As a long-time reader of the column, I loved hearing it spoken out loud, as I have heard it in my head while reading it. I loved the flow of each Q&A section and how as the book goes on, a cohesiveness comes through of the similarity of our human needs and desires.
The stories from Cheryl Strayed's life that she inserts in her responses that sometimes feel like they are completely out of left field, but eventually come full circle with clear intent. This is probably her best trait as an advice columnist that she can bring herself and her own experiences into the fold without overshadowing the original question or the asker's dilemma.
I did not particularly care for Steve Almond's performance, although I liked the intro itself. His delivery was drab and had a slightly cloying tone which did nothing for me. Strayed's performance is really quite good and the evenness of her tone produces a zen-like effect which allows one to become engrossed in each word. However, I wish she would have occasionally produced some variation in delivery depending on the dynamic of the question and the sentiment behind the answer. It got a bit "samey".
You are human and you need to be loved, just like everyone else does.
Absolutely, this was a life changing book. I would recommend it to anyone who has faced challenges or struggles in their life. It is a guide for overcoming adversity - not just by sticking your head down and working through it - but by providing an emotional guide for processing the difficult parts of life, empowering us to transform our challeneges into character and strength, creativity and culture. It is a inspiring "self-help" type of book for those of us who would usually be more likely to read literary criticism or classics than anything that is typically thought of as self-help.
Cheryl's performance gets better as you go along - at first her pacing was uneven with some unnecessary pauses but she fixes this quickly. It is really powerful to listen to an author telling her own story (especially for a memoir-type book... her story really is HER STORY).
Yes, I felt like the audio edition added to the emotion in this book.
When the author writes about her work with inner city girls
Love that Cheryl read this. Loved hearing her humor, her wry sarcasm, and things that broke her heart. It sounds cliche to say I laughed, I cried, and my heart broke, too, but it did.
Did I mention how good this book was?
I couldn't stop listening and I was so sad when it was over. unlike any book I've ever read. it touches you on so many levels. the book and author are truly amazing. it felt so real.
Tiny Beautiful Things is truly a beautiful book, filled with sincere love, frank honesty, and wisdom. It will make you laugh, cry, and love deeper than before.
It's a great book if you're interested in self-reflecting and personal growth. It can calm you down when you're angry and lift you up when you're sad.
I highly recommend this to my friends and family who have experienced hard times, depression, or personal turmoil.
This book will leave you well.
One of the letters to Sugar mentioned something along the lines of her words sounding almost sacred. I completely understand this comment. She is very thoughtful in her responses, but this isn't the what I find the most beautiful thing about her columns. Sugar is a paragon of tolerance. No matter what background you are from or what you have done in the past... there is hope and a way forward (though she fully recognizes it will not be easy in many circumstances). Her past experiences lend credit to her responses and lead her to typically provide concrete advice to her writers.
This book doesn't really contain characters, so I will mention a few of my favorite letters/responses. These profound meaning behind these excerpts are the ones that I try to carry with me.Her response to the Lusty Broad: "There’s a poem by Adrienne Rich I first read twenty years ago called 'Splittings' that I thought of when I read your letter. The last two lines of the poem are: 'I choose to love this time for once / with all my intelligence.' It seemed such a radical thought when I first read those lines when I was twenty-two—that love could rise from our deepest, most reasoned intentions rather than our strongest shadowy doubts."The Ghost Ship: "Every life, Tranströmer writes, 'has a sister ship,' one that follows 'quite another route' than the one we ended up taking. We want it to be otherwise, but it cannot be: the people we might have been live a different, phantom life than the people we are."
This is one of the few cases in which a book is appropriately narrated by the author. Cheryl reading her responses as she indented them to be conveyed adds integrity to the work.