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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Bread and Wine: Why You Need to Read This Book

There's a deep cord of comfort that runs through the dinner table, especially here in the South. It seems as if all social gatherings, family reunions, parties, and such revolve around food. My life is often dependent on what the next meal will be, where we should try dinner next, or what to buy at the grocery store. It's no secret that I love to entertain, and when my house is full of people and laughter, my heart is full, too. 

If you've been around the blog world the past few months, you've undoubtedly heard of this book.

Bread and Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes by Shauna Niequist. 

This book has rocked my world and made me fall in love with a book like I never have before. It has taken me a long time to realize what about this book is so different than any other book, and I'm still not sure if I've really grasped the extent of it. This is one of those books that I'll always have handy, a book that I'll just open to a random page and reread over and over again, finding a new passage to love or dog-earing another page I want to remember.

If you're sitting behind your computer wondering what in the world I'm rambling on about, here's a snapshot of the back cover of the book, which sums it up beautifully. 

Pardon the scratches, it's definitely been used. This quote is what drew me in to this book.
Are you tired of me talking about Bread and Wine just yet? Well, I'll talk 'til I'm blue in the face, because I want you all to read it that badly. I'm telling you--it's incredible.

The thing about this book is that it isn't just short stories. It isn't just recipes. The way Shauna intermingles these two things is mesmerizing; she makes you feel like you're sitting across the table from her, sharing a bottle of wine, as she's chopping onions and prepping dinner. You can almost smell the ingredients.

This book made me realize that although I barely know my way around a kitchen, that doesn't mean I can't pull out my knife and start chopping.

The simple ways that she relates food to memories and food to life lessons is inspiring.

I'm working my way through this book, rereading the short stories and attempting to do justice to her recipes. It's an experience, for sure, but I'm enjoying every second.

More than anything, I love that she is a Christian and finds a beautiful balance of weaving Jesus into this book. Niequist mentions that she finds God through food and then questions us as to where we find God. Even if it isn't through food, like me, this book motivates you to find God where you are or in what you love doing. 

This book isn't all happy stories. Each chapter tells us a different part of her life, a different memory. Some are happy, some are sad. She shows us struggles and tears and some make your heart hurt. Some make you want to hug your best friend, tell your family you love them. It made me want to connect and have deeper relationships.

Bread and Wine made me think long and hard about the connection between family, friends, and food. 

“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.  Part of that, then, is honoring the way God made our bodies, and feeding them in ways they need to be fed.”

I long for my table to be a place where I can feed the ones I love, not only with a warm, delicious meal, but also feed them in every other way they may need, too. Emotionally, spiritually, mentally. I want to be the kind of person who welcomes and inspires, who opens up my house not out of obligation or to show it off, but out of love and out of desire to serve others and love them like I'd want to be loved. 

After all, isn't that what life is all about? Xoxo


  1. This is 1000% on my Summer to read list!!!

  2. Guess I have to read this one tooooo :)

  3. You recapped this so beautifully! I just finished it yesterday and she stirred so much inside of me that I just want t throw my front door open at every chance I get and welcome people in to enjoy an evening around the dinner table.

  4. I finally got around to buying this book a few weeks ago!! I can't wait to dive in!!!

  5. I've got to get my hands on this book!

  6. I'm a big fan of Shauna's. Have you read any of her other books?

  7. Well, I guess I'm going to have to order this book. I have heard so, so many good things about it. Always enjoy your posts! Happy week!

  8. I absolutely loved this book. I read it earlier this year and I'm definitely going to reread it again! I've got her two other books on hold at the library right now- she definitely makes you feel like you're a dear friend!

  9. I loved this book too! I've started giving out copies as gifts!

  10. This is such a good description of this amazing book. I'm right there with you on every word! I'm pretty sure I have like half of this book highlighted :)

  11. This was one of my all time favorite books, months after I've finished it I find myself wishing I was still reading it!!

  12. I am no where near owning my own place, being married, or entertaining but I feel like I am seriously missing out by not reading this book! You've convinced me to read it- looks sooo good! Definitely on my list!!

  13. Great review! This book has been on my wish-list for awhile. And while I don't have my own home, one day, when the Lord blesses me with one, I want to use it for all the reasons you stated above. He blesses us, so we can bless others! I can't wait for the day. :)

  14. I can't wait to read this book!

  15. I've been hearing so much about this book and will definitely be adding it to my amazon list! Thanks for the run-down!!