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Brave Enough Hardcover – Unabridged, October 27, 2015
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“Gorgeous, a little 135-page gem. The one book every woman must read this year. The stop-whatever-you’re-doing-and-read-this-now book, in which every turn of phrase is tattoo-worthy, every tidbit of wisdom too good not to share with every single one of your girlfriends. It’s the kind of book that makes your highlighters run out of ink, and your Post-Its run out of stick. In the 100-plus quotes, thoughts, words of wisdom, and tidbits of beauty that Strayed has compiled, you will recognize yourself over and over again, in the best and worst and most essential ways . . . It will encourage you, breath by breath, unpaid bill by unpaid bill, bucket list goal by bucket list goal, all the way to the you whom you want to be—however long it might take. . . . Strayed can take readers from the church to the saloon in literally three words or less. She invites you to quietly marvel at the universe with her, and then promptly demands that you go out and participate in it, followed by a swift kick to the rear. She keeps it real, none of her words are wasted, and they are always the right ones. [This book] acts like a personal guru for joy, acceptance and forgiveness, productivity, endurance and transformation . . . Truly amazing; it’s as though the words literally leapt off the pages of Brave Enough and generated a little cyclone of positive energy in my living room . . . Brilliant, purse-sized perfection.” —E. CE Miller, Bustle
“Captivating. Personal authenticity, gender politics, leaning into the light: whether writing a book or speaking one-to-one, Strayed seems, above all, unapologetically herself . . . The power of her words is palpable—and far-reaching.” —Abby Haglage, The Daily Beast
“An elegantly bound collection of Strayed sayings, ranging from a few words to entire paragraphs . . . Strayed earned cult status with her anonymous advice column, ‘Dear Sugar,’ on The Rumpus. She has become the unlikely queen of a different bookstore aisle than she expected, a guru whose message is anything but simple or glib. Rather, she tends towards emphasizing how deeply flawed we human beings are, and how we have to keep trying to be better anyway, even as life throws slings, arrows, and tremendous grief our way.” —Sarah Seltzer, Flavorwire
“A short, taut, Swiss Army knife [book] of quotations, one that applies to deciding whether to have a third doughnut or an extramarital affair, make a mean-spirited joke—or get up from the desk before a book review is finished. Cheryl Strayed is a tough-love truth-teller. In the introduction she writes that a good quote can provide in a sentence or two ‘a clear eyed perspective, or a swift kick in the pants.’ Hers do both. Brave Enough amount[s] to a galvanizing call to be bigger, bolder, more generous. We already know what to do, Strayed believes; we just need to heed that inner voice . . . ‘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 in our heads—the one that says, You can’t, you won’t, you shouldn’t have,’ she writes. [This book] helps you create that counternarrative. [It shouts,] ‘Yes!” —Jennifer Reese, The Washington Post
About the Author
CHERYL STRAYED is the author of the #1 New York Times best seller Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, which was the first selection for Oprah's Book Club 2.0 and became an Oscar-nominated film starring Reese Witherspoon; Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar, a national best seller now the basis of the WBUR podcast Dear Sugar Radio, co-hosted with Steve Almond; and Torch, her debut novel. Her books have been translated into forty languages, and her essays and other writings have appeared in numerous publications.
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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.
I am not a touchy-feely person - this is a book of thoughts that are just helpful. "Most things will be okay eventually, but not everything will be". Seems like a basic thought but it is hard to remember, especially for a multi-tasking single mom.
"It's the most basic, essential, beginning stories that so much of our lives are written. Who loved you best? What made you finally believe in yourself? From what garden or pot or crack in the pavement did you grow? How did you get your water?"
For me the answer to all these questions was from the unconditional and steadfast love of my mother and grandmother and my Faith.