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review 2018-06-19 18:47
Friendly advice
Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar - Cheryl Strayed

Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life From Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed is a collection of the letters and responses that were printed in the advice column, "Dear Sugar", from The Rumpus. The topics range from love and marriage, cheating, identity (sexual and otherwise), parenting, relationships with parents/children, grief, and abuse. Strayed does not pull her punches and she doesn't apologize for it either. She somewhat softens the blows of her blunt advice and observations with endearments like 'sweet pea' and 'honey bun' but instead of sounding condescending it feels like it could be delivered by a trusted confidant. Lest you think that she gives this advice from a rather standoffish perspective it is often conveyed through her own personal experiences and struggles. When the column was originally written her identity was unknown which makes the intimacy and the rawness of the letter writers and her response to them such a unique and wonderful thing. If you've ever experienced turmoil in any area of your life (and you'd have to because that's just a natural part of things) then reading such real, honest advice delivered with love and respect is a welcome breath of fresh air. I laughed, cried, and goggled with incredulity while reading this book. It's an excellent palate cleanser if you're in a book reading rut or a great way to kick start your summer reading adventure. ;-) 10/10

 

The inner flap contains some great quotes. [Source: Cook, Wine, & Thinker!]

 

What's Up Next: The American Way of Death Revisited by Jessica Mitford

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Condoleezza Rice: A memoir of my extraordinary, ordinary family and me by Condoleezza Rice

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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text 2015-02-05 00:34
Reading progress update: I've read 85%.
Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar - Cheryl Strayed

Should an advice column make you want to cry? Because these make me want to cry.

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review 2013-07-14 00:00
Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar - Cheryl Strayed I missed these columns the first time around and agree with the sweet peas that suggested reading only a few letters at once for the best emotional impact to terms of endearment ratio but STILL, I teared up quite a few times reading this one. Quite a few.
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review 2013-05-20 00:00
Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar
Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love an... Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar - Cheryl Strayed Not long after I began hearing constant talk about Cheryl Strayed's Wild, which I still need to read, I heard about Tiny Beautiful Things; a sampling from her time as an advice columnist known as Dear Sugar. While hiking isn't really my thing, the epic journey of Wild and endless stream of recommendations was enough to make me curious. But why would I want to read a hodge podge of advice columns that I could skim through, or more likely skip over, online? Over the past year, several friends and trusted reviewers have given Tiny Beautiful Things tons of praise that I couldn't ignore. I'll admit that I can fold to a decent amount of peer pressure - in this case, I'm so happy I did.

Tiny Beautiful Things does it all. Strayed covers every topic imaginable, from frivolous high school love triangles to dealing with miscarriages and boyfriends wearing panties. But the magic of the book isn't just in the varied topics, it's in the way Sugar infuses her answers with a perfect blend of sense, understanding, vulgarity (those curse words are important), and bits of herself. While she is willing to call people out on the exact things they need to hear, she does it to be helpful instead of turning on the know-it-all tone that can make many advice columns unbearable.

[in response to a struggling young writer] "The most fascinating thing to me about your letter is that buried beneath all the anxiety and sorrow and fear and self-loathing, there's arrogance at its core. It presumes you should be successful at twenty-six, when really it takes most writers so much longer to get there. . . . You're up too high and down too low. Neither is the place where we get any work done. We get the work done on the ground level. And the kindest thing I can do for you is to tell you to get your ass on the floor."

I found myself struggling to hold back tears during most of Sugar's responses. Sometimes she shared heartbreaking stories from her own past that were difficult to read, but more often I found myself choked up over the beauty in her words. There is so much more to Tiny Beautiful Things than just advice, there is conversation - this book feels like a good friend.
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text 2013-04-16 01:12
If you had to recommend one book...
Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar - Cheryl Strayed

I hated that question when I worked at a bookstore-- because I think each person is looking for something different.

 

That said, tiny beautiful things is capable of being at least something to lots of different people.  It's an honest gut-punch, a loving validation, a pull-your-pants-up-and-get-on-with-your-life kick in the teeth from someone whose prose is so raw, so honest, so loving that even when the letters weren't about things that hit me too close to home, sometimes I still had to put the book down for a bit and just *gasp* at the truth of whatever it what Cheryl Strayed had just written.

 

I say this as someone who has only gotten halfway through Wild, and put down her novel about two chapters in. 

 

This book is different.  

 

This is tough love, self love, real love, true love.  It's not all the love you'll ever need between two orange paperback covers, and it's not the only book you'll ever need to cure whatever ails you-- but it's one that will help.  And which you'll turn around and start buying in stacks to hand out to your friends, even though you'll find yourself saying, as I do, "I'm not much of a self-help book person, but..."

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