Book Review: Bread and Wine

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

I loved this book.

I had no real expectations going in to it – I recognized Niequist’s name as having authored some other books, but hadn’t read anything by her. Maybe that was a good thing, because it let me be completely blown away by discovering an author I love.

Cookbook/memoir mish-mash books are some of my favorites: A Homemade Life, My Berlin KitchenMy Berlin Kitchen: A Love Story (with recipes) by Luisa Weiss, Ruth Reichel’s memoirs, I love them. Niequist’s is another glorious celebration of the power of food and memory.

There are some powerful emotions discussed, and sections of the book are heart-wrenching. She made me cry, but at the same time there is such a thread of hope and joy throughout the text that even now when I’m skittish of books that may bring me to tears? I loved this book.

Unlike my other favorite foodie memoirs, this one is in many ways a spiritual memoir. How she discusses her faith no matter the circumstances is engrossing, and I appreciated how it never feels forced or fake. It so obviously is how she really is that it’s natural and compelling.

Heads-up that the book is likely to make you hungry, and wish that you had access to a summer cottage on the lake with plenty of blueberries. Or maybe that last part was just me.

I’m often scared to gush too much about a book, for fear of setting someone up with expectations that are unrealistically high. Still, it’s all I can do to not gush and insist that you go out right now and find this book.

I feel borderline guilty that I’m raving about the book so much, and it’s not even available until April 9. I apologize for that, but this way you can either preorder the book and have it arrive as soon as it possibly is available, or get on your library holds list in hopes that the line is not too long.

Highly, highly recommended.

Publisher’s Description:
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 and 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 and 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 and Wine.

Book Details

Title:Bread & Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with RecipesBread & Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes
Author: Shauna Niequist
Category: Nonfiction / Memoir
Length: 288 pages
Release Date: April 2013
Publisher: Zondervan
ISBN: 0310328179 / 978-0310328179
My Rating: 5 stars

Disclosure: I received a copy of the book for review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

Comments

  1. I can’t wait to get it! I haven’t read her but I did pick up Bittersweet the other day.

  2. I haven’t read any food memoirs at all! What would be a good one to start with?

    • Unless you object to the faith aspects in this one, it’d be a great one to try. Otherwise, try A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg, or My Berlin Kitchen by Luisa Weiss. Another great pick would be Ruth Reichl’s set – the third is Garlic and Sapphires, but it can be read as a stand-alone (it will give away some things that happen in the earlier books however, so if that bothers you start with the first, Tender at the Bone & then read the second, Comfort Me with Apples).

      Those all are heavier on the memoir part of the memoir/cookbook equation. If you’d like to have it heavier on the cookbook side (but still with lots of memoir aspects), try Dinner: A Love Story by Jenny Rosenstrach.

      None of those sound appealing? Try The Sharper Your Knife the Less You Cry by Kathleen Flinn, her Paris cooking school memoir.

      • I checked and we don’t have any of these in our library, unfortunately. Which is not surprising considering the fact that it is a University library (and food memoirs might not be a priority), and in Lithuania. I’ll look for good deals on Kindle!

        • I scrolled through the Kindle books, and found Maman’s Homesick Pie is currently $1.99. Not sure of how good a deal you’re wanting, but it’s certainly better than the $12 range I was seeing for some of my other favorite food memoirs.

          Maman’s Homesick Pie was really good, and it might still give you an idea if you like the genre. You might also like the more international aspects of her story.

          • Thank you for looking them up for me, Sheila! I got the book – such a great deal, too.

          • Let me know what you think of it! I hope you enjoy it. 🙂

          • Sheila, I read this and really enjoyed it! I bought Bread and Wine for a friend and he enjoyed that one, too. Thank you for the recommendations! I’ll keep my eye on other food memoir deals.

          • I’m so glad you enjoyed it, and that your friend liked Bread and Wine. Thanks for letting me know!

  3. you have def. got me VERY interested in food memoirs!! (ps: Love your reviews!)

Trackbacks

  1. […] Bread and Wine. So good. Go – read it. […]

  2. […] A favourite book blogger recommended the food memoir Maman’s Homesick Pie, which was on discount – I bought it in minutes and enjoyed it a lot a couple weeks after – thank you for the recommendation, Sheila from The Deliberate Reader! […]

  3. […] of time, it’s not news for me to share that I love cookbook/memoir mashups (as written about here and here and here and here and here.) I hoped this one would be a similar style. Instead, […]

  4. […] Bread & Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes by Shauna Niequist The book I was all but forcing everyone I know to read. #bookclubpickforSeptember #hopetheyloveitlikeIdid (My full review) […]

  5. […] ever paragraph. The chapter on what we ate and why it matters read like a summary of her next book Bread & Wine, and it was fun seeing the seeds for the future book in this one. The chapter on the importance of […]

  6. […] & Wine and Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist (My reviews of Bread & Wine and […]

  7. […] don’t really like devotionals generally, but I love her books Bread & Wine and Bittersweet so much that I think I’m going to have to give this one a […]

  8. […] read Niequist’s titles in what was then reverse publication order, starting with Bread & Wine, then Bittersweet, and now finally Cold Tangerines. While that does mean that there were some […]

  9. […] wonderful food memoirs available, and many of them I’ve already reviewed: A Homemade Life, Bread & Wine, Garlic and Sapphires, The Sharper Your Knife the Less You Cry, and […]

  10. […] into the menu, look into food memoirs – they’ve worked beautifully for us in the past. Bread and Wine and A Homemade Life are both excellent choices, as was Garlic and Sapphires. Plan for a longer […]

  11. […] A favourite book blogger recommended the food memoir Maman’s Homesick Pie, which was on discount – I bought it in minutes and enjoyed it a lot a couple weeks after – thank you for the recommendation, Sheila from The Deliberate Reader! […]

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