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Tiny Beautiful Things

This collection of Cheryl Strayed's advice columns from Dear Sugar was recommended with the highest praise. I was told it would be life-changing. I was completely uninspired.

At one point, a friend texted she wasn't feeling it either and I breathed a sigh of relief — it wasn't just me.

I actually really like advice columns. I don't know what it is, but I enjoy catching up on Dear Abby after being away; it amuses me greatly. So I was intrigued by "Tiny Beautiful Things."

I picked it up when Ann Patchett, author and owner of Parnassus Books in Nashville, recommended it over her own collection of essays. She's the one who called it life-changing. When an author says to read something over her own book, you do it.

Part of what I didn't like might have been the volume of relationship columns — I just don't care about your relationship drama — but I also didn't like Strayed's tone. Some of the "sweet peas" feel insincere.

I liked that she shared her own stories to relate to what the person was asking. It was more personal than Dear Abby often is, and definitely longer answers. But something in the tone just falls flat.

Follow Diana C. Nearhos on Twitter @dianacnearhos.

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