Book Review – PostSecret: Extraordinary Confessions From Ordinary Lives

by Josh Hanagarne on December 26, 2009

in Uncategorized

Having a secret can often make a person feel very alone.  When reading PostSecret: Extraordinary Confessions From Ordinary Lives, it quickly becomes apparent that secrets are one of the things that unite us–we all have them.

Here’s how the book–which has been compiled from the PostSecret website--works.  Anonymous people mail in postcards that share a secret. Some of the secrets are hilarious.  Some are sad.  Some are heartbreaking, and some are devastating.

Each postcard is a work of art.

This may be the most addictive book I’ve ever picked up.  The website, which this postcard above is from, is no easier to tear myself away from.

I have secrets.  You probably do too.  Rather than feeling isolated by the untold, perhaps it is one more thing to unite us, though we may never speak the words.

PostSecret is gorgeous, hideous, funny, and undeniable.  Sometimes all on the same page.

Have you read it?

Josh

photo credit: andyadontstop

{ 17 comments }

chip December 26, 2009 at 12:55 am

Hey Josh,

I Love the post secret website. It makes me feel so much more…normal.

Josh Hanagarne December 26, 2009 at 12:24 pm

Chip, I feel the same way. That’s a great way to say it. I would say that, while I have secrets, most of them wouldn’t be worth putting on a postcard. It’s usually things like, “I ate an entire box of donuts and blamed it on the dog.”

Lisis December 26, 2009 at 9:35 am

I love Post Secret. When I visit it, I have to tear myself away because the voyeuristic snippets into the lives of others are addictive. Brilliant idea, and I love that now they are in book format, rather than rotting away in abandoned archives.

One of the things I find inspiring about it, just as a blogger, is that it was created in blogspot… the free, least sophisticated platform of all. Nothing fancy, no gimmicks, no latest technology gadgets or widgets or SEO tricks. It’s just a brilliant idea, and compelling content. I find that incredibly refreshing.

Thanks for the reminder! :)

Josh Hanagarne December 26, 2009 at 12:23 pm

Lisis, I thought about that too. There are a lot of reasons to visit possecret, but whether you’re there to laugh, cringe, cry, or just be a voyeur, it’s all about the content.

Dean Dwyer@QuitBit December 26, 2009 at 9:44 am

Hey JH,

The most AMAZING part of post secret…scroll to the bottom and look at “visitor count” and record the last 5 digits. Refresh say in 2 or 3 minutes and check out the new number. It’s staggering to see how many people are checking out this site on a minute by minute basis. Sometimes I forget about reading and just keep refreshing and watch to see how quickly the number will grow.

How do I get my bank balance to do the same??

DD

Josh Hanagarne December 26, 2009 at 12:22 pm

Sell drugs.

Christa Avampato December 26, 2009 at 10:38 am

Adding it to my to-read book list. Thanks for the recommendation, Josh!

Jay Schryer December 26, 2009 at 11:52 am

Ditto what Lisis said. I love PostSecret! I’m really glad there’s a book now. I think imma hafta buy me one of those…

Josh Hanagarne December 26, 2009 at 12:21 pm

Jay, I think there is actually more than one now. I love the website, but really like being able to see the cards enlarged.

Larissa December 26, 2009 at 11:55 am

I’ve heard about this website before and have always wanted to check it out. That was a very interesting mix of cards. . . I also really love that he is doing something positive with all the sad suicidal stuff he receives by donating to the 1-800 suicide line.
Oh, and did you show Janette the one about the gingerbread houses??? That’s just messed up! :)

Josh Hanagarne December 26, 2009 at 12:21 pm

I’ll show it to her. You’re right.

Janette H December 26, 2009 at 2:19 pm

What’s wrong with that person. No gingerbread house deserves a dog attack, well, maybe after New Year’s Day. I’m getting ready to say goodbye to this year’s house. Usually it ends up in the trash can. Maybe a dog would like it better….

Larissa December 27, 2009 at 8:24 pm

Oh, how sad that it ends up in the trash can! Do you only make one a year?

Philippe Til December 26, 2009 at 2:34 pm

We all have secrets, of course. Some I promised to keep to myself, as a word of integrity and character towards the person that shared it with me.
Is a secret a secret if someone else shares it? Are “true” secrets the kind only one person knows about? Even a crime is shared. Now that opens it up to a victimless crime.
OK, so the only true secrets are the ones no one knows about but the secret holder and are victimless.
I promise I didn’t drink anything, I just let me mind and my fingers on the keyboard wander…

Jessica Marie December 28, 2009 at 3:53 pm

I’ve read his other books but not this one. I have been looking at this site for about two years. I was intrigued by it when I saw a news clip about it.

Stephanie Smith December 29, 2009 at 9:38 am

Secrets…reminds me of that shirt- “Three people can keep a secret if 2 are dead”. I am going to have to get the book. Thank for bringing this to our attention. It puts some of the things each individual carries as burdens, in perspective.

Josh Hanagarne December 29, 2009 at 11:01 am

You’ll get a real kick out of it Stephanie.

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