Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way


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Sort order. Dec 12, Lindsay - Traveling Sister rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites. Shauna Niequist is a woman I wish I could be friends with!

I loved her previous book "Cold Tangerines" as well as this one! She has such a powerful message to send, yet does it in such a simple, relatable way. Reading some chapters I laughed out loud and reading others I cried until I could barely see - sometimes I did both on the same page. So many of her chapters resonate so deeply with me - her views on parenting, marriage, spirituality, friendships, etc. A very uplifting and inspirational journey! Can't say enough fantastic things about Shauna's writing. I can't wait to read her other books! View all 3 comments. I really wanted to enjoy this book as I had with her previous one - Cold Tangerines.

But if I have to hear the word "season" one more time, or hear the rundown of exactly what they ate, or skim through an inane amount of adjectives just to get to the point, I'm going to scream. I felt that even though the author was mostly open and honest, it was more like being included in the popular girls conversation about how important everything about her life is but guess what, you only get the fabulous I really wanted to enjoy this book as I had with her previous one - Cold Tangerines.

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I felt that even though the author was mostly open and honest, it was more like being included in the popular girls conversation about how important everything about her life is but guess what, you only get the fabulous descriptions and none of the background details that make the story understandable and relatable. There were a lot of times she hit the nail on the head for me but I feel they were cancelled out by what I've already stated. I know a lot of readers found this wonderful - and I'm glad they did - but I just found it frustrating.

Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way

View 2 comments. May 21, Gail rated it really liked it Shelves: to-read-in Coming off a dense book on writing, Shauna's latest collection of stories, "Bittersweet" was like curling up on the couch with a blanket and a big 'ol bowl of comfort food — the literary equivalent to mac-n-cheese. There are some folks who may read her writing and shrug it off as too folksy or too preachy.

I feel sorry for them. Because I think Shauna has a remarkable ability to write poetically about the everyday moments we all experience but never take time to think about, let alone cherish. In Coming off a dense book on writing, Shauna's latest collection of stories, "Bittersweet" was like curling up on the couch with a blanket and a big 'ol bowl of comfort food — the literary equivalent to mac-n-cheese. In "Bittersweet," Shauna writes extensively about her experience miscarrying her second child.

I felt so sorry for her reading her words about the loss. And again, because of Shauna's approachability, she seems less the person sharing these words through a novel and more one recounting what happened over cups of tea in her living room. Someone you want to reach out to, give a hug, and tell her everything will work out because it's life and, well, it always does. This ability of hers to be so transparent is probably why people seem to flock to her as girlfriends — of which, as you read, she has many.

I'm borrowing a friend's copy of the book and since she underlined many of the same passages I would have, I know they resonated with her as well. Shauna's books are ones I really should just buy copies of seeing as how — though I rarely re-read anything — so many of her essays I could come back to again and again. There are enough long lonely days of the same old thing, and if you let enough years pass, and if you let the routine steamroll your life, you'll wake up one day, isolated and weary, and wonder what happened to all those old friends.

I feel more like myself with each passing year, for better and for worse, and you'll find that, too. Every year, you will trade a little of your perfect skin and your ability to look great without exercising for wisdom and peace and groundedness, and every year the trade will be worth it.

I promise. Do the work, learn the skills, and make art, because of what the act of creation will create in you. Many more, but I'll let you read them instead.

ISBN 13: 9780310328162

View 1 comment. Jan 04, Jenn rated it did not like it. This book may as well be a shout out to all of Shauna's friends and family. Most of the pages are filled with cliches about food and cooking clubs and her son She talks about churches and the Christian community but very little about God and faith. True, there are brief moments of spiritualness if you can sift through the lines upon lines of her "dear diary" whining and attempt to mention every person she's ever met by name.

I don't mean to be insensitive, this woman clearly This book may as well be a shout out to all of Shauna's friends and family. I don't mean to be insensitive, this woman clearly had a rough run for a while, but so has everyone. It seems to me that she had a deadline and strung together a bunch of blog entries in order to meet it. As a result, the intended audience for this book is extremely narrow. Dec 31, Barb Terpstra rated it it was amazing. I read Shauna's book "Cold Tangerines" a few years back and really enjoyed it.

