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What Are Woman at Midlife Reading This Summer?

June '12

When I contemplate summer reading, I cannot help but think of Nora Ephron – its sad to think of a world without this talented woman whose wit and wisdom infused our culture for so many decades in such a variety of forms. Years ago, I had the privilege of a front row seat for her Wellesley Commencement address.

Right before this event, I met Nora at a gathering in her honor. (Forgive my use of her first name, but her work is so wonderfully personal, I just can’t help it.) We were standing side by side, sipping some kind of beverage on a very overcast day. As she gazed around at the guests assembled to greet her, she made an hysterically funny, sardonic remark, which pushed the laughter right out of me and immediately lifted the gloom of the day.

Regretfully, I don’t remember her words or their context; I only recall the sheer delight she created. According to recent commentary, this gift of elevation very much characterized her as a person and as a friend.

In Nora’s honor, I thought it might be fun to ask what you are reading, or plan to read, this summer. Picture yourself sitting on the beach, or lazing in a hammock, or gently rocking on your front porch with book or tablet in hand; what opus are you scanning? Please share it with us. Titles and authors are most welcome, and if you want to add more than that – all the better!

Since Nora wrote and directed some of my favorite movies – most recently Julie & Julia – why not add a great summer movie you’ve seen, or expect to see? We can all benefit. And while I think of it, perhaps there are magazine articles, or essays that have grabbed your attention of late. Nora wrote those too. Here’s my contribution for summer reading (just in case you missed it): “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All” – the widely discussed essay by Anne-Marie Slaughter in The Atlantic.

I’ll end with a heartfelt toast to Nora Ephron. Here’s to a woman of monumental talent, superb wit and accrued wisdom, who had the guts to share every bit of it with us! And if perchance you’re hankering for a copy of her Wellesley Commencement address just ask.

Meanwhile, I’m itching to see those titles!


  1. Cathryn said on June 30, 2012:

    Thanks for another thought-provoking post. I just read Nora Ephron’s commencement speech at Wellesley and was reminded how far women have come since she graduated in the early ’60s, and also since she gave the commencement address in 1996. Her humorous words express some important ideas.

  2. Bonnie said on June 30, 2012:

    Thanks Cathryn!
    Perhaps the importance of those ideas embedded in her humor was a secret to her success.

  3. Margaret said on June 30, 2012:

    I have a fond memory of going to see Julie and Julie with you. (You had loaned me the book!)

  4. Bonnie said on July 1, 2012:

    Me too, Margaret!

  5. Anne Gothro said on July 5, 2012:

    Just finished “Nightwoods” by Charles Frazier. Awesome storyteller. Had just started “Angle of Repose” by Stegner, when the Supreme Court ruling on the ACA came in, so I have switched over to the excellent briefs by various justices on the constitutionality of Obamacare… fascinating stuff for discussion.

  6. Bonnie said on July 5, 2012:

    Hi Annie!
    Good to hear from you and thanks for the book recommendation!
    I was able to download it onto my iPad from my local library, so will be reading it soon.

  7. Tricia said on July 7, 2012:

    The book club I am in have enjoyed Molokai by Alan Brennert and One Thousand White Women by Jim Fergus. Both are fiction, loosely based on facts. These are my two personal favorites in the past few months.

  8. Bonnie said on July 7, 2012:

    Hi Tricia!
    Thanks for sharing these book titles. It’s so much fun to receive new ideas for summer reading! And aren’t book clubs wonderful?

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