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I Forgot to Remember: A Memoir of Amnesia
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I Forgot to Remember: A Memoir of Amnesia

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3.43 of 5 stars 3.43  ·  rating details  ·  931 ratings  ·  188 reviews
In 1988 Su Meck was twenty-two and married with two children when a ceiling fan in her kitchen fell and struck her on the head, leaving her with a traumatic brain injury that erased all her memories of her life up to that point. Although her body healed rapidly, her memories never returned.

Yet after just three weeks in the hospital, Su was released and once again charged
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Hardcover, 288 pages
Published February 4th 2014 by Simon & Schuster (first published February 1st 2014)
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Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
3.5 stars

There are a lot of novels and films about amnesia, but the reality of living with the condition is considerably more difficult than what is portrayed in fiction. At least for Su Meck. Some people with brain injuries are able to recover some of their memories over time. Not so for Su. She has no recall of the first 22 years of her life before her brain injury, and very little memory of the first few years after the injury.

Imagine coming to consciousness in a hospital with no idea who you
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Annie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cynthia
Many thanks to goodreads for the advance readers copy of this book. Amazing read. Amazing lady.

This is the story of a young wife and mother incapacitated by a traumatic brain injury that stole her entire life from her. She suffered complete amnesia and was unable to remember anything from her past. Her family and friends were nothing more than strangers. Her environment was unknown. Her life was a huge blank.

I cannot possibly imagine waking up daily and not knowing who I am, where I am, who the
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Rebecca Foster
Amnesia memoirs – isn’t that an oxymoron? Nonetheless, a couple of recent books have marketed themselves as just that.

“I don’t remember any of what I’m about to tell you.” With that jolting line, Meck begins her chronicle of a rare case of complete retrograde amnesia, known as “Hollywood amnesia” because it occurs more in movies than in real life. She has absolutely no memories between her birth in 1965 and May 22, 1988. On that day she was playing with her son in their kitchen when a ceiling fa
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Jessica
I was lucky enough to win a copy of this from a Goodreads first reads giveaway.

Wow... just wow. I had a really hard time putting this book down. What Su Meck went through is just unbelievable, and I found myself eager for the next chapter to find out if things got worse, or better. Even now, after finishing the book, I've got to remind myself that it is a work of nonfiction, not fiction.

Throughout this book I felt admiration for Su, frustration towards some members of her family (was there som
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Sonya Watkins
Su is courageous, more so than most people could ever know. To live like she did in the begining, and the constant terror she must have felt, is heart breaking. I love how far she has come, and hope she continues to learn, be brave, and voice herself in the future. I hope Jim realizes how special she is.
Liralen
In 2011, the Washington Post published an article about Meck. I read the article, fascinated, but I don't think I understood then just how gone her memory was or what a profound impact that would have.

Meck's memoir goes a long way toward explaining that, but I wonder how possible it really is to understand that -- after all, Meck, who in many senses became a new person as a consequence of her injury (you could get into a serious ton of philosophy here -- who are you without your memories?), only
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Chihoe Ho
Su Meck tells an intriguing personal account on how a brain injury had affected the course of her life. But that's just all, she tells. Every single detail, which sometimes has no consequence to her or the reader. And she repeats. In retrospect, that does slightly capture how she must have felt when living with the repetitive but familiar routine that she was only comfortable with.

There are some honest revelations that she shares of herself, her husband, and her family. It was all very empatheti
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Ashleigh
Read as digital ARC.

I feel like biographies, as long as they are well-organized and interesting, should all be rated fives--because, hey, this is someone's life. That's something that really struck me about I Forgot To Remember--it's not some movie, where everything is black and white, right or wrong, where everyone is a hero or a villain. This book is a beautiful reflection of real life, with all its heartbreaks, what-ifs and uncertainties. It's simply fascinating.
Lynn Genheimer
An inspiring story of one person's courage to survive.

A true story of one journey through life under extreme circumstances. Told with honesty. showing the real ups and downs of maturing in life o
g with a sereious medical condition. A message to the medical community that not being able to explain a medical conditiupporton does not mean it is just in your head. Despite little support from family and the doctors this woman shown great courage in fighting to understand the world around her and to t
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Kathy
I read an advance copy, so there were possibly changes in the final version, I don't know. It's a fascinating book, in the way that terrible stories and accidents kind of grab your attention and though you think "no, I should move on" still you stay and gawk. It very much reads as a "as told to" sort of book, and no wonder, since Su has yet to recover all her verbal skills. I don't really know how to rate this book, really (though I will, of course)...there are things in it that just kind of mad ...more
Tracy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ericka Zhamkochyan
Very interesting book. I was intrigued how this story would go since it is a memoir about losing memory, so i was very curious. The book did not let me down. awesome book!
Caroline Barron
There is no denying Su Meck’s story is intriguing – since I can remember I’ve been fascinated by the idea, or perhaps the logistics and fall-out, of waking up not remembering a single thing. Add to this Meck was only 22 and the mother of two with an asshole of a husband (more on that later) and you should have a rip-roaring read.

