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TOP 500 REVIEWERon October 11, 2007
This book has an unusual history. It began as a community where people were encouraged to send in their secrets anonymously on one side of a postcard. The key word - Anonymous. This struck a chord in many, allowing them a way to let loose a wealth of pent-up emotions and desires, from funny to grotesque. It also struck a chord in people who read the Blog site and watched videos of some of the secret scenarios.
From there, a series of books has emerged and this is the latest. Think of it - starting from anonymous postcards to build into a popular Blog and now this book.
Okay, I'm sure you want to know about the secrets in the book. Writing from a personal perspective, I got vicarious satisfaction from reading about urges that some people had (for revenge or to satisfy a desire) that I'd also shared. People wrote of having affairs for revenge, of unrequited love, of taking LSD at Disneyland and having sheer terror.
One of the most amazing things about this book? How touching it can be to read of all the hidden emotions that people rarely feel comfortable talking about -even to their closest friends. It is a confession, of sorts, sent out to the world. Some people have come forward and told me of postcards they've sent and of how "relieved" or "lighter" they'd felt afterwards so I think my confession analogy isn't off base - in some instances.
This is a fascinating and evolving community and project and the book is a rare chance to get a glimpse of what is often hidden behind social conventions. I urge you to have a look at this one!
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Have you ever told a stranger something that no one else knows about you? I often think that's the main purpose of sitting on long airplane flights: Confiding in strangers makes secret burdens emotionally lighter.

Frank Warren obviously understands that point and provides a needed outlet for those who can't even tell a stranger . . . but feel comfortable sending in a postcard with their secret on it. I'm sure thousands of people are walking a little lighter.

Much like watching a film of a disaster, you'll be counting your blessings as you review these often deeply painful admissions. In that way, your own secrets won't seem so heavy. I suspect that those with unshared secrets can benefit from both sharing and reading what others have shared. Many thanks to Frank Warren for coming up with this unique form of self-therapy.

It would be fascinating to ask people in a few years to send in another postcard to describe how sending the original one affected their lives.
One of the last postcards in the book explores that point: "i used to write my secrets on postcards that were never posted now i tell them to real people that know and care about me thanks, postsecret and goodbye"

My main caution is that I'm not sure how someone who is severely depressed and suicidal might react to this book. Some of the postcards reflect that condition, and someone inclined that way might find encouragement in reading what others have said.

From the point of view of wanting to understand others better, I was glad to learn about some secrets people hide that I wasn't aware of. I'll be more careful in the future about what I say on those subjects.

As I read the postcards, I was reminded of a seminar I attended two years ago where I met a man who told me his family had never celebrated his birthday and no one had hugged him in almost 20 years. Naturally, everyone took turns hugging him, and we held an impromptu birthday celebration. He looked like a new man.

I pray that those who sent in these postcards will enjoy years of unexpected hugs.

It's not all sadness. Some of the secrets are meant to be humorous. Others aren't all that serious . . . but will touch your heart nevertheless.
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VINE VOICEon November 20, 2007
Until I read this book, I only knew PostSecret from Frank Warren's blog which is on my weekly must-read list. I had resisted buying the previous books in the series because so often what's intriguing a few at a time becomes cloying when presented in a book.

This was not the case with A LIFETIME OF SECRETS: A POSTSECRET BOOK. I couldn't put it down until I'd read it through, and it left me feeling introspective and deeply connected.

For those not familiar with PostSecret, it began as a community art project in which Frank Warren ("America's most trusted stranger") invited people to send in secrets on decorated postcards. Every week he posts twenty of these anonymous postcards on his blog,; a collection has traveled internationally as an art exhibit; and this is the fourth book of collected secrets.

So many heart-rending postcards! People share their alienation, anger, fear, desire, and even pride. Why do they send their secrets to Frank? Would you? Have you? I haven't (and won't), but something about the secrets has huge sympathetic appeal. There's nothing new in human nature and we all carry the seeds of all these secrets. Some resonate in us more than others, but can you really say that any of the feelings expressed are completely alien?

A LIFETIME OF SECRETS is the fourth book in the series. It's arranged roughly by the age of the secret-sharer, and this theme is certainly effective; you can, however, open it to any page and count on feeling a sense of kinship with the writer. I hope to keep this book for a while and will probably turn its pages many times. It's inevitable that some day I'll hear a friend mention something and I'll say, there's this book I HAVE to share with you; and they'll share it with someone else and I'll never see it again. And that's as it should be. (My secret: I hardly ever return books people lend me!)
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on October 13, 2007
This is the second PostSecret book I have purchased- I owned the first and now A Lifetime of Secrets has been added to double my collection. I highly recommend this book. It holds secrets that have not been posted on the web and is organized in such a meaningful way that the cards relate to each other. I think there is something about holding the book, seeing the color printed gives me a much closer feel of what the cards would look like if I was able to hold them. The final card of the book shows the wise worn hands of a woman in a wheelchair and reads "It all passes so quickly." This book captures secrets from young to old. These beautiful cards are a rare chance to look into the private parts of others that let us know we are all human, we all hurt, we all want to love and be loved and we can all share in sharing these secrets. There are a few email messages published in the book on solid black pages between the wealth of mailed postcards- the first of these email messages is from a person who wrote down a secret and left it in a Frank Warren book. Now I'm inspired to leave an extra secret for someone to find. This book is excellent and is sure to be the start of many life stories and found secrets.
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on July 16, 2016
I cannot say enough good for these books. Letting thousands of people in on your own, very personal secrets, is something most people would never consider, but being able to read some of these is not only highly interesting, it's almost comforting. Being able to see that you're not the only person in the world with "deep, dark secrets" helps you realize just how much more alike we all really are. This book shows no color, background, socioeconomic standing, political preferences, etc, which I think, helps us all gather in a sort of unity. The reader is able to see that everyone has demons, no matter who they may be, or where they may come from.
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on December 20, 2015
A Book Too BeautigulStunning, heartbreaking, uplifting, beautiful, ugly, compassionate, repulsive, angry, regretful. Reading this book is like poetry or listening to a symphony. There are crashes and crescendos. Rises and falls. It's a beautiful book filled with beautiful words. From the funny to the very serious, they are ALL of them worth so much more than the sum of their parts. Congratulations, Frank Warren and for all the years and years of joyful entertainment.
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on January 6, 2015
I absolutely LOVED Post Secret and used to read it on a weekly basis, but time got away from me and I stopped. :( However, this book gives you some of the best, and it is a great read! It is fascinating to read other people's anonymous thoughts right there in a book, never knowing who actually sent them in. It makes me wonder if any of those I read are people I know, as some hit quite close to home! Great read, and I definitely recommend it!
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on February 24, 2008
I've been reading the PostSecret blog ever since its debut, i guess... And i kind of remember the feeling it gave me the first time i read it or understood the proposal of the website. It was like, revealing. I could feel this awkwardness of getting so deep in touch with strangers, trough their secrets, a very surprising intimacy. It was really good, very moving.
But as it happens in every aspect of life, after i became a constant visitor to the blog, i gradually lost that surprise effect and got used to that expected level of emotion... Even though i still loved the site, it became usual to me.
Then i got this book. It's the first one i've got. As i went through its pages i felt that primary feeling growing back inside me. The arrangement of secrets along a timeline, covering a whole lifetime, gave the chance to watch the growth of a person, sometimes myself. Near the end there was this strange impression that i had a child, who i watched grow old, loved, understood and identified with myself, as if we had spent our lives together, gone through loving, funny, scary and sad moments, and moved on. Through these time steps i could feel again that first surrender emotion, as if i had given myself completely to another person. I can only imagine what it feels like to those who actually share a secret.
It really is a great book, even with such few words... Which, actually, with the help of the personal artwork, brings a level of "straightness" that rarely appears on real books. The story (there is, indeed, a story) seems much more real and tangible than many novels, and this ability to see ourselves in those secrets is key to this book. That's what moves us so much.
Now that i've fully read it (which didn't take long, being so compelling), the book lays on my coffe table just waiting for me to want to remember. It kinda works now as a family album. Whenever i feel nostalgic i can open it and take me to my memories. It'll even take me to the future!
Well... I hope that whoever reads this gets to understand my english. And if you already like the blog and is thinking about getting this book, i trully recommend it! ;D
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on October 9, 2007
Frank Warren's latest book "A Lifetime of Secrets" chronicles the secrets of people throughout a lifetime. He provides a balanced blend of funny and serious confessions from the people we see walking the streets everyday. Much to my delight, "A Lifetime of Secrets" has twice the secrets than the previous two books. But just like his other publications, this book is as difficult to put down as it is to read some of the secrets of others he shares with us. One of my favorite secrets found in this book which illustrates just how unpredictable humans can be is "I am 55 and I piss in sinks." Four books later, and I am still mesmerized by this project.
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on November 29, 2015
This is a wonderful book! I purchased it to place in a dentist office waiting room but realized the political incorrectness before putting it out. I thought of returning it but 3 staff members asked to have it so it never went back. This book is a perfect coffee table book for the open minded.
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