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Drops Like Stars: A Few Thoughts on Creativity and Suffering

4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  2,279 Ratings  ·  185 Reviews
We plot. We plan. We assume things are going to go a certain way. And when they don't, we find ourselves in a new place---a place we haven't been before, a place we never would have imagined on our own. It is the difficult and the unexpected, and maybe even the tragic, that opens us up and frees us to see things in new ways. Many of the most significant moments in our live ...more
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published July 28th 2009 by Zondervan (first published July 9th 2009)
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Apr 30, 2012 Trevor rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2011
First, I read the book in 25 minutes. The bulk of the pages are filled with photographs or one sentence paragraphs. I didn't feel like the photography added anything to the "experience" of reading the book - but I'm mostly a left-brained thinker with occasional (short-lived) jolts of right-brained creativity, so maybe I didn't appreciate the art like someone else would. Basically, if Rob Bell had a blog then the content of this book would only amount to a few posts.

Second, the content that IS in
Aug 04, 2014 Daniel rated it it was ok
If I had read this book a decade ago, I would have thought it was absolutely brilliant, but I can no longer say that.

I liked the concept and the artistic nature of it. I liked a lot of the photography. I especially liked the bit about the experiment in the sculpture class in which students had to focus on either quantity or quality of works produced. That was brilliant.

However, one of the primary themes of this book no longer jibes with me. Yes, it is true that pain, suffering, and heartache are
Kelsey Whing
Jan 28, 2013 Kelsey Whing rated it it was amazing
Rob Bell’s novel Drops Like Stars: A Few Thoughts on Creativity and Suffering is considered a coffee table book by trade, but it is not the usual large, spatial investment with pictures created to captivate and ensnare. He seeks to discover the art in the agony, and give the audience, “a few thoughts on suffering and creativity.” In his book, Bell explains in a raw and compelling fashion the six different “art forms” that suffering creates in a person. They are the arts of disruption, honesty, t ...more
Apr 06, 2015 Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian, read-2015
The topic of this book is how suffering can enhance creativity. Not that the author puts it so directly. Instead he looks at scenarios of joy and grief, of life and death, both from Scripture and from contemporary times. He demonstrates how God can use our suffering to create something of beauty.

Rob Bell also talks about art in its many forms and shows how it is often able to speak more clearly to its audience when the composer has suffered and struggled, both in the production of the work and
Aug 02, 2010 Emily rated it really liked it
Short and to the point, yet Bell somehow manages to remain inspirational. Great read, wish it were longer.
Peter Tang
Jul 23, 2009 Peter Tang is currently reading it
Recommends it for: All People
“Drops like Stars” is Rob Bell’s newest book. It’s the biggest, heaviest, but the shortest read compared to his other books. This is not a book to rush but to sit and think.

Rob has caused people to question his theology. And it’s a valid thing to discuss but if you are reading this in order to prove Rob to be a heretic then I suggest you don’t read this. Because you will simply take art theory out of context and be making useless arguments that doesn’t do anything. We must remember that were no
Aug 06, 2009 Tyler rated it liked it
Read this short coffee table book in about 30 minutes at Books-A-Million. I was hoping for more content, but from what I'd heard I wasn't expecting much more than what I got.

The quick read was enjoyable, thought-provoking (wouldn't expect anything from Rob that wasn't), simple, yet profound. In writing this brief review what comes to mind are those little signs that you see in random stores that say "Simplify" (which in a way is somewhat contradictory to its message seeing that you have to add
Sep 18, 2009 Longfellow rated it liked it
I like Rob Bell, I say, having read this and Sex God. Might call this a kaleidoscope of ideas, or what's that other thing? A collage. Thoughtful profundities in an elaborate, over-sized, colorful, image-driven, text-light book. It's like 12" x 14."

So I liked it and the art of it and the power of the minimal text on the gigantic page and most of all the reminders of the truths that matter, but I was definitely glad the library had a copy.

My favorite snippets are these:
1. From Art and Fear by B
Ben Zajdel
Dec 17, 2011 Ben Zajdel rated it it was amazing
Rob Bell has written a book about creativity and suffering. And it is probably one of the most creative books on the market. Those familiar with Bell's writing style won't be surprised much by Drops Like Stars. It's the same streaming thought, minimalistic writing that one has come to expect from the Mars Hill pastor. But the new twist is photography. This book is filled with amazing photographs and has a very original design.

The message of the book isn't bad, either. The book centers on suffer
Steven Fouse
Apr 10, 2015 Steven Fouse rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
"Drops Like Stars" by Rob Bell is a brief discussion of suffering and its role in creativity.

