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Bread and Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes Hardcover – April 9, 2013
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"Pull up a chair, pour yourself a glass of wine, and enjoy the friendship and hospitality found around Niequist's table. The author of Cold Tangerines and Bittersweet serves up portions of friendship, family, and faith, with sides of humor, insight, and favorite recipes, for a satisfying read that can double as a group study." - Publisher's Weekly, Mar. 26
"Bread & Wine is one of those rare books that grabs all of you -- your mind, body, and spirit. Shauna's soulful storytelling made me laugh, reminded me that I'm not alone, and gave me a new lens on some old struggles. There's something sacred about this kind of truth telling. I couldn't put this book down."
- Brené Brown, PhD, New York Times bestselling author of Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead
"Bread & Wine is a new book about an ancient meal, but more than a meal, a book about the people seated at the table, and about the laughing, and about the joy of saying hello and the pain of saying good-bye. After reading this book you may feel as you do driving away from dinner with a friend -- grateful and full."
- Donald Miller, author of Blue Like Jazz and A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
"Shauna Niequist's beautiful word painting in Bread & Wine is a poetic reminder to appreciate the rituals, people, and sensory experiences of our everyday lives. Her words invite us into her kitchen, and her stories challenge us to remain attentive to the many delights that complement life's hardships and the ways in which we can share them with others."
- Kelle Hampton, New York Times bestselling author of Bloom: Finding Beauty in the Unexpected
"No one combines all my treasured things like Shauna does in Bread & Wine: beautiful words, delicious food, recipes like the ones you jot down on the back of a napkin in shorthand, with hints and adaptations written off to the side, real-life stories, laughter. Then I read a sentence like this: "Love isn't something you prove or earn, but something you receive or allow, like a balm, like a benediction, even at your very worst," and I decide to send this book to everyone I know."
- Jen Hatmaker, author of Interrupted and 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess
Bread and Wine resurrects the table as the center of the home, the place where food and drink morph into fellowship and long memories. This book transported me back to the kitchens of my life --- to the fellowship and joy and sorrow of what happens when the family gathers around the table to be family. Churches need books about kitchen tables because they value the home and family and the treasured memories of family stories told at the table. -- Scot McKnight, Northern Seminary
Bam! Yummo! This is a tasty and delicious book you’ll want to savor from cover to cover. -- Margaret Feinberg, Author of Wonderstruck and Scouting the Divine, (www.margaretfeinberg.com)
Shauna Niequist has written a book of surpassing delight. To enter it is not simply to be a reader but to be a friend. I did not want it to end. -- John Ortberg, senior pastor of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church and author of Who Is This Man?
No one combines all my treasured things like Shauna does in Bread and Wine: beautiful words, delicious food, recipes like the ones you jot down on the back of a napkin in shorthand, with hints and adaptations written off to the side, real-life stories, laughter. Then I read a sentence like this: “Love isn’t something you prove or earn, but something you receive or allow, like a balm, like a benediction, even at your very worst,” and I decide to send this book to everyone I know. -- Jen Hatmaker, author of Interrupted and 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess
This magnificent book is a feast for the soul! A wise, thoughtful, and delightful read that will nourish your heart. -- Ian Morgan Cron, bestselling author of Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me: a Memoir . . . of Sorts and Chasing Francis
Shauna Niequist has a way with words that makes you feel more human, more alive. Every phrase is woven together in a way that inspires wonder at the most ordinary of events we are prone topass by. This book will make you hungry --- not just for food, but for life and love to the full. It certainly did for me. -- Jeff Goins, author of Wrecked: When a Broken World Slams into Your Comfortable Life
Bread and Wine is a new book about an ancient meal, but more than a meal, a book about the people seated at the table, and about the laughing, and about the joy of saying hello and the pain of saying good-bye. After reading this book you may feel as you do driving away from dinner with a friend --- grateful and full. -- Donald Miller, author of Blue Like Jazz and A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Shauna Niequist’s beautiful word painting in Bread and Wine is a poetic reminder to appreciate the rituals, people, and sensory experiences of our everyday lives. Her words invite us into her kitchen, and her stories challenge us to remain attentive to the many delights that complement life’s hardships and the ways in which we can share them with others. -- Kelle Hampton, New York Times bestselling author of Bloom: Finding Beauty in the Unexpected
Bread and Wine is one of those rare books that grabs all of you ---your mind, body, and spirit. Shauna’s soulful storytelling made me laugh, reminded me that I’m not alone, and gave me a new lens on some old struggles. There’s something sacred about this kind of truth telling. I couldn’t put this book down. -- Brene' Brown, New York Times bestselling author of Daring Greatly
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While I don't write half as eloquently as Shauna, I think I've shared her sentiments about food, hospitality and joie de vivre on multiple occasions - around tables, cooking with the guys in my cooking club or even, on occasion from the pulpit. So, I have nothing bad to say about this book. If you love food, hospitality, cooking, wine and just-for-the-fun-of-it dinner parties; if your idea of a great night is a house full of people and a whole afternoon spent cooking and smiling as you anticipate your guests; if you love having people in your home; if your idea of a good dinner is one that lasts several hours; if you love to give a good toast - to lock eyes with the people you love across a candlelit table and tell them why they're important to you; if you believe that everything is spiritual, and maybe especially food; if you love a well crafted sentence and rich metaphor, then this is your book.
