The Book Nook

Photo by Madeleine Schwartz
Photo by Madeleine Schwartz

“The best thing you can possibly do with your life is to tackle the motherf*ing shit out of it.”

If this doesn’t give you some encouragement to start the new school year with a bang, I’m not sure what will.

Cheryl Strayed, author of bestselling book “Wild,” shares witty and painstakingly true statements like this one all throughout in her book “Tiny Beautiful Things.”

Part memoir, part non-fiction, Strayed compiles answers to questions about life and love from her advice column “Dear Sugar” which she wrote anonymously up until 2012. Her answers address everything from finding love to discovering one’s true identity. Her 3 best nuggets of wisdom, in my opinion, are listed below.


“Trusting yourself means living out what you already know to be true.” Although this seems inexplicably deep when glanced at first hand, this statement couldn’t be more simple.

For example, if you believe that you are a good person and you act on that thought, you are trusting what you know to be true. Furthermore, you can only begin to trust yourself once you act on the truth–which is harder said than done in some situations.


“You don’t have a right to the cards you believe you should have been dealt with. You have an obligation to play the hell out of the ones you’re holding.” Everyone thinks that their life is unfair or that the grass is always greener on the other side. This eloquent phrase tells those people to forget about the others around them and to instead, focus on themselves. No one’s life is perfect, but you have to give it all you’ve got when you have the chance.


“Forgiveness doesn’t sit there like a pretty boy in a bar. Forgiveness is the old fat guy you have to haul up a hill.”

This extremely amusing analogy rings all too clear to anyone who has had to make amends with someone they care about.

Forgiveness isn’t as simple as saying sorry, although it is a start. It is a more complex and difficult process than uttering a few short words. To truly be able to forgive someone is a lifelong skill that we are constantly perfecting.

Strayed’s “Tiny Beautiful Things” is more than an advice column; it is a snapshot from people’s everyday, bewildering, wonderful lives. Her words are relatable at any age and at points, make you look back at your own life with a new found sense of appreciation.

The Book Nook is a bi-weekly column that reviews any different genres of literature in hopes of inspiring at least one student to read something other than their monotonous Twitter feed or boxed Mac and Cheese cooking instructions.