Tiny Beautiful Things

This week, I read Cheryl Strayed’s Tiny Beautiful Things, which included this letter I’d never read from her column. The letter made me weep, and Strayed’s response made me weep, and I feel compelled to share it with all of you.

In the twisty way life works, Liz is the one who convinced me to read Tiny Beautiful Things even though I felt like I’d probably read most of the columns online already (which turned out not to be true), and the day I started Tiny Beautiful Things was also the day I finally got to read Liz’s new book, Think Big, which is fantastic. I feel like I should read it out loud to the staff every morning before we open the library to get us all psyched up. It’s that kind of book.

The Oatmeal always makes me laugh, but this week, it made me laugh and cry at the same time.

It was a laughing and crying kind of a week.

Also this week, I learned that the plural of papyrus is papyri.

So far today, I’ve been reading and writing instead of taking a shower or cleaning my house. I’ve also been working on getting ready for this two-part webinar on homeschooling I’m teaching in a few weeks. A girl maybe can’t do everything, but I’m doing quite a lot. And I’ll probably take a shower. Eventually.


  1. Posted September 22, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    Good luck with the webinar, and all other things!

  2. adrienne
    Posted September 22, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    Thank you!

  3. Posted September 24, 2012 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    You’re sweet.
    And. I think I will read Tiny, Beautiful Things ten times over.
    Love that book something fierce.

  4. annette
    Posted September 24, 2012 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    the dog thing made me cry at my desk at school. i should have known better!

  5. Posted September 24, 2012 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    Oh, I remember that letter. I cried and cried and read it again. I spend so much time weeping with Sugar’s stuff that I’m afraid to read her book – blotchy, swollen face will follow.

    But, I know I *must* own it. Because it’s the sort of thing that’s so huge you must read it over and over.

    If you don’t believe in prophets or oracles, you can still believe that woman is … somehow a step away from the rest of us. A step above, no, but just removed enough to really see. She’s… amazing. It’s so weird to so fiercely love a stranger, but I do.

  6. Posted September 24, 2012 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    Also: Liz’s books have that impact on me. I sometimes want to encourage her to write books for older kids, simply because, if she can gobsmack us with just a picture book…

  7. adrienne
    Posted September 24, 2012 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

    Liz, Thanks so much for prompting me to read it.

    Annette, Sorry, but I’m glad it’s not just me.

    Tanita, I am getting to be less horrified about my crying in my older age, I find, and stuff makes me cry so much more easily. I did have tears just streaming down my face a lot of the time reading Tiny Beautiful Things, but then sometimes I laughed, too. It was the same with Burroughs’ This is How.

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