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Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar
 
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Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar [Format Kindle]

Cheryl Strayed
5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)

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Descriptions du produit

Extrait


From the INTRODUCTION
by Steve Almond
 


I Was Sugar Once: Lessons in Radical Empathy

 
Long ago, before there was a Sugar, there was Stephen Elliott. He had this idea for a website, which sounds pretty awful, I admit, except that his idea was really to build an online community around literature, called The Rumpus. Being a writer himself, and therefore impoverished, Stephen prevailed upon his likewise impoverished writer friends to help.
 
And we, his friends, all said yes, because we love Stephen and because (if I may speak for the group) we were all desperate for a noble-seeming distraction. My contribution was an advice column, which I suggested we call Dear Sugar Butt, after the endearment Stephen and I had taken to using in our email correspondence. I will not belabor the goofy homoeroticism that would lead to such an endearment. It will be enough to note that Dear Sugar Butt was shortened, mercifully, to Dear Sugar.
 
Handing yourself a job as an advice columnist is a pretty arrogant thing to do, which is par for my particular course. But I justified it by supposing that I could create a different sort of advice column, both irreverent and brutally honest. The design flaw was that I conceived of Sugar as a persona, a woman with a troubled past and a slightly reckless tongue.
 
And while there were moments when she felt real to me, when I could feel myself locking into the pain of my correspondents, more often I faked it, making do with wit where my heart failed me. After a year of dashing off columns, I quit.
 
And that might have been the end of Sugar had I not, around this time, come across a nonfiction piece by Cheryl Strayed. I knew Cheryl as the author of a gorgeous and wrenching novel called Torch. But reading this essay, a searing recollection of infidelity and mourning, filled me with a tingling hunch. I wrote to ask if she wanted to take over as Sugar.
 
It was an insane request. Like me, Cheryl had two small kids at home, a mountain of debt, and no regular academic gig. The last thing she needed was an online advice column for which she would be paid nothing. Of course, I did have an ace in the hole: Cheryl had written the one and only fan letter I’d received as Sugar.
 
***
 
The column that launched Sugar as a phenomenon was writ- ten in response to what would have been, for anyone else, a throwaway letter. Dear Sugar, wrote a presumably young man. WTF, WTF, WTF? I’m asking this question as it applies to everything every day. Cheryl’s reply began as follows:
 
 
Dear WTF,
 
My father’s father made me jack him off when I was three and four and five. I wasn’t any good at it. My hands were too small and I couldn’t get the rhythm right and I didn’t understand what I was doing. I only knew I didn’t want to do it. Knew that it made me feel miserable and anxious in a way so sickeningly particular that I can feel that same particular sickness rising this very minute in my throat.
 
 
It was an absolutely unprecedented moment. Advice columnists, after all, adhere to an unspoken code: focus on the letter writer, dispense the necessary bromides, make it all seem bearable. Disclosing your own sexual assault is not part of the code.
 
But Cheryl wasn’t just trying to shock some callow kid into greater compassion. She was announcing the nature of her mission as Sugar. Inexplicable sorrows await all of us. That was her essential point. Life isn’t some narcissistic game you play online. It all matters—every sin, every regret, every affliction. As proof, she offered an account of her own struggle to reckon with a cruelty she’d absorbed before she was old enough even to understand it. Ask better questions, sweet pea, she concluded, with great gentleness. The fuck is your life. Answer it.
 
Like a lot of folks, I read the piece with tears in my eyes— which is how one reads Sugar. This wasn’t some pro forma kibitzer, sifting through a stack of modern anxieties. She was a real human being laying herself bare, fearlessly, that we might come to understand the nature of our own predicaments.
 
***
 
I happen to believe that America is dying of loneliness, that we, as a people, have bought into the false dream of convenience, and turned away from a deep engagement with our internal lives—those fountains of inconvenient feeling—and toward the frantic enticements of what our friends in the Greed Business call the Free Market.
 
We’re hurtling through time and space and information faster and faster, seeking that network connection. But at the same time we’re falling away from our families and our neighbors and ourselves. We ego-surf and update our status and brush up on which celebrities are ruining themselves, and how. But the cure won’t stick.
 
And this, I think, is why Sugar has become so important to so many people. Because she’s offering something almost unheard of in our culture: radical empathy. People come to her in real pain and she ministers to them, by telling stories about her own life, the particular ways in which she’s felt thwarted and lost, and how she got found again. She is able to transmute the raw material of the self-help aisle into genuine literature.
 
