Book Review: Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist

Bread and Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table
by Shauna Niequist
Rating: 4/5
Method Read: Audiobook via Scribd

Bread and Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes

One part memoir, one part cookbook with a dash of short stories thrown in for good measure, Bread and Wine is one of the most enjoyable books I have read in a long time. Niequist has a way of making you, the reader, feel valued from the first page and goes on talking to you like a trusted, old friend right until the end.

Niequist starts with one hell of an intro: she asserts that women are taught not to say “I’m hungry” because we fear that we will be seen as needy or that others will think that we are too fat to deserve food. “HOW TRUE IS THIS?” I remember thinking. How many women do you know who, when offered food at a party say, “oh, I shouldn’t!” ? How many times have you said something similar?

Her words resonated with me because she wasn’t talking about being perfect about “dinner as performance art” or about having specialty dishes with favors at each seat. No, she was talking about sitting around the table at the end of a long day with a friend who stopped by unannounced and sharing a meal. She speaks authentically and unabashedly about her cooking mistakes. it’s refreshing to see someone so willing to admit failure (esp. in a Martha Stewart world).

Niequist’s Bread and Wine is the very best essay series but with only thin threads of connection. If this sounds like a condemnation, it’s not. Niequest’s essays are like my thoughts/ our lives : vignettes loosely tied together.
I highly recommend you head out and buy this book ASAP. Or better yet listen to it (you need a good conversation right about now, right?)

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