Remember your high school computer theory class? References to the “ancient” (in computer innovation time) machines which utilized vacuum tubes, drum memories, ferrite rings? Remember ENIAC, UNIVAC, EDVAC etc? If these terms bring back nostalgic memories of your high school computer course and the thoughts imagining what these machines looked like, then Core Memory is the book to refer.
I have secrets. So do you and everyone else. We keep secrets out of embarrassment, fear of hurting others or importantly hurting ourselves. But a lot of times we keep secrets because we just do not know how to express our feelings – elation, hurt, sadness, love. The liberating effect of letting a secret out is the focus of the community powered and supported PostSecret project.
In 2004 Frank Warren launched a social experiment in community art, inviting strangers to mail him anonymous homemade postcards with their secrets written on them. The only rule is that it has to be a true secret that you have never before shared. Be creative he told the masses. The response he received was overwhelming.
The PostSecret idea is to ask the community to send their deepest secrets anonymously, written on postcards, decorated (usually as a collage) however the sender wants. Of these, Frank, as the editor of the PostSecret project selects the ones that touch him, and posts them on the blog, in a book (four books so far) or on the traveling exhibit. Warren doesn’t select for any particular theme just those which touch – some are happy, some sad; some are humorous, some morbid and some just of desolation. Almost all secrets are personal, many times an incident from the sender’s life, while some are just how they feel towards the world and life. Most times, those that connect the most with readers are the simplest (like “I still love you” or “I am stuck in my marriage”) and the most profound.
Each Sunday the PostSecret blog is updated with all new secrets sent by readers from all over the world. Each week it’s different set of secrets, which make the blogs readers laugh or cry, feel happy or sad and almost always empathize with the sender. PostSecret has become a social phenomenon in such a short time that it is one of the most widely visited blog on the Internet. The popularity of PostSecret can be explained by its therapeutic effect on the reader, the connection they make with the sender and most importantly the realization that others have deep, dark secrets too and hence they are not alone. Over time, the project has gained a cult following of readers of all ages – angst ridden teens, mid-life crisis affected women to the aged who miss their lost loved ones.
Over the course of the project, Frank has released four books containing a selection of the postcards sent to him over the years. The latest book, “A Lifetime of Secrets” is the most different. In A Lifetime of Secrets, Frank says “I’ve selected postcards that show how secrets can reveal a momentary impulse or haunt us for decades and arranged them by age to follow the common journey we all take through childhood, adolescence, adulthood, maturity. Stretched over a full lifespan, the secrets expose the meaningful ways we change over time, and the surprising ways we don’t.”
This fourth PostSecret volume, like the blog, is a collection of postcards. “A Lifetime of Secrets”, however, approaches the secrets a little differently, in that they are arranged chronologically, approximating the stages in one’s life. While the previous books were arranged thematically, this book is literally an attempt to present a progressive story — of life, a lifetime of secrets. Starting from childhood, the book span a child’s fear in the kindergarten, to the teen who wants to spill their love, to the elderly who “Just wants to die happy” The predominant feeling, while reading this book, is like taking a journey through life, and simultaneously going through the changing experiences as we grow older.
I have been following PostSecret since 2005 and have always found it to be thought provoking and on many occasions therapeutic. The connection that I made with many of the PostSecret writers, the feeling of “I feel the same as you” when reading any of the cards is sometimes just overwhelming. When I received this book, I lent it to a cousin who had just gone through a traumatic experience in life. As she read it, she found comfort in reading the secrets and a little peace of mind connecting with the others. I heartily recommend this book to any and everyone, of any age!
While I have not written any secrets myself, if you have a secret, Share it! Let it go, write to the project and I’m sure there will be someone out there who will identify with your secret, or come to the realization that they are not alone nor life as unforgiving as it seems. Liberate yourself and send your own secret to
13345 Copper Ridge Rd
Germantown, Maryland 20874
Crescent Garden is written by Christopher Love and is the first book published by Evermore Books. As the tag line says, “A novel of New Orleans, the book is set entirely in New Orleans. Love creates a very tightly written book with the story taking place over 3 days just before Mardi Gras in New Orleans.
