettableness of the whole thing, that makes me not be able to remember), but again those did tend to lapse into 'and then X said' and 'Y did that'. Capitalising on those strengths, I liked: the essays about consciousness-raising, being a journalist versus a feminist, the piece about The Palm Beach Social, and Upstairs, Downstairs. And of course, because I've always said Ephron is at her best when she lets the pain wink through, the piece about her mother's mink.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Sierk

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Originally published in 1975, this book has captured second-wave feminism to a tee. Reading it 45 years after the events Ephron chronicles was at times hard as feminism still struggles to become intersectional. Identifying as an intersectional feminist myself, it was jarring, albeit not entirely surprising, to hear leading figures from the women's movement of the '70s say racist, homophobic, and transphobic things. For example, Betty Friedan distributing watermelon to the "natives" in Harlem. Ep Originally published in 1975, this book has captured second-wave feminism to a tee. Reading it 45 years after the events Ephron chronicles was at times hard as feminism still struggles to become intersectional. Identifying as an intersectional feminist myself, it was jarring, albeit not entirely surprising, to hear leading figures from the women's movement of the '70s say racist, homophobic, and transphobic things. For example, Betty Friedan distributing watermelon to the "natives" in Harlem. Ephron herself engages in this type of problematic rhetoric as she presents Lance Loud's sexual orientation as a liability and lambastes Jan Morris' gender identity in the final essay. At the same time, reading this book was disheartening as we struggle with some of the same issues 45 years later (e.g., women's reproductive rights, gender wage gaps, etc.). I especially found the essay about Julie Nixon Eisenhower to be interesting, due to its potential parallels to Ivanka Trump. On the other hand, it is good to see that fourth-wave feminism, as problematic as it still may be in its struggle with intersectionality, has made some inroads. Here's hoping that I read a book about 2018's events in the year 2063 and can criticize it the way I am this book now, saying look how far we've come!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    I can only wonder if Ms. Ephron felt a little regret about most of these essays later in life. We enjoyed the ones about herself, but as the collection went on, our enjoyment waned. It's not fun to read a feminist judge other women, really, to distill them into so little. And today, the final essay about transgender woman Jan Morris is particularly frustrating. It reads as though Ephron is offended that Morris could dare be happy with herself as a woman, when Ephron herself, was not. Nevermind t I can only wonder if Ms. Ephron felt a little regret about most of these essays later in life. We enjoyed the ones about herself, but as the collection went on, our enjoyment waned. It's not fun to read a feminist judge other women, really, to distill them into so little. And today, the final essay about transgender woman Jan Morris is particularly frustrating. It reads as though Ephron is offended that Morris could dare be happy with herself as a woman, when Ephron herself, was not. Nevermind that Ephron didn't fully recognize Morris as a woman.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Johanna

    Really 3.5 stars. I love Norah Ephron's sense of humor and writing skills, and this book shows them to advantage. However, it is a compilation of pieces she had written in 1973=74, and felt pretty dated. Universal truths and humor come through, but she writes about current events and culture and what was current in the early seventies is less compelling to me. Still, I'm glad I got this book along with "Scribble Scrabble" for a song through a Kindle deal.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Elena Potek

    Nora, as always, never ceases to make me laugh with her wit and her observations. This book, perhaps, was a bit dated in that she was writing about current events and seemed a bit more jadded than some of her other books. But all in all, I still very much enjoyed this book!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Christine Vranas

    This is a bit dated but an interesting read if you want to know what females in the 70's were thinking, especially with regards to the women's liberation movement.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Katherine Lavelle

    I love Nora Ephron - and I can't believe that she got away with writing so directly in the 1970s.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Melody

