Cheryl Strayed * Knopf * October 27, 2015 * 160 Pages
I’m a big fan of Cheryl Strayed. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, of course, is great. But Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar was like a revelation to me. Oh my God, I loved that book.
Brave Enough is basically a prettily-packaged collection of quotes taken from Strayed’s books, essays, and talks formatted in big text and centered on the page. (See attached picture.) There is no dust jacket, so the cover feels like canvas, but the vibrant green with gold letters is beautiful. There is also an orange ribbon bookmark.
There isn’t a dud quote in here. I believe the book accomplishes what Strayed says she wanted it to accomplish in the introduction. She says, “I think of quotes as mini-instruction manuals for the soul. It’s my appreciation of their very usefulness that compelled me to put together this book. Not because I believe in my own sagacity, but because I believe in the power of words to help us reset our intentions, clarify our thoughts, and create a counternarrative to the voice of doubt many of us have murmuring in our heads–the one that says You can’t, you won’t, you shouldn’t have. Quotes, at their core, almost always shout Yes!”
If you enjoyed reading Strayed’s other books, you will definitely like the quotes gathered here. And even if you haven’t read a thing she’s written, this might be a good introduction to her style. Ultimately, this is a very nice book that will look good on a coffee table or will make a thoughtful small gift for the holidays.