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Telling Secrets

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4.3  ·  Rating details ·  1,117 Ratings  ·  106 Reviews
With eloquence, candor, and simplicity, a celebrated author tells the story of his father's alcohol abuse and suicide and traces the influence of this secret on his life as a son, father, husband, minister, and writer.
ebook, 128 pages
Published October 23rd 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published 1991)
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Maxwell
An absolute must-read. Moving, inspirational, raw and real. This book will take everything you think you know about your self-perception and cause you to reconsider how you express that.
Beatrice
Aug 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I'll return to this one, both mindfully and with re-reads, because already within two weeks after having completed it this book has been very influential in my behavior, decisions, and general understanding of myself. Telling Secrets is beautifully honest and true. A wonderful read.
Adam
Mar 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Buechner's work, period. While reading his books, I'm frequently struck with an odd sense of familiarity, realizing only after considering that he just essentially said (in a much more eloquent manner) something that I've been wrestling with, thinking about, praying through, and more. He's incredibly quotable, as well.

'Telling Secrets' is a very personal, raw, and open book - if you're looking for something prescriptive, or specifically theologically pointed, you may do best to read somet
...more
Drew
Jun 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very important book. Beautifully written, of course, Buechner can only write beautifully. Buechner's father committed suicide when he was 10 years old. The book is wise, full of grace and hope and very tender. It relates how harmful secrets can be and it recounts what God can do when secrets are exposed to the light of day.
Joel
Mar 12, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Buechner's pen inks poetry, his words elegant and thoughtful. I enjoy reading him for his prose alone.

But this third memoir on his life runs too relativistically. He responds to a Divinity student with a humanistic athiest worldview, "Maybe she was right," Another student, a Unitarian Universalist, said he believed in "faith." When questioned "faith in what?", he responded "faith in faith." Buechner responded "he was doing the best he could." His mystical side comes out as he reflects on are any
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Jim Ainsworth
Nov 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book sat on my books-to-read shelf for a long time, possibly a decade. I don’t recall why or when I bought it and can’t explain why I never read it until now. Maybe it was waiting until I needed it. I think that happens a lot.

This is my first read of Buechner’s thirty books. It’s difficult to describe. He is an ordained minister who writes fiction and non-fiction. This memoir is in three parts. The titles seem allegorical, but Buechner delves into very real, personal and tragic events in h
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Rebekah Choat
Oct 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Telling Secrets is Buechner’s third volume of autobiography/memoir. The two earlier books, The Sacred Journey and Now and Then, dealt with what he calls the headlines of his life – his birth, his father’s death, the family’s moves to various different cities, school, marriage, and the like. This book turns to “the back pages of the paper where I have always thought the real news is anyway,” the interior life.

The author does an admirable job of sharing and exploring the secrets of his own life wh
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Sofie Brånedal
Aug 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This is what candor looks like. There is so much truth in this. I have not read anything like this before. It is not so much what he says as how he says it. It is to real to be a novel but also to personal to be a Christian non-fiction. A memoir is obviously something else entirely. I loved the melodic language. I loved Fredericks way of expressing complicated aspects of life by elaborate thoughts through the simplest of words. There were a few times where I struggled following his line of thoug ...more
Marion
Mar 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The last in the series of masterfully written 3 memoirs in which the author's personal journey of faith pierces the darkness of family secrets and denial, thus illustrating his central theme that redemption is available to all.
Amber
Jan 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My copy of this book has notes and highlights and underlining on just about every page. Buechner's honesty and storytelling has made my life richer. I highly recommend this for anyone struggling to make sense of complicated family histories.
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Frederick Buechner is a highly influential writer and theologian who has won awards for his poetry, short stories, novels and theological writings. His work pioneered the genre of spiritual memoir, laying the groundwork for writers such as Anne Lamott, Rob Bell and Lauren Winner.

His first book, A Long Day's Dying, was published to acclaim just two years after he graduated from Princeton. He entere
...more
More about Frederick Buechner...
“Stop trying to protect, to rescue, to judge, to manage the lives around you . . . remember that the lives of others are not your business. They are their business. They are God’s business . . . even your own life is not your business. It also is God’s business. Leave it to God. It is an astonishing thought. It can become a life-transforming thought . . . unclench the fists of your spirit and take it easy . . . What deadens us most to God’s presence within us, I think, is the inner dialogue that we are continuously engaged in with ourselves, the endless chatter of human thought. I suspect that there is nothing more crucial to true spiritual comfort . . . than being able from time to time to stop that chatter . . . ” 210 likes
“What we hunger for perhaps more than anything else is to be known in our full humanness, and yet that is often just what we also fear more than anything else. It is important to tell at least from time to time the secret of who we truly and fully are . . . because otherwise we run the risk of losing track of who we truly and fully are and little by little come to accept instead the highly edited version which we put forth in hope that the world will find it more acceptable than the real thing. It is important to tell our secrets too because it makes it easier . . . for other people to tell us a secret or two of their own . . . ” 133 likes
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