TL;DR - Cheryl Strayed is amazing.
I read Wild recently, and I loved it, and I can't wait to see the movie. This brought me around to wanting to read Tiny Beautiful Things, which is a compilation of advice from her Dear Sugar column at the Rumpus. I read the column when it was active, and I liked it but didn't love it. Her advice is very internal, very much about encouraging people to be their best selves. It felt vague and mushy to me; wasn't my favorite.
But after Wild blew me away, I decided I needed to go back to her advice. And it was well worth it; I don't know if I'm more mature emotionally or as a reader or if it's just having it all in one place, but this was such an amazing compilation.
I love advice. I love both the problems (drama!) and the solutions (tidy wrap-up!). This is not advice that pays off in helping you to envision the end of each story by giving the asker a map of how to behave and others' likely responses. This is more like what I'm looking for at this point in my life--advice on how to be a good person. It's about how to take the messiness that is living and focus it, channel it toward something that is good and meaningful to you.
Honestly, I don't know if I'm going to be a different person after this, but reading these essays, I believe I can. Which is a really wonderful feeling.
Cheryl Strayed, all the way.