Thursday, October 18, 2012

Our October-November 2012 Cook the Books Selection: Heartburn by Nora Ephron


As Deb (Kahakai Kitchen) announced recently, Cook the Books co-founder Joanna (Food Junkie Not Junk Food) has stepped out of her role of co-host, and Heather of girlichef and I (Simona of briciole) have stepped in. For my inaugural hosting, I am pleased to announce a book that had been on my to-read list for a while: Heartburn by Nora Ephron (1983).

As you may know, American journalist, essayist, playwright, screenwriter, novelist, producer, director Nora Ephron passed away a few months ago. When the sad news of her death became known, many articles were published celebrating her life and achievements, so readers who may have been only vaguely familiar with her work (maybe by having seen the movie When Harry Met Sally, which she wrote and produced, or Sleepless in Seattle, which she wrote and directed) became more aware of the wide span of her creative work.

In the novel Heartburn (loosely based on the author's marriage to famed Watergate journalist Carl Bernstein), Ephron tells the story of the unraveling of Rachel Samstat's second marriage after she discovers that her husband is in love and having an affair with another woman. Samstat is a successful cookbook author and her narrative is sprinkled with recipes. 

Ephron's sparkling style and humor propel the story forward until the last page. I won't reveal any more details about the novel (in particular about its ending), but will finish with a nice quote from the book:
Vera said: “Why do you feel you have to turn everything into a story?”
So I told her why.
Because if I tell the story, I control the version.
Because if I tell the story, I can make you laugh, and I would rather have you laugh at me than feel sorry for me.
Because if I tell the story, it doesn’t hurt as much.
Because if I tell the story, I can get on with it.

I’ll be back soon to announce our judge for this round. To join the fun, all you need to do is obtain a copy of Heartburn, prepare a dish inspired by the book and then blog about it by Monday, December 3rd (please note the extended deadline to account for the Thanksgiving holiday in the US). You can leave a comment below to let me know that you have written your post or email me at simosite AT mac DOT com

16 comments:

Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez said...

I absolutely adore Nora Ephron books and have been holding on to my copy of Heartburn (not yet read) - looking forward to this round!

Foodycat said...

This is the first time I've read anything by Nora Ephron but I am hooked!

Ana said...

Never read a Nora Ephron book although I've seen the movies and I love them all. I really admire Ephron also, and I was sad to hear of her passing. Will be there on December 3rd.

Simona said...

Great to see all of you excited about the book. I am looking forward to seeing what you come up with. And I should start planning my post too.

Pierce said...

I had just finished her book I Am Sorry About My Neck and she died shortly thereafter. Looking forward to Heartburn.

Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez said...

Tina, I Feel Bad About My Neck... is my absolute favorite book by her. So. Funny! =)

Rachel said...

Just finished reading Heartburn and enjoyed it very much. It gave me a nostalgic feel for NYC in the 80s. I'll have to get thinking about some inspiring cooking and blogging for my post.

DaniD said...

Love this choice and can't wait to read it...and get back into the cook the books club :) have missed you guys!

Simona said...

Tina and Heather: you got me curious, so I added that title to my to read list. Thanks!

Looking forward to your contribution, Rachel.

Great news, Danielle. We are glad you'll join us this month.


Debra Eliotseats said...

New website looks great. And, thank you for extending the deadline. :)

cantbelieveweate said...

I'm sorry I didn't enjoy the book more...I think it's just me. Still...I had it read in no time flat, and started playing with those 3 minute-4 minute eggs!
http://cantbelieveweate.wordpress.com/2012/11/18/cook-the-books-heartburn-4-minute-eggs/

Simona said...

You are welcome, Debra.

No need to apologize, Glennis. I am glad the reading went quickly anyway. I'll come over to take a look at your eggs.

Simona said...

Here is my contribution: http://briciole.typepad.com/blog/2012/11/zimino-fagioli-bean-mushroom-chard-soup.html

Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez said...

Here is my submission, Simona: http://www.girlichef.com/2012/11/BaconHash.html Thanks! =)

Simona said...

Thank you, Heather! Have a great weekend.

Simona said...
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