Black Swan, 2008 (2006)
*Never marry a man you wouldn't want to be divorced from
*If the shoe doesn't fit in the shoe store, it's never going to fit
*When your children are teenagers, it's important to have a dog so that someone in the house is happy to see you
*Anything you think is wrong with your body at the age of thirty-five you will be nostalgic for by the age of forty-five
*The empty nest is underrated
*If only one third of your clothes are mistakes, you're ahead of the game.
About a quarter of the way into this, I commented on Goodreads that it made me want to read everything Ephron had ever written, and I stand by that assessment. This book is a collection of essays on a range of topics, from the title essay (musing on women's appearance as they get older) to other essays covering having children, finding the right handbag, being faithful to a cookery book and falling irrationally in love with the place you live.
All of these essays are wry, funny and wonderfully honest. There is also a wonderful short essay on the joys of reading, and the excitement of finding that elusive book that is not only good, or great, but the kind of book you don't want to let go. For me, this was one of those books - the kind of book you want to devour and savour all at the same time.
“Reading is everything. Reading makes me feel like I've accomplished something, learned something, become a better person. Reading makes me smarter. Reading gives me something to talk about later on. Reading is the unbelievably healthy way my attention deficit disorder medicates itself. Reading is escape, and the opposite of escape; it's a way to make contact with reality after a day of making things up, and it's a way of making contact with someone else's imagination after a day that's all too real. Reading is grist. Reading is bliss.”
It's a short book, and it became my 'commute book' for the week I was reading it. Opening it up on the train to work each morning was like spending fifteen minutes with your smartest, funniest, most truthful friend, and it will forever be one of those books I now give as a gift to any of my real-life smart, funny friends who didn't already get it for Christmas.
Overall rating: 10/10
Book source: Borrowed from the library.