My only argument with this book is some of the early reviews I've seen. To quote one, "this is a wonderful book for women" For women? I'm not a woman, and I loved it. Why, in the Christian world must we keep perpetuating the notion that men write serious books about theology and leadership, while books about food and hospitality and sucking the marrow out of life are somehow "women's lit?" Or that the gift of hospitality is somehow a "woman's gift," and the serious gifts of leadership are for the guys. Yes, Shauna writes about motherhood, childbirth, and getting into her bathing suit come summertime. But, somehow, she does it in a way that I can connect to - after all, I'm married to a woman and I've heard her talk about all those things. And even if I were not, I'm still interested, there are still parallels to my life. While my shame issues aren't related to my "underbutt" (a term I've never heard before this book!) - I've got plenty of "swimsuit" issues in my life. And, there are plenty of us guys out there who love to throw a party - who care about candles, music, a well-set table and making a great soufflé, who love to employ our words, knife skills and ability to make a killer salsa, as gifts to the people we love. So, let's be done with this silliness. I don't think Shauna intends for hospitality to be a "women's issue," and you shouldn't either.
I don't know Shauna, but through her words I feel like I do. She shares her heartaches and joys and presents them all with a vulnerability that was so relatable. I wish she was my sister, my neighbor, my friend. I've come to understand that she can have quite the fabulous life, but you know what? She never once name drops or rubs in it your face. She enjoys her life & lives it to the fullest with humility.
I am not an advanced cook by any means, but this book has given me courage to try. I love how she tied this in with the kitchen and food and family.Get in the kitchen, get messy, create something fabulous, create something not-so-fab, just try it. And the same goes for life - be present, get messy, be glamorous - just be there. Don't be a bystander in your own life.
I read this on my Kindle (it was on sale & Shauna Niequist - so, duh, I HAD to buy it, haha), but I will definitely own a real copy of this book.
As with her previous books, where Shauna shines is in her transparency, her willingness to speak openly and unashamedly about faith, family, and community. She courageously addresses taboo topics including miscarriage, giving words to an event that leaves so many women and the family and friends who walk this difficult road with them feeling as though they've lost their voice. Her openness left me in tears one moment and laughing aloud the next, a characteristic of my very favorite kinds of books.
Though it's hard to choose a favorite essay from a book that contains no bad ones, the essays from Bread and Wine that most spoke to me in this season of life were those that challenged me to relentlessly pursue community. In "Open the Door", Shauna encourages us to throw open the door to our homes and hearts no matter how imperfect they may be because "what people are craving isn't perfection... If you create a space full of love and character and creativity and soul, they'll take off their shoes and curl up with gratitude and rest, no matter how small, no matter how undone, no matter how odd." Likewise, in "Breakfast Cookies," she proclaims that the "heart of hospitality is about creating space for someone to feel seen and heard and loved. It's about declaring your table a safe zone, a place of warmth and nourishment." In "Happy New Year", she concludes that "what makes a good party" is "when the evening and the people and the conversation and the feeling in the room are allowed to be whatever they need to be for that night."
Shauna continues to explore the theme of community by inviting her readers into some of her deepest, most important relationships - those she's cultivated through years of valuing community and practicing the kind of hospitality described in this book. In "Enough" she shares an intimate moment between she and her dear friend Emily, who was pregnant during a season in which Shauna desperately wanted to be the same. In it, she challenges both herself and her readers to cultivate a "deep sense of gratitude, of groundedness, of enough, even while longing for something more." In "Swimming in Silence" she confesses, "being everywhere was keeping me from being anywhere" and in "Present over Perfect" she dares us to live differently, to "choose love and rest and grace" saying, "Let's use our minutes and hours to create memories with the people we love instead of dragging them on one more errand or shushing them while we try to accomplish one more seemingly necessary thing".
For me, the thing about Shauna's books that differentiate them from those of other well-meaning Christian authors is that rather than leave me feeling trapped by guilt for all I'm not doing to practice hospitality and foster community, Shauna's books leave me filled with hope. Her words paint a picture of the type of life I want to lead and of the friendships I want to cultivate. What's more, her words leave me feeling as though living that life - a life filled with deeply nourishing friendships - is entirely possible and well worth the effort.