Her newest, "Bittersweet", did not disappoint--in fact, I really think I liked it better than "Cold Tangerines". Shauna's writing style is so fresh and honest, you feel like you are sitting and chatting with her on the couch. She talks about real life and real hurts and disappointments, but not in a "you should feel sorry for me" sort of way. She takes life struggles and gives them over to God, but that's not easy I read Shauna's book "Cold Tangerines" a few years back and really enjoyed it.

She takes life struggles and gives them over to God, but that's not easy either, and, she doesn't pretend that it is. I like as well that she doesn't mind poking a little fun at herself--we need to laugh on our journey too. Almost every chapter deals with food in some way - Shauna seems to connect with her friends and family over meals shared. One idea I may steal from her deals with inviting a group of women for a shared meal - people that she isn't intimate with, but would like to get to know better.

I love this idea, and, food is a great way to break the ice. Like "Cold Tangerines" this book is good for all ages - I lent "Cold Tangerines" to my 24 year old daughter in law, who lent it to her mother, who lent it to a friend - I think "Bittersweet" will end up making the rounds as well.

Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way by Shauna Niequist

Nov 19, Mandy J. And when life is bitter, say thank you and grow. It's cover invites you to sit, read, and reflect on your life as Shauna shares from her life. In full disclosure, I couldn't finish this book. For the most part I liked the essays I read, but it felt like I was reading blog post after blog post rather than reading a flowing book. Each chapter stands alone while still touting the book's title. If you enjoy reading short bits here and there, you probably would enjoy reading this book.


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  • I personally couldn't keep myself engaged in it long enough to finish it. Having not read it in it's entirety I can not say whether I endorse the content or not, but I will say that I appreciated the message Shauna shares in the chapters I did read. Aug 26, Tina rated it it was amazing Shelves: ebooks , christian , , non-fiction , best , memoir.


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    • If it were any other time, any other season, I probably wouldn't have picked this up from the Kindle store. I wouldn't have looked at this twice, because I don't think it's for me, or I would be interested. When was the last time I read a non-fiction, self-help book like this? I can't remember. But I know for sure that if it were any other time early this year, or if it were any other season in my life, I wouldn't have decided to get Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist and read it immediately after If it were any other time, any other season, I probably wouldn't have picked this up from the Kindle store.

      But I know for sure that if it were any other time early this year, or if it were any other season in my life, I wouldn't have decided to get Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist and read it immediately after it loaded on Hannah the Kindle. Oh, I guess it helped that the ebook was on sale when I saw it, so I bought it. But still, I wouldn't have gotten it and enjoyed it as much as I did if it were any other time of my life.

      Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace and Learning the Hard Way by Shauna Niequist is about so many things, but mostly, about how life is bittersweet. How life isn't always happy or sweet but we shouldn't let the bitterness of it get to us. There is such a thing as bittersweet, and it's the kind of life that we should appreciate, especially because all the learning and the changes and most importantly grace is seen in the bittersweet parts of life.

      This is a collection of essays and realizations about her life, and what she learned from them -- from her fights with her husband to moving to a new place, from meeting new friends, having parties and serving them food and these friends moving away. From her problems getting pregnant again to broken hearts, family members dying and babies being born. The book is an honest collection of stories that the reader will definitely relate to at some point, and drives the point that life is really bittersweet. Like I said, if I read this at any other time, I don't think it would have made as much of a big impact as it did now.

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      Bittersweet kept me company during the hard days, and spoke to me over and over and over again about grace and God's faithfulness. I couldn't relate to some of the stories Niequist wrote because I don't have a family, and I haven't moved away yet, but the lessons she talked about were universal, and somehow I felt like she really knew what heartache is, and she can relate to me.

      Her words served like a balm to my soul, and some passages made me cry several times because it felt like they were exactly what I needed to read. In a way, it seemed like a promise, too -- that whatever you're going through, whatever your situation is, God knows it, and He will take you through it. It's not easy, but you have a choice to view your situation as bittersweet. And from her words, it seemed like she's healed and moved on from the hard parts of her life and if she can do it, then you definitely can, too.

      I needed that, and as I read the book more, I realize that maybe it was meant for me to see this book on Amazon, and to see it on sale so I can buy it. Granted, some of the stories were a little repetitive, like stories at the end had some similarities to the stories at the start, but by the time I got to that, I was far too in love with what I've read for me to really nitpick about it.

      Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way
      Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way
      Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way
      Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way
      Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way
      Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way

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