If You Find This Letter: My Journey to Find Purpose Through Hundreds of Letters to Strangers  -     By: Hannah Brencher
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If You Find This Letter: My Journey to Find Purpose Through Hundreds of Letters to Strangers

Howard Books / 2016 / Paperback

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Product Description

When Hannah Brencher moved to New York City, fresh out of college, she expected that her life would quickly fall into place. She'd find success, love, and purpose easily. However, when the reality proved much more difficult than she imagined, she began to struggle with depression and loneliness. To counter her own feelings, she began writing letters, leaving them all across Manhattan for strangers to find. Then she launched a website, The World Needs More Love Letters, where anyone, across the world could request an encouraging letter. Overnight, her inbox exploded with requests, and the rest is history.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 272
Vendor: Howard Books
Publication Date: 2016
Dimensions: 8.37 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 1476784108
ISBN-13: 9781476784106

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Publisher's Description

A heartwarming memoir of love and faith from Hannah Brencher—founder of The World Needs More Love Letters—who has dedicated her life to showing total strangers that they are not alone in the world.

Fresh out of college, Hannah Brencher moved to New York ready to change the world. Instead, she found a city full of people who knew where they were going and what they were doing and didn’t have time for a girl still trying to figure it all out. Lonely and depressed, she noticed a woman who looked like she felt the same way on the subway. Hannah did something strange—she wrote the woman a letter. She folded it, scribbled “If you find this letter, it’s for you…” on the front and left it behind.

When she realized that it made her feel better, she started writing and leaving love notes all over the city—in doctor’s offices, in coat pockets, in library books, in bathroom stalls. Feeling crushed within a culture that only felt like connecting on a screen, she poured her heart out to complete strangers. She found solace in the idea that her words might brighten someone’s day.

Hannah’s project took on a life of its own when she made an offer on her blog: She would handwrite a note and mail it to anyone who wanted one. Overnight, her inbox exploded with requests from people all over the world. Nearly 400 handwritten letters later, she started the website, The World Needs More Love Letters, which quickly grew.

There is something about receiving a handwritten note that is so powerful in today’s digital era. If You Find This Letter chronicles Hannah’s attempts to bring more love into the world—and shows how she rediscovered her faith through the movement she started.

Author Bio

Hannah Brencher is a writer, national speaker, and founder of The World Needs More Love Letters. The global community has grown to over 20,000 individuals across six continents, fifty-three countries, all fifty states, and is established on over sixty-three college campuses. Named as one of the White House’s "Women Working to Do Good" and a spokesperson for the United States Postal Service, Hannah has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Oprah, Glamour, USATODAY.com, Chicago Tribune, and dozens of other publications. Hannah graduated from Assumption College in 2010 with a double major in Sociology and English, with a concentration in Writing and Mass Communications. For more information, visit HannahBrencher.com or MoreLoveLetters.com. 

Editorial Reviews

“If You Find This Letter is the story behind the letters,how they came to be, what inspired them and what’s next for this letter-writingrock star. The book was beautifully written, uplifting and heartbreaking at thesame time.”
“Brencher will make you laugh. Her turn ofphrase, and the letter requests will make you cry, and the idea behind MoreLove Letters will restore your faith in your fellow humans, if it is waning. Itwill remind you that love is strong, that strangers can be full of love foryou, and that, most importantly, we are not alone.”
“Through emotional,real-life—albeit universally relatable—moments set in specificity and passion,these pages describe the crises and self-discoveries that shape us all withpalpable honesty and encouragement. Love is tangible here, as simple as ink andempathy left across hometowns and in each other’s mailboxes.”
If You Find This Letter is certainly engaging...[Brencher’s] notjust a good writer; she’s an exceptional writer, a fresh voice reaching outacross generational lines.”

Product Reviews

4.7 Stars Out Of 5
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  1. VA
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    If You Find This Letter
    March 10, 2015
    Amy C
    VA
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    This review was written for If You Find This Letter.
    If You Find This Letter: My Journey to Find Purpose Through Hundreds of Letters to Strangers is an interesting memoir. The author tells about her journey of how she battled depression and how she moved to New York. One day while riding the subway, she decides to write a fellow rider an letter of encouragement. Though the woman left before the letter was written, this started a new ambition in the author. She writes letter after letter to give to various strangers to give them inspiration.

    I thought the book to be quite uplifting and a reminder that the little things you do for someone can be huge to them.

    4 stars

    I received this book from Howard Books in exchange for my honest opinion, which was given.
  2. Victorville, CA
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Inside us all is a part that wants to know we are wanted in this life!
    February 24, 2015
    Heart2Heart
    Victorville, CA
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This review was written for If You Find This Letter.
    "Dear you,

    You and I have never met so we should probably just start here. Before any other words get placed on this page, you should know that our time together is limited. We probably won't ever meet beyond this one encounter. You won't know me apart from the creases in this paper and swooping of my cursive. We won't ever sit down over coffee or laugh like we're plucking old jokes from our memory. We may never have this kind of thing and I want to learn to be okay with that...

    I'm struggling. Struggling in a way that I don't know how to admit to anyone around me. I moved to New York City just two months ago and still haven't found myself at home among the clamor. I feel like I should have sunk more easily into this role as a New Yorker, as Somebody who doesn't speak and doesn't smile and sits in coffee shops alone and is just fine with the solitude. But I'm not. It's driving me crazy. I'm falling apart. I see a girl and a guy meet up in the center of Grand Central, after they've both said good-bye to the longer part of their day, and something inside me starts to ache. Because I want that familiar face. I want someone, anyone, to tell me I am not alone in all of this.

    I don't know your story and I guess that doesn't really matter now; at least it doesn't stop me from wanting the very best for you. You deserve that, don't you know it?



    It's a little funny. That's the thing we never say to one another - that we all deserve goodness. That we deserve the best stories. That our lives are something to be in awe of and we are just so lucky to be alive and breathing today. It is the first thing I forget. It will probably be the first truth I discard when I fold up this love letter and walk away. I will continue bustling around like crazy, thinking I might find another moment to tell someone how much they truly matter to me. And then I will forget to look up. And the day will suddenly be over.

    I don't want you to slip through my fingers like that so do me a favor and know the truth; You're worth it. You are absolutely, unbelievably worth it and you were made for mighty things. Keep pushing on. Keep pressing. Don't let anyone in this wide, wide world every try to snuff out the light you bring. Yo have to know that it matters. The world is going to try to convince you otherwise but don't listen. Please. Don't. Listen. You are a marvel. It matters that you are here. If ever you forget these things, come find me.

    Sending light and love,

    A girl just trying to find her way." (86-87).

    In the book, If You Find This Letter by Hannah Brencher, you will uncover something pretty amazing about her and what she did with her life when she moved to New York City in search of meaning to her life. She found that by leaving random letters to people in a variety of places, she was touching a place that most people had in common with her, a need to feel worthy, a need to belong. This is a personal memoir of how writing love letters to people created its own powerful force in the world when The World Needs More Love Letters was launched to address the need for people to be encouraged and acknowledged in this world. From letters she received from her own mother and grandmother to the letters she would write to people in need, this is a truly unforgettable journey into how the actions of just one person can truly change lives forever.

    I received If You Find This Letter by Hanneh Brencher compliments of Howard Books, a division of Simon and Schuster Publishers for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions contained here are strictly my own unless otherwise notated. This book made me realize that we can all make a difference if we are only willing to step out in faith and try. For me it will be using my blog to reach out and offer encouragement to those who truly need it and to pray for people who ask. For those who are wondering what their purpose is in life, I would encourage you to read this book, you might just be surprised by the answers you find when you finish and thus the reason for a 4.5 out of 5 stars in my opinion.
  3. Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Because she describes what she notices, we want to open our eyes and see.
    February 12, 2015
    Sufficient in Jesus
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This review was written for If You Find This Letter.
    If You Find This Letter is a memoir by "a girl who's just trying to find her way."

    That's how Hannah describes herself. And this is excellent reading. Captivating. Unpretentious. Quietly wise.

    Hannah Brencher is a noticer, the kind of person who allows things matter to her, to change her, even if it hurts.

    As writers and lovers must, she seems to drink in people and places and pieces of life.

    (In a world as beautiful and terrible as ours, this noticing is a dangerous way to live. It gives you everything, yes, and it demands everything in response.)

    This book is a praise hymn to growing up and stretching out our wings and to coming home and treasuring our people.

    It's about making space in our hearts and saying goodbye and holding what we love gently and bravely.

    It's about the endurance of stories and the power of kind and honest words coming together in the gift of letters.

    If you've ever had the privilege of writing and getting letters, then you'll find this book to be a nourishing feast.

    You'll recognize the magic of letters winging their way across the miles and into mailboxes up and down country roads and city streets.

    You'll already know the weight of care and intention that a letter bears.

    You'll remember the particular delight of knowing that the writer's hand was all over that paper, and that this specific beloved always curves their e's that certain way and that one use circles instead of dots in their exclamation points.

    You'll say, with Emily Dickinson- "A letter is a joy of earth."

    If you've never been able to savor letters written and received, then this book will make a convert out of you.

    And you'll want to go visit MoreLoveLetters dot com, so that you can be a part of this whole thing.

    Ultimately, it's a book about love.

    "No matter how much I pretend the world might be about something else- something bigger and brighter and shinier and more perfect that that- I think love still wins the race to steal our hearts." ~ Hannah Brencher

    And as C. S. Lewis says: To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken..."

    Thank you to Howard Books for my review copy. I think I know a fellow word-lover who will want to borrow If You Find This Letter next.
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