Regular price: $28.00

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

Life can be hard: your lover cheats on you; you lose a family member; you can’t pay the bills. And it can be great: you’ve had the hottest sex of your life; you get that plum job; you muster the courage to write your novel. Sugar—the once-anonymous online columnist at The Rumpus, now revealed as Cheryl Strayed, author of the best-selling memoir Wild—is the person thousands turn to for advice. Tiny Beautiful Things gathers the best of "Dear Sugar" in one place and includes never-before-published columns and a new introduction by Steve Almond. Rich with humor, insight, compassion—and absolute honesty—this book is a balm for everything life throws our way.

©2012 Cheryl Strayed (P)2012 Random House

Critic Reviews

"A realistic and poignant compilation of the intricacies of relationships." (Kirkus Reviews)
"These pieces are nothing short of dynamite, the kind of remarkable, revelatory storytelling that makes young people want to become writers in the first place. Over here at the Salon offices, we're reading the columns with boxes of tissue and raised fists of solidarity, shaking our heads with awe and amusement." (Sarah Hepola, Salon)
"Charming, idiosyncratic, luminous, profane.... [Sugar] is remaking a genre that has existed, in more or less the same form, since well before Nathanael West’s Miss Lonelyhearts first put a face on the figure in 1933.... Her version of tough love ranges from hip-older-sister-loving to governess-stern. Sugar shines out amid the sea of fakeness." (The New Republic)

More from the same

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.7 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    1,234
  • 4 Stars
    225
  • 3 Stars
    61
  • 2 Stars
    25
  • 1 Stars
    12

Performance

  • 4.7 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    1,108
  • 4 Stars
    184
  • 3 Stars
    72
  • 2 Stars
    17
  • 1 Stars
    6

Story

  • 4.7 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    1,080
  • 4 Stars
    205
  • 3 Stars
    63
  • 2 Stars
    21
  • 1 Stars
    12
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A Spoonful of Sugar

Always leary, am I, when non-clinicians start openly penning generalized advice (beyond dealing with biscuits that won't rise or resistant scuff marks) to people with problems that could be potentially serious or life-threatening--we don't need to look very far to see the inherent problems with such an approach. But after listening, I report that Miss Sugar is wise enough to always advise some medicine with her spoonful of sugar, and for the most part, in her essay-esque responses, directs her sweet peas toward professional counsel/support if needed. Miss Sugar is indeed wise, as well as compassionate and poetic. (*Strayed does have life-experience, obvious in her book Wild.)

This is an interesting mix -- author/advice columnist, novel/inspirational stories -- but just plugging it in and listening doesn't do it justice. In large doses the stream of advice-hidden-in-a-story becomes repetitive and more about the writer and creative writing than the problem. And with so many prose-filled personal stories, you begin to feel like this columnist not only yearns for the life of a novelist (funny thing), but also lived a life manufactured specifically for recalling and expending advice, which sometimes translates as too convenient, and unbelievable. [Imagine the hint-rich Heloise advising you.."I know mahogany can be problematic, and I'm sorry you have to deal with that hard and unfair fact, I also once owned a stubborn credenza... with a flowing perfect arc, move your cloud-like, lemon-scented cloth with the graceful grain of the wood on your credenza, becoming one with the oiled glistening panel of life recorded in those mahogany rings..." you get it.] But, Miss Sugar seems to pull up, just when you think she is going to drown the question in the reflective pool of her own life, and return to advising.

On the positive side, is the positive! Strayed is a good writer, and she uses those skills to be both entertaining and inspirational. Often in this book you will pick up some sparkling gems of wisdom. I was impressed with her good-karma emphasis on not only being a better person, but hoping for better for those around you, getting the whole team across the finish line. This would be a great book to pick up every day and read a passage, also a nice gift. Strayed does a good job narrating; I liked her voice work better here than on Wild. She still has that rock-hard edginess and no problem with dropping the F, or kicking pity-partiers off their asses--be prepared for some hard hitting--but nothing below the belt. Worthwhile listen; suggested enjoying in bits rather than one long session. (Another great pick up from this book...The Rumpus! A nice on-line magazine I intend on checking out more often, including the Miss Sugar column.)

20 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • rebecca
  • Montreal, QC, Canada
  • 09-04-12

Engrossing

What did you love best about Tiny Beautiful Things?

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.

What did you like best about this story?

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.

What about Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond (intro) ’s performance did you like?

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".

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

You are human and you need to be loved, just like everyone else does.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Samuel
  • PITTSBURGH, Panama
  • 08-08-12

Incredible mix of stories and life philosophy

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

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.

Any additional comments?

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).

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • kimberly
  • claremont, CA, United States
  • 07-18-12

Touching, heart-breaking, funny, wise...memorable

I believe my headline says it all, but let's see if I can add more praise. I just adored this book. The book is a series of letters and responses to and from an advice columnist called Dear Sugar (Cheryl Strayed). This is no Dear Abby/ Ann Landers/ Ask Amy type experience. This book is not strident/ pedantic as are some advice- givers. This is like advice from a wise and fabulously credentialed therapist/ best friend/ mom/ teacher.

I listen to a lot of audiobooks and most are not that memorable, although perfectly enjoyable. This one will stick with you AND make you a better person. There will be something there for you, I promise.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Beautiful and Sacred

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Treat yourself

Sugar gets it ... all the complicated, messy, heartbreaking bits of humanity. She really gets it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • K.M.H.
  • St. Louis, MO
  • 01-15-16

Beautiful, magnanimous, introspective

What did you love best about Tiny Beautiful Things?

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.

Who was your favorite character and why?

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."

What does Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond (intro) bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Story

Absolutely loved this book!!

Sugar's insight, bold honesty and loving nature are all what made this book superbly wonderful! I couldn't be more grateful to my friend who recommended this book to me!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Great book for everyone!

One of your life stories is in here. Get ready to feel good about it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

So great! Now subscribed to podcast too.

I listened to WILD(audible), enjoyed the movie, read and listened Tiny Beautiful and now I am hooked on the Dear Sugar Podcast. I am a ceramic artist and listen in my studio/doing laundry/taking walks/making the bed. The advice and examples of life's many twists and turns hits home in so many ways. Thank you thank you thank you! Oh and more,please.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful