Not Quite What I was Planning edited by Smith Magazine

03 Dec Not Quite What I was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure

Edited by: Smith Magazine

Publisher: Smith Magazine 2008

Genre:  Nonfiction — Memoirs

Pages: 243

Rating:  5 / 5 stars

Reading Challenges: Dewey — 920s; Fall into Reading

How I Got It: Library loan

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 to proud achievements and stinging regrets, these terse true tales relate the diversity of human experience in tasty bite-sized pieces.

Such a slim volume filled with great and not-so-great lives.  I sped through this, but loved every minute of it.  Upon finishing, I went back and reread some of my favorites.  Some of this are great expressions of joy, some are tragedies in few words.  I didn’t initially understand the power six words could have, but I am now a convert.  This is an amazing project.  One I will be revisiting in the future.  Here are my top ten choices (in no particular order):
  • Fourteen years old, story still untold. — David Gidwani
  • Time heals all wounds?  Not quite. — Jonathan Miles
  • Now I blog and drink wine. — Peter Bartlett
  • I take photographs.  I see life. — Daniel James
  • Hiding in apartment knitting against depression. — Laurie White
  • Oh sweet nectar of life, coffee. — Daniel Axenty
  • I colored out of the lines. — Jacob Thomas
  • Woman with man’s name–thanks, parents. — Curtis Sittenfeld
  • Well, I thought it was funny.  — Stephen Colbert
  • Can’t read all the time.  Bummer. — Rina Bander
And after much debate, here’s mine:  Still grieving for a lost life.
Check out more at the website Six Word Memoirs.
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Posted by on December 3, 2012 in Book Reviews


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