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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman

For our first-ever Interactive Book Discussion Guide we asked our readers to supply discussion questions for a book. Thus questions 1-3 below are from the publisher and the rest of the guide has our readers' suggested questions along with the names of the participating groups to whom they are credited.

1. In, "What I Wish I'd Known," Nora Ephron lists things that she wishes She had known when she was younger. Were there any entries that were particularly resonant for you? Which ones, and why? Is there anything that Nora left off that you would like to add? Would your list look similar to hers?

2. Many of Nora's essays deal with food, and, in fact, she describes her forays into culinary cooking as a "love affair." Why do you think she uses this phrase? Food is particularly connected with memory in Nora's view.
Does food trigger memories for you? What kind?

3. Nora's essays are filled with humourous anecdotes regarding "maintenance." However, there's an edge to this humor. What comment do you think that Nora is making about the place of "women of a certain age" in society? Discuss.

4. Nora Ephron seems to imply that one should approach the "maintenance" of aging with some degree of acceptance of the inevitable - even humor.  Why do you think the majority of women in this society feel it is psychologically more difficult to age "gracefully" than, say, women of 50 years ago?
--- Sandra Bray of the Sister's Bookclub  About their Club: Sister's Bookclub (we're not all sisters, but 4 members are) all are approaching or already at the crucial stage in our lives where we have to worry about adopting Katharine Hepburn's turtleneck cover-up ploy for wrinkled neck and jowls, or Diane Keaton's gloved hands for age spots.

5. Do you intend to have any "nip/tuck" work done? If so, why? If you have had work done, why did you do it, and did you achieve the results that you wanted? --- Lois Hobart from the book club, Estrogen on Estes, in Chicago.

The following questions are from Susie Fintz from the Women of CBE Book Club that she used during their discussion.

6. What unusual item do you carry in your purse and why? How often do you change your purse and why?

7. What is your favorite cookbook and why?

8. Are you high maintenance or low maintenance (ie hair, nails, unwanted hair, exercise, skin)

9. Have you ever been too vain to wear glasses? If yes, has your vanity caused you any problems?

10. Do you think your children were born with their personalities or were they a product of their environments?

11. Would you have been in love with the Anthrop like Nora was? Have you ever been so drawn to a house/apartment that you over paid (either purchased or rented)?

12. What would be on your list of where you live? (i.e. Nora's list is 1. NYC 2. Apartment 3. Neighborhood 4. At her desk 5. In the kitchen)

13. Is there any food (like cabbage strudel) that you love that has disappeared?

14. What do you wish you had known earlier in life?

15. What 'life questions' do you have? (Some of Nora's are: "Should you live every day as if it's your last or should you save money on the chance you'll live twenty more years?", " Is life too short or is it going to be too long?" and "Should you work as hard as you can or should you slow down to smell the roses?")

I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman
by Nora Ephron

  • Publication Date: August 1, 2006
  • Genres: Essays, Humor
  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf
  • ISBN-10: 0307264556
  • ISBN-13: 9780307264558