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

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3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  2,398 ratings  ·  216 reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published October 30th 2007 by Potter Style
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Athena
"I think i enjoy being single. I was very lonely for a long time after we went separate ways. I missed the emotional pulls and pushes, the physical caresses and kisses, and the intellectual challenges you gave me. I've stumble more than once without you to hold me up. And there've been many times when I've had something to share and no one to share it with. I havent met anyone who comes close to you. And, I too think maybe someday...but, I also know that I'm growing in ways I couldn't have grown
...more
Jessica
I'm suprised by the amount of low ratings for this book. I really enjoyed reading the love letters and getting a glimpse into other people's relationships. I liked that they were legitimate letters that people had written- ranging from a young kindergarteners letter to a couple from long ago. I also really enjoyed how at the end there were stories about some of the letters, explaining more about what actually happened with them. All in all this was a very interesting book to read.
Bonnie
Dec 23, 2011 Bonnie rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Bonnie by: Marie
Interested in more of my reviews? Visit my blog!

’You should know…that still my life is consumed by you.’

This was an interesting little book that I was not expecting to like as much as I did. The title of the book may be ‘Other People’s Love Letters’ but they aren’t all your standard love letters. These are rejection letters, text messages, telegrams, breakup letters, letters of apology, but there are also true love letters that honestly had me crying at times. I quite enjoyed how some of these l
...more
Malbadeen
Apr 14, 2008 Malbadeen rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: pre teen sappy girls
disappointment #2 in a night spent wandering around Powells. Ya know i go to the hard work of showing up at the book store, putting up with the crowds saying things like, "oh my god! you don't like Jane Austin?! I'm a classics girl, that's the kind of reader I am", you'd think my selective grab-it-on-the-way-to-the-coffee-shop-method would reap some better materials. but Noooooooooo.....
as I read this letters i mostly felt awkward for the people that wrote them, in how trite they sounded and was
...more
karen
I was too exited to read this book, and the more I read the more disappointed I was, it wasn't interesting for a while. Then I realized why, because it wasn't my love letters. I have no idea whom they were for, I bet that these people's letters made so much more sense to them and they drank every word up of these letters and enjoyed they so much more than a stranger (like me) ever could, because I wouldn't never understand. And just like that I realized how uniquely we are able to love, how diff ...more
Erin
I enjoyed being a sanctioned voyeur with this book. There's something about other people's correspondence, particularly romantic correspondence, that I find hard to resist.

I felt ok about being a voyeur (and so was able to enjoy the book) because the letters were reprinted with permission of the author, or in some cases, the author's closest living relative. Some of these letters were very, very private and it would feel wrong to read them behind someone's back, as it were. But since they were c
...more
Lolly K Dandeneau
Apparently other people's love letters just aren't that interesting.
Allison
Apr 23, 2008 Allison rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people in waiting rooms, airports, bus rides, dull dinner parties
think found.com meets postsecret.com meets a dusty shoebox of letters in the attic meets text messages... quite well-balanced in terms of including the dear johns, the honeymoon love bliss, the break-ups, make-ups, hate mail, sext messages, historical sonnets, etc.

Addictive, really.

One of my favorites, inscribed on an airplane sick bag:

