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Brave Enough

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From the best-selling author of Wild, a collection of quotes--drawn from the wide range of her writings--that capture her wisdom, courage, and outspoken humor, presented in a gift-sized package that's as irresistible to give as it is to receive.

Around the world, thousands of people have found inspiration in the words of Cheryl Strayed, who in her three prior books and in her Dear Sugar columns has shared the twists and trials of her remarkable life. Her honesty, spirit, and ample supply of tough love have enabled many of us, even in the darkest hours, to somehow put one foot in front of the other--and be brave enough.

This book gathers, each on a single page, more than 100 of Strayed's indelible quotes and thoughts--"mini instruction manuals for the soul" that urge us toward the incredible capacity for love, compassion, forgiveness, and endurance that is within us all.

Be brave enough to break your own heart.

You can't ride to the fair unless you get on the pony.

Keep walking.

Acceptance is a small, quiet room.

Romantic love is not a competitive sport.

Forward is the direction of real life.

Ask yourself: "What is the best I can do?" And then do that.

160 pages, Hardcover

First published October 27, 2015

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About the author

Cheryl Strayed

37 books12.4k followers
Cheryl Strayed is the author of four books: Tiny Beautiful Things, Torch, Brave Enough, and the #1 New York Times bestseller, Wild. She's also the author of the popular Dear Sugar Letters, currently on Substack and the host of two hit podcasts--Sugar Calling and Dear Sugars. You can find links to her events and answers to FAQ on her web site: http://www.cherylstrayed.com/

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5 stars
3,920 (37%)
4 stars
3,128 (29%)
3 stars
2,334 (22%)
2 stars
810 (7%)
1 star
305 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 997 reviews
Profile Image for Debbie "DJ".
352 reviews403 followers
April 2, 2016
Oh Cheryl, what were you thinking? These quotes read like something learned in teenage years. I like good quotes, they can touch my heart, but honestly these seem recycled and bland. I really hope this doesn't discourage others from reading both "Wild," and "Dear Sugar," which I thought were fantastic.
Profile Image for Amanda.
107 reviews59 followers
February 22, 2016
I felt an immediate connection with Sheryl Strayed upon reading the introduction for Brave Enough. Strayed expresses her passion for quotes because she understands the power of words and the intrinsic human need for renewed encouragement and motivation. I remember the first quote I personally fell in love with being Gandhi's "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." I wrote it onto a magnetic locker mirror so that I would constantly be reminded.

Brave Enough is a collection of quotes from Strayed's books and essays. She views quotes as "mini-instruction manuals for the soul" and wants her quotes "to help reset intentions, clarify thoughts, and create a counternarrative to the voice of doubt." Strayed conveys a strong sense of self acceptance and self love. I imagine Strayed as a woman who is completely comfortable with the individual she is now and is able to accept past traumas and knows what she wants in life.

I think I could have appreciated this collection more if I had read them in the context of her other works, but I am familiar with her life story and struggles as they were portrayed in the movie Wild. Nevertheless, I enjoyed this book and added quite a few of her quotes to my collection.

Here are a few of my favorites from this book:

Don't surrender all your joy for an idea you used to have about yourself that isn't true anymore.

Hello, fear. Thank you for being here. You're my indication that I'm doing what I need to.

The particularity of our problems can be made bearable only through the recognition of our universal humanity. We suffer uniquely, but we survive the same way.

This is not how your story ends. It's simply where it takes a turn you didn't expect.

Profile Image for Julie Ehlers.
1,111 reviews1,412 followers
May 29, 2017
I am a fan of Cheryl Strayed and would recommend Wild and Tiny Beautiful Things to just about anyone, but this particular book should not have happened. Divorcing these quotes from their context did not work at all. I didn't feel uplifted and inspired, which was my goal in reading this. Instead, I felt that a dour Cheryl Strayed was lecturing me on all the ways I was failing to make the most of my life—this in spite of the fact that in her intro, Cheryl expressly says this was not what she was trying to do. (In retrospect, if you have to include something like that in your intro, it's probably a sign that your project isn't really working the way you want it to.) Brave Enough is so clearly a stopgap Cheryl and her publisher devised to make up for the fact that it's been so long since she published a genuinely new book. So where is that new book, Cheryl? Seriously, where is it? Wheeerrrree iiiiiiiss iiiiitttt? That's the Cheryl Strayed book that I really want to read.
Profile Image for ♛Tash.
223 reviews212 followers
September 2, 2015
***A gifted copy was provided by the publisher for an honest review***

I loved Wild, the movie, but I haven't ready anything from Cheryl Strayed, so I requested this when I saw this listing in Edelweiss.