    I’ll be honest, I don’t think I would’ve read this - at least, I wouldn’t have made it the first Nora Ephron book I read - if I’d known it was just a collection of her articles, and quite a mish-mashed one at that (a book review here, op-ed there, investigative journalism, miniature biography, you name it…) But since it was in my queue, I went ahead anyway. As the title suggests, the articles aren’t without a common theme, but the quality and relevance varies wildly. The highlight for me was the I’ll be honest, I don’t think I would’ve read this - at least, I wouldn’t have made it the first Nora Ephron book I read - if I’d known it was just a collection of her articles, and quite a mish-mashed one at that (a book review here, op-ed there, investigative journalism, miniature biography, you name it…) But since it was in my queue, I went ahead anyway. As the title suggests, the articles aren’t without a common theme, but the quality and relevance varies wildly. The highlight for me was the one about feminine hygiene spray - a still highly relevant look at how companies create need for a possibly unnecessary product as part of their marketing. I found the ones about the women in Nixon’s life - his daughter and secretary - very interesting too. What I’ll also say is it became clear to me how much we could use a voice like Ephron’s again today as we come more and more dangerously close to absolutist thinking, especially when it comes to things like feminism. What I mean by that is neatly encapsulated in this paragraph from the article titled “Truth and Consequences”: “The problem, I’m afraid, is that as a writer my commitment is to something that, God help me, I think of as The Truth, and as a feminist my commitment is to the women’s movement. And ever since I became loosely involved with it, it has seemed to me one of the recurring ironies of this movement that there is no way to tell the truth about it without, in some small way, seeming to hurt it.” This slight ambivalence feeds into most of Ephron’s writing here, and I expect it’s why I’ve increasingly come to admire the movies that ultimately (with Julie and Julia, and her blu-ray commentary on that movie) led me to want to read her earlier prose. This mightn’t have been the best start on that, but It (even the last, most awkwardly dated, chapter about a trans woman) certainly didn’t put me off reading the rest of her work.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Aziza Aini

    A very interesting read. A collection of articles on women for a magazine in the 1970s. What I find fascinating are the issues brought up in each article - I had no idea people once were giving away free speculums to encourage women to do cervical examination on themselves! How people reacted to feminine hygiene spray as it first came out?! And 'crotch sprays'? When she wrote about the bitterness between Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem, it was clear whose side she was on but then she did try to A very interesting read. A collection of articles on women for a magazine in the 1970s. What I find fascinating are the issues brought up in each article - I had no idea people once were giving away free speculums to encourage women to do cervical examination on themselves! How people reacted to feminine hygiene spray as it first came out?! And 'crotch sprays'? When she wrote about the bitterness between Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem, it was clear whose side she was on but then she did try to be neutral or rather, look things from the other person's perspective. I think I liked it because she was honest about supporting one person but then not without showing us that she did try to understand the other's actions. There are of course, some articles that I don't feel comfortable reading. Felt like she was too harsh in criticising those people. I don't really read magazines so I'm not sure if such articles are a norm even now? When I was halfway through, I thought I like this book more than her other book; 'I Feel Bad About My Neck'. But I didn't finish this book (I stopped reading with 4 articles left) and I finished the other. Have I had enough of her writing? Or is it because I've got an exam coming up? Not too sure.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Rose

    This is marketed as a humor book, and it's not (although that's not to say that Ephron doesn't write with a sharp, wry sense of humor, because she does). What it is, is a book of essays, articles, and columns, from the 1970s, on feminism, women, culture, and personal experiences. The writing style is deeply engaging (I had a lot of trouble putting this book down), and I was deeply impressed with Ephron's sharp, unfailing honesty -- particularly as the topic she spends the most time being honest a This is marketed as a humor book, and it's not (although that's not to say that Ephron doesn't write with a sharp, wry sense of humor, because she does). What it is, is a book of essays, articles, and columns, from the 1970s, on feminism, women, culture, and personal experiences. The writing style is deeply engaging (I had a lot of trouble putting this book down), and I was deeply impressed with Ephron's sharp, unfailing honesty -- particularly as the topic she spends the most time being honest about is herself. But this book was also an eye-opener for me. I've always been aware of the fact that feminism has not been a long-running movement (which is why I find comments about "not needing feminism" anymore to be so silly, because: are you kidding me? You really think all the prejudices have been eradicated?? Please). But I had no idea things were quite ... quite the way they were for women as recently as the 70s. The 70s were yesterday, and getting a window into what it was like for women in the 70s was more than an eye-opener: it was something of a complete shift in my perspective. I consider myself a feminist in that I simply think men and women should be equal. (Craziness, right?) If you think the same -- and you find very-recent history to be as interesting as I do (I've been interested in the 50s-70s for years) -- give this one a try. It's funny, it's depressing, it's thought-provoking, it's infuriating ... and it's got a few moments of surprising poignancy. Great stuff.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Katie Marquette

