Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life
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Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life

4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  2,655 ratings  ·  333 reviews
A collection of stories and ideas about the life of celebration that God gives us, this book offers a vision of life as a collection of bright and varied glimpses of hope and redemption and celebration, in and among the heartbreak and boredom and broken glass.
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Published May 26th 2009 by Zondervan (first published January 1st 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Cindy
I don't believe this book is meant to be gobbled up in one sitting but rather one bite at a time. No matter your faith, you cannot deny the vulnerable truths the author shares from her personal experiences. You may even find yourself in the pages.
Patty
My sister called me and said I had to read this book. This is an amazing and unusual event. She is a busy person - six kids among other things and I am the librarian. I usually want to tell her what to read. The other odd part is we are not always in sync about religion. And this book is definitely about religion. So I figured out I could get this book on my Kindle and downloaded it immediately.

And my sister is right - I needed to read this book. Shauna is a wise soul for one so young. She remin...more
Allison
I really wanted to like this book. Why? I agree to the core of my being with the idea behind it... celebration of the beauty of every day. The places and even many of the people in its pages are familiar to me. Some of the writing is truly beautiful. The author doesn't - as so many others do - leave readers at an arm's length. The basic point of each mini-essay is valid, sometimes even profound. However, I really, really didn't like it. The constant references to the author's unhappiness with he...more
Ashley
Admittedly, when I realized that this was a "faith-based" book, I was hesitant; where the author carries her faith in God, I'm more of a "universe" and karma-based kind of girl.
That said? Even our differing beliefs had no effect on how much I adored this book.

Although there were the strong undercurrents of a religion I don't subscribe to, it was easy enough for me to skip over certain passages or mentally adapt certain passages to suit my own beliefs.
Faith differences aside, I settled in happily...more
Tina
I was shopping for a Christmas present for my mom in Body Shop when I saw that they have new stocks of my favorite body butter scent, tangerine. That scent became my favorite by accident years ago, when I went there to claim my Love Your Body membership birthday gift, and they gave me a small bottle of their tangerine-scented lotion and body wash. I used it for the gym and loved it, and eventually bought more until I got broke and realized that my daily bath stuff are too expensive. So while I w...more
Jill
Well, I'm definitely in the minority here with my rating. I thought the idea of this book was a wonderful one--I love to celebrate everyday life, but there were a lot of times throughout the book I was like, 'what was the point of this, again?' For some of the essays this is not true and it is very apparent that they follow her theme, but really, for me, not enough of them. She has a sometimes beautiful and sometimes overdone poetic prose style of writing that sometimes captivated me and sometim...more
Jenny
This is a book I would have missed if I hadn't been paying attention to my goodreads friends. I saw it on a couple of lists and thought I would enjoy it. Thanks Tammra and Cindi.
Cold Tangerines is a delightful romp through the mundane of our days and extraordinary of our everyday. Choosing to see the gifts that surround us. Choosing to see the goodness of God. Shauna Niequist has that gift for writing that all good writers of this type have, a willingness to be razor honest about themselves. T...more
Kristen
"Cold Tangerines" is a collection of little "gems" from Shauna Niequist's life; actually, it read more like a blog than a novel. I appreciate that she was able to focus each story around a very specific event from her past and provide the reader with take-away lessons. Likely because I had a very ordinary adolescence (feelings of awkwardness, doubting myself and whether or not anyone liked me, found fault with my body, etc.), it was easy to resonate with many of these stories.

Niequist's writing...more
Jamie
This is one of those jump up and down books for me -- Yes! I have thought that way... Yes! I have been there... Yes! She gets it... I could not get enough of these short, poignant vignettes. I adore her frank, fresh writing style. I appreciate her authenticity, and I respond to her heartbreak. She isn't afraid of tough questions, or of honest self-reflection. She embraces religion with a unique moxy that is equal parts reverance, familiarity and relevance - all in perfect balance. I found myself...more
huntsmanic
i have a whopping 3 friends with new books out, of which shauna is one. the essays here are all short, 1st-person narratives with fantastic bits of juiciness w/r/t love and loss and life. she has a great hand for evoking the meta- from the details of ordinary events. i have a policy of trying to read 3-6 books at once, so i can always have a book to fit my mood; cold tangerines is the perfect negotiator for this model--whether at the bus stop or at lunch or out for a pre-bedtime smoke, in the sp...more
Jonathan Brooker
A realization came to me about midway through reading this book. I was enjoying the short anecdotal chapters with memoirs and creative thoughts from the author. It was certainly different than my usual reading that I gravitate towards, but that was part of my reason for picking it off the shelf to read. Anyhow, I'm about halfway through when, much like realizing you've somehow walked into the women's section of clothing at the department store and been staring at the clothes for a while even tho...more
Pita-eater
I heard Shauna Niequist speak and read from her book at the Festival of Faith and Writing this spring. Cold Tangerines is a collection of essays about celebrating and living life to the fullest. The writing style is colloquial and sounds just like the way Shauna speaks. But, she is a friendly and joyful sort of person, so I enjoyed her stories very much. I appreciated her honesty about the tough seasons in her life, and I think I will go back and reread the essays about writing and creativity.
Kim
Aug 06, 2008 Kim rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone!
Shelves: favorites
This book was like sitting down with my best friend. There is something here for everyone, no matter what stage of life you are in. It made me laugh, cry, think. It made me warmer in my soul and I'm a different person having read it. Or perhaps not a different person - but more aware and thankful for who God created me to be.
Kristi Vitale
I think she reads my mind. She must. She writes; I relate like no other. What a gift. Bright inspiration since Page 1. I'll read her upcoming book madly the week it comes out. And I might just start collecting pennies too.
Bill
reads like a conversation with a best friend. powerful and poignant stories to encourage and draw you into a life worth living.
Kim
Apr 17, 2012 Kim rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kim by: Anna Madsen
Some quotes so far:
"The day I left my job...was the darkest day of my life so far. It felt like a curse, a punch in the face, a slice to the core. It made me feel like my luck had run out cosmically, and from then on, all I could expect was rain. But the only person who decided my life had turned to dust was me...I would never have wanted it this way, but something bright and beautiful has been given to me, and I'm in grave danger of losing it, squandering it, becoming a person who cannot find t...more
Tatiana
After reading A Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster, I looked for books that focused on cultivating one of the many disciplines Foster described and ran across this collection of short essays. From the first, I was hooked. Shauna Niequist has a wonderful way with words, painting such vivid pictures that I often had to stop to soak in the image and feeling she evoked. I loved how each chapter dealt with common everyday life events, but described in such a way to show the joy even in trage...more
Katie Casey
Author Shauna Niequist shares her journey in small little chunks - each chapter is a poignant slice of real life. I love the subtitle "Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life" - so often we forget how extraordinary every day, every moment truly is!

This is probably one of my favorite quotes from the book:

"Everything is interim. Everything is a path or a preparation for the next thing, and we never know what the next thing is. Life is like that, of course, twisty and surprising. But...more
Jill
You aren't supposed to read the end of the book first and then the beginning. Going from back to front is generally not recommended. But in a way, that is what I've done with Shauna Niequist's books so far. In fact, I didn't even really go back to front....I went middle to end and back to the beginning. And I'm glad I did. I enjoyed jumping into the middle of her story with her bookb Bittersweet. It was the book I needed to read at the time I needed to read it. It allowed me to relate to women a...more
Camille
First off, this book is not extremely well-written and, I have to admit, that after reading the first couple of chapters I still "didn't get it". However, I pushed through and quickly became entranced. Shauna Niequist writes with a refreshing honesty that feels like a breath of fresh air. I finished the book feeling understood, comforted and refreshed. I think for any woman in her twenties this is an encouraging read that is relatable on some level for everyone.
Brie
Apr 13, 2008 Brie rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone wanting a fresh perspective on life and spirituality
Recommended to Brie by: Alison Sansom
This is one of the most honest (I hesitate to say "Christian") books I have ever come across. In the vein of Donald Miller, Niequist shares beautiful insights in her musings about everyday life, which, as they unfold, prove to be incredibly significant.

[The only reason I gave it 4 stars out of 5 was because sometimes the prose gets a little tangled...but if you can stay with it, you won't be disappointed. Though lengthy at times, Niequist paints beautiful word pictures.]
writer...
Author: Shauna Niequist
Narrator: author
Length: 4 hrs 30 min
Publication Date: Released 28.11.07
Producer: Jeff Bowden
Publisher: Zondervan New Media
Synopsis:
COLD TANGERINES:
CELEBRATING THE EXTRAORDINARY NATURE OF EVERYDAY LIFE
Audio Book
*
My thoughts?
"The world is alive ...inviting us to get up and dance to the music that’s been playing since the beginning of time...if you bend all the way down and put your ear to the ground to listen for it."
*
One of the many beautiful and inspiriting thoughts of t...more
Sarah
I didn't love this book. In theory, I love the idea of learning to celebrate the ordinary in every day life, but somehow this book didn't really help me understand that better. I couldn't connect with the author or the stories she shared. Most of the chapters started with a personal anecdote that while I believe was truly significant to her and her life, didn't speak much to me--and she didn't bring them to life for me. Within the stories, she did highlight some lessons that I do hope to embrace...more
Leigh  Kramer
Ever since I read Shauna Niequist's Bittersweet, I've meant to read Cold Tangerines. I finally tracked down a copy and realized I read both books at the perfect seasons of my life. Her books feel like a good conversation with a friend. Honest, authentic, real. She asks good questions and provides soul-stirring responses. Because of how intimately I react to her books, if you want to know more, you'll have to ply me with my drink of choice first.
Megan
I loved this book so much that I'm ordering copies of it for my best girlfriends.
Rachel
Jun 13, 2008 Rachel rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in seeing more beauty in their life
Recommended to Rachel by: Lisa Maher
This book is about finding celebration and redemption in our ordinary lives. Shauna Niequist writes beautifully and makes amazing and yet simple connections.

