Life-Altering Experiences: How a Single Question Tapped into the Soul of MetaFilter Kindle Edition
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More About the Author
Dear Hannah: A Geek's Life of Self-Improvement (2014) is a cautionary tale about self-improvement consisting of 82 letters written over 16 years describing every self-help book, pop psych article, and personal invention Philip used--or abused--to change who he is.
Character & Chemistry: The Only Two Questions You Need in Dating (2012) - This two-step formula will help you simplify the art of picking the right partner.
Life-Altering Experiences: How One Question Tapped into the Soul of Metafilter (2009) - Philip selected over 50 stories from one of MetaFilter's most popular threads. The thread asked members the following question: "Can you point to a single experience in your life, as a child, which you can define as having contributed to the person you are today?"
Top Customer Reviews
Many of the stories are focused on childhood but told from the point of view of the adult and how that moment impacted their lives. My particular favorites were the stories of people becoming aware of their consciousness for the first time - having your first independent real thought, realizing you are your own person and being fully aware of it.
The take away for me was that every moment and every encounter has the potential to change my life. And every word spoken, especially to a child, has the potential to bring about positive or negative change in their life. I will guard my words a bit more carefully from now on.
Definitely recommend this book. It was a fast and powerful read!!!
"Can you point to a single experience in your life, as a child, which you can define as having contributed to the person you are today?"
The question obviously produced a lot of different answers from people with all kinds of backgrounds/experiences. This is the first time I have read or come across a book that is a compilation of internet posts. At first, it felt a little strange reading a book with internet chat/posts/instant messaging lingo, but by the end it felt natural and was very enjoyable. It lent a real objectivity to the text and infused each person's personality into their own story. It's kind like when Forrest Forrest Gump said, "Life is like a box of chocolates...you never what you're gonna get." Each short post has its own unique language, personality, and message. The posts are organized into sections like Trust From Parents, Racism, Veganism, Nature and Exploring, and Epiphanies.
I liked this one from the Careers section:
Freshman year in college I take one of those computer job aptitude tests. It coughed up three results: TV Producer, Novelist, and Roman Catholic Nun. Being a struggling Chemistry major at the time, I thought this one of the most asinine tests I had ever come across.
Well, I have since graduated with a BA in Communication Arts - Radio, TV, and Film, currently work as a Software tester...am seriously working on my first novel in my spare time, and a few years ago, converted to Roman Catholicism and became confirmed in the Roman Catholic Church. Where my spiritual adviser declared that I would make an incredible nun and that I should seriously consider it.Read more ›
Life-Altering Experiences has that confessional quality of the website PostSecret or NPR's StoryCorps - little windows into people's worlds that are so vivid, but spare - leaving your imagination room to fill in a lot of the details. Like flipping through a photo album where each image tells a dynamic and unexpected story (not portraiture here, but captured moments of tension and release).
This is a quick read and each story leaves you with that satisfied feeling you get when you have a good conversation with someone - where you revealed something about yourself that makes you distinctly human - that moment when you see the person behind the personality.
The set of stories is well-curated by Dhingra, delicately edited for readability and all articles were run past the original authors of the posts. They're loosely categorized into groupings that highlight a small detail between the stories and the book looked great on my eReader. It is well worth the cost, although full disclosure: I received a free copy from the author to read and review - after the first few pages, could not put it down and read the whole thing!
From the first account, I was struck by the candor of these anonymous storytellers. It might be that anonymity is what garnered such bare snapshots into people's lives, but regardless, they are moving, and they also catch a specific moment of time on the Internet (as Osborn says in the foreword, a similar question might be deleted off MetaFilter now).
I was gifted the book on Amazon from the author to read and review it, but I had a hard time putting my iPad down. It's rare to have such a collection of people talking about life and death without some sort of agenda. I particularly liked the stories of how people discovered their passions (unsurprisingly for MetaFilter, reading, writing, music, computers) and their private pivotal experiences. Well done!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
There are a very few books that can connect you back to your soul.
I'm unable to place and point exactly where the thich of transition is.. Read more
This was a quick read. I really expected more over the top stories based on what I've seen online recently.Published 20 months ago by Jamie L.
collection of short essays about -- you guessed it! -- life altering experiences. ...interesting enough, though most were a bit on the depressing side.Published on August 29, 2013 by MoIsMe
Stories from individuals who have had life altering experiences. Some of these experiences are pretty mundane, but the book does provide and interesting approach.Published on December 11, 2012 by Travis McGee