Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life by Shauna Niequist
I’ve somewhat inadvertantly 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 things that lost the “wonder what’s going to happen with that” aspect, overall the books are fine to read that way. I enjoyed seeing how her life progressed, and her writing style developed.
While I didn’t love Cold Tangerines as much as I did the other two, that’s somewhat a matter of degrees, and a reflection of just how much I loved the others, Bread & Wine especially, although it is a bit of a acknowledgement that she’s improved as a writer since this first work. This one is still very worth reading. I love the tone of so many of the essays, and the way they prompt me to be more aware and appreciative of everyday events.
Highly recommended, and I’ll just go ahead an repeat myself and say that they’re all worth reading. I love how she tells her stories, and I love how the essays all make me think and grow.
And a little story that connects to this book:
Before I had children and was working a full-time, out-of-the-home job, some of my work involved tasks that could be done while wearing headphones, so I had lots and lots of listening time and used that to listen to a variety of podcasts. One of my favorites was Midday Connection, because invariably I learned something interesting, and I also learned about a lot of intriguing books. One day the guest was Shauna Niequest, who had just come out with a book by the strange title of Cold Tangerines. I was so uninterested in that title, and didn’t like the cover, so I skipped that podcast and didn’t look into what the book was actually about.
Six years later I finally read something by Niequist, and I fell in love with Bread & Wine, and then realized it was the same author I’d avoided way back when. And figuratively kicked myself for being an idiot and letting the title and orange cover put me off from a book I would have really enjoyed.
So the lesson there is, don’t be like me and not even find out about a book purely based on ridiculous reasons.
Cold Tangerines is a collection of stories that celebrate the extraordinary moments hidden in our everyday lives. It is about God, and about life, and about the thousands of daily ways in which an awareness of God changes and infuses everything. It is about spiritual life, and about all the things that we have called nonspiritual life that might be spiritual after all. It is the snapshots of a young woman making peace with herself and her life, and trying to craft a life that captures the energy and exuberance we long for in the midst of the fear and regret and envy we all carry with us. It is both a voice of challenge and song of comfort, calling us upward to the best possible life, and giving us room to breathe, to rest, to break down and break through. Cold Tangerines offers bright and varied glimpses of hope and redemption, in and among the heartbreak And boredom and broken glass.
Title: Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life
Author: Shauna Niequist
My Rating: 4.5 Stars
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!