Last week I went to the library and took out the following books: Nora Ephron's I Feel Bad About My Neck, Meghan Daum's My Misspent Youth, and Joan Didion's Where I Was From. You guessed it: I'm on a ladies nonfiction kick.
I arrived at the library knowing exactly what I wanted to take out. I had done the research from home, and so this was a speedy pick up, drop off for me. I was thrilled that they had these books because I'd been yearning for a few good essays.
Nora Ephron is a longtime favorite of mine. In fact, after reading her essays I was enticed to re-read her all time classic, Heartburn.
Let me take a moment to celebrate Heartburn. I love that book. That witty, pithy, concise little masterpiece has gotten me through more than one harsh breakup. I highly recommend it to anyone who thinks their love life is in the dumps; nothing could be worse than being 7-months pregnant and discovering that your famous journalist husband is cheating on you (this is an admittedly thinly-veiled account of the dissolution of her marriage to famed Watergate reporter Carl Burnstein). Read it! Then watch the movie with Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson. Also fabulous.
Meghan Daum is a notch more serious, but I'm making my way through it. I also enjoy her writing, but basically her writing - her life - brings back too many painful memories: she writes about working in publishing. Anyone thinking of taking a job in publishing (magazines OR books) should first see her essay "Publishing and Other Near Death Experiences." Read it! But then you can't say no one told you.
Joan Didion's book might be the most serious of the bunch, but after reading A Year of Magical Thinking I'm not sure I'm ready for more Didion quite yet.
In the meantime I'm also re-reading Wife, by Meg Wolitzer, and a new collection of stories just given to me: Twin Study, by Stacey Richter (very good so far).
Look what happens when you go to the library! I couldn't believe I walked out of there that night with a pile of books I considered paying for before I realized I could get them for free just a few blocks away. If you are not going to your local library for reading material, you deserve... heartburn.