- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Zondervan (September 5, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0310345316
- ISBN-13: 978-0310345312
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 678 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,198 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Bread and Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes Paperback – September 5, 2017
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About the Author
Shauna Niequist is the author of Cold Tangerines, Bittersweet, Bread & Wine and Savor. She is married to Aaron, and they have two wild and silly and darling boys, Henry and Mac. They live outside Chicago, where Aaron leads The Practice and is recording a project called A New Liturgy. Shauna also writes for the Storyline Blog, and for IF:Table, she is a member of the Relevant podcast, and a guest teacher at her church. Shauna’s three great loves are her family, dinner parties, and books, and she believes that vulnerable storytelling, hard laughter, and cold pizza for breakfast can cure almost anything.
Top customer reviews
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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.
Most recent customer reviews
Relaxed pace. Like sitting on your porch watching the sun set. Enjoyable and inspiring.
Worth your time.