Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Top 5 books I always leave my own secrets in

"For sale: baby shoes, never used."
- Ernest Hemingway

There's a story behind today's post quote. Apparently, Ernest Hemingway's friends bet him that he couldn't write a story in six words. He did, they paid up, and so the six-word memoir was born. Once upon a time, a few years ago, I read one of Frank Warren's Postsecret books and the Smith magazine Six-word memoir series (which were inspired by Hemingway, hence the quote) and discovered that a few people had left secrets/memoirs of their own inside it. I was fascinated. They were heartfelt, a little sad, a little hopeful, and a whole lotta poignant. I decided to return the favour and do the same. And so I grabbed a pen and some note paper and sat down to write one secret. Some six or seven secrets later (all in different coloured pens and on different coloured bits of paper because that's how I roll), I realised how incredibly freeing it felt to do such a thing. Cathartic, even. As a result, every year I request all of the books listed below and I re-read them. Every single page, probably twice over, and I pore over the artwork and its attached confession. Looking for meaning. Looking to see how it fit/related to the author's secret. And once I've re-read them, I then write out a secret/memoir for each title and slip it into the book. Am I concerned that people may know which secrets are mine? Not particularly. Sometimes, I think secrets - or the nature of them - lose their power to hurt or sting or hold you back or stop you from looking ahead with hope when you set them free. And yes, I'm fully aware of how dorky that sounds, but I don't think that makes it any less true. These books are particularly good when you're feeling in a reflective mood. (Or if you're slightly voyeuristic, and perhaps I'm both). So read them. They really are that good. And maybe, just maybe, you'll feel like you can share your anonymous words, too. I hope so.

Also try:

  • It all changed in an instant : more six-word memoirs by writers famous & obscure / from Smith magazine ; edited by Rachel Ferschleiser and Larry Smith
  • I can't keep my own secrets : six-word memoirs by teens famous & obscure : from Smith magazine / edited by Rachel Fershleiser and Larry Smith
    One life. Six words. What's yours? True tales of love, loss, good friends, and bad hair days filled Not Quite What I Was Planning , the New York Times bestselling first book in the Six-Word Memoir series--and an international phenomenon. Some of the most compelling were by teens, so now SMITH Magazine has compiled a book written entirely by these bold, brash truth-tellers. From cancer to creativity, prom dates to promiscuity, and breaking hearts to breaking laws, the memoirs in this collection reveal that often the youngest writers have the most fascinating stories to tell. Met online; love before first sight. Hair's pink to piss you off. I fulfilled my awkwardness quota today. I'm seventeen, engaged, and not pregnant. My mom had my boyfriend deported. Late for school every single day. According to Facebook, we broke up.

    PostSecret : extraordinary confessions from ordinary lives / compiled by Frank Warren
    A fascinating, addictively compelling look at people's deepest secrets, told through anonymously submitted postcards. Frank Warren is the founder and curator of the Postsecret project. For the project, which was started in October 2004, Warren asked people to write a secret they had never told anyone on a handmade postcard and mail it to him. He then displayed selected cards, the authors are anonymous on his website, www.postsecret.com. The response was overwhelming, and the cards are astonishing in their honesty and creativity. Each card bears an intimate, powerful, or even chilling sentiment, told through handmade illustrations, photographs, collages, and other creative means. Among the thousands of amazing cards Warren received are the following messages: "Sometimes when I'm having sex with my wife I'm thinking of my mom..." "I waste office supplies because I hate my boss." "I am a Southern Baptist pastor's wife. No one knows that I do not believe in God."

    Not quite what I was planning : six-word memoirs by writers famous and obscure / edited by Rachel Fershleiser and Larry Smith
    Deceptively simple and surprisingly addictive, Not Quite What I Was Planning is a thousand glimpses of humanity--six words at a time. One Life. Six Words. What's Yours? When Hemingway famously wrote, "For Sale: baby shoes, never worn," he proved that an entire story can be told using a half dozen words. When the online storytelling magazine SMITH asked readers to submit six-word memoirs, they proved a whole, real life can be told this way too. The results are fascinating, hilarious, shocking, and moving. From small sagas of bittersweet romance ("Found true love, married someone else") to proud achievements and stinging regrets ("After Harvard, had baby with crackhead"), these terse true tales relate the diversity of human experience in tasty bite-sized pieces. From authors Jonathan Lethem and Richard Ford to comedians Stephen Colbert and Amy Sedaris, to ordinary folks around the world, everyone has a six-word story to tell.

    Postsecret : confessions on life, death, and God / Frank Warren
    For the past four years, Frank Warren, known as "the most trusted stranger in America," has invited people all over the world to send him creatively decorated postcards bearing secrets they have never before revealed. He has shared these PostSecrets on his blog, in an internationally traveling art exhibit, and in four electrifying and bestselling books: PostSecret , My Secret , The Secret Lives of Men and Women , and A Lifetime of Secrets . Warren's fifth book presents a never-before-seen collection of the most personal PostSecrets he's ever received'those dealing with life, death, and issues of faith and belief. The book lays bare the confessions of people at every stage of life, from every major faith (or from no faith). Warren's latest collection of secrets is his most profoundly moving yet.

    Six-word memoirs on love & heartbreak / by writers famous & obscure from Smith magazine ; edited by Rachel Fershleiser and Larry Smith
    Love wounds the heart and soul . . . From the editors of the New York Times bestseller Not Quite What I Was Planning comes another collection of terse true tales--this time simple sagas exploring the complexities of the human heart. Six-Word Memoirs on Love & Heartbreak contains hundreds of personal stories about the pinnacles and pitfalls of romance. Brilliant in their brevity, these insightful slivers of passion, pain, and connection capture every shade of love and loss--six words at a time.

    1 comment:

    Anonymous said...

    Thankyou for your recommendations! I would never have known these books exist! I have reserved three of them.