Nora Ephron Season
November 27, 2023

What She’s Having: Audiobooks for Nora Ephron Season

Erin Murphy By Erin Murphy

Nora Ephron was a prolific journalist, a whip-smart essayist, and a filmmaker whose catalog seems to have been made precisely for the time between October and January. Thus: we are smack dab in the middle of Ephron season.

If you’ve already done your annual re-watches, allow us to suggest audiobook pairings for some of Nora’s most beloved films. The snappy dialogue and neurotic, lovable characters that make up the Ephron calling card are all here–you’ll just have to close your eyes to envision the chunky sweaters, diners, and pre-war apartments.

If you love When Harry Met Sally

You, Again by Kate Goldbeck

In the same way Sally Albright and Harry Burns have the bad-kind-of-tension-filled college road trip, when Ari and Josh first meet, they hate each other. Instantly. But years later, a chance encounter leads to a surprising connection: friendship. It’s better than romance. Until one night, the unspoken boundaries of their platonic relationship begin to blur. Like When Harry Met Sally, You, Again is a (spicy!) story of modern love, friendship, and the just-right person who has been there all along.

If you love Heartburn

Heartburn by Nora Ephron

Listen: how can one compare anything to Nora’s film about a painful uncoupling when the dishy novel the movie is based on is right there? With an audiobook narrated by star of the film, Meryl Streep? One can’t, and they shouldn’t try.

In Heartburn, an inspired confection of adultery, revenge, group therapy, and pot roast, Ephron reminds us that comedy depends on anguish as surely as a gravy depends on flour and butter.

If you love You’ve Got Mail

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

Is there anything, anything more Nora Ephron than an expertly crafted email? The answer is no, and if you are a devotee to You’ve Got Mail, you know that a perfect email is the gateway to love, even if what follows IRL is messy.

In Attachments, internet security officer Lincoln is supposed to turn people in for misusing company e-mail, but he can’t quite bring himself to crack down on Beth and Jennifer, who spend all day sending each other messages, baring their personal lives like an open book. But by the time Lincoln realizes he’s falling for Beth, it’s way too late for him to ever introduce himself. After a series of close encounters Lincoln decides it’s time to muster the courage to follow his heart . . . even if he can’t see exactly where it’s leading him.

If you love Julie & Julia

Love & Saffron by Kim Fay

Creamy risotto alla Milanese. Mussels in a hot, buttery broth. Chicken spiced with cinnamon and cloves. Young food writer Joan Bergstrom and seasoned (sorry) columnist Imogen Fortier understand the key to a savored life—delicious food. When Joan sends a fan letter to Imogen with an enclosed packet of saffron and a recipe, their journey of culinary exploration and soul-deep friendship begins.

While the friendship in Love & Saffron is heartier than that of Julia Child and Julie Powell, what endures is their (and Ephron’s!) belief that food and love can sustain us during our darkest hours.

If you love Sleepless in Seattle

It’s Not All Downhill From Here by Terry McMillan

We know Sleepless in Seattle: a young boy calls in to a radio program looking to find his widower dad, Sam, a new wife. Sam gets on the line, and Annie, who has been listening in, falls in something like love.

In It’s Not All Downhill From Here, at a different stage in life, Loretha Curry’s full life is upended when she experiences an unexpected loss. Loretha will have to summon all her strength, resourcefulness, and determination to keep on thriving, pursue joy, heal old wounds, and chart new paths. Sleepless in Seattle and It’s Not All Downhill From Here are both reminders that there’s life after tragedy, and that everyone deserves all their chances.

If you love Bewitched

This Spells Disaster by Tori Anne Martin

In Nora Ephron’s take on Bewitched, a disgraced movie star plans to make his comeback in a remake of, you guessed it, Bewitched (it is so meta up in here). When up-and-comer Isabel is cast as Samantha, it becomes clear it was an accidental typecast: Isabel really is a witch gunning for more screen time, which she gets with a sneaky little love hex.

In This Spells Disaster, potion maker and self-proclaimed “messy witch” Morgan worries that the feelings brewing between her and her crush, Rory, were sparked by an accidental love potion. To break the spell, she’ll  have to prove how incompatible she and Rory really are. For a screwup like her, ruining their relationship should be easy—except every day, Morgan is becoming more bewitched by Rory herself.

Bonus: Essays written and read by Nora Ephron

Because who could say it better?