I think here of the response she offered a man wrecked by his son’s death, who asked her how he might become human again. “The strange and painful truth is that I’m a better person because I lost my mom young,” she wrote. “When you say you experience my writing as sacred what you are touching is the divine place within me that is my mother. Sugar is the temple I built in my obliterated place.”
 
In this sense, Tiny Beautiful Things can be read as a kind of ad hoc memoir. But it’s a memoir with an agenda. With great patience, and eloquence, she assures her readers that within the chaos of our shame and disappointment and rage there is meaning, and within that meaning is the possibility of rescue.
 
***

Revue de presse

“A fascinating blend of memoir and self-help. Strayed is an eloquent storyteller, and her clear-eyed prose offers a bracing empathy absent from most self-help blather.” —Nora Krug, The Washington Post 
 
“Strayed’s worldview—her empathy, her nonjudgment, her belief in the fundamental logic of people’s emotions and experiences despite occasional evidence to the contrary—begins to seep into readers’ consciousness in such a way that they can apply her generosity of spirit to their own and, for a few hours at least, become better people. . . . The book’s disclosures—on the part of both the writer and her correspondents—is ultimately courageous and engaging stuff.” —Anna Holmes, New York Times Book Review 
 
“Wise and compassionate.” —Gregory Cowles, New York Times Book Review “Inside the List” 
  
“Penning an advice column for the literary website The Rumpus, [Strayed] worked anonymously, using the pen name Sugar, replying to letters from readings suffering everything from loveless marriages to abusive, drug-addicted brothers to disfiguring illnesses. The result: intimate, in-depth essays that not only took the letter writer’s life into account but also Strayed’s. Collected in a book, they make for riveting, emotionally charged reading (translation: be prepared to bawl) that leaves you significantly wiser for the experience. . . . Moving. . . . compassionate.” —Leigh Newman, Oprah.com 
 
“It seems inadequate to call ‘Dear Sugar’ an advice column, because it exists in a category all its own . . . Part memoir, part essay collection, the aptly titled Tiny Beautiful Things gathers together stunningly written pieces on everything from sex to love to the agonies of bereavement. Strayed offers insights as exquisitely phrased as they are powerful, confronting some of the biggest and most painful of life’s questions. . . . . In her responses, Strayed shines a torch of insight and comfort into the darkness of these people’s lives, cutting to the heart of what it means to love, to grieve and to suffer.”  —Ilana Teitelbaum, Shelf Awareness 
 
“What makes a great advice columnist? . . . Strayed has proved during her tenure at the website the Rumpus, where she has helmed the Dear Sugar column since 2010, that the only requirement is that you give great advice—tender, frank, uplifting and unrelenting. Strayed’s columns, now collected as Tiny Beautiful Things, advise people on such diverse struggles as miscarriage, infidelity, poverty and addiction, and it's really hard to think of anyone better at the job. Strayed has succeeded largely because she shares personal, often heartbreaking stories from her own life in answering readers' questions. Her experiences are qualifications, in a sense, as Strayed has taken the wisdom she gained from personal tragedies, including her mother's early death and the breakup of her first marriage, and generously applied it to all manner of issues. . . . What runs through all the columns, which range from a few hundred to a few thousand words in length, is Strayed’s gift at panning out from the problem in question. Often, the fuller picture that Strayed gives us illustrates what needs to happen for the letter-writers to change, to pull themselves out of their current predicament, to see things in a different way, to act. . . . Here is Strayed’s breathtaking ability to get to the core of her own failures and triumphs, which she often does through surprising and sharp imagery. . . . Strayed has covered much ground in these transformative pieces. In the end, Tiny Beautiful Things serves as a guide for anyone who is lost, and those who only think they might be.” —Liz Colville, San Francisco Chronicle 
 
“As Sugar, Strayed addresses questions about love, family, addition, grief, abuse, afflictions, fears, friends, gossip, among other topics—and in each of her answers, without fail, she meets the letter writers with a kind of startling compassion; what Steve Almond termed ‘radical empathy.’ Dear Sugar is an advice column like no other.” —Nika Knight, Full Stop 
 