"What I really feel...
If you were here now,
I would kiss you.
I would hold your hand and
look at you with wonder.
And then, if you would let me,
I would kiss you again
...more
Angela
I'm not sure how to review a book like this because it has no characters. But i've had this book for a while and it just laid around my house as one of those books that its just always there and you never read.. Butttt since my group was having a challenge for valentines day i thought hey what the heck why not? And im glad because it was so cute! I loved getting to read these cute little letters some on napkins and some even typed. Absolutely adorable. Deffinatly a cute read for valentines day.
Marie
I cried. I laughed. I was confused. I was disgusted. I was intrigued. The gauntlet of emotions that this book produces is endless. I was glad to get this from the library if not just to have something different to look at. Some of these stories touched my soul so profoundly that I wrote a letter to my loved one just to make sure that maybe in 100 years someone will read it and know that love is all shapes and sizes and has endless amounts of beauty.
Bfg1971
Came downstairs this morning and this was on the counter. Picked it up, glanced at it, and put it down. Walked away, got coffee, picked it back up, and I tore through it. Funny, sweet, disturbing, and sad all at the same time. A little voyeuristic romp through other people's most intimate moments. If you aren't careful, you might see a little bit of yourself in it.
Spencer
The stuff in Found magazine is so much better and diverse. these are love notes and break up notes of pathetic unimaginative white suburbanites that had some connection to the author. This gave me a stomach ache. Why would I have that reaction? Ugh.
Once this 10 volume journal was "donated" to value village. (without the owners consent, I am sure. Anyways, I read it. It spanned this womans life from abt 20 to 30 yrs old. And the whole thing was this self absorbed petty nonsense. As I became inti
...more
jess
Jul 23, 2008 jess rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2008
love letters are this secret, complicated communication zone where we produce material with the intention of only one person ever reading it. at least i know i do... and then, in this book, we can read everyone else's secret love notes, break-up letters, anniversary poems, text messages, emails, sweet comics, and even a myspace message. the amazing thing is how very much these letters and notes are just like the material produced by our own relationships. there are love letters from 1939 and 200 ...more
Dalton Downing
My online library did this "event" where they sent us a random book to which we had no choice and encouraged us to go on a "blind date" with them, in other words, accept and read the book without knowing what we would get. This is how I came across this book, and I am glad I did.

This is one of those books that is laid out in a very cool and memorable format - every note is preserved on the original napkin, crumpled notebook paper, or gmail formatting it was composed in, which only adds to the c
...more
Danica
Much less than I expected. What was I expecting? Tales of anguish and redemption springing off each page; a book of pop-up love stories, the kind that can unfold a castle before your eyes. The problem I suspect with collating love letters in a venture of this sort is that you get a self-selecting population that reads and responds to open calls for materials published in books of this kind. That was an overly elaborate way of saying that if you were an alien reading this book you’d be convinced ...more
jennifer
Exactly as the title describes, this is a book of love/anguish letters collected from as far back as 100 years ago. Some are very brief and get to the point, others are long, passionate, reprimanding and cover about every other emotion that can enliven or thwart a relationship. Some favorites are the e-mail that begins:

"Ken, I would definitely advise you to cultivate your courting skills. Months of emailing do not a relationship make."

Or the 1939 letter from a young wife telling her new husband
...more
Temoca
I enjoy these books, gathering little snipets of writing. I tend to go for these to help buld ideas for writing lessons in my classroom. The great thing is, you can always find a few that call out to you. So while some don't apply or you don't understand, others do and it's different for everyone. This helps me to show my students all the possibilities in writing. I would pick and choose which pieces to bring into the classroom depending on the grade level and appropriateness.

I also love that I
...more
Stef
This is the book I read directly after "98 Love Letters That Will Bring You To Your Knees" (which left me bored and still standing). THIS collection is far more powerful, and at times, even brought tears to my eyes. Modern and relatable, the reader is given no context about the the letters, which range from being a couple lines scribbled on a Post-It to a multi-paragraph email to a handwritten card. Still, between the details and included to the way chosen to send the message, so much of the wri ...more
Stephanie
I thought some of the letters in the book were interesting to read, but I thought some of them didn't really need to be in there also. On top of that, I felt really weird reading this book, in an invasion-of-privacy type of way; which is I guess the point of the book to begin with, as far as using people's awkward letters to show real life. But really, was it necessary? It's like trying to read self-tabloids. Who volunteers emails they've written to their ex-spouse concerning their divorce for a ...more
Keera
I loved this book. I'm a huge fan of Post-Secret, Found, and Mortified. I would read one letter and then flip back to the Postscript section to find out what happened to the pair. This letters made me smile, laugh, and a few even brought me to tears. It took me only a few hours to read, but I really enjoyed the ride.
Michelle
Mar 02, 2009 Michelle rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who love love
Some are heartbreaking, some are hopeful, some are so convoluted I wondered what the receiver saw in the sender. All made me hopeful about love. The best part of the book was reading the behind the scenes of the letters: which relationships made it, which ones didn't.
Megan Bodwell
I am not sure what I expected from this book. However, I liked it a lot; not only from the thrill of reading such private memories of total strangers, but from how it made me feel. I found myself thinking of the notes that I have kept, and lamenting not printing out emails of past loves when I had the chance. I still remember how I worded a few of my own letters and wondered what became of them. Were they kept? Reread? Or trashed as soon as we broke up? Although these were all from people I have ...more
Amy!
This was super interesting and sweet and heartbreaking and lovely. It made me think about all the love letters I could write (and have written) and all the different expressions of love and loss there are. I love, love, loved the letters from the early 1900's. At the end, the author includes the backstories on some of the letters, which is great because I wanted to know what happened with every letter in here, though I wasn't prepared for how many ended in tragic death. Just a really pleasant, m ...more
Debbie Robson
I ordered this book from another library mistakenly thinking it would have love letters from the last century as well as the current one. The majority of the letters are from the last fifteen years or so but I enjoyed the book nevertheless, particularly with the approach Bill Shapiro, the editor has chosen. He has had the letters reproduced photographically so that the book is an interesting montage of cards, typed letters, emails and notes. The emails I found particularly interesting.

