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A Room Called Remember: Uncollected Pieces

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  293 ratings  ·  26 reviews
A Room Called Remember brings together some of Buechner's finest writings on faith, love, and the power of words in the form of essays, addresses, and sermons. Here Buechner explores autobiography as theology, offers exhilarating reflections on biblical passages, and leads us into the "room called Remember," that "still room within us all where the past lives on as part of ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published April 10th 1992 by HarperOne (first published February 1984)
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4.18  · 
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 ·  293 ratings  ·  26 reviews

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Jun 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
I bought this book for a college course and recall liking it immensely. I recently ran across it again while digging through some boxes in the pit of despair (a/k/a, my storage unit) and I pulled it out to read again. I'll give a more in-depth update after I've read through.
Nov 07, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Those who are already Buechner fans
I always find it hard to rate collections of essays. Buechner admits in the beginning that this book is a grab bag, and that's true. A couple of essays were brilliant, presenting ideas that stick with me; a few were dry and boring; most were someplace in the middle.
Aug 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Another miscellany of ruminations and observations on life by the very quotable master of the written word. I love to start my day with a Buechner essay and a cup of coffee.
Jul 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, theology
This book is rich like heavy cream and dark chocolate in a small cup. It needs to be be savored slowly; each essay is crafted perfectly so that themes and images are woven together, leading the reader to a place that cannot be guessed, though when you arrive you know it is right. Spiritually this volume has been a comfort and a delight. I would come to an essay with a thought ("Everything is mystery") and in the essay would be that thought, embedded in a worldview that helped me find a way to ca ...more
J. Alfred
Jun 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Buechner makes me think of that Updike quote that they put on the back of CS Lewis's books, where he says he read Lewis "for comfort and pleasure." That's about exactly right for Buechner, who is as entertaining and careful an author as I know of, and who also has quite a lot to say on how being faithful is difficult and confusing.

Here's a sentence that did all manner of gentle violence to my seated self when I read it: "The final secret, I think, is this: that the words 'You shall love the Lor
Don Heiman
May 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Frederick Buechner’s book of 18 spiritual essays was published in 1984. The essays are autobiographic and highly reflective of biblical passages, Buddha/Judeo-Christian thought patterns, poetry, and the wonderful works of Hemingway, Tolkien, T.S Eliot, and Faulkner, to mention a few. I found Frederick Buechner’s essays spellbinding. In appreciation for his wit, wisdom, and writing style, I immediately ordered a follow-up Frederick 2016 book “The Remarkable Ordinary: How to Stop Look, and Listen ...more
Kim Langley
Apr 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Buechner is a "Writer's writer", and he is a Christian thinker, educator and Minister with an exceptional command of English. He is not afraid to alternate gritty details and observations of life with inspiration, and embraces faith and doubt with equal fervor. Here is a favorite quote from the last essay in the book: "Words written fifty years ago, a hundred years ago, a thousand years ago, can have as much of this power today as ever they had it then to come alive for us and in us and to make ...more
Jason Panella
Feb 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.75 stars.

