the guardian Tue 13 March 2012
In "Journalism: A Love Story", the highlight of this collection of essays (including a number of what might generously be called "jottings"), Ephron describes starting her career at Newsweek in Mad Men-era New York. Moving from mail girl to "the next stage of girldom", clipping newspaper stories, Ephron was "quickly assured" that women didn't become writers. She did, of course, becoming an Oscar-nominated screenwriter. That she is now using that hard-won power to publish fluffy lists of things she will and won't miss when she is dead (yes to pie, no to panels on Women in Film) is dispiriting, and there are too many pieces that read like the US version of Grumpy Old Women ("The Six Stages of E-mail", for example, serving as a grim reminder that Ephron was also responsible for You've Got Mail). Luckily these lapses are saved by the fact that Ephron's observations are sharper than most, and her accounts of her mother's descent into alcoholism and her own tussle with ageing give this collection some much-needed substance.