One-Minute Book Reviews

March 3, 2011

Women, Age and Hollywood – Quote of the Day From Tracey Jackson’s ‘Between and Rock and a Hot Place: Why 50 Is Not the New 30’

Filed under: Quotes of the Day — 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom @ 2:52 am
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Screenwriter Tracey Jackson talks about women in film and television in her new Between a Rock and a Hot Place: Why Fifty Is Not the New Thirty (Harper, 287 pp., $25.99):

“In Hollywood 30 is considered 80, especially where women are concerned. This attitude tends to affect actresses first, but the second group on its hit list is usually writers, particularly those who write comedy, a genre not very friendly to women to begin with. …

“As in every profession, there are exceptions to the rule, and one of the biggest exceptions, if not the biggest, is that if you are a superstar in your field by the time you are 50, you can skid forward to at least 60. … You can run down a list of women in their 50s and 60s in top jobs, but I promise you every one of them was a superstar in her world by no later than 45. The general consensus seems to be that if you haven’t made it by then, the chances are you aren’t going to, so why keep you around?”

August 11, 2007

More Essays for People Who Like ‘I Feel Bad About My Neck’

Filed under: Essays and Reviews — 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom @ 9:44 pm
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Just found out that Nora Ephron’s publisher has come out with a new paperback edition of her essay collection Wallflower at the Orgy (Bantam, $12, paperback), which I didn’t mention in my post earlier this week, “Essays for People Who Like I Feel Bad About My Neck” www.oneminutebookreviews.wordpress.com/2007/08/09/.

So Wallflower at the Orgy might be easier to find than the Modern Library Edition of her Crazy Salad, which I did mention. The reprint also has an article on the late-20th-century gods of food, including Craig Claiborne, that relates directly to an essay in I Feel Bad About My Neck. But Wallflower at the Orgy deals heavily with media and publishing celebrities whose stars have dimmed, such as Arthur Frommer, Mike Nichols and Helen Gurley Brown. So you might still prefer the essays in Crazy Salad, which show their age less clearly. The writing in both books easily beats almost anything you’ll find today in a typical issue of People or Vanity Fair.

(c) 2007 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.

August 9, 2007

Essays for People Who Like Nora Ephron’s ‘I Feed Bad About My Neck’

Nora Ephron has reintroduced a lot of people to the pleasure of personal essays with I Feel Bad About My Neck, still a bestseller a year after its publication. What can you read next if you liked that book? A few suggestions:

Crazy Salad: Some Things About Women (Modern Library, $12.95, paperback), by Nora Ephron.
Crazy Salad is, some ways, better than I Feel Bad About My Neck. Many of its essays appeared in a column on women that Ephron wrote for Esquire, and the security of that perch allowed her to take on bigger subjects and dig deeper into them than she has been able to do more recently. The most memorable essays in Crazy Salad include “A Few Words About Breasts” (about having small breasts) and “Baking Off” (about the Pillsbury Bake-Off).

My Misspent Youth: Essays (Open City, $14, paperback), by Meghan Daum.
Born in 1970, Daum is a generation younger than Ephron, and some of her subjects reflect it: Internet dating, her loathing for wall-to-wall carpeting, and her pile of student-loan and credit-card debt. But like Ephron, she has a gift for blending reporting, self-analysis and satire. Some critics call Daum a snob for insisting on, for example, the superiority of hardwood floors to carpeted. It would more accurate to say that, like Ephron, she has perfected a comic shtick that at times involves turning her tastes into dogmas or neuroses in print. www.meghandaum.com

Slouching Towards Bethlehem: Essays (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $14, paperback), by Joan Didion.
This is Didion’s best collection and perhaps her finest book of any kind. Most of its essays were written more than four decades ago, when they became benchmarks for what has become known as the New Journalism. But some anticipate recent fads such as “journaling” (“On Keeping a Notebook”) and blaming misbehavior on “low self-esteem” (“On Self-Respect”), though words like “journaling” and “low self-esteem” would no doubt make Didion gag.

To read a review of I Feel Bad About My Neck, click on this link www.oneminutebookreviews.wordpress.com/2006/10/14/. To find the reading group guide to I Feel Bad About My Neck, click on this link www.oneminutebookreviews.wordpress.com/2007/03/20/.

© 2007 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.

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