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The World of PostSecret

by Frank Warren

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929235,923 (4.29)3
A ton of secrets, one postcard at a time. Warren started inviting people to anonymously mail artful secrets in 2004. Here he shares some that he has received in the last five years, and shares his favorite stories.
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English (8)  French (1)  All languages (9)
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PostSecret began in 2004 when Frank Warren asked members of the public to anonymously contribute a secret to a community art project. The secret could be a regret, fear, betrayal, desire or even confession of childhood humiliation and contributors were encouraged to reveal their secret on a decorated postcard and send it in. His goal at the time was to receive 365 postcards.

Much to Warren's surprise, the project took off and he has received well over a million secrets. Frank Warren has published six collections of secrets from the art project, with The World of PostSecret being his sixth, published in 2014.

The secrets cover the full gamut of topics and feelings. Some make you smile, like these two.

"I wear an AC/DC shirt under my clergy robes." Page 78

"Sometimes, if my dog refuses to eat, I pretend to cook his food on the stove. Works every time!" Page 84

Some secrets plucked on the heart strings:
"My wealthy husband has been divorced 7 times because he found out they were only with him for his money. He married me because he thinks I'm different. I'm not." Page 48

Others blew my mind a little:
"Everyone who knew me before 9/11 believes I'm dead." Page 122 (9/11)

This secret stayed with me for days, and the author has heard from someone connected with large-scale tragedies, who claims that "in rare cases, people have been known to use a large disaster as an opportunity to start a new life and leave behind a looming divorce or escape imminent bankruptcy."

I find that astonishing to consider. I know some people voluntarily disappear to begin a new life, but presumably they plan to do so beforehand. A new identity requires money and a plan, so I can't imagine how a person could re-invent themselves after an unexpected event like 9/11. You couldn't pack a single thing and you'd never be able to travel again with facial recognition cameras everywhere for a start. Boggles the mind. Unless they chose a life of anonymity on the streets. I wish I knew more about this particular secret.

There were secrets that made me angry, like this one:
"I can't make you love me... but I can make something that you'll love." Page 245

And gross secrets, like this one:
"My husband and I shower together almost every day... He has NO idea that I pee in there EVERY TIME! Hehe :-) " Page 257

Firstly, that's disgusting! Secondly, of course he knows. How could he not know?

The scope of the PostSecret project is enormous and this particular collection comprises a great variety of secrets, including secrets from the short-lived PostSecret App that was closed down in 2011 due to malicious and uncontrollable content.

I was surprised to find that Frank Warren is looking for a new partner for the project and potentially someone to take over PostSecret for good. I wonder what it takes to run a project like this. I know I don't have the stomach for it, that's for sure.

The World of PostSecret is a look into the hearts and minds of everyday people like you and me, and I found pondering its pages produced a mixed bag of emotions. I think I'll be glad to return it to the library and be thankful I don't have any secrets like that. Or do I? ( )
  Carpe_Librum | Jan 18, 2021 |
I checkout the Postsecret webpage every Sunday. This book was like getting several Sundays all at once. I loved the information that he gave about certain topics and the story about his maillady. Great read. ( )
  LVStrongPuff | Nov 29, 2018 |
I was so excited when I learned this was coming out... so excited that I purchased it immediately & got it before it was in the stores.....

I was let down... I believe I had very high expectations, definitely too lofty expectations....

I didn't find much heart.... I found less "feelings", less depth than the first few books. Maybe we are collectively running out of secrets and our secrets have all been revealed....

I didn't like the postings from the "app"..... I'm not interested in screenshots, I find them cold, not as warm, not as creative, not as personal as a hand written & decorated/drawn postcard.

This will be the last of the books in this series I will purchase, as I personally believe that this project has run its natural course..... All else is anti-climatic. ( )
  Auntie-Nanuuq | Jan 18, 2016 |
Once again Warren's latest book is filled with some of the million postcards he has received over that last 10 years of his Post Secret Project. Originally he had thought he might be lucky to get a few dozen postcards with anonymous secrets but his idea snowballed to include cards from all over the world, a popular website and an app. He also works with suicide prevention groups and hotlines as many of the post secrets unfortunately deal with depression and suicidal thoughts. Some are uplifiting, funny, tragic and always surprising. Some of my favorites:
"I wear flowery scents to work to keep my annoying, bossy, allergic coworker away from me."
"A book commits suicide every time a young girl says Kim Kardashian is a role model."
"Nature and the library are the only two places in America were I don't feel judged as 'less than' because I am Quiet."
"When I was little my father told me the ice cream truck played music when it was sold out."
This book only takes a few hours to read so it's a good way to while away an afternoon. ( )
  Ellen_R | Jan 15, 2016 |
The World of PostSecret by Frank Warren is pretty much about what the title suggests. There are vignettes about symposiums, secrets, the perfect secret, and even the mail carrier who brought so many of secrets to Frank's house. There are also many examples of postcards and other things that people have sent in to share their secrets.

Some of the secrets are very touching. I found myself getting teared up more than once. Some of the secrets are informative, especially in the way that they inform us we are not alone in the things we keep secret. It was also touching to read the segment on the PostSecret application and the reactions of some people to secrets that they saw posted there.

If you enjoy the PostSecret website or any of the other PostSecret books, then you will like this book as well. It's worth a read. It's nonfiction and biographical in nature. ( )
  ElleJennison | Apr 25, 2015 |
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A ton of secrets, one postcard at a time. Warren started inviting people to anonymously mail artful secrets in 2004. Here he shares some that he has received in the last five years, and shares his favorite stories.

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