Jen gave me Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist for Christmas, knowing and understanding how much I like to cook and how much I love cookbooks. I browsed through it, thinking it looked interesting, but kind of forgetting I owned it as I plowed through novel after novel – over 11 books since the first of the year. It was a cookbook, after all. It could wait.
Or so I thought….
Shauna Niequist is a writer, blogger, wife, and mother of two. She has written two previous books of essays, as well as a 365 day devotional, none of which I’ve read, or even heard of prior to reading this book.
Bread and Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table With Recipes, is not, as the title would indicate, a book about hanging out with recipes (the title could have used a comma). It is a series of essays in which the author talks about the importance of food –preparing it, sharing it, and eating it – to strong family ties and close friendships, as well as personal happiness. Though it does, in fact, contain some recipes (thus explaining the title), it is definitely not a cookbook.
When I got out of the hospital a few weeks ago, I simply wasn’t in the mood to read one of my graphic mysteries or complicated novels. My mind wanted something simple upon which to spend my reading time. Jen encouraged me to begin reading Bread and Wine, and I was ever so glad that I did. Niequist is a lovely writer and I enjoyed every one of the essays. She captured my thoughts about food and cooking perfectly.
The author is a Christian writer and talks some about the importance that her faith plays in her life, but this isn’t a book about being Christian. It is, however, a book about enjoying life and knowing what is important and how to prevent negative thoughts and feelings from taking over our life. It is about friendship and love and coping with life in positive ways.
And some of the recipes look really good……