You Don't Look Your Age: And Other Fairy Tales by Sheila Nevins

You Don't Look Your Age: And Other Fairy Tales

For readers of Nora Ephron, Anna Quindlen, and even Lena Dunham, comes a collection of stories and essays about what women of a certain age have learned sometimes the hard way.In You Don t Look Your Age, Sheila Nevins has put together an incredibly surprising, funny and poignant collection of short stories, essays, and poetry that, taken together, tell not only her life st...

Title:You Don't Look Your Age: And Other Fairy Tales
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:1250111323
Number of Pages:192 pages

You Don't Look Your Age: And Other Fairy Tales Reviews

  • Sheralee

    The author admits things most women wouldn't. An amusing take on life and it's complications real or imagined. Definitely from a privileged point of few. Hard to relate to if you aren't rich with extra money to throw around.

  • Holly

    I received this book for free, via Goodreads giveaways, in exchange for an honest review.

    I did enjoy some of this book. It was well written, and I feel it was honest. I can't relate to most of it though, as I have not experienced, some of these things, and am quite certain that some of them I never will experience. I guess I am relatively young compared to the women who bared their souls for this book. I am from a time where things are more fortunate. I will never have to make a choice between

    I received this book for free, via Goodreads giveaways, in exchange for an honest review.

    I did enjoy some of this book. It was well written, and I feel it was honest. I can't relate to most of it though, as I have not experienced, some of these things, and am quite certain that some of them I never will experience. I guess I am relatively young compared to the women who bared their souls for this book. I am from a time where things are more fortunate. I will never have to make a choice between sleeping with someone and furthering my career. Nowadays, women can do that based on their merit, not their vagina. I also know for certain, that when I am in my 60's I will be fine enough with that to not get a face-lift, nor will I try to fool cab drivers into thinking i'm pregnant at that age. I am not judgmental of these women for their actions at all, I just know I'm capable of more than that, and I'm not vein. Life is about more than how tight my skin stretches across my skull.

  • Jen

    If you want to read about Sheila's nevins documentary career then this is not the book for you. This book is an eclectic mix of short stories and poems. The stories take you through a variety of emotions , from laughing out loud to crying and everything in between. My favorite story was Teddy, about her sons pet hamster, I couldn't stop laughing and she made you feel like you were actually in the room with them. If you are looking for something a little different then I highly recommend this boo

    If you want to read about Sheila's nevins documentary career then this is not the book for you. This book is an eclectic mix of short stories and poems. The stories take you through a variety of emotions , from laughing out loud to crying and everything in between. My favorite story was Teddy, about her sons pet hamster, I couldn't stop laughing and she made you feel like you were actually in the room with them. If you are looking for something a little different then I highly recommend this book.

    I feel lucky that I was able to read a galley copy of this book - can't wait to hear the audio book!

  • Hank Stuever

    Personal essays and poetry (floetry?) and stories from the legendary Sheila Nevins, the queen of documentary film production. You should know that Sheila and I have a thing -- as the Washington Post's TV critic, I occasionally write reviews of the HBO documentaries she oversees (I review some of them, not all of them) and she is either happy or, when I don't like a film, necessarily protective and willing to push back. I love that. Which is how I came to enjoy corresponding with her over the yea

    Personal essays and poetry (floetry?) and stories from the legendary Sheila Nevins, the queen of documentary film production. You should know that Sheila and I have a thing -- as the Washington Post's TV critic, I occasionally write reviews of the HBO documentaries she oversees (I review some of them, not all of them) and she is either happy or, when I don't like a film, necessarily protective and willing to push back. I love that. Which is how I came to enjoy corresponding with her over the years. Trust me, it's totally professional, but when I get an email from her, I often have the thought that she should write a book. And she has, and it's a fun and heartfelt read, kind of in the tradition of Nora Ephron. Readers who want something more like a straightforward memoir or who are hoping to get her thoughts and wisdom on making films might be let down; people who enjoy a good conversation with a deeply curious and sharply observant woman, however, will be delighted.

