On Community, Friendship, and Being Fully Known: An Interview with @sniequist

Margaret —  May 11, 2013 — 70 Comments

Giveaway: Bread and Wine @sniequist @Zondervan

This week, I'm giving away THREE copies of my friend, Shauna Niequist's new book Bread & Wine. Shauna Niequist is the author of Cold Tangerines and Bittersweet. She lives outside Chicago with her husband, Aaron, and their sons, Henry and Mac. At www.shaunaniequist.com, Shauna writes about family, friendship, faith, and life around the table. I recently had the chance to ask Shauna a few questions about her new book:

Margaret: What do you hope will happen in the reader’s heart and mind after they finish Bread & Wine?

Shauna: My prayer is that when people finish the book, they do two things: they send a text inviting someone over to share a meal, and they try a recipe or two that they've never tried before. It's that simple. I really do want every person who reads this book to take a risk and invite people into their actual homes, and into the actual messiness of their everyday lives. And I want every person who reads this book to feed the people they love with handmade and homemade meals. This isn't a book about ideas. It's a book about practices, about the smells and flavors and skills we develop in our kitchens, about the sounds and traditions and stories we tell around our tables.

M: Who, specifically, would benefit from the book?

S: This is a book about the table, but more that than, it's a book about connection, about community, about what God does in us and through us when we connect around the table. So this is a book for anyone who would like to live with a deeper sense of connection and community. I think we sometimes assume cooking is for women. Or cooking is for moms. I think every person, young or old, man or woman, should be able to feed themselves and the people they are about with simple meals made by hand and with love. I don't think it's rocket science, and I think it's unfortunate that we've come to believe you need a culinary degree or a restaurant-grade kitchen to do it. You don't. You need a knife and a pot and the willingness to try and make a mess and try again. I'm not urging women back into the kitchen. I'm urging all of us back toward the table. And I'm not urging men to learn to cook because women need a break from it. I'm urging men into the kitchen because I think they're missing out on a really life-giving process if they never learn to cook just a couple simple things.

M: I love the cover! What sparked the cover design for Bread & Wine?

S: Thanks! I love the cover, too. I love that it looks like something's about to happen, because I love that moment, when the wine has just been poured and the candles have just been lit--you know something wonderful is about to happen, because people are gathered around the table, and that's when I find some of the most wonderful things do happen. And my friend Lindsay of Lindsay Letters did the title--I love that those words were written by the actual hand of someone I care about, someone who's shared meals around our table. I love working with other artists and supporting one another, so having Lindsay work on the cover with me was so fun.

M: What were the biggest challenges or struggles during the writing process?

S: I don't necessarily fit into most of the stereotypes about writers: I'm not an introvert, I don't like being alone. I love being with people and working on teams, so the hardest thing for me about writing is the loneliness. The only way it works for me is to do a lot of living and playing and entertaining and traveling to break up the writing…which is part of the reason it takes me such a long time to finish a book. I have writer friends who love to hibernate with a manuscript--day and night, weeks on end. I can't do it that way--I need lots of breaks to have people over and play with my kids and go for walks.

Check out the book trailer for Wine and Bread. (RSS Subscribers, click here to view.)

To win one of THREE copies of Bread and Wine, comment on this blog post. Winners will be announced Friday.

Congratulations to the winners: Katie Clem, MJ Ballard, Kerry

Shauna's new book includes some yummy recipes! Share a link to your FAVORITE recipe below!

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70 responses to On Community, Friendship, and Being Fully Known: An Interview with @sniequist

  1. Chris Cambell May 11, 2013 at 4:11 am

    This is one of my favourites!

    • I cannot wait to read this book. Topic: community, one of my favorite things about being a Christ follower. Cannot wait to try some of the recipes! It’s funny I really liked what Shauna had to say about her challenge for writing this book, hard to write a book on community alone, lol!

  2. I heard Shauna on Midday Connection and thoroughly enjoyed her insights. I remember as a child going to a different family’s house practically every Sunday after church. The meals were never fancy; it was more about getting to know people in their own space. They seemed so different than they were at church- in a good way. I don’t know why we have gotten away from that tradition, but I want to be a part of bringing it back in my small world.

  3. jennifer shirton May 11, 2013 at 4:33 am

    With four quick questions, the mixmaster in my mind is on high!! LOL! I’m beginning to think about who my true friends are, the ones willing to serve as guinea pigs for my future “creations of love”…knowing they will still be my companions even if their taste buds warn them not to go through that again!! :)
    May God continue to richly bless your efforts!

