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A Message to the Children: A Guide to Writing Your Autobiography

by Jim Williams

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I would not usually consider giving a positive review to a book that I had not finished reading, but completion does not seem really necessary in the case of Jim Williams’ A Message to the Children. Reading the chapters in sequence is also not a requirement. Unlike a standard autobiography this is more a series of essays about a various aspects of author’s life, including memories of family members, specific incidents, locations, etc. What makes it unique is that each essay is followed by notes about the process of writing and the choices that went into each selection.

Though well-written, the subject matter of many of the essays is not that compelling, other than seeing the contrast between growing up in post-war England with the same time period in the US. The notes about writing, on the other hand, may be just what I need to get me started recording the stories that go with all our “stuff” that our niece and nephews will eventually inherit. ( )
  RACrowell | Jun 26, 2019 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This book was not quite what I expected. The style of the book and structure is not really what I was looking for when searching for advice on how to get my writing going. I understand the idea of not writing in a timeline sort of fashion - but it was more like a collection of short stories. Not what I was hoping for but not a bad read either. ( )
  CZimmerman | May 16, 2019 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
It wasn't what I expected but I did enjoy it. It was a lovely read. I enjoyed the author's easy style of writing .... it felt like I was sitting down and having a little chat with the author. What a great way to leave a message for the children. Nice choice of title! Thank you for the opportunity to read this book. ( )
  Carole888 | Apr 26, 2019 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I had high hopes for this book and was sadly disappointed. Not quite a how to book not quite an auto-biography not quite any one thing. Which can sometimes be good but I really felt myself dragging through this book and finding myself bored. I didn’t really connect with anything and I desperately wanted too. I often felt myself wanting to put it aside to read more immersive books until I finally was firm with myself. I’m sure it has an audience, but I don’t think I’m it. ( )
  Anamcha | Apr 25, 2019 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Who wouldn't want to leave a lasting impression to children and grandchildren? There are a lot of stories to tell and share about youth, upbringing, neighborhood, school, and how you fell in love. What is your background? What traits can be found in your bloodline? Jim Williams started to write his memoirs in essays, but unlike other reflections, A Message to the Children is mixed with chapters instructing wannabe authors to construct similar writings and pointing back to all kinds of details in the painting with words that were overlooked in the first reading session.To me, the chosen format of essays didn't resonate well. The book better can be understood as a collection of short stories since you don't know any of the characters, contrary to memoirs written by or about living or deceased celebrities. Yet, A Message to the Children inspires to think of a way to convey your own memories to your descendants before Alzheimer or other neurological disorders take away the memories or the capabilities to share them. ( )
  hjvanderklis | Mar 16, 2019 |
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