"I believe that these love letters to my own quotidian life might possibly unmask the tiny glimmers of hope and redemption masquerading as normal life in your corner of the world." -from the introduction
Sheridan
I enjoyed reading this book. The author shared some good stories about her life with interesting insights into the importance of enjoying the moment. I thought of friends who I wanted to share this book with as I was reading. I know they would benefit from the insights as well.
Susan
I received this book from my daughter as a gift and have loved reading it. The only problem I had it that it is short chapters that can be picked up anytime and so I was always starting other books in the middle of this. I finally decided to just start at the beginning and read all the way through.

And I am so glad I did. This is a book that you have to pass on to the next person you know that might be going through some difficult times in their life. I know it has helped me and I know exactly wh...more
René
I had a hard time with this book. There were parts that I really liked and parts of stories that resounded with me, but I didn't feel like I could relate with the author. I guess, maybe, I missed her point, which is unfortunate.
Danielle
I adore Shauna and am pretty much guaranteed to enjoy anything she writes. After reading both Bittersweet and Bread and Wine, I do have to say that I think Cold Tangerines has a bit of "the first book" about it. I think Shauna has grown as a writer since publishing this book- I particularly noticed that many of the chapters, especially early in the book, felt like they ended too neatly. That aside, I still loved this book and thought there was a lot of great stuff in it. I find some other reader...more
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Shauna Niequist is the author of Cold Tangerines, Bittersweet, and Bread & Wine. Shauna grew up in Barrington, Illinois, and then studied English and French Literature at Westmont College in Santa Barbara. She is married to Aaron Niequist, who is a pianist and songwriter. Aaron is a worship leader at Willow Creek Community Church and is recording a project called A New Liturgy. Aaron & Sha...more
More about Shauna Niequist...
Bread & Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table, with Recipes Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way Crave: A Christian Longing for Food and Community (Her.meneutics eBooks Book 2) Savor: Living Abundantly Where You Are, as You Are Reckless Faith: Let Go and Be Led

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“I have always, essentially, been waiting. Waiting to become something else, waiting to be that person I always thought I was on the verge of becoming, waiting for that life I thought I would have. In my head, I was always one step away. In high school, I was biding my time until I could become the college version of myself, the one my mind could see so clearly. In college, the post-college “adult” person was always looming in front of me, smarter, stronger, more organized. Then the married person, then the person I’d become when we have kids. For twenty years, literally, I have waited to become the thin version of myself, because that’s when life will really begin.
And through all that waiting, here I am. My life is passing, day by day, and I am waiting for it to start. I am waiting for that time, that person, that event when my life will finally begin.
I love movies about “The Big Moment” – the game or the performance or the wedding day or the record deal, the stories that split time with that key event, and everything is reframed, before it and after it, because it has changed everything. I have always wanted this movie-worthy event, something that will change everything and grab me out of this waiting game into the whirlwind in front of me. I cry and cry at these movies, because I am still waiting for my own big moment. I had visions of life as an adventure, a thing to be celebrated and experienced, but all I was doing was going to work and coming home, and that wasn’t what it looked like in the movies.
John Lennon once said, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” For me, life is what was happening while I was busy waiting for my big moment. I was ready for it and believed that the rest of my life would fade into the background, and that my big moment would carry me through life like a lifeboat.
The Big Moment, unfortunately, is an urban myth. Some people have them, in a sense, when they win the Heisman or become the next American Idol. But even that football player or that singer is living a life made up of more than that one moment. Life is a collection of a million, billion moments, tiny little moments and choices, like a handful of luminous, glowing pearl. It takes so much time, and so much work, and those beads and moments are so small, and so much less fabulous and dramatic than the movies.
But this is what I’m finding, in glimpses and flashes: this is it. This is it, in the best possible way. That thing I’m waiting for, that adventure, that move-score-worthy experience unfolding gracefully. This is it. Normal, daily life ticking by on our streets and sidewalks, in our houses and apartments, in our beds and at our dinner tables, in our dreams and prayers and fights and secrets – this pedestrian life is the most precious thing any of use will ever experience.”
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“I want a life that sizzles and pops and makes me laugh out loud. And I don't want to get to the end, or to tomorrow, even, and realize that my life is a collection of meetings and pop cans and errands and receipts and dirty dishes. I want to eat cold tangerines and sing out loud in the car with the windows open and wear pink shoes and stay up all night laughing and paint my walls the exact color of the sky right now. I want to sleep hard on clean white sheets and throw parties and eat ripe tomatoes and read books so good they make me jump up and down, and I want my everyday to make God belly laugh, glad that he gave life to someone who loves the gift.” 614 likes
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