Dom’s Book Club for April, 2017: Tiny Beautiful Things, by Cheryl Strayed

Tiny Beautiful Things:
Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar

Years ago a writer named Steve Almond began an advice column on The Rumpus, an online literary site. The idea was that this mythical sage, named Sugar, would dispense advice on love and life. But by 2010, after about a year, Steve was ready to move on to other things.

Enter Cheryl Strayed, the author of the beloved books Wild and Torch. She became the woman-behind-the-curtain, and the Dear Sugar advice continued to flow.

But the change in authorship brought a different feel to the wisdom. In fact, it was unlike almost any advice column ever.

Ever.

Before long people were transfixed by the personal – sometimes painfully personal – flavor with which Sugar responded to her correspondence. You might equate “advice columnist” with old-school types like Dear Abby, but, boy, were you in for a surprise. Sugar wasn’t afraid to reference her own experiences, and some of those would drop your jaw.

Tiny Beautiful Things is a collection of missives from the column. It’s part memoir, part advice dispensary, but it’s 100% fascinating. Whether you can relate to the individual questions or not, you’ll likely find nuggets that touch you on a personal level. And be forewarned, it can be sensitive at times.

But Cheryl Strayed is a master at taking someone’s problems and distilling them into their basic components. And, dammit, she’s simply a great writer, which makes it all even better.

Pick up Tiny Beautiful Things at The Tattered Cover Book Store. And when you mention Dom’s Book Club, they’ll graciously knock off 20% on this particular title.

Happy reading.

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