Monday, April 8, 2013

Book Review - Bread & Wine

As a follow up to her two-bestselling books, Bittersweet and Cold Tangerines, author and blogger Shauna Niequist returns with the perfect read for those who love food and value the community and connection of family and friends around the table.

Bread & Wine is a collection of essays about family relationships, friendships, and the meals that bring us together. This mix of Anne Lamott and Barefoot Contessa is a funny, honest, and vulnerable spiritual memoir. Bread & Wine is a celebration of food shared, reminding readers of the joy found in a life around the table. It's about the ways God teaches and nourishes people as they nourish the people around them. It's about hunger, both physical and otherwise, and the connections between the two.

With wonderful recipes included, from Bacon-Wrapped Dates to Mango Chicken Curry to Blueberry Crisp, readers will be able to recreate the comforting and satisfying meals that come to life in Bread & Wine.

Shauna Niequist is the author of Cold Tangerines, Bittersweet, and Bread & Wine. Shauna grew up in Barrington, Illinois, and then studied English and French Literature at Westmont College in Santa Barbara. She is married to Aaron Niequist, who is a pianist and songwriter. Aaron is a worship leader at Willow Creek Community Church and is recording a project called A New Liturgy. Aaron & Shauna live outside Chicago with their sons, Henry and Mac. Shauna writes about the beautiful and broken moments of everyday life--friendship, family, faith, food, marriage, love, babies, books, celebration, heartache, and all the other things that shape us, delight us, and reveal to us the heart of God. You can find out more about Shauna and read her blog at


This book is so wonderful. It's like sitting down with your very good friend, at her kitchen table, while she shares life stories, recipes, her triumphs and tragedies, and her faith in God. It was one of the sweetest, yet poignant, books I've read in a long time. I found myself laughing out loud and shedding tears when Shauna struggled with losing her babies and moving away from dear friends.

I love how real she is! She doesn't filter what she wants to share. She shares it all and it just makes you like her all the more. There is no pretense - just honest sharing of her heart. So much of it I could relate to. I also want to be just like her and give amazing dinner parties where I don't worry about my house being like a magazine, but just sharing good food, great conversations, and laughter.

The recipes sound so good and there are many that are gluten free because her husband, Aaron can't eat gluten. I have marked several that I want to try out because they sound amazing. I also love that she encourages us to try the recipes and tells us that we can do the ones we may think are complicated. I love that encouragement!

I was sad when the book was done because I felt like I had lost a friend - like I was one of those friends that moved away. However, I don't have to worry because I will pick up her book again and again to make those recipes and read a snippet here and there of her lovely book! I'm sure you'll love it as much as I do!

*This book was provided to me for my honest review by Handlebar Central

Blessings - Julie

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