Sunday, June 8, 2014

{must read}: Cold Tangerines


If you haven't read Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist yet, RUN, don't walk, to your closest bookstore. Or buy it on Amazon here. You'll thank me later. Well, actually, let me first give you a little glimpse of why you should read it. THEN lace up your kicks, my friends.

You know those books where you just sit there and read, and you just want to exclaim to yourself, "YES!" Or, basically turn your pages pink (or yellow or red or whatever color marker you're using) from highlighting or underlining meaningful passages or revelations that just hit you like a ton of bricks? Well, Cold Tangerines was one of those books for me.

Shauna Niequist has become a popular name in the blogosphere, most notably for her book Bread and Wine, which I have not yet picked up, but I plan to soon enough. Not that I dare equate Cold Tangerines to any other book, because it is so beautifully and exquisitely and wonderfully written, but my friends who were enthralled by Love Does by Bob Goff will also fall in love with Cold Tangerines.

To quote Shauna Niequist's website, a short synopsis of Cold Tangerines:

"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."

Honestly, I'm not going to be able to add much more than that. These few sentences do a wonderful job in gathering the essence of Shauna's writing. It's one of those books that you could just read over and over, and most likely have zillion new takeaways each time. Her stories are honest, open, and raw. There are hilarious stories where you feel like you really want to be Shauna's best friend. There are heart-breaking stories that make you ache for her, or even, in my case, make you feel relieved, knowing that you're not the only one who has experienced such heartbreak, and make you thankful that Shauna has put her experience so elegantly and poignantly into words.

Since getting an iPad for my birthday, I've been hungrily reading whenever I have a free moment using the Kindle app- on my lunch break, before bed, while sipping on my smoothie in the morning before work... you get the picture. As I mentioned, I would find myself highlighting so many of Shauna's beautiful statements and I love the fact that with the Kindle app I'm able to go back into my "notebook" and look at them all in one place. I just had to share some of this lovely woman's wisdom with y'all:

Friends, this day is a beautiful, wonderful gift. If you know me or you've been following my blog for any amount of time, you know that this past year I was met with heartbreak from losing a very best friend -- and that heartbreak continually reminds me of the fact that each day is incredibly precious.

No matter what phase of life you're in, it seems that there's always the feeling that there's something more, something better out there. If you're anything like me, you're continually looking into the future, hoping that you'll find satisfaction and happiness there. That's one thing I majorly struggle with... contentment in where I am right now, in this very day. Cold Tangerines challenges you to find the small celebrations in each day, to realize grace, and to discover God in places you may least expect Him... in coffee shop conversations and soup and world-shattering tragedies and babies and writing in pencil, and so much more.

Find this book, and read it over and over and over again. 
Then let me know how much you loved it. 


1 comment:

  1. Going to Amazon to get this RIGHT NOW. I'm only a few pages from being done with Bread & Wine (SO GOOD!) and this seems like the best thing to follow.