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Book Review: Crazy Salad and Scribble Scribble: Some Things About Women and Notes on Media by Nora Ephron

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The essays in Crazy Salad and Scribble Scribble: Some Things About Women and Notes on Media, offer us two best-selling books that stand the test of time. For those who may be new to Nora Ephron’s writing, the wit and wisdom of her world as a New York journalist remains fresh and funny.

Ephron’s newer books, I Remember Nothing and I Feel Bad About My Neck also ring true for those of us who read her books since the 1970s, and now find that we’ve aged along with her, until her death earlier this year. Through the years, her work continues to combine self-deprecating humor with in-your-face facts about many of life’s annoyances.

In this re-issue, you’ll enjoy her opinions on everything of interest to women. She tackles feminism, fantasies, politics and society. Only a few pieces seem dated, such as “The Girls in the Office” where women were sometimes objectified or victimized by men in the corporate world of the seventies.

During the era of consciousness raising, in 1973, Ephron was part of an ongoing group formed to help women recognize oppression in their lives. Her humor especially shines when covering an event as a journalist, while candidly offering her own point of view, such as the piece on the hilarious reality of covering the Pillsbury Bake-Off.

The essays in Scribble, Scribble, leave us missing Ephron’s point-blank honesty, attacking and poking fun at everyone and everything that caught her attention. She always pulled it off with a humor that never dies. Her take on the media, pre-social media, is equally relevant today, when celebrity news, political gaffes, and tasteless jokes circulate faster than truth.

Since both Crazy Salad and Scribble Scribble were long out of print, with this re-issue, Nora Ephron leaves us with a nice cultural history of the second half of the 20th century. Even after her death, her essays remind us to laugh at ourselves and to speak out.

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About Helen Gallagher