The story has is focussed on supernatural “powers” gained by the main characters of the book, Malcolm Stance and Ridley Trumball as a result of an accident during their childhood. Malcolm finds out that Ridley is about to be murdered and sets out on a mission to save Ridley from a gruesome death. In trying this, he must first locate Ridley who he thinks resides or at least works in the French Quarter of New Orleans. During Malcolm’s search, he comes across a variety of characters, experiences New Orleans as the city prepares for the big Mardi Gras weekend.
And during all this, Malcolm must try and forget his ex-girlfriend who cheated on him but now wants to get back with him, bringing back a lot of pain and angst within him.
The story is very well written and the city is described beautifully. But what I liked most was the development of the characters, the pain Malcolm feels whenever he talks to his ex-girlfriend, when he longs for her but knows he does not want her back in her life. The dislike for Ridley when he spurns Malcolm’s help because he fears the power they both share.
The best part is in the end, the climax of the book. It pretty much blew me away. Now I’ve read a good number of thrillers, mystery novels and am fairly good in predicting either the “perpetrator”, the next move of the lead character or the ending of the story but in this, I was taken by a surprise. And really nice twist in the end.
On the whole, the book is a pretty good read and Evermore Books have chosen a very good launch for both the writer and their publishing house.
I’ve just started reading Eats, Shoots & Leaves. It’s a book about the incorrect usage of punctuation in the written language today and the misinterpretation the incorrect punctuation might cause. I’ve only completed it partly but it seems quite interesting except for the failing attempts of the author at humor. It gets grating at times.
Why am I writing about this? Well as a warning. More than a couple of my friends refer to me as a “Grammar Nazi” and well let this be a warning that I am arming myself further to interrupt and correct you when you make a punctuation error :P
Thanks to Neil Gaiman.
And how Kavya Viswanathan got busted and got dissed (lol could not resist that ;) )
Oh well, when I’d first seen the book, just as it was released, I thought it seemed like a pretty neat book. I mean a good idea, probably well written and a good storyline. But I did not purchase it at the time since I already had like 3 books in a queue to read and decided to maybe purchase it after I’d finished those. I guess it was a good decision in hindsight. But the decision to borrow it from a cousin to read it unfortunately wasn’t.
After the plagiarism scandal broke out, I thought I might as well take a look at the book. So borrowed it from a cousin since the book was not available in any book stands due to it being pulled off the shelf because of the scandal. I’ve heard that the book, after the pull out, was selling for about 2-3 times it’s original price on EBay
Anyway, back to the book, I’ll not disclose the story of the book. But I’ll rant about what I disliked in it. Firstly, it does not really portray Indians in a very favorable picture. Now I don’t know any NRIs so I don’t really know how they live and behave. And another thing I did not like is the portrayal of the main characters.. They were, for my taste, far too artificial. The way their behavior is described, I just could not picturise them. Again, maybe US teenagers are like that, maybe they are not. I have no way of knowing that but they just did not suit my taste.
The humor is good in some places, especially the way the parents go about planning the whole charade et all. But it is not enough in my view to justify the entire book sadly :(
Watched V for Vendetta, the movie, today. Excellent movie. Very well filmed and directed but most of all, it sticks religiously to the original Comic Book by the same name and written by the Great Comic Book Writer Alan Moore. Yes some parts have been changed for requirements of commercialization of the movie but it is largely the same. Really liked the movie. And of course, I do like the dialogue delivery and speech mannerism of Hugo Weaving who playes the title character. He is brilliantly supported by Natalie Portman who is extremely beautiful.
Ps. Since today is 1st of April, when the plan was made, I was a bit hesitant thinking that my friends might be playing a prank on me regarding the movie plan ;) Thankfully it was not so.
Pps. Rather disappointed that I did not get a chance to play any prank on anyone being that I am slightly on the prankster side :(