This is a collection of essays, sermons, addresses, and speeches that Buechner had sitting around, all unpublished. I like Buechner a lot, so (for the most part) I liked the collection. But some of the essays/sermons are frustratingly vague or elusive. His prose glows as ever, though, and there are some really strong entries here.
Garrett Cash
Jan 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Despite this book being a self described "grab bag" of uncollected Buechner essays and sermons, this is actually one of his all-around strongest works I've read yet. Most of the essays are quite profound and thought-provoking, even though they follow Buechner's typical way of approaching life a bit repetitively. It's sort of like Aurelius's Meditations was for me: definitely repetitive, but also extraordinarily challenging and enlightening. I would certainly recommend it as a book to introduce s ...more
Mar 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I'll have to find my copy, but it falls under spirituality and truly gives insight into what it really means to remember something either through sacred ritual or even just recalling to mind.
He makes the point that remembering is more than some sentimental trip of nostalgia down memory lane. In fact, it is bringing something forward into our "here and now," further informing us of just who we are.
Jan 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Originally a lit class text, this collection was finally pulled from the shelf and given the reading it deserved. The author admits it's a "mixed bag"--various essays, sermons, and commencement addresses--but nonetheless deeply profound. More than any author I've read, Buechner manages to pull together the human/flawed and divine/spiritual sides of our existence and leaves you with a sense of hope. Mostly, he makes me remember why I want to write.
Aug 14, 2007 rated it liked it
This book has some great stuff in it, but in all it seems kind of disjointed. This is kind of the point, however, in that it is a collection of all that was never released of his. Overall, this is still Buechner, so it's great, but definitely not one to start on.
Milton Brasher-Cunningham
Sep 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
My note in the front of the book says I bought it in 1984 and he still speaks to me. I love the audacity with which he reads the Bible: fearless, trusting, asking questions. He stirs both my heart and my head with his words.
Feb 01, 2016 rated it liked it
Buechner says it best in the first line of the Preface: "Best to be honest about it - the book is a grab bag." Some of the essays/sermons/articles were top-notch - my very favorite is Chapter 9, "Air For Two Voices." Others were somewhat 'meh'.
Apr 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
I loved this book- the author reviews his life (he is now near the end of it) he looks at the choices he has made and the doubts he still harbors about his faith.
Scott Neal
Dec 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
My all-time favorite Burchner book.
Feb 04, 2014 rated it liked it
The author has the soul of a poet, but is too verbose to pull it off. I found the imagery inspiring and the reading heavy.
Apr 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Tough to rate a collection of essays. Overall, I would call this collection "very good" though many of my favorite pieces are also in other collections.
Jan 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: church
I've had several people recommend this book to me. I finally moved it to the top of the queue and it is excellent. It is a series of essays.
Feb 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
I really like Buechner and what he has to say but this collection seemed a little disjointed.
Joy Ragan
Jun 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Sermon on the church is one of the best things I have ever read
Sep 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
You simply cannot go wrong when you read a Frederick Buechner book. Every sentence is so beautiful. Every thought profound. Love you Frederick!
Dec 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful from start to finish. Lyrical meditations on various subjects such as the incarnation. I look forward to reading more of his writing.
Feb 06, 2009 rated it it was ok
This is pretty standard Buechner. Thoughtful, humane, gentle and reverent.
Mar 12, 2013 rated it liked it
Book Group. Interesting pieces, especially the title essay. I enjoy how Buechner is able to tie scripture and the ethereal into everyday life events. The essay's are a bit heavy, but enjoyable.
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May 09, 2015
Molly Michaels
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Jan 13, 2017
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Sep 20, 2012
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Frederick Buechner is a highly influential writer and theologian who has won awards for his poetry, short stories, novels and theological writings. His work pioneered the genre of spiritual memoir, laying the groundwork for writers such as Anne Lamott, Rob Bell and Lauren Winner.

His first book, A Long Day's Dying, was published to acclaim just two years after he graduated from Princeton. He entere
“The time is ripe for looking back over the day, the week, the year, and trying to figure out where we have come from and where we are going to, for sifting through the things we have done and the things we have left undone for a clue to who we are and who, for better or worse, we are becoming. But again and again we avoid the long thoughts….We cling to the present out of wariness of the past. And why not, after all? We get confused. We need such escape as we can find. But there is a deeper need yet, I think, and that is the need—not all the time, surely, but from time to time—to enter that still room within us all where the past lives on as a part of the present, where the dead are alive again, where we are most alive ourselves to turnings and to where our journeys have brought us. The name of the room is Remember—the room where with patience, with charity, with quietness of heart, we remember consciously to remember the lives we have lived.” 164 likes
“To be commanded to love God at all, let alone in the wilderness, is like being commanded to be well when we are sick, to sing for joy when we are dying of thirst, to run when our legs are broken. But this is the first and great commandment nonetheless. Even in the wilderness - especially in the wilderness - you shall love him.” 120 likes
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