A few years back I gave my older daughter, an avid outdoor’s woman, Cheryl Strayed’s book Wild (even though I am a big fan of Reese, the book is so much better than the movie). This Christmas, my daughter gave me Cheryl’s earlier book, Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar, which is a compilation of advice columns Cheryl wrote for a literary magazine, The Rumpus.
If you haven’t read this book, why, you might be asking, should you read 353 pages about other’s people’s problems? Because it will speak to you on the most personal level. (Unless, you’re perfect, which Dear Sugar would immediately set you straight and tell you that you are not.) People come to Cheryl with the most private, sometimes funny, but also raw, emotional experiences, and ask for her guidance. Cheryl, in the most straightforward, sometimes beautiful and sometimes shocking way, answers them. Cheryl excels at giving advice, because she demands her readers be upfront and honest with their issues. Her answers are brilliantly succinct, and they often make you wonder why you hadn’t seen an issue through her lens before. Reading this book has made me rethink how to approach some of mine and other situations I find myself in.
It isn’t so much an emotional roller coaster, as it is a deep, beautiful reflection of what it means to be human, and how and where to find joy in life. I am on the last pages and do not want it to end. I am sure I will reference it again and again.
Sandy Liao says
Somebody gave me this book whilst I was very ill and in bed recovering. You describe it exactly as I would. There is nothing quite like it out there as far as I know. I found tremendous comfort here, and very connected to all the stories and to Cheryl’s advice, mostly because of the collective raw human voice that resonated. These stories took my mind off a lot of suffering, and connected me to the world at large. Thanks for posting and reminding me of this little treasure.
Thank you for suggesting this book. The shear exposed humanness of the book makes me want to give it to (share it with) every single person I care about most.