“It is very rarely that I am a ridiculous fangirl about anything. It’s so emotionally taxing, so inherently undignified, that I try not to fall into the trap. So it took me by surprise when, upon discovering Dear Sugar at the Rumpus, I gradually fell down the rabbit hole into ridiculous fangirlishness for the first time in years. [Strayed took me to] the edge of the dark wood, staring into the place where the most wrenching and lovely truths reside. A place to lose your heart and find it again. If there is a common thread that unites the columns, it’s work. Sugar doesn’t tolerate laziness: doing the work to reach one’s full potential, to write that novel, to exorcise ghosts, to let go of resentments and jealousy and commit instead to generosity and love—all of these are sacred, lifelong tasks for which there are no shortcuts. The columns are a gift, and so too is the book. As Sugar herself bids in her column of the same name, I've written this now on the eve of her book’s publication with one intent: to say thank you.” —Ilana Teitelbaum, The Huffington Post 
 
“Typically an advice column might not be the first thing to come to mind when considering examples of fearless first-person writing. But Cheryl’s Dear Sugar column is a major exception in that way. In the majority of her column entries, she boldly delves into her own life, to places where she’s had to overcome obstacles similar to those her letter-writers have experienced. Her understanding and compassion are real and hard won, rooted in her own experiences. And so is her sometimes butt-kicking advice. ‘If I was able to do this,’ she seems to be saying, ‘so can you, sweet pea. Now get off your ass and do it.’ The stakes may have seemed lower when she was writing the column anonymously. But Cheryl says she always knew she’d eventually reveal herself—which she did in April. Now many of her best Dear Sugar columns have been gathered into Tiny Beautiful Things, a collection that goes on sale this week (and is available through The Rumpus). Her name is on it; the revelations, the fearless admissions are hers. And I’m awed.” —Sari Botton, The Rumpus 

“Sugar didn’t pen a few plucky paragraphs about how to pick yourself up by your socks and move on from whatever horrors befell you—in many cases Sugar’s letters were heart-rending exhumations of her own past in search of parallels to the advice-seeker’s situation. She didn’t shy from plumbing her own failings, flaws, and troubles. But in the end, Sugar’s columns are about heart and love. Not saccharine, treacly love that comes from greeting cards, but the gritty, painful, sometimes mundane work it takes to love yourself, warts and all. Tiny Beautiful Things isn’t really a compilation of her advice columns. More, it’s a series of essays about life in all its grimy, unpleasant heartache, and a plea to rise above it to love truthfully and deeply and well, despite all our handicaps. Sugar navigates the path through the treacherous human psyche as a shining beacon before us, flickering in the dark. . . .  [She] gives her best, even when she’s tired. . . . I’m glad that the world is learning about all the love that Sugar has to give.” —Quenby Moone, The Nervous Breakdown

“Strong, smart and self-assured: those qualities are in full power in [Tiny Beautiful Things]. Strayed doesn’t just give good advice. People write in with the most wrenching personal problems, and receive generous, seriously motivating inspiration to move on and do better. . . . Dear Sugar is a rare hideout from the prevailing meanness of the Internet. She calls her readers Sweet Peas, shares stunningly intimate stories about her life, and writes with true warmth and kindness. And it’s not an act. . . . Strayed aims to help not just the people whose letters she answers, but the wider audience who reads the exchanges. Her responses are direct and personal, but peppered with universal messages that cut to the heart.” —Amy Goetzman, MinnPost

“Why do we read memoirs? Some choose autobiographies to better understand the lives and histories of important men and women. Some might hope that the experiences and insights of a personal essay might unveil a small truth about the human condition, might teach us about ourselves. Some of us might just be busybodies, looking for a socially acceptable way to peek deeply into a stranger’s life. If you fit into any of these categories, you must meet Dear Sugar, the ultimate advice columnist for lovers of memoirs. Tiny Beautiful Things is a collection of her works, interspersed with Q&As from Sugar herself. The columns were written anonymously, but with an amount of personal detail that no advice column has ever seen before. In a gracious, sassy, poetic and maternal voice, Sugar shares her own raw personal accounts . . . She runs a highlighter over the breathtaking aspects of mundane tasks, from wedding planning to the day-to-day duties of raising small children. By the last page of the book, which will likely be a bit wrinkled with tear stains by the time you’re through, you may know more about Sugar than you know about your closest friends. . . .Though many of the letters she receives contain ugliness and woe, she weaves them together into a story that is unexpectedly beautiful and impossibly warm. There’s no shortage of conversations on love a...