  4. Debbie stevenson May 11, 2013 at 4:46 am

    I love this connecting through such an intimate place around a table

  5. I would love to read this book! I love cooking and love to cook for people! What a great way to get out of my rut of our “four walls” and invite others in.

  6. “I really do want every person who reads this book to take a risk and invite people into their actual homes, and into the actual messiness of their everyday lives.” ….love this.

    My wife does most of the cooking around here and always makes from scratch. She is always looking for new recipes and I know she would LOVE this book!

  7. Matt Bortmess May 11, 2013 at 7:53 am

    I’ve started doing a lot of the cooking for our family over the past year…and I’m loving it! This book would be a great read. And how can you resist that cover!

  8. I read Shauna’s previous 2 books and am looking forward to reading this one. Would love to win a free copy!

  9. Lourdes P. Agosto May 11, 2013 at 8:36 am

    I love cooking and I strongly believe that the fondest memories are made gathered around the table. I would love to read this book!

  10. Please and Thank You!!! :)

  11. Stacey Hancock May 11, 2013 at 10:05 am

    Winning a book of Shauna’s from Margaret Feinberg… No brainer. :)

  12. Sooo great! From one gifted author, cheering on the other…you guys are too cool! Would love a copy, gracias!

  13. I always intend to invite people over more, but then I do not. it always seems to need a production, but that isn’t true. But I think it is and so I’m always too tired to actually do the inviting. Sigh. I need a good kick!

  14. mongupp (@mongupp) May 11, 2013 at 11:23 am

    ok I keep hearing about this book and my curiosity is piqued! would love to read it

  15. I love Shauna’s books and would love to win a copy – perfect Mother’s Day gift!

  16. This looks like a perfect book for this season where our focus is community and hospitality. I love to have folks in our home and share fellowship around the table. I also love trying new recipes and sharing them with others.

  17. I would love to start entertaining at home again. I used to invite friends to dinner now and then, but because of moving across the country and dealing with serious health issues, I haven’t invited anyone in years. This book just may encourage me to do so. Thanks for giving us the chance to win a copy!

  18. My husband and I recently relocated to the Seattle area. We both believe that part of our assignment is to open our home to fellowship and breaking bread. Creating community with other believers. This book sounds like it will provide a lot of encouragement and ideas. Very excited to read it.

  19. I would love a copy. I saw Shuana speak almost 5 years ago at “After Eve” and this book is on my summer reading list already. I love her style and her message. Hospitality is one of my favorite ways to invite people to know Jesus. Thanks for giving a chance to win a copy.

  20. Annie Atkinson May 11, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    There is something miraculous when slowing down and inviting others to share a meal! I look forward to reading this book!

  21. Sounds like a great book!

  22. How funny, I just purchased this book on my Kindle. I think its going to be a great read. Thanks for sharing.

  23. I am overwhelmed with the beauty of this real life worship lived out — the inviting a friend over even though . . . life is busy . . . the house is a mess . . . ourselves are less than perfect. The doing it anyway. I am inspired to make space for this in my every day.

  24. we’ve always been one of those houses where life revolved around the table and people were always welcome…now that the kids are older the hubby does lots of the cooking too and there is always someone to share with…I’ve read all of Shauna’s books so far…would be fun to have some new recipes to try out on the masses…

  25. I can’t wait to read this book. Since I am in a job/city transition, this has already challenged me to think about how I will develop community when I get settled in my next place.

  26. Clearly something we need at Hope; Deeper community.

  27. Sounds like a great book! <

  28. Crossing my fingers. ;)

  29. William Hancock May 11, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    My wife’s two favorite authors joining together in an awesome giveaway. She would love to win this book! Here’s hoping!

  30. Michele Morin May 11, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    Sounds like a great read. Thanks for the heads up.

  31. Brene Brown raved about Shauna’s book. I loved the idea of it.

    It’s interesting how much of Jesus ministry was centred around food. The book has been sitting on my desk staring at me for a week or so, now I must dive in.

    PS. Margaret, you have some really cool friends. Thanks for giving us the chance to hear a little more from Shauna’s heart.

  32. I would love to get a copy of this book by Shauna. I love the whole topic of community and I love to cook.

  33. Sounds like my kind of Book. Can’t wait to read it!

  34. I would love a copy of this book! I have read her other books and looved them!

  35. The book I thought must be about communion when I read the title – is about communion! Would love to win this! If I don’t I will buy it myself anyway! Thanks for sharing, Margaret

  36. I am all about community! It’s amazing the good times we have had with our church family conneting over good food and great coversation. Would love to have a copy of this book. It would be nice to win…if not I will buy it.

