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Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way | [Shauna Niequist]

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

A collection of essays about what change has to teach us and the ways God uses the changes in our lives to shape, challenge, heal, and remake us.
Regular Price:$19.93
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Publisher's Summary

"Bittersweet is the idea that in all things there is both something broken and something beautiful, that there is a moment of lightness on even the darkest of nights, a shadow of hope in every heartbreak, and that rejoicing is no less rich even when it contains a splinter of sadness. It’s the practice of believing that we really do need both the bitter and the sweet, and that a life of nothing but sweetness rots both your teeth and your soul. Bitter is what makes us strong, what forces us to push through, what helps us earn the lines on our faces and the calluses on our hands."

In this follow-up book to Cold Tangerines, author Shauna Niequist shifts her gaze to the challenges and blessings of change in Bittersweet. Drawing from her own experiences in a recent season of pain and chaos, she explores the bits of wisdom and growth we earn the hard way, through change, loss, and transition, and offers her own reflections on what brought her hope along the way.

©2010 Shauna Niequist (P)2010 Zondervan

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (53 )
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  •  
    Anita Springfield, MO, United States 08-22-12
    Anita Springfield, MO, United States 08-22-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Just okay"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    A story about the trials of her life, I found myself sad and depressed. I kept checking to see how many more hours were left until the end. Not a good sign. But I did finish the book, and there were a few good pieces of advice near the end.


    What was most disappointing about Shauna Niequist’s story?

    I like an upbeat story. This wasn't it.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Cole Germantown, TN 02-26-12
    C. Cole Germantown, TN 02-26-12 Member Since 2007

    C. Cole

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    "really good"

    Shauna is a wonderful writer. She expresses herself in amazing word pictures and really communicates well. Well done and great read to get a perspective on just what she says- Change, Grace and Learning the Hard way- story of my life!!! Enjoy- I sure did.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L. Wardrip CA 08-10-14
    L. Wardrip CA 08-10-14

    lwardrip

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    "I want to listen to it again!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I'd highly recommend this audiobook/book to friends & family. In fact, I already have two people in mind that I'm going to gift this book to.


    What does Shauna Niequist bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    As I've gotten into the world of audiobooks, for non-fiction/personal books in particular, I've found it makes ALL the difference in the world to have the author read her/his own book. I love hearing Shauna's voice tell her own stories. Other books have been ruined for me when it's someone else's voice telling the author's story-- it is clearly ungenuine-sounding in most of those cases. Not so with Shauna telling her own stories... so good!! So real!!


    Any additional comments?

    I loved this book from start to finish, and was captivated by her stories. Her stories are meaningful, deep, very relatable (even her stories about her marriage, although I'm not married-- I could understand because of the way she tells it). Not only that, but the book is inspiring in a way that makes you (me) want to jump back on some trains in life and faith that I've fallen off of. I plan to listen a second time through sometime, because there are so many nuggets of wisdom scattered throughout.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Queren BUCYRUS, KS, United States 03-19-13
    Queren BUCYRUS, KS, United States 03-19-13

    Starting a journey of audio books to nourish the brain.

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    "Easy to Relate to"
    If you could sum up Bittersweet in three words, what would they be?

    honest, sincere and to the point.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Bittersweet?

    When she spoke of her true experiences, and how they were bad but have brought good into her life as well.


    Have you listened to any of Shauna Niequist’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    no.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No crying, I had a few moments of laughter but most of all I experience a peacefulness and optimism I hadn't felt in a while.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a book I recommend to all my friends.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephanie AURORA, CO, United States 02-07-13
    Stephanie AURORA, CO, United States 02-07-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Fantastic, inspiring choice."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I absolutely would recommend this to a friend. I would listen to it while I would get ready in the morning and it started my day off on such a positive, creative note.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    It doesn't really have characters, but I love Shauna. The way she describes her life helps you see that God's working and sprinkling beauty throughout your life as well.


    Have you listened to any of Shauna Niequist’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    This was the first book I'd listened to but I love that Shauna read it. It sounds exactly like you think it should when you read her words. It was so nice hearing her personally say them.


    What did you learn from Bittersweet that you would use in your daily life?

    I've learned that it's ok to be in process and that God's there and working, you just have to take the time to look for him.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Arlington TX, United States 08-10-12
    Chris Arlington TX, United States 08-10-12

    Artist and teacher in Texas

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    "Good advice, enlightening reflections"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Bittersweet to be better than the print version?

    Yes, read by the author, you can hear her inflections and emphasis, this adds more depth to the story


    What other book might you compare Bittersweet to and why?

    Self help with a strong Christian core. Don't normally read this genre, but she made it approachable and not preachy.


    What does Shauna Niequist bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Listening to her tell her own story really adds layers of depth


    What did you learn from Bittersweet that you would use in your daily life?

    You can't control what life gives you, but you can control your response and your interpretation of it


    Any additional comments?

    I have recommended it to friends and family

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adam Shields 08-01-12 Member Since 2003

    Book blogger at Bookwi.se

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    "Life that is all good is not life. Life is bitter"

    About two years ago I received a promotional copy of Bittersweet and Cold Tangerines. I kept them for a while, but eventually gave them away unread.

    Last month I picked up the audiobook of Bittersweet on a whim. My earlier estimate that it was primarily written with women in mind was not completely off. There is a lot of discussion about having babies, miscarriage, friendship among women, cooking meals, being a mom and mentor.

    But this is not a book just for women. I have read many books intended just for women and this one speaks about being a woman because Shauna Niequist is a woman.

    Bittersweet is one of those collections of essays/memoirs/thoughts on life books that is beautifully written. She knows how to put words together to evoke the images and feelings she wants. I am not a push over and I rarely tear up at movies and even less at books. But there were a couple of times that I was very close.

    Niequist speaks of about both the pain and the joy of life in a way that you want to live that life, with both the pain and the joy because that is what life is about. Her calls for deep friendships, even ones where you must be vulnerable and real and open to pain were touching. The many descriptions of friends sitting around a table enjoying one another’s company made me want to invite friends over that day so that I would not miss out.

    Topically this is a wide ranging book. Everything from the nature of creativity, to the role of mothers, to vocation, the nature of the church, disappointment, marriage, parenting, loss, grief, joy, stress, and more are included.

    But really it is about life. And I am glad that there are authors that want to write about real life. Not just storybook Christianity, where everyone has problems but it all comes out fine in the end. Because in real life some people desperately want babies and can’t get pregnant and others do not want babies and get pregnant. Real life if messy, ironic and still full of grace.

    I do think that women will probably enjoy this more than most men. But mostly because most men lack the emotional maturity to deal with some the real problems of life in the way that most women have to deal with them. (As a male I observe that most women are emotionally more aware and emotionally more grounded than most men. But that is an over generalization.)

    I have put Cold Tangerines on my wish list and look forward to reading more by Ms Niequist.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Greta Kathryn Lemon Grove, CA, United States 05-18-12
    Greta Kathryn Lemon Grove, CA, United States 05-18-12

    I credit audible for improving my listening skills.

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    "Poetic and inspiring"
    Where does Bittersweet rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I absolutely loved this book. I listened to it all the way through twice and keep it downloaded on my phone to listen to portions whenever I feel drawn to. Its inspiring and Shauna's vivid reflections make the listener reflect on their own experiences as well. This book makes me feel relaxed and happy.


    What does Shauna Niequist bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Her reading of the book is so poetic. It feels like a song.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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