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Cheryl Strayed is "Sugar"the once anonymous voice behind the weekly "Dear Sugar" advice column that first appeared in the Rumpus online literary magazine. Unlike other advice columnists, Sugar shares in "Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life" the thorniest most painful experiences from her own life to help each letter writer work through their situation. She isn't embarrassed by her readers emotions or her own. She often sees problems before the reader can, offers enough compassion for them to feel safe and enough wisdom to hold onto hope.
Cheryl told Radhika Jones, in the June 25, 2012 edition of "Time" magazine, her column is therapy in the town square. Nobody is the therapist. "I'm actually trying to work against the tradition of know-it-all advice...I say to people, I know that you're all f----- up, because I am too, or I have been too."
Cheryl began writing Sugar in March 2010. Although she'd not read many advice columns she'd experienced heartbreak, abuse, making mistakes and learning from them. She's cared for here dying mother, gotten married and divorced and married again; shot heroin in her ankle; worked as a waitress and a youth advocate; published a novel; had an abortion and given birth to two children.
Cheryl's also the author of "Wild" a recently released memoir about her solo hike along the Pacific Crest Trail in her mid 20s. Actress Reese Witherspoon has optioned "Wild"for film development and Oprah Winfrey's picked it for her newly relaunched book club.
Cheryl, now in her early 40s, is married to Brian Lindstrom, a documentary filmmaker. They have an eight year-old son and a six-year-old daughter.
Ruth Franklin with the "New Republic" says "Tiny Beautiful Things" is a balm and guide for all that life throws our way. Sugar's charming, idiosyncratic, luminous, profane voice shines out amid the sea of fakeness. I couldn't agree more.
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on 27 April 2016
I loved this book. So much. It was so therapeutic for me, and a lot of what she wrote really spoke to me. I personally think she gives great advice, and the range of topics covered in this book means everyone can find something for them to take from her advice in this book. I'm so glad this woman exists and I almost cried many times during this book. So honest and wise. Best book I've read in a while.
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on 8 September 2013
Intense, dense, challenging book that posits a rigorous, dare I say beautiful, moral code for modern life. It is probably a love-or-hate book, but it is definitely worth reading.
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on 11 February 2015
A wonderful read for either dipping into or reading right through. I enjoyed the candid yet appropriate, considered and compassionate style that offered meaningful although at times direct advice/thoughts. Within the serious message of the text there was humour and something for me to think about with regards to my own life experience. A great read by an excellent author. Highly recommended.
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on 16 August 2015
This is a summary of advice given which is unlike anything you will ever read again, it is advice given from the heart from someone who has suffered and can reach deep within her for advice which is really authentic, and delivered with the genius of a writer and the raw authenticity of pain understood and shared. Having had well meant advice from professionals who seem not to understand and friends who again don't really understand, this came along at the right time for me. It is a really breathtaking and memorable book, a testament to the courage of the author and the courage of those she reaches out to help. Highly recommended, whether you have read her other work or not.
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on 29 May 2015
This book was recommended to me by a friend and I have to say I loved it. Good, honest, sometimes brutally honest advice and stories that would have you tearful one minute and grinning from ear to ear the next.
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on 21 May 2015
When I started the book , I was struggling with it. It seemed like she was using other people's problems as an excuse to talk about herself and her issues, which I had only recently read about in 'Wild'. It was pretty tedious for a while but I'm glad I stuck with it as her way of writing to people and communicating with them started to grow on me and I actually started appreciating her advice and humour. Still not a great read but a lot better than the first few letters would have had me believe.
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on 14 March 2015
Great book encourage you to read because even if you didn't read the sugar columns then you will at least have been through or had thoughts similar to those people in the book and it might make you think about your own life quite inspiring
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on 8 January 2014
This book takes you on a rollercoaster ride through every emotion, from sadness to laughter, and then enlightenment in recognising some of the letter-writers' dilemmas in your own life, and being thoroughly relieved and uplifted after reading "Sugar's" agony aunt response to each one. Definitely read this!
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on 17 September 2015
I love reading, I have read so many books in my life it would be impossible for me to count or even hazard a guess. This book is up there at the top of that list for the most beautifully written book I have read. It's like poetry, advice that really comes from the heart of an incredible human that is Cheryl Strayed. It will move you, regardless if the advice is relevant to you. My advice, read this book. It might just change your life.
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