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1876 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 370 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 0307949338
  • Editeur : Vintage; Édition : Original (10 juillet 2012)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B005V2DUP4
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°87.219 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Beautiful, wise, touching. 17 mars 2013
Par Gina
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
A beautifully written, deeply touching collection. Strayed's writing style is something I can only describe as brilliant. I highly recommend this book.
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Par Antonia
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Les réponses de Sugar sont aussi bouleversantes que les lettres qu'elle reçoit. Un livre pour ceux qui connaissent des moments de doutes, des moments où l'émotion les submerge, des moments où ils se sentent coincés dans une situation.
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Amazon.com: 4.7 étoiles sur 5  469 commentaires
65 internautes sur 68 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 If I Needed Advice, I'd Turn To Sugar In A Heartbeat 30 mai 2012
Par Jennifer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
I've always been a sucker for advice columns--from gobbling up Ann Landers or Dear Abby columns in the newspaper to reading a collection of Dan Savage's columns in Savage Love. Reading people's letters scratches my voyeuristc itch, and I enjoy trying to think of what advice I would give for particular situations. Tiny Beautiful Things is a collection of letters and answers from the Dear Sugar advice column from the online magazine The Rumpus. In my mind, this is quite possibly the best advice column I've ever read. It transcends the short pithy advice of Ann and Abby and digs deeper than Savage Love (as well as being a bit less bawdy).

What makes Sugar's advice so meaningful, fascinating and readable is that she shares herself and her life experiences (of which there have been many) in her answers. This makes her advice feel authentic and thoughtful. When she's writing about the difficulty of cutting off ties with a toxic parent, her advice rings true because she's had to do it herself. When advising a woman to leave a relationship despite feelings of guilt, she shares the details of the demise of one of her own romantic relationships. By sharing her experiences and life lessons so candidly and openly, Sugar's advice feels like it is coming from a place of love and experience -- from a friend versus an advice columnist. Her loving-kindess is apparent throughout her responses (she routinely calls her letter writers "sweet pea"), and her advice always felt well-considered and spot-on. She rarely provides short answers, but takes the time to address each issue and to share the reasons why she is giving particular advice. As with the best advice, Sugar's responses are often simply reflecting a mirror back at the letter writer. Often, those who are writing for advice already KNOW what they need to do ... they just don't want to make the difficult choices they know they need to make. By acting as an understanding and sympathetic friend -- yet a friend who will tell you the unvarnished truth and not let you take the easy way out -- Sugar provides both the advice and the encouragement to seek the path that will lead to real growth and peace. There wasn't a single instance in the book where I disagreed with Sugar's advice, and I often found myself feeling uplifted and encouraged even when the situation at hand did not relate to my own life at all.

Reading this book is like getting to listen in as someone sits with a really gifted and wise friend to discuss various life issues. If you happen to be experiencing an issue covered in one of the letters (and chances are you have or you will as the letters focus on the very fundamental issues we all face as humans), I suspect that Sugar's advice will speak volumes and provide a helpful perspective to get you on the right track. And even if your life is going swimmingly, I still think we can all find some inspiration and guidance from this book. It is, at its heart, about how we all struggle to get through this life with dignity, love, grace and respect but so often fall flat on our faces despite our best efforts. That we can always pick ourselves up and try again is what Sugar reminds us over and over and, really, who doesn't need to remember that lesson?

Note: Although the online Dear Sugar column was written anonymously, Sugar's identity has now been revealed to be Cheryl Strayed, whose memoir Wild was recently released. Based on this book, I will definitely be checking out Wild to learn more about this most interesting person who gives such wonderful and caring advice.
56 internautes sur 61 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 beautiful things 1 juin 2012
Par Patricia R. Andersen - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
*wow* This book is from the writer, Cheryl Strayed Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail. It's a collection of various letters and the advice M's Strayed gave to her readers on theRumpus.ne.
This isn't like any advice columnist you've ever read before, with the possible exception of Dan Savage Savage Love: Straight Answers from America's Most Popular Sex Columnist. But Mr Savage's columns deal all most entirely with sex. M's Strayed's columns covers the whole emotional minefield of human emotions.

"Sugar" is M's Strayed's pen name, like "Dear Abby" and "Dear Ann Landers" but her answers are totally different. "Sugar" reads and answers the questions that are asked as well as the unspoken questions. Reading Sugar is like getting advice from a trusted aunt or older girlfriend. I guess moms could give this advice, but I know this mom would be too emotionally involved with the situation to even think about anything intelligent to say.

