There is no book that I recommend higher than Tiny Beautiful Things. I’ve just finished reading it; I started it a little less than a week ago.
I’ve never before given anyone role model status but Sugar (Cheryl Strayed) is now right up on that pedestal and I know she handle it. Over the past couple of years I’ve started to really enjoy reading and writing after having it drummed into me as a child that I was less than average and my response being not to bother. Books like this one are the reason why I’m reading more and more; it simultaneously makes me want to write until my fingers drop off and never write another word. If I could touch one person in the way this book has touched me then it’d be worth every late night and moment of self-doubt, although a part of me believes that there is nothing more to say, Sugar has said all that is worth saying, in a style I could only dream of.
Fundamentally Tiny Beautiful Things show cases a collection of letters and responses (from Sugar) in an format, but as you read each response it becomes much more. The responses are wise, genuine, anecdotal, understanding and honest. Some almost brought tears to my eyes. Her answers are seldom black and white and often empowering, they’re a reminder that you can’t change other people, you need to think of yourself and that you can do it and you will. No one has an easy life and there are many times when we’ll need to ask for help or come at situations from a different angle, that’s allowed and what’s more you’ll be better for it.
This book has inspired me to be my ‘best self’ while at the same time being okay with the fact that I am far from perfect, I have a lot to learn and I will make mistakes. We probably won’t have the privilege of being able to ask Sugar for advice regarding the conundrums that life will no doubt throw at us, but at least we have this book.
I’ll be buying everyone a copy of Tiny Beautiful Things over the course of this year, I’d lend them mine but I couldn’t possibly risk not having it within arms reach.
Let me with leave you with three of my favorite bits of this book.
- The first is within the intro (written by Steve Almond, the original Sugar) and where, at five pages in, I knew this book was a goer:
- The second, a section where Sugar intelligently says it like it is while still being fair, honest and kind:
- Finally, a paragraph that resonated strongly with me, a lesson I’ve learnt…and will probably continue to forget and relearn over the years:
“You are not a terrible person for wanting to break up with someone you love. You don’t need a reason to leave. Wanting to leave is enough. Leaving doesn’t mean you’re incapable of real love or that you’ll never love anyone else again. It doesn’t mean you’re morally bankrupt or psychologically demented or a nymphomaniac. It means you wish to change the terms of one particular relationship. That’s all. Be brave enough to break your own heart.”