Strong is the urge to write one's life story as a keepsake for oneself and one's family. The difficulty is knowing where
to start, and then where to go from there. Carl and David Marshall, a grandfather-grandson team, have created a fine and
fun do-it-yourself autobiography. The cover of the journal-sized Book of Myself is intended to resemble handmade paper;
the inside pages have the yellowed hue of a keepsake found in a musty attic trunk. The book is not especially pretty.
But the questions--one per page, divided into early, middle, and late years, and then again into sections concerning
family, friends, education, work and responsibilities, and the world--are good enough that it hardly matters. Among the
201 jumping-off points included here are questions concerning childhood toys, crushes, and forbidden exploits; adult
embarrassments, betrayals, and achievements; and how one's views change over the years. --Jane Steinberg