The Good: It's Rob Bell's thoughts on creativity and suffering!

The Bad: It's really, really short. Like, I-read-it-in-22-minutes short. It's not worth buying new.

The Ugly: Did I mention it's short? I read one chapter in less than a minute. It's really short. Don't buy it. I'll lend you my copy, and you can give it back to me later that day after you have read the whole thing.

I need to stop writing this r
Jul 27, 2009 Jasmine rated it really liked it
Shelves: american
I like rob bell regardless of the fact that we disagree on everything important and metaphysical. This book is beautiful,it isn't pushy, and it goes against the normal "Christian" explanation of suffering. I was impressed, although it seem a bit f a waste of paper seeing how it doesn't have so many words.
Dec 01, 2016 Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one is in my top three of Rob Bell books... I decided to read it again. I like this quote he gives from Abraham Joshua Herschel, and the direction it's heading: "Above all, remember that the meaning of life is to live it as if it were a work of art. You're not a machine."
Taylor Cole
Dec 31, 2016 Taylor Cole rated it really liked it
Classic Rob Bell is still my favorite Rob Bell. Give this dude an opportunity to pair visuals with his written/spoken word, and he'll make it work every time. His benedictions never cease to give me chills. 4/5 drops like stars
Oct 25, 2011 Mark rated it really liked it
Rob Bell is so cool! I like the creative presentation, and the content was enlightening and fun to read.
Dec 29, 2016 Stephanie rated it it was amazing
I can't remember if I would have given this 4 or 5 stars, but I'm always generous with Mr. Robell. As a layout enthusiast, I loved the way this read! The images were beautiful, as were the colors. Major props to the designer. It was a short read, only took about an hour or so, but very touching. It had simple ideas, nothing too ground-breaking, but was given to us in the famous Rob preacher voice that makes everything taste so good.

I think my favorite thing is that this is one of those project
Dec 25, 2016 Melinda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good Read. "A few thoughts on Creativity and Suffering." This is a book you must read for yourself. I won't give away any quotes but it is a book I will reread several times... if you're looking for answers this is not the book for you... but if you are wondering about some things... this enhances the wondering...
Holly Weiss
Mar 10, 2017 Holly Weiss is currently reading it
Rec. C Logan. Loan to Kristen.
Joshua Skogerboe
Jul 23, 2012 Joshua Skogerboe rated it really liked it
Drops Like Stars is brilliant. As an artist and a Pastor (and an Arts Pastor), Rob inspired me to think again about the significance of creative endeavor. He stirred me again to consider the importance of suffering. As a gift. And God meets us in the suffering and He is reflected through us in our creative endeavor. It is one of the most physically beautiful books I've ever held, and the design compliments, illustrates, and propels these themes with a genius use of white space and well chosen co ...more
Hansen Wendlandt
May 21, 2012 Hansen Wendlandt rated it liked it
I tend to doubt that preachers today are all that unique in their attempts to get us to think differently about God. Christians anytime and anywhere do well to quote Jesus’ favorite phrase: “You have heard it said… but I tell you…” Bell’s proto-hipster attempts to reform cultural ideas about God do, however, stand out for their liberal evangelism, distinctive narrative styling, and artistic imagination. Consider how few preachers could seamlessly include Hugh Gallagher’s brilliant and sadistic c ...more
Lara Searcy
Dec 24, 2009 Lara Searcy rated it it was amazing
I went to Rob Bell's conference, "Drops Like Stars" in November 2009. It was another wonderful and enlightening session that always leaves me with a fresh perspective on not only religion, but life... though ultimately the two are forever connected since "everything is spiritual." This book is a wonderful "highlight" of that session as it captures all of the main points, ancedotes, images, and questions from his teaching. Ultimately, the main focus is that suffering unites us. And he shows this ...more
Bell's ruminations on the connection between creativity and suffering is not so much a "book" as it is a collection of short meditations, anecdotes, and photographs about that link. It's certainly not a theological text, nor is it as wordy as his previous efforts, which are still more stylized and terse than even many of his peers. Drops Like Stars is the kind of reflection that can be read almost in one sitting, though some of the ideas presented will need time to sink in. It seems that its use ...more
Jan 31, 2011 Trevor rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
2 stars = "it was okay."

First, I read the book in 25 minutes. The bulk of the pages are filled with photographs or one sentence paragraphs. I didn't feel like the photography added anything to the "experience" of reading the book - but I'm mostly a left brain thinker, so I could be biased. If Rob Bell had a blog then the content of this book would only amount to a few posts.