Sugar is not a shrink nor does she pretend to be one. She answers her readers carefully and lovingly. She also reveals huge chunks of her own life while giving the advice. And it's not like "Oh, darling, I have never mixed up the salad fork with the soup spoon and caused much shame to my mother-in-law. What were you thinking?". It's more like "Oh you did that? Here's a piece of my life that I think with resonate with you". And it's not about the time she got to ride on the pony outside of the drugstore so many times she puked. It's about her grief over her mother's death, her first marriage, and many other things that will make you go "WTH"?

In one way, her revelations make it a hard book to absorb. Your heart just aches for this poor woman, for all her trials and tribulations. But Sugar's not asking you to feel pity for her, she is telling you this piece of information to let you know you aren't the only screwed up person in the world. Sugar has worked her way through her problems and understands your problems. And that understanding, that connection, that love she feels for the reader, always shines through her writing.

One of the most touching things Sugar talks about is her mother - her love and admiration for her mom and the subsequent loss she feels because her mom died. Most people who haven't lost a parent do not realize that the loss tends to define your life. It makes a person different to have lost a parent and she lost her mom young (but there is no good time to lose your mom). Sugar makes me feel like I'm not crazy because although I carry my mom within me, I still miss her.

I recommend this book highly to anyone. Sugar's love and joy for life makes the reader realize life is worth living despite the crappy hand you were dealt. That the reader can come through this experience and actually have a better life. So if you didn't have a perfect life (and who does?), you will benefit from reading this book.
Buy it, read it, and recommend it to your friends.
71 internautes sur 84 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A New Bible 2 juin 2012
Par Zoeeagleeye - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
We'll get to my title in a minute. Cheryl Strayed's advice column can be called "the Anti-Tweet." Here you find no self-conscious or cliche ridden sound bytes, thank God, but rather full-blown responses that mirror what life actually is: complex, deep, funny, heartbreaking, difficult and unpackageable. Not that she can't come up with the bon mot juste. Quips she, "Your assumptions about the lives of others are in direct relation to your naive pomposity." Like that? If not, stick your ego back in its pouch for she proves her contention in every chapter.

Strayed is a good writer who gives good advice in such a rare form that she ends up teaching you indirectly HOW to learn about yourself. As the chapters fly by, you begin to get into the rhythm of how she sees what to pull out of a letter and why. This is easily transfered to any letter or journal entry you may write, giving you access to your own subconscious.

As a writer, I was particularly moved by her advice to a woman writer who slanted the whole issue negatively, trying to unify women writers with suicide. Strayed put a stop to that right away, saying that was not the unifying theme of women writers. This was: "How many women wrote beautiful novels and stories and poems and essays and plays and scripts and songs in spite of all the crap they endured . . and went right ahead and became better than anyone would have predicted or allowed them to be." Yeah!

This is a blessing of a book. She counsels, "I suggest you forget about forgiveness for now and strive for acceptance instead." And lest the correspondent doesn't get it, continues, "Acceptance asks only that you embrace what's true."

Particularly good and helpful is the chapter on whether to have a baby if you're single. She takes your hopes neither up nor down but says realistically, "Take what you have and stack it up like a tower of teetering blocks. Build your dream around that." Pretty funny in context, and oh-so accurate.

If you've lost a child you cannot do better than to read the chapter, "The Obliterated Place." It's a gift. Relationships? She makes a simple but often hard to see observation: "so long as you stay in a relationship that isn't meeting your needs, you're in a relationship that isn't meeting your needs." A fresh look at forgiveness: "Forgiveness doesn't just sit there like a pretty boy in a bar. Forgiveness is the old fat guy you have to haul up the hill."

Strayed has written a spiritual book although I don't think she meant to. My favorite "parable" was the story of the red dress whose message gives the book its title.

She inspired me and I got to thinking about how judgmental, violent, punishing, rejecting and often illogical the Bible is, and thought perhaps the time has come to create a new one. I offer these books for inclusion beginning with "Kinship With All Life" to teach humans their spiritual connection with other life forms. "Illusions" for a few new beginning rules and the place of a true messiah. "You Can Heal Your Life" will explain about the sacredness of our bodies and how they teach us. "The Nature of Personal Reality" will once and for all show you your true power. "Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway," gives you courage. For mystery, the first four Castaneda books. "The Chalice and the Blade" will take you back in time so you will stop repeating ancient mistakes. New rules each with their own wake up call can be found in the "Lazy Man's Guide to Enlightenment" Large and small truths of life are on every page of the "Conversation With God" series. Riddles are a necessity so "Zen Flesh, Zen Bones" will fulfill that requirement. And of course we will include all the poetry of Hafiz, for laughter and love, compassion and understanding. Finally, a "must-include": we all still love and need good teaching stories, parables. "Tiny Beautiful Things" is chock full of them. Enjoy, learn, laugh, cry, love, take heart and grow.
32 internautes sur 39 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Fierce and sometimes polarizing advice that's strongly shaped by the writer's personal experience 16 août 2012
Par IRG - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
I accidentally stumbled onto the Dear Sugar "advice" column online months after it was revealed that author Cheryl Strayed had been writing it. When I learned that these columns would be turned into a book, I was interested to see how it developed.