  • Megan Johnson

    When Meryl Streep says she loves something, I generally take that as a sign that it is almost definitely worth looking into. So when I had the opportunity to get an early book at "You Don't Look Your Age" by Sheila Nevins, I saw that Meryl Streep had already been singing it's praises and jumped on the oppportunity.

    Now, I don't know much about the author, Sheila Nevins. I know that she's most well known for her work on documentaries, and that in the documentary field she's regarded as one of the

    When Meryl Streep says she loves something, I generally take that as a sign that it is almost definitely worth looking into. So when I had the opportunity to get an early book at "You Don't Look Your Age" by Sheila Nevins, I saw that Meryl Streep had already been singing it's praises and jumped on the oppportunity.

    Now, I don't know much about the author, Sheila Nevins. I know that she's most well known for her work on documentaries, and that in the documentary field she's regarded as one of the best. Beyond that, there weren't any lightbulbs that went off upon hearing that she had authored this book. After reading it, however, I feel like I have (perhaps too much) greater insight as to who she is and why she decided to step out from behind the camera and put together this collection.

    "You Don't Look Your Age" is a collection of stories that read like personal anecdotes and free-form poetry. If that sounds a bit like an interesting mix - you'd be exactly right It was a bit weird jumping from what reads like a memoir to something more poetic, but it works and eventually you get into a bit of a rhythm in terms of reading and get used to it. It's easy to breeze through these little stories and tid-bits, seeing as even the longest ones don't span more than a few pages, making this one of those books that you can read alongside of another, when you only have a few minutes here or there, or all at once.

    If you were to ask me how I would describe this book in one word, I’d have to go with “honest.” It’s a raw look at aging and getting older. There are stories of growing up, stories of aging beyond those around you, and stories from the memories of years in between. In terms of audience, this means that there’s something in there for everyone regardless of age or place in life. Don’t worry though, even if you’re on the younger end of the aging spectrum, there’s still a lot of wisdom packed between these covers.

    Plus if Meryl says you should read something, you should probably listen.

    I’m not sure that this one will be topping my list of books for this year, but it’s definitely one I’m glad I took the time to read through. It’s insightful and entertaining in a sometimes painfully honest way which is a great break from fairy tales and other things that have been crossing my list recently.

    If you’re in the 50+ year age range, this one is going to speak to you especially, and I’d recommend it to you even moreso than I would others my age. That being said, anyone who wants an honest and real look at the things we go through in life should pick this one up. I found myself skimming through some parts that didn’t resonate especially well with where I currently am in life, and still I found that there was a lot to be gained from the parts that I devoured.

  • Marthe Bijman

    With reference to the title of her new biography, Sheila Nevins does indeed not look her age, which is 78 years. When I saw her interview with Charlie Rose on PBS, I was struck by how beautiful she is. She was also funny, self-deprecating, and sharp as a blade, so I immediately ordered her new book,

    , published two days ago. It is a very short, slight production and, contrary to Nevins’ stated intent, reveals only the well-disguised, carefully curated

    With reference to the title of her new biography, Sheila Nevins does indeed not look her age, which is 78 years. When I saw her interview with Charlie Rose on PBS, I was struck by how beautiful she is. She was also funny, self-deprecating, and sharp as a blade, so I immediately ordered her new book,

    , published two days ago. It is a very short, slight production and, contrary to Nevins’ stated intent, reveals only the well-disguised, carefully curated thoughts and back-stories that Nevins, who has spent her career behind the scenes as a producer of documentaries for HBO,

    to reveal.

    The subjects that she does introduce are what one could expect from a woman of her age and with her career. It is not a tell-all emotional outpouring or gut-spilling disclosure. It is not a complete biography or autobiography (it’s classified as “Women’s Biography” on Amazon and I’d call it a memoir) and on the Copyright page it has a Fiction Disclaimer. Yet, in the Foreword,

    , Nevins states:

    “Why a book of true and sad and sometimes silly essays?…All of these years, the subjects in my films have given me their stories. Now it’s my turn. I am now at that age where I feel as if I can say what I want; I have no reason to hold back. So, finally, here are my stories.”

    Despite that, the very next line reads “Is this what it feels like to spill it all out?”, and, contrary to her guarded assertion, the book is a contradiction of her stated intent.