Second, the content that IS in the book isn't really that great/helpful/eye-opening/insightful/etc. (insert your own adject
Ben Smitthimedhin
Dec 23, 2016 Ben Smitthimedhin rated it really liked it
I remember reading this in '12 and remember liking it quite a bit. This was before I was really acquainted with Bell's theology. The advice that Bell gives, that suffering leads to creativity, is good advice, although a tad hackneyed.
Ryan Petrie
Jan 27, 2016 Ryan Petrie rated it liked it
Had I read this book a week ago, this would have been my favorite of all Rob Bell's books. The message is deep and relevant, and the ful page photographs are beautiful. But knowing what I know now about Bell's theological beliefs, I found it very hard to enjoy the book.

I wanted to enjoy the book as a work of art, but I kept noticing some strange theological themes. All of his books build on one another. His book VELVET ELVIS talks about how the bible needs to constantly be repainted to be relev
Tim Beck
Aug 24, 2009 Tim Beck rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009
Drops like Stars is not like many books on anyone's bookshelf. as a matter of fact - it's dimensions make it difficult to literally fit on my bookshelf. it's more of a coffee table type book.
filled with creative art and stunning photography with words sprinkled throughout, Drops Like Stars is author Rob Bell's attempt to connect creativity and suffering.

in fact, the tag line says that: A Few Thoughts on Creativity and Suffering.

that's just what it is... a few thoughts... stories... anecdotes.
Oct 15, 2009 Alison rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Alison by: RELEVANT podcast
Shelves: non-fiction, religion
Wow. What an incredible book.

Rob Bell has a way of getting to the heart of the matter and presenting in such a way that you just know it to be the truth.

His topic this time is creativity and suffering. He never states a clear thesis but this book is more art and poetry than academic tome.

The section where he speaks on the prodigal son was really powerful to me, as was the discussion on boxes (in the box, out of the box, having your boxes destroyed).

Rob Bell brings to the table a version of Chris
Masterj22 issues we all need
Dec 27, 2010 Masterj22 issues we all need rated it really liked it
I got this For Christmas and finished it the next day. i do not do that. Words are hard for me. Reading is hard. books... even simple ones often take at least a month. so what does that say about this book? a couple things. One being that this is not a word heavy book, there are words but it is not your normal 130 page book. every word is not just picked for a reason but the size shape color are all picked for a reason. the second thing me finishing this book so quickly says is just how engaging ...more
Jun 08, 2012 Corey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-stars
A fascinating and unique book that is hard to describe. It's a book that has more art and pictures than it does words, and if you're not familiar with or appreciative of the postmodern artistic spirit, it may not make much sense. In this book, Rob Bell addresses the age old question of "theodicy" - how can a good God exist when there's suffering. Or, at least, what is the meaning or redemptive quality of suffering? What makes this book outstanding is that he addresses the issue not with the abst ...more
Emily Timbol
Aug 29, 2009 Emily Timbol rated it really liked it
I picked this us casually at a Barnes & Noble, and couldn't tear my eyes off of it until I finished it one hour later. Very fews books I've read have drawn me in like this one did, and created such a strong emotional reaction.

Bell uses a unique technique with this book, it's large like a coffee table book, he only put a few words on every page in many cases, there were beautiful or hauntingly simple illustrations throughout, and he made it very short. I think the length was one of the thing
Sean McBride
Jun 11, 2013 Sean McBride rated it it was amazing
Mr. Bell some very erudite points to bear in this short, but poignant book. It is purely an inspirational book, meant to make the brain stretch that extra inch to, for lack of a better term (sorry Mr. Bell) think outside the box. He brings questions to bear in such a beautiful, melodic and poetic way that it's hard to put the book down as he gently shifts from one point to the next (and this edition has some great photography to go along with it. I hate to say it, but the Zondervan edition is mu ...more
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Rob Bell is the founding pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is the author of the bestselling Velvet Elvis, Sex God, Jesus Wants to Save Christians, and Drops Like Stars. A graduate of Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois, and Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, Bell speaks to large crowds around the world and has appeared in a pioneering series of short ...more
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“May you see drops like stars.” 2 likes
“It’s in that place that we’re reminded that true life comes when we’re willing to admit that we’ve reached the end of ourselves, we’ve given up, we’ve let go, we’re willing to die to all of our desires to figure it out and be in control. We lose our life, only to find it.” 2 likes
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