Other People's Love Letters: 150 Letters You Were Never Meant to See

( 42 )

Overview

Fevered notes scribbled on napkins after first dates. Titillating text messages. It's-not-you-it's-me relationship-enders. In Other People’s Love Letters, Bill Shapiro has searched America’s attics, closets, and cigar boxes and found actual letters–unflinchingly honest missives full of lust, provocation, guilt, and vulnerability–written only for a lover’s eyes. Modern love, of course, is not all bliss, and in these pages you’ll find the full range of a relationship, with its whispered promises as well as its ...
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Other People's Love Letters: 150 Letters You Were Never Meant to See

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Overview

Fevered notes scribbled on napkins after first dates. Titillating text messages. It's-not-you-it's-me relationship-enders. In Other People’s Love Letters, Bill Shapiro has searched America’s attics, closets, and cigar boxes and found actual letters–unflinchingly honest missives full of lust, provocation, guilt, and vulnerability–written only for a lover’s eyes. Modern love, of course, is not all bliss, and in these pages you’ll find the full range of a relationship, with its whispered promises as well as its heartache. But what at first appears to be a deliciously voyeuristic peek into other people’s most passionate moments, will ultimately reawaken your own desires and tenderness…because when you read these letters, you’ll find the heart you’re looking into is actually your own.

• "i think UR great. wanna have wine & Tequila again sometime?"

• "I can't believe you're real, and I think about you constantly in some way or the other all day. I haven't given the finger to anyone driving since I met you."

• "With you I learned how to fight cleaner, how to talk things out better, and how to make a strong loving family out of nothing. These are priceless gifts that I will carry with me the rest of my life. One more thing you did for me: you left, and I had to get through it."

• "P.S. I look forward to your letters too much to call. Also, where do you stand on chains?"

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Love comes in many flavors. Former LIFE editor Bill Shapiro's voyeuristic trove of romantic letters reveals that we can scarcely count the ways that passion works. His stash of finds includes poetic declarations of devotion, cries of heartache, and even pragmatic calls of renewal: "i think UR great. wanna have wine & Tequila again sometime?" Other People's Love Letters offers solace for anybody who ever struggled with humble little love notes of their own.
From the Publisher
“If I have learned only one thing from a) personal experience and b) Vivian Cash's fascinating memoir, I Walked the Line, it is this: No human can compose a love letter without seeming slightly insane. Love letters are like suicide notes -- if someone is in the emotional position to consider writing one, they're generally in the worst psychological position to make any cogent sense. That disconnect is what makes Other People's Love Letters: 150 Letters You Were Never Meant to See  a painfully entertaining twelve-minute read. Edited by former Life magazine editor Bill Shapiro (and presented like Davy Rothbart's Found series), the book delivers exactly what it purports: random personal letters from people who are either wildly ecstatic or profoundly depressed over the condition of their romantic existence. (One of my favorite entries is from a person who just printed the word liar 183 consecutive times.) Judging from the contents of these notes, we appear to live in a society that is sex crazed and optimistic yet consumed with deep regret. This is probably true. Making matters all the more interesting is Shapiro's epilogue -- he contacts several of the contributors and finds out how the relationship worked out, postletter.”
—Esquire, Chuck Klosterman
 
“Bill Shapiro (Time Inc.'s development editor) collects extremely private correspondence, which he has amassed in Other People's Love Letters. The notes, e-mails, telegrams, and letters appear as copies of the originals, in all their faded, tearstained glory. The earliest examples come off as gorgeous and romantic, whether they're pages of elegant script or a few words scrawled on a cocktail napkin. E-mail seems to have had a decidedly negative effect on the art, if ''Am having terribly naughty thoughts again today, and I was wondering if you might want to hear about them'' is any indication. After compulsively flipping through to the last page, I have just one question: How did Shapiro get people to part with these?”
—Entertainment Weekly
 
