Reading this book was practically a religious experience (and trust – I do not have those very often!). I read it in one sitting, which despite my love of books, does not often happen. I barely moved out of my bed for hours – hours that I barely noticed passing. Strangest part is, it’s not even fiction! Usually it’s novels that pull me in this much, but I think it must be the wonderful storytelling that this book is packed with that hooked me.
This book by Cheryl Strayed was a nominee for best 2012 nonfiction book on GoodReads this year, and I put it on my to-read list without thinking too much of it. I almost feel lucky that I decided to check it out of the library, because (*cheesiness alert*) I hate to think that I might not have read this book. I’m serious! It was exactly what I needed to read, exactly when I needed to read it. As a twenty-one-year-old who is weeks away from finishing her second-last undergraduate semester, this book was a salve and an inspiration. I know I sound totally cuckoo, and maybe I am, but it left a huge impression on me.
The book is a collection of the letters and answers to an online advice column called Dear Sugar. The questions range from coping with jealousy to dealing with rejection to leaving relationships to insecurities of all types to learning how to love again to facing reality. Those stories are all very interesting. But my favourite part is reading her answers, because they aren’t just answers. Yes, there’s wisdom (buckets of it), and many simple, simple truths (that everyone needs to hear, I think). But what makes this book so special is how the author weaves in the stories of her own sadness, despair, heartbreak, resilience, happiness, love, and strength. Reading these conversations is like a glimpse into the real, accessible, relatable world. The advice she gives is like a DIY guide to being a strong, healthy, capable adult.
I filled a few pages in my notebook with quotes from this book, and I am going to buy my own copy soon. I am thinking of giving this book as a gift to my close friends this Christmas – it’s that good, people! It’s one of those books that should be required reading, you know? Okay, happy Monday you beautiful souls – let’s all go and be better people today, shall we? xo.
(ps. get it here, if you’re interested)