    I came to the conclusion that the format and writing style, as well as the “Fairy Tales” in the title, are purposely used as distancing techniques and to prevent a “spilling of the guts”. Many of the chapters are written as 3rd person anecdotes, brief and with a sharp ending, like Roald Dahl’s short stories for adults. And then there is the free verse, which I found more prosaic than poetic, even though some are about subjects that she is passionate about, like her friend Larry Kramer. And there are not many chapters where she writes as “I” and that are truly revealing, without hiding behind humour.

    Some of what she wrote about the role of women in the workplace, and the glass ceiling, resonated with me.

    and

    were witty chapters, and I suppose, true to life. Even so, this is not a light version of a self-help book for professional women.

    I can think of tens of biographies and autobiographies of famous women that have given more insight into the minds of their subjects than this book. But I guess she is famous and beautiful enough, especially in the rarefied worlds of New York politics and entertainment, that any morsel of self-expression is highly valued. Or perhaps this sort of “misdirection” is a New York thing. Perhaps they call it “being discreet”. Or perhaps she intended the reader to reread it often and give it much more thought – as indicated by the broken, and hence inscrutable, mirror on the cover of the book.

    A few times in the book I had to smile, but mostly I was bothered that it is just not very deep writing. This book could have been so much more, in every respect, from the bland cover design to the poetry, and the editing. (For more on this book, go to

    )

  • Jennifer

    is a fantastic collection of 45 personal essays/memoirs written by

    . They are incredibly honest, with some being highly emotional but most just flat out hilarious. This is a collection I will be re-reading anytime I need some validation from a strong woman about aging, the various roles we fill, or life in general. Seriously, check it out!

    Note: I listened to the audiobook version of

    and it

    is a fantastic collection of 45 personal essays/memoirs written by

    . They are incredibly honest, with some being highly emotional but most just flat out hilarious. This is a collection I will be re-reading anytime I need some validation from a strong woman about aging, the various roles we fill, or life in general. Seriously, check it out!

    Note: I listened to the audiobook version of

    and it was superb. Listed below are the titles of each short-story/essay and the audiobook narrator. You may recognize a name or two ;)

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  • Carol (Bookaria)

    This is a collection of short stories and essays about aging, women in the workplace, frenemies, cosmetic surgery, dieting, infidelity, benzos

    and life in general. The tone of the book is

    .

    I listened to the audiobook which is narrated by a "full cast" including Christine Baranski who I love from the TV show

    , Kathy Bates who is

    on everything, Glenn Close, Katie Couric, Whoopi Goldber

    This is a collection of short stories and essays about aging, women in the workplace, frenemies, cosmetic surgery, dieting, infidelity, benzos

    and life in general. The tone of the book is

    .

    I listened to the audiobook which is narrated by a "full cast" including Christine Baranski who I love from the TV show

    , Kathy Bates who is

    on everything, Glenn Close, Katie Couric, Whoopi Goldberg, Gayle King, Diane Lane, RuPaul, Gloria Steinem, Martha Stewart, Meryl Streep, and the author, among others (I have listed the entire cast at the end of this review).

    I found some of the stories

    , others not so much. One of my favorite chapters was

    . This story was narrated by Martha Stewart and includes advice such as

    and

    , these rules come with an explanation in the book and were meant to be humorous as well as frighteningly accurate.

    Overall

    and listened to it in audiobook format. I recommend it to fans of Norah Ephron and people who enjoy observations from a sharp woman.

    Cynthia Adler, Alan Alda, Bob Balaban, Christine Baranski, Kathy Bates, Ellen Burstyn, Glenn Close, Katie Couric, John Henry Cox, Blythe Danner, Lena Dunham, Edie Falco, Tovah Feldshuh, Diane von Furstenberg, Whoopi Goldberg, Gayle King, Diane Lane, Sandra Lee, Judith Light, Jenna Lyons, Audra McDonald, Janet Mock, Sheila Nevins, Rosie O’Donnell, Jean Richards, RuPaul, Liz Smith, Lesley Stahl, Gloria Steinem, Martha Stewart, Meryl Streep, Marlo Thomas, Lily Tomlin, and Gloria Vanderbilt.

    Review also posted on

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