This is 160 page book of quotes from Cheryl Strayed, if you want straightforward (mostly anyway) motivation or some tough love, this is a good read and a terrific gift idea.

Quote from the book:

Profile Image for Olivia Baker.
63 reviews3 followers
November 24, 2015
No writer has ever made me feel the way Cheryl Strayed can. She has a way of speaking to you so intimately and without judgment. It's like she's in the room with you. I cannot describe it but it's how I've felt since the moment I picked up Wild. I want to send this book to everyone in my life who means something to me. It is a reminder that we are all doing the best we can and to be OK with that. This sounds incredibly emo and sappy but it's not meant to be. Please please please, read this book and pass it along to someone you know will benefit from it. Thank you, again, Cheryl Strayed!
Profile Image for Teresa Bateman.
Author 33 books51 followers
November 11, 2015
As the author herself notes, in the foreword to this book, some of us like to collect quotes--quotes that we return to again and again, and which bring us strength or inspiration when needed. That's why I requested this book. Clearly I should have done more research into the author, and for that I take full blame. I expected to find a lovely book of quotes, like a bag of trail mix--some days you pick out the almonds, some days the M&M's... you get my drift. Unfortunately the author's use of the F-word is fairly frequent and, to me, very off-putting. I have always felt that English is a rich language, and those who resort to profanity as punctuation are appealing to the least common denominator and showing a distinct lack of creativity. In opening this book of quotes I eagerly reached into the trail mix, only to discover, to my dismay, that the raisins were actually rabbit droppings. And they're right next to the nuts and the chocolate. It spoiled the entire experience for me. That's not to say that others will be put off by the language. I'm sure there's an audience for this book. It's just not me.
November 2, 2021
"Iubirea este nutrientul nostru esențial. Fără el, viața nu are prea mult sens. Este cel mai bun lucru pe care-l putem da și cel mai prețios lucru pe care îl primim.
Merită toată agitația"
Am plâns la o carte cu citate. :)))) Unele chiar foarte bune.
Profile Image for Lisa.
692 reviews126 followers
January 9, 2016
I will be rereading this often. I've always been a collector of quotes and inspirational messages, and Strayed's slim volume of wisdom packs a walloping punch. Her insight and inspiration resonated in my soul. I highly recommend for anyone struggling or going through a rough patch on life's highway!
Profile Image for Shainlock.
752 reviews
Shelved as 'to-the-left'
August 27, 2018
I read Wild; and I can’t imagine many quotable moments coming from this particular person that would make me feel cheered, inspired, etc. I know that a lot of them may contain curse words and the f-bomb and I am just not into inspiration of that form. I wish her well. I still am not sure she was brave; just really naive and very fortunate to make it off that hike alive.
Profile Image for Morgan.
548 reviews
November 12, 2015
Yes, this is just a collection of particularly insightful, beautiful quotes from Cheryl Strayed's other works (namely, Dear Sugar) but revisiting some of her most powerful words still fortifies my spirit.

"I considered my options. There was only one, I knew. There was always only one. To keep walking."

"You go on by doing the best you can. You go on by being generous. You go on by being true. You go on by offering comfort to others who can't go on. You go on by allowing the unbearable days to pass and allowing the pleasure in other days. You go on by finding a channel for your love and another for your rage."

"If, as a culture, we don’t bear witness to grief, the burden of loss is placed entirely upon the bereaved, while the rest of us avert our eyes and wait for those in mourning to stop being sad, to let go, to move on, to cheer up. And if they don’t — if they have loved too deeply, if they do wake each morning thinking, I cannot continue to live — well, then we pathologize their pain; we call their suffering a disease. We do not help them: we tell them that they need to get help." <-- THIS, this. THIS.

"Grief is tremendous, but love is bigger. You are grieving because you loved truly. The beauty in that is greater than the bitterness of death. Allowing this into your consciousness will not keep you from your suffering, but it will help you survive the next day."

"Healing is a small and ordinary and very burnt thing. And it’s one thing and one thing only: it’s doing what you have to do."

"You let time pass. That's the cure. You survive the days. You float like a rabid ghost through the weeks. You cry and wallow and lament and scratch your way back up through the months. And then one day you find yourself alone on a bench in the sun and you close your eyes and lean your head back and you realize you're okay."

And on and on and on...
Profile Image for Lorilin.
757 reviews238 followers
December 6, 2022
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.
Profile Image for Mindy Kannon.
381 reviews16 followers
December 1, 2015
I read a ton of inspirational books. Most have a few great ideas or points to make that mean a lot! This little book is page after page of "yeah, no shit" quotes that I just love.

