I have, for years now, been singing Shauna Niequist’s praise. And here I go again.
Bread & Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table is good for the soul. It’s good for the belly, it’s good for the heart, and it’s good for my writing. I took my time reading this book when normally I fly through books at record pace. I wanted this to be slow and savored.
I read it over my fall break which was refreshing and relaxing, just like this book. Like her first two books, I finished it and wanted to start reading it again right away. But this one has recipes unlike the first two so instead of putting it on my shelf and waiting a few months to crack it open again, I moved it to the kitchen where I can begin to try some of the recipes that accompany her stories. Just like the author, I don’t do well with recipes. I like to experiment and change things, always ending up with a slightly different meal, not really being able to explain everything that I did and then not being able to replicate it the next time.
I like doing it different every time. I think it’s what keeps me in the kitchen.
And now, Bread & Wine has given me more reason to be there. Reminded me that friends and food and sitting around our table are what life is about. The book spoke to a place inside of me that struggles with our small house not having enough space to have people over for dinner. Where would they sit? Where would we put all the food? Her stories quieted that part of me, that doubting and excusing I always do, and made me just extend an invite.
My parents came over for dinner one night recently. It wasn’t planned or perfect, but it was good. I’m opening more to the idea that if I wait until we live in the perfect house or finally have a dining room or the kids are bigger, we’ll never end up doing it so we’re going to squish in our kitchen, bump elbows with people we love, and eat some good food.
That’s what a good book does for you: it changes your life in some way, for the better. Bread & Wine and all Niequist’s other books do that for me.
DISCLOSURE: AFFILIATE LINKS USED.