    Some essays in this book were simply too topical for me to relate to, but it was incredibly enjoyable nonetheless. Filled with Ephron's distinctive witticisms and dry humor, this collection also has some very serious, very important insights about women and feminism. Before reading Ephron, I don't think I truly understood the magnitude of "the women's movement" during the 1970s - and just how much was changing for women at the time. Ephron tries to navigate the many contradictions of womanhood d Some essays in this book were simply too topical for me to relate to, but it was incredibly enjoyable nonetheless. Filled with Ephron's distinctive witticisms and dry humor, this collection also has some very serious, very important insights about women and feminism. Before reading Ephron, I don't think I truly understood the magnitude of "the women's movement" during the 1970s - and just how much was changing for women at the time. Ephron tries to navigate the many contradictions of womanhood during this time and, in my opinion, does so with grace and class. In an age of trigger warnings and an almost obsessive-like need to not offend anyone, Ephron's voice seems especially brave and honest. She does not flinch from uncomfortable subjects, or shy away from writing an unpopular opinion. She is upfront about her insecurities, her fears, even her prejudices. And I think - although I know many will disagree - her last essay on a transgender person is one of the more lucid, rational pieces I've read on the subject.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kirsten (lush.lit.life)

    With my teenage daughter finally interested in sampling some feminist literature I have been reviewing old favorites and doing a survey of what's out there so I can make better recommendations. This is one I'm sure would not interest her, but I am enjoying it. Many of the essays were written the year I was born and I am enjoying it as a historical time capsule from an accessible and balanced early feminist. I am not finding the essays side-splitting and some are quite crass, but it is a good rem With my teenage daughter finally interested in sampling some feminist literature I have been reviewing old favorites and doing a survey of what's out there so I can make better recommendations. This is one I'm sure would not interest her, but I am enjoying it. Many of the essays were written the year I was born and I am enjoying it as a historical time capsule from an accessible and balanced early feminist. I am not finding the essays side-splitting and some are quite crass, but it is a good reminder in many cases of how far we've come as well as a measure of how much stays the same. Her essays on the provenance of FDS (if you don't know what it is, you never read teen or young miss magazine in the 80's) and the Pillsbury bake-off remind me of essays by Susan Orlean, whom I love. Not for everyone, but a useful perspective in a survey of the movement. As with any compilation, the essays are not all equally fascinating.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Bridget Bonasoro

    The events may not be current and the times may seem radically different from today, but Nora Ephron has the ability to relate to you even after 40-plus years of separation. In Crazy Salad, a collection of essays written by Ephron in the 70's, she takes the time to find the hilarious nooks and unseemly crannies in every topic she tackles. The first essay, which starts the book, is titled "A Few Words About Breasts," and elucidates her feelings on womanhood and feminism as well as her own insecur The events may not be current and the times may seem radically different from today, but Nora Ephron has the ability to relate to you even after 40-plus years of separation. In Crazy Salad, a collection of essays written by Ephron in the 70's, she takes the time to find the hilarious nooks and unseemly crannies in every topic she tackles. The first essay, which starts the book, is titled "A Few Words About Breasts," and elucidates her feelings on womanhood and feminism as well as her own insecurities. The following essays highlight this ability to relate her own experience to the overarching politics of the seventies with the wit and conversational voice one would expect from a legendary writer. In addition to all of this, Ephron's essays function as a window into the feminist movement of the time. Through her eyes, we are able to understand how yesterday's struggles inform today's progress. It's history one would enjoy reading.

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