45 Books in 2018 Post Script #47: I’ll Have What She’s Having By Erin Carson

love Nora Ephron. I think I’ve made that pretty clear over the years. I love watching her movies, and reading her writing and eating food that she recommended in various articles and interviews.

I chose to live in Montclair, NJ because I started hanging out at shows at the Wellmont Theater when I was 19 and the town always reminded me of Nora’s vision of the Upper West Side, full of well dressed witty people drinking coffee and rushing to homey delicious restaurants. I based an entire college writing project around I Feel Bad About My Neck. The night Carrie Fisher died, my sister and I curled up on the couch with glasses of wine and watched When Harry Met Sally for the zillionth time, remembering everything perfect about it. I don’t have cable anymore, but when I did, I would watch You’ve Got Mail whenever I stumbled on it. Julie & Julia is my go to writer’s block movie and inspired me to actually learn how to cook.

So what’s the point of this preamble? As I wandered through the library in the town I chose in large part because of this woman, and I wandered through the film and theater section of the stacks I spotted the lovely purple spine and grabbed at it. A book! About Nora Ephron’s  movies and how important they are! Yes please!

Reading Erin Carson’s charming oral history of When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless In Seattle and You’ve Got Mail was wonderful. Full of stories about Nora, all that fit with her image in my mind. Describing her fight to get the movies to be what she envisioned (even Harry Met Sally which she didn’t even direct) shooting in New York, Baltimore and Seattle, not approximating them in a studio, and making films that are outrageously feminist by simply having female leads that have jobs, inner lives and human flaws. And of course, Meg Ryan’s perfection in embodying them didn’t hurt.

I love Tom Hanks just as much as any other red blooded American, so hearing about what a mensch he is never fails to make me happy. Seriously, that’s what this book was, a happiness book.

Up next is Second by Brian Lee O’Malley. I love Scott Pilgrim, will I love this? Who knows!


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