Cheryl Strayed's Tiny Beautiful Things makes me feel all kinds of feelings.
At first I was rather skeptical--this is a book of questions and answers from Strayed's column at The Rumpus, but what is the probability that I'll face a similar problem to the ones I'm reading about in this book? How if I cannot relate to the book at all? After I finish reading it I realize that's not the point.
- Some of the problems are closer to what I've been through more than I thought they were. This makes me feel like I'm not alone, and that alone already helps a lot.
- The answers in this book are not detailed steps on how to solve a problem. Some people might be off-put by the fact that Strayed did seem to spend a lot of time telling people her own (or her friend's) stories, but I personally find this as the greatest strength of the book. It's nice to hear that other people have gone through a similar ordeal--that we're not alone, after all. Not everyone ends up living happily ever after, but at least we're given insights on things that do work or do not work and not just some untested BS.
Not to mention that Strayed is a damn good writer. I wish I could write like her. I don't know how else to describe it, but her writings are raw and they just speak to you somehow. I haven't read Wild but I'm planning to pick it up sometime soon.