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Notes From My Phone: A self-portrait in her twenties Paperback – 2016
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Michelle Junot has kept notes on her phone for years—what to pick up at the store, work-out logs, prayers, hopes, thoughts on life and death—all the while creating a snapshot of her life with an honesty that only occurs when not paying attention. In Notes From My Phone* (Mason Jar Press, 2016), Junot opens up her phone and her life to you. This collection of essays, to-do lists, vignettes, reminders and dreams mixes heart-felt memoir with the everyday marginalia that makes up a twenty-something’s life and day planner. The everyday is placed side-by-side with the universal, and in doing so, transcends to be more than the sum of its parts. If, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans,” then Notes From My Phone*, celebrates life in all its tedious and troubling beauty.
Top customer reviews
Michelle does something here that is hard to come by. She uses her own personal narrative on life and passes it off as an artfully crafted compilation of personal essays. The thread of notes literally taken from her phone almost seem as if they are pieced together for one full story, although I don't think it was originally written that way amid grocery stores and mouse-hunting in her apartment. It's a modern-day diary except much more reflective and much more intentional.
This book also just has it all. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll reflect. Michelle has a gift of moving from vividly describing the scenes happening around her with bites of witty humor to exposing her own vulnerabilities in a relatable way. Needless to say, I found this book very raw and real. To me, it's not only a good read, but one that I will keep coming back to.
Now the words. Our life experiences are quite different in many ways. We come from different places in the country, we have very different outlooks on faith, and quite divergent life experiences. That said, there were several points though this book where I found myself completely identifying with the situation. Life is messy and confusing and beautiful, and that is what Michelle has captured so perfectly in this book. Read it, then pass it around. Better yet, buy a few copies for all your friends.
The books is more religious than I'm usually comfortable with, but it's strange conventions offer a glimpse of a woman fumbling through a new stage in her life, and trying to resolve what role faith will play. Religious folk are likely to recognize this feeling immediately, while nonbelievers get peeks at the internal religious dialog of the witty, neurotic narrator.
The notes in your phone "may be the most telling memoir" you have. Something so simple yet so private. They are the inner thoughts you have before they become said aloud, they are the lists that give details about your needs and wants, they are the personal reminders that will help you out later on; all of it is a representation in one way or another of you and where you are in life.
Michelle published her notes bravely in this new book. And it's beautiful. It's relatable, it's raw and it's real.