I have this need pouring from within me, this need to talk about Cheryl – Cheryl Strayed, the author. Awhile back, I read her memoir about her hike on the Pacific Trail, her struggles to deal with her mother’s death, a failed marriage, what appeared to be a failed life. The book is called Wild. There are parts of that book that made me cringe, parts that assailed my sense of morality, but always, always there is truth. There is reality. There is unrelenting honesty.
I recently saw a review of another book written by Cheryl; actually a book containing correspondence generated during her time as an advice columnist for an online publication at Rumpus.net. I have read Dear Abby, I have read other advice columnists over the years, finding them too quick to offer responses that might sound easy to the writer, but are not really very easy, nor were they especially helpful. The title of this book is Tiny Beautiful Things, so when I went looking for the digital version, I found it for the Kindle and immediately purchased it.
A bit of a side note here – I always check the prices of digital books at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and iBooks, usually after checking to see if our online library has them in stock (it’s shocking how many recent titles and sometimes not-so-recent title they do not have). This is the side of me that allows me to justify buying yet another book – the side that says “oh look, the Kindle version is $1 less than the Nook version”.
Today I started reading that book. This past month or so I have limited my reading to magazines because I have not been able to truly focus on the books I’ve started reading, but today found me with all of my magazines read, so I opted to start Tiny Beautiful Things. I have finished only 31 pages of the 353 in that book, but it has grabbed my heart and clung to it, squeezing until I feel the pain. Cheryl does not mince words – she does not always use politically correct language – she has a lot of street kid in her I think – but again I’m hearing the honesty, the reality of how some lives go. The unrelenting honesty.
Taking a break from reading, I first explored prices of her first novel, Torch, and finding that I could save (drum roll) $1.48 on the Kindle version, have downloaded it. I will finish the Tiny Beautiful Things, I will read Torch, I will extoll Cheryl’s writing to the skies, and I will watch for more from her.
You might want to check these books out – download a sample, read a few pages in the bookstore – who knows, you might also find you like her writing.