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Listening to Your Life: Daily Meditations with Frederick Buechner Paperback – May 8, 1992

4.6 out of 5 stars 81 customer reviews

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From the Publisher

Daily meditations taken from the works of an acclaimed novelist, essayist, and preacher who "has articulated what he sees with a freshness and clarity and energy that hails our stultified imaginations."--The New York Times Book Review

About the Author

Frederick Buechner, author of more than thirty works of fiction and nonfiction, is an ordained Presbyterian minister. He has been a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award and was honored by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His most recent work is Beyond Words: Daily Readings in the ABC’s of Faith.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne; 1st edition (May 8, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060698640
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060698645
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.9 x 7.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,967 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Frederick Buechner is one of our greatest treasures--a wonderful prose writer, a great story-teller, an insightful theologian. His body of work is as diverse as any writer I've ever heard of--fiction, myth, sermons, lectures, memoirs, lexicons, humor, etc. This book provides a great overview of 30 years of his writing--all in brief daily doses. While some of the exerpts suffer from being pulled out of their contexts, they have been well and carefully chosen, and stand alone well. Buechner's recurring theme is that God exists and acts in our lives today--we just have to learn to listen for him and recognize those acts. Read as a devotional, this book provides many flashes of insight and understanding, and many gentle reminders of the Truth that undergirds our lives.
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Format: Paperback
Most daily devotionals that I have worked with in the past have often been sentimental drivel.
Buechner's excellent, concise and often poetic writing boldly confronts the daily battles a person of faith encounters. Eschewing simple HALLMARK CARD sentimentality and post-modern sound bite obsession, Buechner lays out a series of daily meditations that comfort, challenge and re-enforce as well as affirm one's faith.
I particularly admire Buechner's constant celebration of the purity of silence- the need for listening and contemplation.
An excellent daily devotional written by one of our finest contemporary theologians.
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By A Customer on August 12, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I return to this book again and again. It doesn't ask that you believe anything in particular. It ranges over all kinds of topics. Buechner gives us his wisdom, wonder, doubt and love in equal and generous measure.
I have found his works to be deeply liberating because there is no dogma... mostly there is hope, poetry, some new visions of faith, room to doubt, room to soar...
Mostly, he shows us his deep deep humanity.
Thank you, Mr. Buechner.
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Frederick Buechner's writings have provided delight and stimulation to me and others for years: he has a way of making me see life in a new light. Buechner is the rare man who has both a pastoral and poetic sensibilities, and for that reason he's someone alive both to God and the world around him.

In "Listening to Your Life," excerpts from Buechner's writings have been edited by Buechner himself to provide a reading for each day of the year. Throughout, the book manages to sustain the keynote theme: Listen to Your Life. Here's what Buechner has to say about this theme: "Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery that it is. In the boredom and pain of it no less than the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, see, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace."

The book is filled with such excerpts that make us marvel at our lives and experience them more joyfully and profoundly. The sheer literary excellence of "Listening to Your Life," as well as Buechner's joy in living and keen insight into life, make this book and Buechner's other works worth reading.

My first criticism, however, is that the excerpts themselves are sometimes unsatisfactory as starting points for daily meditations. There many times when the selection obviously picks up in the middle of an anecdote or some other writing that is necessary to make good sense of the excerpt. This is especially true when the excerpts are from novels that we may not have read. For this reason, the excerpts are very uneven in their usefulness as fodder for daily meditations.
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Format: Paperback
This is a devotional/meditational book I keep coming back to. It is deep, and stimulates long-lasting reflection upon my life and my God.

Sometimes his writings are too intellectual for me to grasp, but this is Buechner in an accessible form. Here I get bits of wisdom and perspective that I can grab onto. With this book I have found myself contemplating some really big thoughts about a really big God and His hand of providence.

"Listening To Your Life" rarely gathers dust on my bookshelf. I pull it out frequently and am a better person for doing so.
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To quote Maya Angelou, "This book is meant to possess, and at the same time liberate, the heart".
I agree that it does exactly that. I was not familiar with Buechner's works until recently when I became the organist in a Presbyterian Church and the pastor frequently quoted him. I thought I'd start out small, with a book of daily meditations and then move on to his larger works if I enjoyed the smaller works.

This is a compilation of quotes from many of Buechner's works, one for each day of the year. Unlike many daily meditations, Buechner's words do not tell you what to think or believe. They inspire you to think on your own, many times very differently from what you might expect. They challenge, encourage, and give you pause. Some are very brief, less than half a page; others cover almost two pages. Some are very funny, like the one about Zaccheus.

I have started reading them to my husband every morning. It's a good way to 'jump start' the day. My husband actually picked the book up and read it straight through before I had a chance to get to it. I occasionally flip through the book and just read whatever I come to, usually in the middle of the day when I have a moment to myself. I am never disappointed, finding something each time that brings new awareness of God's immanence.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to search his/her soul to new depths.
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