“From the moment Bill Shapiro stumbled upon an old love letter that wasn’t his (it was an ode to his then girlfriend from some earlier man), he was hooked. His new book, Other People’s Love Letters, reprints 150 of the many hundreds he’s collected over the years. Strictly speaking, they’re not all declarations of love. Some are Dear Johns; others are postmortems of failed relationships. And not all of them are letters, in the stationary-and-envelope sense. They’re scrawled across postcards, crammed onto Post-its, scribbled on cocktail napkins and matchbooks. Some are old (Peter J. Dougherty, chief of police, to ‘dearest Lizzie,’ dated December 22, 1911); some are new (e-mails, text messages, more e-mails). Should going through them strike you as voyeuristic, beware. They’re addictive.”
—O Magazine
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307382641
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/30/2007
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 286,086
  • Product dimensions: 7.03 (w) x 8.54 (h) x 0.98 (d)

Meet the Author

Bill Shapiro is the former editor of LIFE magazine. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 42 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(25)

4 Star

(6)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 42 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2008

    honest and worthwhile

    This book is a motley collection of love letters. Some sad, some funny, some really really romantic, some sort of explicit. It's a great read for anyone who's ever liked another person (read: everyone).

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2007

    A reviewer

    Yesterday I read about this book in People magazine, then ran out and bought it as soon as I punched out of work. I've already finished the book. The book brought me back to an emotional/nostalgic place full of rememberance, joy, hurt, sorrow, and everything I've felt in the past. But only this time, I also got to see it through the hearts of others. The book is so raw and honest, it's 100% natural sentiments. But, be prepared for some tears. I cried at my work desk when I read the stories behind the letters. The book is basically a collection of old letters, but it goes way beyond that. I loved this book and I plan on going home and reading my old letters that I recieved when my boyfriend was working as a Merchant Marine overseas in Casablanca.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 10, 2011

    Not for first edition nook

    I can read some of this book; the rest is either too small or gray text on a gray image. Keep your cash, or go buy the hardcover edition.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2011

    love it except...

    if you download this on your nook, if the letters are small, then good luck reading them. There is no way to make it bigger so you can see them better either. but other than that I love the concept of these books. Just wish I could have read half of them

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  • Posted February 15, 2011

    book wont go past page 5

    only 38 pages for the price and the book lockked up on page 5

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  • Posted April 8, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    it was amazing!!!

    once it came in the mail i couldnt stop reading it! my friends also got a kick out of some of the letters that are so funny and sweet at the same time! a must read!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2010

    I am in love with this book.

    If i could explain with words how much i love this book, i would. but i don't have the words, therefore i'll just say that if you are a person that loves to read other persons love letters because you think its adorable and sometimes, they make you cry..this is a book for you. It's inspiring, lovely, a little bit sexual(only a couple letters) and really "deep sounding". It's an amazing book, i truly never thought i was going to like it this much. I can't stop reading it, whenever i'm bored, it inspires me to do something.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2010

    Very Entertaining!

    Fun to read and see into other people's stories of love!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 9, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Fabulous and captivating...I couldn't put it down.

    I enjoyed the length of the entries in this PostSecret book. It took me several nights to finish it, instead of a single sitting like other PostSecret books. It's a very intimate book, and you really take on the feelings of the people that sent the anonymous postcards and letters. I loved it, and highly recommend this book!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 18, 2009

    Great Book!!!

    This book could make you laugh and cry at the same time..I have read it over and over. I never get bored of it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Great book!

    This is similar to the Post Secret series, which is and awesome series! It is a book made up of personal lover letters - people are always interested in others' love lives, so what could be better than a book full of just that!?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 10, 2009

    Good gift

    Perfect Valentine gift for the coffee table book lover type. Great to look at- all letters are shown in their original form. NOT sappy. Clever.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2008

    Couldn't keep my hands off of it

    I found this book while searching for books similar to the Postsecret series and was imediately drawn to it. After a friend of mine found out about it too, I just had to buy it. Absolutely incredible. Worth every penny. Reading the letters were so heartwarming that it was practically a secret indulgence of mine to read a few before bed. Sweet dreams. After reading all of the letters, I can't help but reflect on past relationships and wonder how things may have been different if we had exchaged adorable little love letters.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2008

    Tacky

    I found this book in my 14 yr old daughters room. It said 'family' on the side. I was disgusted. This is crap and has little to do with romance. Penthouse should have published some of the 'letters' in this book. Adults: go ahead and read. KEEP IT OUT OF THE KIDS HANDS!

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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