December 08, 2010

Bittersweet- GIVEAWAY and book review

Author and foodie Shauna Niequist has graciously given me a signed copy of her new book Bittersweet to giveaway to one of my readers! I just don't know where to start. Bittersweet is Shauna's second book....I loved her first book Cold Tangerines, and was anxiously awaiting this book. Bittersweet really struck a cord in me, so much so I want everyone to read it!

There aren't any recipes in this book, but there is plenty of talk about food. The third chapter is titled What we ate and why it matters. Now I am here to tell you my memories mostly revolve around the food that was eaten and who it was eaten with. Shauna writes: Food is one of the ways we acknowledge our humanity, our appetites, our need for nourishment. And so it may seem trivial or peripheral to some people, but to me, when I'm telling a story, the part about what we ate really does matter. Sing it sister! Like she said.......ever read something and think, "Oh I wish I could have said it like that"?

I should tell you Bittersweet is not entirely about food or what Shauna had for dinner. It's about SO much more. Shauna has such an amazing voice in her writing. It just draws you right in and makes your heart ache for more. She has a way of making stories of everyday life meaningful and extraordinary. Helping us to look at the "everydays" of our lives with hope, and truth, and to consume each day with a thankfulness for what was, not what could have been.

Here's an excerpt from Bittersweet...a teaser (wink):
The idea of bittersweet is changing the way I live, unraveling and re-weaving the way I understand life. Bittersweet is the idea that in all things there is both something broken and something beautiful, that there is a sliver of lightness on even the darkest nights, a shadow of hope in every heartbreak, and that rejoicing is no less rich when it contains a splinter of sadness.

Bittersweet is the practice of believing that we really do need both the bitter and the sweet. Sweet is nice enough but bittersweet is beautiful, nuanced, full of depth and complexity. It's courageous, gutsy, audacious, earthy.

This is what I've come to believe about change: it's good, in the way that childbirth is good, and heartbreak is good, and failure is good. I've learned the hard way that change is one of God's greatest gifts, and most useful tools. Change can push us, pull us, rebuke us, and remake us. It can show us who we've become, in the worst ways and also in the best ways. I've learned that it's not something to run away from, as though we could, and that in many cases, change is a function of God's graciousness, not life's cruelty.

I am so excited that I get to give a copy of Bittersweet away. Bittersweet is a great read anytime of year, but for this time of will open your eyes and heart to embrace all the bittersweet moments that we so often, as humans, have to endure over the Holidays.

To WIN a signed copy of Shauna Niequists book Bittersweet....

Leave a comment:
1. Tell me about a sweet time in your life that you were able to celebrate.

2. Or a bitter time in your life that allowed you to grow.

3. Or if you'd rather tell me your favorite chocolate dessert, that works too!

ONE comment per person unless...

Because I want to shout about Bittersweet from the rooftops I will give two extra entries for Twittering this GIVEAWAY or linking it to your Facebook page!

A winner will be chosen Thursday, December 9 at midnight.

With luv,

post signature


  1. Finding out that Jacob has Autism has definitely been bittersweet. I love him and his quirkiness but it has certainly forced me to grow as a parent (and a person).

    I think I speak for both Jake and I when I say we love brownie and Dove chocolates.

  2. Bittersweet, all the way! Dark chocolate anything! In real life, finding Mr. Right after 2 divorces for sure! LOL

  3. So many sweet times sprinkled with bittersweet times that felt like floods! Oh, I'm still craving a no bake cookie that I haven't had (hint, hint). Love the giveaway. Linked you on FB!

  4. Have my two little girls was a Sweet, Sweet time in our life! I just made a chocolate mousse cake and am in love with that right now! Merry Christmas!!

  5. The arrival of our little guy this past June has been a sweet addition to our lives!

  6. Being torn and forced to choose between two different families has definitely been bittersweet in our lives. Lessons learned, big girl panties were needed to be put on......

    I'm obstaining from deserts right now, preparing for the Holidays!

  7. the bitter time in my life that allowed me to grow would be, when my brother was in kidney failure. as soon as i found out, i was tested and was a match. he was on dialysis for a total of 5 months. it made me grow as a person to see how i could bring a family happiness and love. i always thought my brother would never have kids, and after i saw what a good father and husband he had become, i could not watch him go thru life, waiting on a list to receive a kidney. today, he is doing wonderful, and has 2 more children since the donation!(3 boys now) god is great!

  8. I have had plenty of bitter and sweet memories in my life but the best chocolate for me is the Triple Chocolate Ice Cream: white chocolate, milk chocolate and my favorite dark chocolate!


  9. Ya know, life is always full of bitter-sweet moments. Growing up, falling in love, having children... There are imperfections in all of us, in all things and that is a part of what makes us all so special right? I guess, the most current (couple) bitter-sweet moments are 1) my parents marriage coming to an end & asking myself what does that mean for me (an adult) and my marriage...AND making Christmas cookies can be bitter sweet for me. This time of year I could eat nothing but sweets, but the bitter part would be my expanding behind!! :) GREAT post Sheila! Perfect for this time of year. Sounds like an interesting book!

  10. Moving to TX, so far from home started bitter but is becoming sweet :)

  11. What a fantastic give away. My favorite sweet would have to be cheesecake. As for the bittersweet times in life there have been many, and will be many more, I am trying to be better at finding the sweet sooner instead of dwelling on the bitter.

  12. A bittersweet moment...

    I finally met my father-in-law after 6 years of marriage. My husband and his father hadn't spoken to one another for 13+ years. The birth of our daughter sparked a short lived second chance. He (FIL) was diagnosed with cancer and passed away 3 years after they reconciled. I sometimes feel cheated that I didn't get to spend more time with this amazing man but eternally greatful for the time we had and memories we were fortunate to create.

  13. So grateful that 2010 included the last 2 (twins) of our 4 kids graduating from college. Huge accomplishment to celebrate for them and us. Bittersweet for me as a mom as my role continues to morph. New season of growth for me amidst this changing season.

  14. tell me which is sweet and which is bitter:
    -growing up in an 8' wide trailer house vs. now, living in a 4,000 sq. ft. home on an acre...
    -husband successful as an executive vs. recently losing his job but opening up opportunities in this 2nd half
    As in cooking, what's bitter and sweet is relative, and all about perspective...Shauna brilliantly demonstrates wisdom as she found God's perspective on her life. May we all seek and find the same.

  15. A bittersweet time was when my husband was out of work, leaning on the Lord to provide. Sweet times came when He provided a part-time job that ministered to our entire family. Chocolate is sweet in the bitter and good times - one favorite recipe is Turtle Brownies.

  16. Waving goodbye as we left our firstborn at college. So proud. So happy he could grow to be such a wonderful, strong young man. But missing my baby boy. Oh, my baby boy......