This is not a read once and take back to the library book.

I need to own this one, highlight the heck out of it, add little tabs to like each page, dog ear and note the heck out of it!

Some of my favorite quotes - and there are many many more - like 130 of the 135 pages....

"Travel by foot, there is so much you cannot identify at top speed."

"Go because you want to go. Because wanting to leave is enough."

"I'll never know and neither will you about the life you did not choose, We'll only know that whatever the sister life was, it was important and beautiful and not ours. It was the ghost ship that did not carry us. There's nothing to do but salute it from the shore."

"You can't ride to the fair unless you get on the pony."

Awesome book!

367 reviews4 followers
May 7, 2016
I wish this was already published because I've got a few people I'm going to buy it for as a gift. Brilliant, as always.
Profile Image for Chris.
2,862 reviews204 followers
May 14, 2020
Ok collection of quotes that was pretty disappointing, based on the quotes I'd read from Tiny Beautiful Things.
Profile Image for Melissa Stacy.
Author 5 books212 followers
October 22, 2018
"Brave Enough" is a book of quotes from the previously-published work of Cheryl Strayed. Many of the quotes in this book were taken from her memoir, "Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail" (2012), and her collection of essays, "Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar" (2012).

If you have read those two books, you will remember reading these quotes in their original context. Sadly, reading the quotes on their own just didn't work for me here. Cheryl Strayed curses a lot in her books, and while that works for me in the context of her memoir and essays, it was often jarring to me in this book. "Brave Enough" also suffers from these advice-quotes all coming one after another, which gave me a strong New Agey-preachy feeling that I didn't enjoy. New Agey-preachy stuff often emphasizes the impact of individual choices as the sole markers of success in life, and while I'm not totally opposed to that messaging, I can't tolerate that messaging at all when it's completely removed from the larger culture, and treats every individual as if all things are equal, and I felt like that happened with "Brave Enough."

This is a short book to read, and none of the content in this book is new, but I couldn't finish reading this book. I had to put it down.

I would recommend "Brave Enough" only to people who are the most diehard Cheryl Strayed fans, or if you especially like New Agey-preachy stuff and think the extra curse words will help liven up the Go Live Your Best Self advice.

Two stars. DNF.
Profile Image for mairead.
478 reviews20 followers
January 28, 2016
"If someone is being unkind or petty or jealous or distant or weird, you don’t have to take it in. You don’t have to turn it into a big psychodrama about your worth. That behavior so often is not even about you. It’s about the person who’s being unkind or petty or jealous or distant or weird. If this were summed up on a bumper sticker, it would say: Don’t own other people’s crap. The world would be a better place if we all did that."
Profile Image for Leslie.
100 reviews22 followers
December 25, 2015
I'm a big fan of Cheryl Strayed but a lot of my favorites weren't in this book. Still a pretty good book but taken out of context the quotes weren't that powerful.
Profile Image for Candice Hale.
230 reviews33 followers
January 20, 2023
Cheryl Strayed’s 𝘽𝙧𝙖𝙫𝙚 𝙀𝙣𝙤𝙪𝙜𝙝 is a mighty wind of wisdom, humor, and forgiveness that can shake loose the darkness that has been holding you hostage. For a first time reader of Strayed’s work, I see something more than a mountain of out-of-context quotes combined in a book because they all spoke to me with grace and discernment. Strayed talks about being a “collector of quotes” and how the “best quotes don’t speak to one particular truth, but rather to universal truths.” Everybody can learn from this collection if they are brave enough to open their minds and hearts to it.

𝘽𝙧𝙖𝙫𝙚 𝙀𝙣𝙤𝙪𝙜𝙝 is just the book I need to have in my personal library collection to turn to when I have a problem, want to think longer, or need to meditate because there’s so much I learned about myself and others after reading through these quotes. I’m not even sure if I requested this book, but I received it from the publisher and decided to read it randomly last night and finished it in one sitting. It was transformative. I learned to accept things I wasn’t quite ready to about bravery, fear, and doubt. Strayed attacks me early on: “Acceptance is a small, quiet room.” This book makes you sit with thoughts before moving forward. Later, I was picked up by another quote, “Every last one of us can do better than give up.” Her words are true and authentic.

Some of the quotes I enjoyed:

- “Compassion isn’t about solutions.”
- “We do not have the right to feel helpless. We must help ourselves.”
- “Accept that someday what pains you now will surely pain you less.”
- “You are a writer because you write. Keep writing and quit your bitching. Your book has a birthday. You don’t know what it is yet.” (My sign to not give up my own dream.)

