Heather's Reviews > Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar

Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed
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After reading her book Wild, I decided to pick up Cheryl Strayed's book Tiny Beautiful Things, mainly because I liked Strayed's writing style and I wanted to know more about her. In hindsight, I probably could have saved myself the money because you can read many of the letters written if not all, in the archives of the Rumpus website.

Strayed is very high empathy which I appreciated a lot while reading her responses to some of the letters she's received since become "Sugar" of the Dear Sugar advice column on the rumpus. In fact, I would say Strayed has a gift for conveying her empathy via writing, while still not fearing to tell it like it is or shy away from the truth lurking behind many of her reader's issues. I didn't always agree with her advice but not once did I ever feel like throwing the book at the wall,even when I did disagree.

After a while, it became clear that Strayed uses these reader letters as a jump-off point to then relate it back to something in her life, and wax-poetic on that. In other words, the advice column seems to be a platform for her writing every bit as much as it is for advice. This is partially why I picked the book up in the first place, but there were times when I couldn't help thinking "You just spent 2 pages talking about yourself and one paragraph addressing the other person's problem". I can't help but feel Strayed is a tad self-centered (aren't we all?)but I think that is almost impossible to avoid when you are heavily involved in memoir-style writing, so I can't complain too much.

All in all, I found this book to be an inspiring read. And there are so many delicious quotables, I doubt I'll be able to keep my copy unmarked.

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Quotes Heather Liked

Cheryl Strayed
“I happen to believe that America is dying of loneliness, that we, as a people, have bought into the false dream of convenience, and turned away from a deep engagement with our internal lives—those fountains of inconvenient feeling—and toward the frantic enticements of what our friends in the Greed Business call the Free Market. We’re hurtling through time and space and information faster and faster, seeking that network connection. But at the same time we’re falling away from our families and our neighbors and ourselves. We ego-surf and update our status and brush up on which celebrities are ruining themselves, and how. But the cure won’t stick.”
Cheryl Strayed, Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar

Cheryl Strayed
“The story of human intimacy is one of constantly allowing ourselves to see those we love most deeply in a new, more fractured light. Look hard. Risk that.”
Cheryl Strayed, Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar

Cheryl Strayed
“Don't surrender all your joy for an idea you used to have about yourself that isn't true anymore.”
Cheryl Strayed, Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar


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