Herself, when she felt "bad about my neck."
Her movie characters, when Harry met Sally and fell in love.
Nora made business funny as she made all of us, her many friends and millions of fans, more human.
I remember bumping into Nora in November of 2007, at a breakfast with her good friend Arianna Huffingtron. Amazon (AMZN) CEO Jeff Bezos had just announced a new product called the Kindle, which Nora had read about and decided was "an homage to books without in any way promising their extinction." She had immediately ordered three Kindles for herself and her two sons.
Weeks later, Nora told me that the Kindles never arrived. She was annoyed and cranky--emotions that Nora wore better than the rest of us--so I invited her to write about her woes in Fortune. She delivered "Me and My Kindle" about the e-reader she never got. After we published her essay, we bought Nora a Kindle.
Nora was the sharpest and smartest writer-director out there. She could take a stick a butter and make an amusing story out of it--and maybe a delicious souffle too. Here's what Nora wrote in 2009 when I asked her to tell us "The Best Advice I Ever Got.":
Never put tomatoes in the refrigerator.
Location, location, location.
Life is too short.
Never run for a bus.
Don't learn how to iron or someone will make you do it.
Don't eat anything that's not worth eating.
You know as much about investing your money as they do.
Yelling at your children is no more effective than speaking softly.
Marry a man who was unhappily married to his first wife for 17 years.
Get a dog.
We'll miss you, Nora. RIP.
"You can always do what you should do if you're willing to put in the time and energy to develop a new set of skills. If you only extend into places where your skill sets serve you, your skills will become outmoded."
- Amazon.com (AMZN) CEO Jeff Bezos in "Amazon's Next Revolution," the Fortune cover story that hits newsstands today. My colleague Jeff O'Brien uses Bezos' newest big venture, the Kindle, MOREPatricia Sellers - Jun 1, 2009 6:51 PM ET
by Esther Wojcicki, journalism teacher and newspaper adviser at Palo Alto High School
Reading the newspaper these days makes me sad about journalism. "The American Press on Suicide Watch" was the headline of Frank Rich's New York Times column this past Sunday. "Legendary brands from the Los Angeles Times to the Philadelphia Inquirer are teetering," Rich said, adding that the New York Times Co. (NYT) might shutter the Boston Globe. Maureen MOREPatricia Sellers - May 13, 2009 1:53 PM ET
When I arrived at Pace University at 9:30 this morning in lower Manhattan, the line was already snaking down the side of the building. The crowd, gathered to witness the announcement of a third version of Amazon's (AMZN) Kindle electronic reader, was feverishly tapping at gadgets galore and every so often stepping out of line to take camera phone shots of the assembled group. It seemed their excitement had gotten MOREJessica Shambora, Writer-Reporter - May 6, 2009 3:57 PM ET
I'm an optimist. Always have been. So take with a grain of salt--or sugar, perhaps--these signs of hope across the board:
1. Maybe print isn't dead. My new Kindle 2 makes me think that even though we may not be reading magazines and newspapers on paper a decade or two from now, long-form stories and beautiful page design can endure. (My Monday Postcard, "Amazon: Thinking beyond the Kindle," stirred debate about MOREPatricia Sellers - Apr 3, 2009 1:45 PM ET
We love companies that underpromise and overdeliver. Apple (AAPL) is one. Another is Amazon.com (AMZN). Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos thrives on overdelivering.
I had my own Jeff Bezos multimedia experience last night as I sat in my living room and played with my new Kindle 2 while watching Bezos on the Charlie Rose show. (Click here to see the show from late February--yes, I was playing DVR catchup.) The Amazon MOREPatricia Sellers - Mar 30, 2009 3:07 PM ET
It was, to steal a Malcolm Gladwell term, a "tipping point" in my outlook on the cratering economy. I call it my "That Girl" moment.
It was the fourth Monday in November last year. I was at a Thanksgiving party at the home of Cathie Black, the president of Hearst Magazines. Marlo Thomas was there, too. "Saks is selling shoes for 75% off. It's incredible!" TV's onetime Ann Marie was crowing, MOREPatricia Sellers - Feb 27, 2009 1:01 PM ET
"This does not attach directly to my brain?"
-- Jon Stewart to Amazon (AMZN) CEO Jeff Bezos on Tuesday's Daily Show on Comedy Central (VIAB). Amazon's Kindle 2 began shipping today to customers, many of whom have been waiting for months. The device sold out before Christmas for the second year in a row. When Bezos told Stewart he could download any book in 60 seconds or less, Steward feigned misunderstanding MOREJessica Shambora, Writer-Reporter - Feb 24, 2009 6:53 PM ET
"It isn't as though the two things—books and the Kindle—are in conflict. It's like peanut butter and chocolate. When you put them together, you get a whole new taste treat."
-- Best-selling author Stephen King at a press event announcing the Amazon Kindle 2 in New York City on Monday. King's comments underscore what Amazon.com (AMZN) CEO Jeff Bezos has said since the Kindle, an electronic book reader, was introduced in MOREJessica Shambora, Writer-Reporter - Feb 9, 2009 6:27 PM ET
Simplicity wins. This is the message that I'm taking away so far at Fortune's Brainstorm Tech here in Half Moon Bay, California.
To frame the themes of this year's powwow -- which opened Monday afternoon with Michael Dell (DELL) and Amazon (AMZN) CEO Jeff Bezos (pictured right) -- my colleague David Kirkpatrick asked participants what is the most exciting technology innovation of the last 12 months. The most popular answer: the iPhone. That MOREPatricia Sellers - Jul 22, 2008 2:44 PM ET
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