Ms. Randall edited the summary of Not Quite What I Was Planning Wednesday, December 2, 2009.
Short thrill—interesting book about memoir. Launched online by SMITH magazine, this book is a collection of six-word memoirs written by famous and ordinary people. The editors hoped to inspire, challenge and record in “a battle for brevity” the life stories of the masses. The editors explain the origin for the book’s premise, yet do not explain how they chose the memoirs included or who the memoirists are. Just like people’s personalities, the stories are diverse, creative and interesting. The graphic design makes this book even more appealing; it has numerous font types and sizes, varied background colors and a few photographs or illustrations throughout. The pictures correlate to the memoir on that page, yet there is no documentation that the photograph identifies the memoirist. There is no logical sequence to the memoirs included or laid out within the book. It does seem as if popular authors’ memoirs were featured with their own page or larger font. Emotional passages stand out in bold font, while romantics speak through curvy script. Even the book’s cover in its bold black, red, yellow and white colors make the book stand out. This book will appeal to many, as its passages are short and sometimes shocking or sad. Due to the language however, it should be reserved for senior high or college libraries. Writers mention sex, alcohol, and at times, comment by cursing. Teachers can take worthwhile samples and present the idea of a six-word memoir to younger students, but should be aware of the older content. It’s difficult to read this book and not think of your own six-word memoir. Short thrill—need I say more?