Since I could not relate to many of the letter-writer's dilemmas (been there, done that; problem solved; life works pretty well now, thank you), which seem to fall heavily in relationship/sex spectrum, I felt I was a bit more objective in evaluating the advice than those who might strongly relate because they were actually experiencing what the letter writers were going thru--and thus could not be as objective about the answers. You don't have to BE in the same situation to appreciate the situation or the advice given.

Personally, I found myself questioning the validity of some of the advice Strayed gave, especially as her own history was often strongly coloring her responses. OK, I get that our lives/experience DO shape who we are and how we advise others (as we all do informally in our real lives), but I do wish the writer stepped out of her own life and looked beyond it when giving advice. As helpful as it can be at times to hear some of Strayed's personal experiences leading to her thought process and advice, sometimes it is limiting, biased and, frankly, off-putting.

That said, I admire her ability to be so incredibly open and vulnerable, assuming what she writes is true. (Sorry, these days I've begun to question everything I read anywhere.) At times, however, I grew weary of the same-old, same-old backstories and advice. This is NOT to say that Strayed has not provided useful and relevant thoughts or ideas on how to view and respond and live and deal with the stuff we all go thru at one point or another in our lives. And as much as I felt a sense of TMI at times, there were others when I really stopped and rethought something in view of something Strayed had written.

Strayed's writing is fierce, brutally honest and, I feel, given with a lot of genuine empathy. She's a writer, so I can't fault her for her style. Let's just say that it will enchant and attract some, while totally turning others off. But try not to judge Strayed's life history and just listen to what she has to say and consider it. Like all advice, no matter who gives it, some of it will resonate and others will be irrelevant or not something you'd warm to or follow.

These columns are strongly informed by Strayed's personality and personal experiences (the ongoing presence and powerful influence of her deceased mother; her past sexual and relationship history, the impact of her family situation growing up, etc.), which, frankly, could be off-putting to a lot of readers given their tone, content and language. Others will question whether someone with her personal history really is qualified to offer advice on the various topics discussed. Some might think she is actually MORE qualified than a lot of the others who are out there writing these columns.

I've always believed that you never know where a piece of useful advice is coming from. And that it can often come from the most unexpected people and sources--people who you may not relate to due to differences in lifestyles, attitudes, etc. To me, Strayed is one of those folks who does have something to offer to many.

My suggestion: First go online and read her columns. See if you relate to the issues raised by the letter writers, and Strayed's responses (and her personal backstory, which is shared in great and painful detail.).

If her "voice" and POV resonate after that, and you are experiencing some issues, read this book. Or get it for someone who is strong enough to listen to some tough talk.
13 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A first encounter with "Dear Sugar" 19 juillet 2012
Par Sophia - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
Having previously been exposed to Cheryl Strayed through her wildnerness/hiking memoir Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail (Oprah's Book Club 2.0), I was very interested to learn that she was also an advice columnist. "Tiny, Beautiful Things" contains several of her most popular columns, including some previously unpublished ones.

Ms. Strayed is of the confessional school of columnists, mining and drawing upon her own life experiences to help support her suggestions and counsel. I found her writing unflinching, powerful and deeply compassionate. It's not hard to see why she has such a devoted following.

A few things might limit the appeal of this book:

- Much like Cary Tennis, she talks about her own life experiences a LOT. If that is a turnoff, avoid this book.
- I found the use of endearments, such as "sweet pea" to be somewhat touching. Others may find it condescending.
- I noticed she is a bit harder on people who are experiencing one type of issue, in such a way I found a bit knee-jerk. To avoid spoiling the review, I will put the issue type in the comments. It wasn't extreme, but I did notice and found her departure from her more compassionate, caring self to be a bit jarring. Your mileage may vary.

Overall, though, a very fine, readable collection of columns. Recommended.
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