But, and it’s a big but for me, I found Meck’s voice bizarre. She is not a natural writer and at times the story feels forced and disengaged. Meck writes (as a possible
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Cathy
This was just fascinating. The writing is fairly simple and straightforward, but pretty complex when the reader considers just how literally Su Meck had to start everything from scratch after a head injury. So, writing style is standard, but this true story is amazing. Meck supposedly has experienced a very unusual case of amnesia, but one wonders, as does she, how many others may have had more severe cases of memory loss than doctors/researchers have documented but never came forward to discuss ...more
Vegantrav
Who are we, really, if not our memories? If our memories are destroyed but our bodies live on, do we really, in any sense, live on ourselves? That's the question that, although not explicitly posed in the book, haunted me as I read I Forgot to Remember, an amnesiac's memoir--how strange and ironic that one with no memories could write a memoir: I Forgot to Remember is the author's story of her life but as remembered by her friends and family members and then, when she was able to form her own me ...more
Mimi Fintel
When she was 22 years old, a kitchen ceiling fan fell and hit Su Meck on the head. The accident robbed her of her long term memory - all of it. She also had short term memory problems for several years following the incident. She was married and two young boys at the time she was injured and was sent home from the hospital after just 3 weeks. She didn't know her husband or her children and was confused about many things in her world. This is the account of how she learned to deal with her memory ...more
Melissa
Su writes an incredible story of survival after a traumatic brain injury. She proves that you can do anything you set your mind to, despite having to relearn everything. The pure, raw emotion in this book makes you feel part of the story. She doesn't sugarcoat anything and instead makes you realize that despite her outward appearance, she is still struggling every day with a brain injury that happened thirty years ago.

A wonderful read.
Kathryn Featherston
I felt such empathy for the author of this autobiographical account of what it is like to make a life out of the one you used to have but now have lost all memory of it. I also identified with her as I once lived in the area where she lived and so many things she spoke of were so familiar to me. If you have ever wondered what it would be like to total amnesia (I'm talking big-time amnesia like having to learn to read and write all over again), then this is a very personal and intense look at wha ...more
Sarah
On May 22nd 1988, Su Meck was a feisty, intelligent young housewife. The next day, thanks to the intervention of a faulty ceiling fan, she was basically an over-sized baby, unable to remember her old life or or retain new memories. Since she was physically fit and her brain injury baffled her doctors, she was sent home and put in charge of a household and a pair of active young sons. Remarkably, no one died and Su built a new life for herself based on conformity and Post-Its. An engrossing tale ...more
K.E. Saxon
Wow! What an incredible true-life story this is. The fact that Su Meck must rely on others who knew her to tell her the story of her life prior to the age of 22, when she had the accident that caused the traumatic brain injury is so sad, especially knowing how malleable memory is, and knowing how much of our perception of ourselves and who we are is based on our memory of our own experiences. This is as near to a birds-eye view of long-term amnesia and how it effects the person who has it as I'v ...more
Mrs. Hannis
I am a big fan of memoirs and this one was especially interesting because of its direct correlation to what I am teaching my students. Su Meck lost all of her memories at the young age of 22. At times the story is heartbreak. At times I wanted to yell because I couldn't understand why a young woman would be left at home with two very young children after having a traumatic brain injury. I am still unsure how her relationship with her husband has survived the test of time. I can't imagine this ev ...more
Lindsey
This book pretty much blew my mind. Simply amazing to think that someone would have no memory of her first 23 years, not able to read, etc, and then is sent home to care for her family.
Andrea Williams
WOW! As I get further along in this woman's life story... I am amazed on how much of her world has turned upside down. She has so much courage and strength, it's really inspiring. She isn't the same after her accident, everything has changed about her, about her relationships, even her everyday living. It truly is as if she is a new person with a new life. I can't even imagine how hard it was and still is for Su after her accident. It just goes to show the strength of the human spirit and what o ...more
Elizabeth
Although this book was about a fascinating concept, I really wanted it to be a better book than it was. It started to feel somewhat repetitive and just wasn't as great as I was hoping it to be.
Marie Maddex
After being hit in the head with a fallen ceiling fan, Su Meck lost all of her memories. At twenty-two years old, she had to relearn how to walk, read, and eat. While these were hard to relearn, what harder was relearning who she was. Words such as “family”, “marriage”, and “love” mean nothing to her. And instead telling everyone about her amnesia, Su and her husband hid her amnesia from most of their friends. In order to work and act normal, Su mimiced what everyone else is doing to try to fit ...more
Aspen Junge
Meck suffered a traumatic brain injury that resulted in the rarest form of amnesia anywhere except Hollywood— complete retrograde amnesia. She lost not only her personal memories, but also her general knowledge of the world. This memoir, told with the help of a journalist and her family, tells how she learned to function almost normally.

Basically, she faked her way through the next 20 years. After a dramatic initial improvement, she was discharged from the hospital, and afterword doctors were un
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Cathryn Wellner
Having just cracked my skull in a nasty fall and had a chance to contemplate the potential for brain damage, I began this book with some trepidation. Meck's accident completely wiped out her memories, not just of the incidents of her life but of speech and movement as well. She had to start over, with a working and often-absent husband and three small children who ended up having to look after their mother.

The book was like opening a window not only into Meck's amnesia and life rebuilding but al
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Dorian
As someone still dealing with the effects of multiple concussions, some of which seem to baffle my neurologist, I particularly appreciated this book's conclusion, "But learning everything about my own life has been secondary to my initial mission. When I began this book project, all I really wanted to do was to explain what it really means to live with a head injury to as many people as would listen. I wanted people to stop saying, 'Oh, he just had a concussion. He'll be fine.' Or, 'Gosh, she's ...more
Dianeparente62gmail.com
This is a difficult book to evaluate because it is almost like judging who the author is i.e. a remarkable survivor who is undeniably human. Her complete lack of memory following a ceiling fan falling on her takes her and us into a totally unfamiliar world. It is a world so bizarre and confusing to the author and to the reader, especially when one steps back and tries to comprehend how she ever got through the incredible daily challenges of her ongoing post-injury years. No guideposts, no hints, ...more
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