There's "
...more
Keshia
Our school's library did this thing where they wrapped up books in newspaper and encouraged us to go on a "blind date" with them, in other words, check a book out without knowing what you would get. This is how I cam across this book, and I am quite glad I did.

It was an interesting read, not something full just of sappy love letters but of break up letters and rejections letters--real things. And I was amazed by some of the things that people wrote, some things that I myself have thought and wr
...more
Ronel
This is the first time I read a compilation of anything (in recent memory). I don't even remember where I got this compilation from or even why I got it (probably because of the title). I am not quite sure what to say about this book, and from scrolling through the reviews of others that feeling is quite mutual by all the 3 star ratings (and some that clearly hated it).

But ultimately, I really enjoyed it. This compilation was not what I expected at all. I expected long winding letters that all u
...more
Anna
I can't remember where I first saw this book, but looking at it made me think of PostSecret. Since I wanted to read that, I figured this was some sort of spin-off and that I should read it and enjoy it too.

The problem with this book is that I couldn't connect with it the same way I did with PostSecret. The genius of PostSecret is that it is basically, for the most part, full of aphorisms. It's easy to connect with aphorisms. But the whole of this book was full of cliches for me, and I couldn't c
...more
Diane Vallere
I found this hard to put down in the same way it's hard not to look at an accident on the side of the road. Some of the letters brought tears to my eyes (especially when reading the backstory), but others left me oddly desensitized to the concept of love letters. I could have written a few of these myself--though they were so very in the moment, reading them in a collection made them lose a little of their individuality. Still think I'd rather get my own than read someone else's!
Carly
I really expected alot more from this book. I loved the Postsecret books and the "overheard in..." websites; so I thought I would love this insight into real peoples lives. In fact I thought that my huge rubbermaid tote full of love letters and notes from friends in middle and high school was justification enough that I would love this book. But I just was not moved by most of these letters - perhaps it's because they weren't mine.

I will also point out that I do not recommend the kindle version
...more
Shana
I was really excited to see a copy of Other People’s Love Letters, edited by Bill Shapiro, hidden in a stack at the library. When I first heard about the book I made a mental note to myself to get it, but then promptly forgot about it. Imagine my surprise when I found this gem hidden among other new books! It really satisfies my voyeuristic side (not in a creepy way) and gives me the same pleasure I get from reading PostSecret. The only disappointment was really just a personal problem, mainly t ...more
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“I hate feeling so weak and vulnerable.

I hate that I miss him.

I hate that I am alone, and I always was.

I hate that I made him into a superhero, he was not.

I hate that he doesn't want to kiss me.

I hate that every time I cry over one boy it's like crying over all of them again.”
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“Reading all my old love letters was disorienting. You remember thinking the thoughts and writing the words but, man, you can't TOUCH those feelings. Its like they belonged to someone else. Someone you don't even know. I'm aware, in an intellectual way. That I felt all those things about him, but this emotions are far away now.
What's so strange to me is that I can't even force my heart back to that place where I felt that all consuming passion. That makes me feel distant from myself. Who WAS I then? Will I ever be able to get back to that place? Reading the letters again made me wonder: Which is the real me? The one who saw the world in that emotionally saturated way, or the me who sees it the way I do now?”
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