Tuesday, July 5

OTR: The Secret Lives of Men and Women compiled by Frank Warren

(the other books out so far are: PostSecret, My Secret, and A Lifetime of Secrets. These are also recommended)

So, this week I went down to DC to visit my older brother. Seeing as I’m incapable of doing anything in the real world, I decided not to check a bag for the flight and just do the whole ‘two carry ons’ thing. So, of course, with the clothes and other items necessary for my four day trip there wasn’t much room left for my library books. Consequently, I found myself perusing my brother’s rather limited bookshelves when I got down to his condo. What I found? A lot of books on WWII, business, and then… a gold mine.

My brother owns three of the four PostSecret books compiled by Frank Warren. These are books filled with secrets people have sent in, anonymously, to Frank. Some of them were disturbing – like, OMFG. Others were funny, sad, cute, uplifting… It was a book loaded with emotion. It was a quick read, and also a pretty one seeing as the book is done in an artsy fashion – like a collage. I’ve read the books he owns twice now. What is so compelling about these people secrets? Some of them are the same as yours.

Sometimes we feel very alone – that our burden is too much to carry, our secrets too heavy for us too bear. We don’t have the courage to tell anyone, yet the silence is suffocating. When I read these people’s secrets, I think of my own – and I feel better. I also feel connected. We are not alone in our secrets, humiliations, fears, desires. Even if no one shares your secret in the entire book, there are so many secrets out there suffocating people and starving them of life. You look around and you say – these are the secret thoughts of America. It’s enlightening, scary, saddening. But it’s a touch to your soul. I don’t even know how to describe it. I’ve read those books three times over in three days.

Reading other people’s secrets can make your own seem not so bad. It might give you the courage to do something about your own secret. It might make you laugh, cry, and thank God you don’t have any secrets (or not, if you’re atheist). A lot of these secrets can make your burden feel… lighter. A lot of them might even help you with what you’re struggling with in life. This is a great book – its moving and so… powerful.

Favorite quotes:

(on a card that reads: This heart is wheelchair accessible) They think I stayed out of guilt and pity, but I did it because he’s still as strong, smart & funny sitting as he was standing … it’s also why I asked him to marry me.

I love peeing in public so whenever I go on vacation… I look for new & exciting places to PEE!!

I believe worry there is no love for me. (when I wrote “believe” I realized I still had a little hope.)

Every year on June 4th I slow dance alone to the same song… while pretending to hold the baby I miscarried.

Bottom Line: Great book filled with the secrets of America. It can make you laugh, cry, smile, and most importantly, it shows us we are not alone in our secrets.

Pages: 144
Published: January 1, 2007
Genre: Non-Fiction

1 comment:

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