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Give the Gift of Six

Not Quite What I Was Planning

BUY: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound

Get the book that launched an international Six-Word Memoir® phenomenon and became a New York Times bestseller. Hailed as ‘American Haiku,’ praised from the NPR to The New Yorker, named one of Amazon’s Top 100 books of 2008, it’s 1,000 peeks at humanity, six words at a time.

“Deceptively simple and surprisingly addictive, Not Quite What I Was Planning is a thousand glimpses of humanity—six words at a time.

One Life. Six Words. What’s Yours?

When Hemingway famously wrote, “For Sale: baby shoes, never worn,” he proved that an entire story can be told using a half dozen words. When the online storytelling magazine SMITH asked readers to submit six-word memoirs, they proved a whole, real life can be told this way too. The results are fascinating, hilarious, shocking, and moving.

From small sagas of bittersweet romance (“Found true love, married someone else”) to proud achievements and stinging regrets (“After Harvard, had baby with crackhead”), these terse true tales relate the diversity of human experience in tasty bite-sized pieces. From authors Jonathan Lethem and Richard Ford to comedians Stephen Colbert and Amy Sedaris, to ordinary folks around the world, everyone has a six-word story to tell.” -Amazon


“Perfect for the American attention span…Will thrill minimalists and inspire maximalists.” (Vanity Fair)
“Irresistibly clever.” (Chicago Tribune)
“The brilliance is in the brevity.” (New York Post)
“You could spend a lifetime brainstorming.” (The New Yorker)
“In six words: Gimmicks should always be this fun.” (
“Compulsive reading…as insightful as any 300+ page biography.” (Publishers Weekly)
“A perfect distraction and inspiration, and a collection that begs to be shared.” (Denver Post)
“The pithiest of life stories.” (O magazine)


Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure

225 pages

Publisher: Harper Perennial (February 5, 2008)


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