  37. I haven’t even read the book yet and this interview has motivated me to have someone over for dinner soon.

  38. What a wonderful idea for a book! Eating together gives you the opportunity to look one another in the eyes. In the age of technology where texting, email and video conferencing are more common for communication, people often forget the importance of face-to-face contact.
    Thank you for emphasizing this important task within the body of Christ and in the mission of bringing others to Him.

  39. I was recently blessed with the position of Groups Director for our church. Community + God’s Word + Food are a great combination & I would appreciate some fresh ideas! Reading this book would help me to inspire & encourage my 30+ group leaders!

  40. Can’t wait to read this! I’ve been making this for people a ton lately because it’s so tasty and easy to prep beforehand: https://gracegarden.wordpress.com/2013/04/30/stromboli/

  41. Sooooo….. I just couldn’t wait – bought the Kindle version :), but if I win will use as my own give-away at my next Groups Leadership gathering :)

  42. I love all of Shauna’s books…and have gotten my friends hooked on them as well. I sent my own mom a copy of Bread & Wine for mothers day :) I can’t wait to experience the book for myself!

  43. this is a great cookie recipe. easy to make and super good!

  44. Family and friends joining together for fellowship around our table has always been important to us. My sister shared about this book with me and I would love to win one! I am a 2 time heart transplant recipient and 1 time kidney transplant recipient who realizes time is precious and making memories with those we care about and want to know better are very important. Fellowship during our meals bring back so many good memories. I would really love to win this book!

  45. Would love a copy of this book. One of my favorite things is sharing a meal – cooking it myself or partaking in it at someone else’s house. So many of the friendships in my life are sustained by sharing meals together!

  46. I just started reading this book and I love it already. Would love to win a copy to give to a friend.

  47. This sounds wonderful. Would love to win!!

  48. Love Shauna Niequist! Cold Tangerines is one of my favorite reads!

  49. I look forward to reading this! I have read Shauna’s other two books and loved them, as well. While visiting Willowcreek once for a conference, Shauna did a reading from Cold Tangerines, and it was beautiful!

  50. I have learned so much about community this year; I’d love to read this book.
    Thank you for sharing it here.
    Peace and good to you, in Jesus’ name.

  51. Can’t wait to read it! There is such a huge emphasis on the table, and breaking bread together in the Bible, both Old & New Testament. The book sounds fascinating!

  52. This sounds amazing! I need something refreshing about now!! ;) would be a blessing to win!

  53. Looking forward to reading this book!!! Love the premise.

  54. I can’t wait to read this book. I’m reading Bittersweet right now and loving it!

  55. If I had to choose one food and one drink to live on the rest of my life it would be bread and wine! Definitely in need of some community in my life right now and would love to win a copy of this book. Thanks for sharing it with us!

  56. I’ve been hearing so many great things about this book. Can’t wait to read it!

  57. Just finished watching the “Friendship” segment in the “Wonderstruck” study (catching up – missed it when my Bible Study group saw it…loved it!) and just gave Shauna’s book “Bread and Wine” as a gift, secretly wishing I had my OWN copy to read! LOVE that the two of you are friends! Here’s one of my “go-to” lifesavers because it’s fast, cheap, easy and my family gobbles it up…hamburger (brown and season), cous cous (cook according to pkg), broccoli (steam/microwave) and a little Parmesan. Mix it up and serve. That’s it. With a salad or some fruit, gets us through the nights when everyone is running different directions but we still are trying to have a meal together. Usually Tuesday for us.

  58. Sounds really interesting!

  59. This book looks awesome!

  60. I would love to win a copy of this book. I feel it can give me some great ideas to connect more with friends, family and loved ones. Even reaching out to those who need someone that truly cares about them.

  61. Pick me! Pick me! Pick me! :) I’d love to give this book to my friend, Shannon, who loves Shauna’s books even more than I do.

  62. I know it’s good because Shauna is my best friend since 4th grade (about 40 something years) name :) Not the same Shauna but I’ve only met a couple spelled that way.

    Than you!

  63. Looks like such a good read!

  64. Shauna’s writing has helped me so much. I love the honesty, the vivid pictures, and the stuff of life she brings to the surface in her writing. And these things have encouraged me to write with courage and confidence in who God has made me to be. Loved Bittersweet and Cold Tangerines. Have recommended them often to other friends. What a great contest!

  65. Congrats on your new book!! Count me in!! :-)

  66. I can’t wait to read this book! I would love to win a copy.

  67. I would love to win a copy of this book! tyyy

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