Welcome to Read this Book, a newsletter where I recommend one book that needs to jump onto your TBR pile! These books come from all sorts of different genres and age ranges. This week I’m sharing a book I’ve been listening to while traveling for the holiday!
Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed
I didn’t expect to be listening to Tiny Beautiful Things while flying across the country to visit family in California. But there I was, tearing up on a late direct flight as Cheryl Strayed dealt out her incredibly thought-provoking advice.
Strayed began writing anonymously as Sugar for an advice column on The Rumpus over a decade ago. She answered letters requesting advice, often sharing intimate memories from her own life. She had a way of creating deep emotional intimacy and teasing free the subtleties of the letters she answered.
I have to admit, I struggle to find self-help books that I like. Perhaps this is a fault of my personal taste (feel free to send me recommendations for your favorites!), but sometimes I find a book like Tiny Beautiful Things that knocks my socks off and reminds me of how helpful this genre can be.
She answers many questions about relationships, parenting, dealing with loss, and friendship. But she gives advice in a way that validates these common and relatable questions. In one question, she answers a teenager about why it’s important to understand that your friends will inevitably date people they don’t like. She writes to a trans man who has had a difficult relationship with his parents. She writes to new moms and older moms. But whoever she’s writing to, she invests her whole heart.
Strayed’s columns remind me that I’m not the only one who struggles with navigating life’s ups and downs. We’ve all struggled with similar things. And during those times the answers might be staring us square in the face, but we still wonder if we are doing the right thing. I think this is why the book works. We all have moments in our life where we might know the answer, or maybe we just need reassurance. Whatever it is, Strayed seems to know just what to say.
In this 10th anniversary edition, Strayed adds some columns that she wrote for her Substack, the newest manifestation of her column. So if you’re like me and missed the Tiny Beautiful Things phenomenon the first go around, now is the perfect time to jump on the bandwagon. Plus, if you’re an audiobook fan, she performs the audio!
Want to read books from this newsletter? You can, for free! Get three free audiobooks with a trial to Audiobooks.com. Claim your 3 free audiobooks now!
That’s it for this week! You can find me over on my substack Winchester Ave or over on Instagram @kdwinchester. As always, feel free to drop me a line at email@example.com. For even MORE bookish content, you can find my articles over on Book Riot.
Happy reading, Friends!