If you’re smart enough then you know to pick this book up, to see what other quotes you could use to pocket some future wisdom in your life. But, if you’re brave enough, I hope you 𝙧𝙪𝙣 𝙞𝙣𝙩𝙤 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙛𝙚𝙖𝙧 𝙡𝙞𝙠𝙚 𝙄'𝙢 𝙡𝙚𝙖𝙧𝙣𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙩𝙤 𝙙𝙤.
Profile Image for lexi ✨.
344 reviews119 followers
May 3, 2020
i feel like this is definitely an “in the moment” read, & definitely something you have to be in the mood for.

i bought this a VERY long time ago, but i had no interest in picking it up until today.

it’s filled with quotes about fear, humility, love forgiveness, & basically important aspects of life. it really forces you to think about the here & now, especially if you’re feeling down, stuck or lost in your head/thoughts.

usually with poetry/prose/quote books i screenshot or mark pages that hold meaning to me & that’s exactly what i did with this one & i’ll definitely be re-visiting those pages when needed.
Profile Image for Tudor Cretu.
317 reviews70 followers
January 26, 2022
Cartea asta este mai degrabă o broșură, incluzand citate importante pentru autoare. Am mai parcurs-o și acum câțiva ani, când țin minte ca mi-a plăcut la fel de mult și am găsit și-acum sfaturi la fel de valide ca și atunci. Acum chiar urmează să ii dau o șansa cărții Wild. Și ca să las și un citat din cărticică - “A iubi și a fi iubit. Acesta este sensul vieții.”, nu pot fi mai de acord.
Profile Image for Emilie.
135 reviews40 followers
November 8, 2017
This little book is so inspiring. A must read
Profile Image for Amanda .
773 reviews34 followers
April 18, 2019
It's worth noting that I didn't know what this was when I picked it up. I liked Cheryl Strayed's autobiographical Wild.
I was fully on board as I began reading the introduction. The first sentence rang the bell in my heart!
Then things plummeted towards rubbish quality soon after.
I believe in language and words, their beauty and power. This cute little green book was kind of dreadful.
I guess my final verdict is that I don't think it's a good idea to publish a book with the sole purpose of quoting oneself.
Profile Image for J.M..
Author 30 books150 followers
September 15, 2017
I was considering two stars for Brave Enough, as many of the quotes herein are kitschy or simply trying too hard, however, the fact remains I dog-eared 22 pages in this short volume. I'm not a "dog-eared" type of person, so having done this, and reading back over those that resonated with me, this book earns three stars.

Addition: I decided to add a couple of those pieces of advice from Strayed that I like.

There are some things you can't understand yet. Your life will be a great and continuous unfolding. It's good you've worked hard to resolve childhood issues while in your twenties, but understand that what you resolve will need to be resolved again. And again. You will come to know things that can only be known with the wisdom of age and the grace of years. Most of those things will have to do with forgiveness.


It is impossible for you to go on as you were before, so you must go on as you never have.
Profile Image for Roxani.
283 reviews
May 15, 2019
This book is a restatement of Strayed's other beautiful writing, and there's no new content here. This book, however, is like a cup of tea, a familiar smell, a soft blanket: The type of feeling that soothes you by virtue of being known to you, by virtue of returning to your life like a friend. It's meant to be re-read, especially in tough moments. The bright green cover is a good reminder of that.
Profile Image for Margaret.
363 reviews54 followers
November 29, 2015
I still feel ambivalent of a book of quotes from a living author, but Strayed's introduction alleviated some of that angst. Still, maybe in a few years this will be a little more positive than just inspirational quotes. A nice addition would have been where the quote came from book-wise so I could remember in context what they were from rather than looking over the shoulder of someone else's scrapbook.
Profile Image for Fryeday.
117 reviews11 followers
May 25, 2016
Cheryl is becoming like the Luther Vandross of books for me. She can do no wrong. I personally just connect with her writing whether it be a memoir, an article or a book of quotes. There were several large reminders in this book of the what I can do to continue practicing being the person I desire to be.
Super quick read. Well worth it.
Profile Image for SheReaders Book Club.
349 reviews32 followers
September 17, 2017
I ate this entire little book up on a Saturday morning with my coffee. Every quote resonated on some level but there were a few that I had to read a couple of times because they just hit you right in the heart. Thank you, Cheryl Strayed for being you and for making women everywhere feel empowered and deserving. I'll catch ya next week on Dear Sugar.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 997 reviews

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