A Bread Library Review: Shauna Niequist’s Bread and Wine

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I was very excited to pick up this book at the library.  I loved Shauna’s devotional book “Savour” and the introduction she wrote for Preston Yancey’s book.

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Shauna also gave me one of my favorite recipes, blueberry (or raspberry) yogurt cake!

Given the title, I assumed that she was going to focus on bread and wine, the elements of the Last Supper, and spirituality.  But the real focus of the book is the tagline: a love letter to life around the table, with recipes.

Very little of the book is an exploration of pure faith.  Although you could probably argue that the whole thing is about living your faith, connecting with others and learning to love yourself.

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I love this quote by C.S. Lewis.  It really sums up the point that Shauna makes over and over again: the sacred and profane are not opposites, but work together to demonstrate the fullness of God’s kingdom.

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This chapter was my favorite.  You can probably guess why.

 

Overall, I enjoyed the recipes and her stories.  They wove a full picture that included the general and the personal in a way that was more successful than Preston Yancey’s Out of the House of Bread, which by all accounts was a very similar book.  Hers just exudes more love and warmth, inviting the reader to share in her journey with the heartbreaks and the triumphs.  You feel like another friend invited to sit at her table.

One criticism (and it’s a small one) is that the stories did get a little repetitive after a while.  She had her theme and dang if she didn’t stick to it!

Another thing I really liked about her book is the list of recommended reading.  I’ve read Anne Lamott and Barbara Kingsolver and I’m excited to check out other books she suggests.

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Yesterday I tried out her goat cheese biscuits and they were wonderful!

She also includes a recipe for Jim Lahey’s Sullivan Street Bread, which most people know as the famous NY Times no-knead bread.

In all, this was a good book that really invites you to get into the kitchen and explore her recipes.  Her husband eats gluten free, so many of the recipes included are gluten and dairy-free.

I wish this wasn’t a library book because I have to give it back!

Have you read any good books lately?  Do you have a cookbook addiction like me?

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