Here at BookPage, we are always in a state of mentally compiling a “best books of the year” list. At this point in the year, I’ve already got a solid Top 5, although I’m keeping my mouth shut for the moment. Still. I know . . . I just know . . . that one particular book will make it onto my year-end list of personal favorites, and I’m happy to share it now. I can’t count how many people I’ve recommended it to: Wild by Cheryl Strayed, our Top Pick in Nonfiction in April. It’s more than a survival story, and more than a grief memoir or coming-of-age tale—although it’s all of those things. It’s a moving and profound chronicle of one woman’s journey across the Pacific Crest Trail. I finished it in a couple of days, then I went back to the beginning and started reading again. Now I want to give it to my sister. It’s one of those kind of books. Just read it.
In addition to being a wonderful memoirist, Cheryl Strayed is also the voice behind the “Dear Sugar” column in The Rumpus. (The column was anonymous from March of 2010 until February of this year, when Sugar revealed herself to be Cheryl Strayed.) Sugar gives sassy and wise advice on love, death, jealousy, friendship and everything in between. In my opinion, Sugar is a genius. If you’ve got some time to spare and want a longer introduction, read this interview on The Great Discontent, or read Sugar’s column on the “tiny beautiful things” in life.
Or you could start with Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar, released this week from Vintage Books. Though Wild is currently going strong at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list, I hope Strayed’s other new release gets plenty of attention. Know any grads who need some good advice? Direct them to Sugar.
What advice books do you love?