Idgiepug’s #CBR4 Review #37: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure Edited by Rachel Fershleiser and Larry Smith
I picked up this book at the conference a couple of years ago, and I like to pull it out and re-read it every so often. I found myself with some Sustained Silent Reading Time at school this year and with no book to read, so I grabbed this off my shelf and read it again. It’s perfect for our reading time because we only have these little 20-minute units three times a week, and Not Quite What I Was Planning was easier for me to bookmark and walk away from than a novel. The book is, as the title suggests, a collection of six-word memoirs sent in to Smith magazine. If you’ve ever set yourself to the task of saying something significant about your life in exactly six words, you’ll really appreciate the memoirs gathered here for their insight, humor, and tragedy. These writers, both the “Famous” and the “Obscure,” manage to convey something meaningful in their six words. Some of my favorites include Mario Batali’s (“Brought it to a boil, often”) or Sabra Jennings’ (“Extremely responsible, secretly longed for spontaneity”), which may cut a little close to home. Some of these little memoirs gave me a brief glimpse into a life completely different from my own, and others some of them feel almost too familiar. This is a nifty little book which makes me think about life and language in new ways.