Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist

I'm jumping the gun on this a little bit because I have a couple more chapters left, but it's just too good for me not to share it now.  It can't wait.

I often wonder, as a woman, a wife, a mom...heck, a human even...if I'm the only one that thinks the things I do about life and joy and sorrow and God and how it all meshes together.  For the longest time I thought surely I was alone in my musings.  Yet, having said that, half the time I can't even make sense of what is crawling around up in this mind of can I propose that anyone else can?

Enter Cold Tangerines.

Turns out, as fate would have it, I'm not alone.  The author of Cold Tangerines, Shauna Niequist, does make sense of what goes on in her brain...thus probably millions, giving a voice and understanding to what most of us don't have the courage or maybe even capacity to do.  I said numerous times while reading this (and I'll probably say it many more) I felt like she was speaking right to me.  Like she was writing about me.  Like this sister spirit of mine had entered my home, my heart, and spoke exactly what I have felt in various and sundry situations.  I dare to assume, should you choose to read this book (which I highly recommend) you'll feel the same way as well.

The subtitle of this book is "Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life" and Niequist not only beautifully illustrates God in our everyday lives, but she gives us something to reach out and touch...a tangible, wrap your arms around and love it, sort of glimpse into our emotions and our thoughts and our faith.  This book is extraordinary in nature in it's own right, that's for sure.

Through short vignettes (chapters) detailing childhood, family, adulthood, parenthood, work, death, faith (and everything in between) throughout her own life, Niequest manages to touch on almost every topic and emotion within the human spirit...with total and utmost honesty.  In fact, there were a few times in my reading I actually had to reread and reread certain passages because she had said things that I had actually thought but wouldn't ever say.  Her honestly is raw to a degree, but so relevant and relateable.  Turns out...most of us think and would like to say these very same things as well.

Every tale chronicles not only the ups and downs in life, but the splendid nature of God in the midst of it all.  The resounding theme, for me at least, was that we are not alone in this walk.  We always have a good and mighty God there with us, during the good times as well as the bad times.  I think that in and of itself is a necessary call for celebration!

Not to mention, I was astounded at the near poetic language Niequist wrote in.  Having studied both English and French literature, her wording and expression are lyrical.  You almost feel as if you're reading some literary classic love story, which I think is appropriate as God does carry on his own love story with us does he not?  On a side note: I would like to see a Devotional book written by this wise woman...I think her wisdom and way with words would give us new insight into the Word of God.

So would you read this book?  I think you should.  I also think you would thoroughly enjoy it.  Check it out.  If you'd like to purchase it through amazon, head over to my "I Recommend" link in the left hand column.

Cold Tangerines is published by Zondervan Books.  More information about Shauna and her book (including her blog and speaking opportunities) can be found at

I'm sharing this on "Works for Me Wednesday" over at We Are That Family, because...well...this book just works for me.  Check out what works for others and while you're at up and share what works for you as well.


Shauna Niequist does not know me...nor do I know her personally.  I have received no compensation for this review.  Just wanted to share what I think is a great book!


Michelle said...

SO glad you like it. It spoke so much to my heart when I read it too. That is why I wanted to share it. Love you!

Holly said...

I will check this book out. Always looking for a new perspective or something that speaks to me that I can learn something from in how I live my life. I like the cover so much I would buy it just for that...I {hear} orange!