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Adorning the Dark: Thoughts on Community, Calling, and the Mystery of Making

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4.53  ·  Rating details ·  2,404 ratings  ·  524 reviews
Making something beautiful in a broken world can be harrowing work, and it can’t be done alone.
 
Over the last twenty years, Andrew Peterson has performed thousands of concerts, published four novels, released ten albums, taught college and seminary classes on writing, founded a nonprofit ministry for Christians in the arts, and executive-produced a film—all in a belief t
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Paperback, 224 pages
Published October 15th 2019 by B Books (first published October 2019)
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Average rating 4.53  · 
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R.F. Gammon
Jun 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wow.

Wow.

Wow.

If you're a Christian: read this.

If you're an artist: read this.

If you're a Christian artist: you need this.
Cindy Rollins
Nov 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
I am always a bit sceptical about these sorts of books. I generally like to read them after the author has died :) I have not been all that familiar with Andrew Peterson's works either. I had heard a few songs and my son Andrew loved his Wingfeather Saga very much. Even so this popped up on my radar and I decided to press "buy now."

What a delightful surprise. I so related to almost every word out of his mouth from the angst of knowing you should not be writing anything to the demand of your sou
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Elizabeth Dragina
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
*cries* Its so raw and gorgeous. 💖

I never, ever read nonfiction.....and then give it 5 stars. Like ever. 0.0 This book has knocked all my expectations off the table and handed me something better. Something I can't name for lack of words.

As I sit here ... thinking how to explain my feelings so it's adequate to the beauty Andrew Peterson handed me ... my heart beats fast and my brain continues to go blank.

What do I say? What CAN I say?

Peterson pours his heart and passion into this book, wraps
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Jamie
Dec 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed listening to every minute of this book. It’s such a personal and honest book.

Do yourself a favor and get it on Audible. There is beautiful acoustic guitar music in between each chapter and Andrew Peterson plays the songs that are sprinkled throughout the book.
E.F.B.
I didn't previously know much about Andrew Peterson. His songs have crossed my path here and there, ("Dancing in the Minefields" is a personal favorite) but not as much as some other Christian artists. I also completely failed to connect his Wingfeather Saga books (which I haven't read yet, but have been on my tbr for a while now) with him despite having seen them around GR and seeing them recommended by multiple friends. How I managed this oversight, I'm not sure, but when he mentioned having w ...more
Abigayle Claire
If you're a Christian, read this to be encouraged on how much you can bring to the world of creativity.
If you're a person who pursues creativity, read this to know you're not alone on the hard road. And that the hard road of glorifying God with your art is worth taking.
If you're a person who doesn't think you're creative, read this to understand that we all have the calling to glorify God with whatever we do. And that pursuit is a creative pursuit, no matter what that practically looks like.
If y
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Laura
Dec 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Andrew Peterson is generous enough to tell his story in Adorning the Dark. This book is mostly for fans of Andrew Peterson himself, who will enjoy his honesty about the songwriting process and the life he's built for himself outside of Nashville. He has some lovely insights about creating art in community and I enjoyed this read, I just don't think there is much in here that was new for me (after reading quite a bit in this particular lane already). If this is your first entry point into the con ...more
S.G. Willoughby
Jun 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I don't remember the last time I read a nonfiction book this fast. But this was BEAUTIFUL (and true and honest ;)).

I received a review copy before this was released, but . . . I never got around to reading it, despite my excitement and the glowing reviews. Way too long later, a friend gave me a good push into reading it (I'm looking at you Bethany) and I'm so glad she did. (Everyone needs those Resonators.)

This was EXACTLY what I needed right now as I'm dealing with creative and relational burn
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Megan Miller
Mar 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I love words. I love words that encourage and uplift and point to God.
We are here for Him. We create because He created us.
Now get to work.
Em Chap
Apr 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes you read a book that you know, deep down, you absolutely needed. This was one of those books for me.
Kyle Rapinchuk
Oct 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I can’t recall the first time I heard the name Andrew Peterson. I’m pretty sure it was from my friends Rusty and Sara Osborne who were already huge fans of his music and fantasy books. It was some time later before I ever listened to one of his songs. I didn’t like it. (Sorry Andrew, if I ever get the honor of meeting you, please don’t hold that moment against me). It was a while before I listened to Andrew Peterson again, and it was an altogether different experience. His voice became more invi ...more
Neil R. Coulter
Jan 22, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
The main points of Adorning the Dark have been said before. If you’d enjoy hearing Andrew Peterson say them again, then you’ll probably enjoy the book. If you don’t know much about Peterson or about contemporary Christian music, this book isn’t for you. Much of the content is personal stories and name-dropping of people I’ve never heard of, so this book wasn’t for me. Peterson also pretty regularly drops the names Paul Simon and James Taylor; I’ve heard of them. I’ve also heard of Rich Mullins, ...more
K.J. Ramsey
Jan 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
If you need to remember that deep within you there is a spark of light, if you need to see past your pernicious pride and underneath your hurried effort to be heard, remember alongside Andrew Peterson. I’m a few short months out from publishing my first book, and some days have been heavy with failure, a stumbling sense that all my wisdom has been spilled on the floor where I’m somehow learning to walk again. Writing and publishing will do that—make you face your inadequacy and selfishness. And ...more
Ivan
Aug 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
For decades now, Andrew Peterson has combined the rare ability to write moving music that is at once thoroughly steeped in Scripture, personally honest with the weakness and sin that plague us all, and in awe of the gift we have in Christ. I can't listen to Peterson's music and not be freshly amazed that Jesus loves me —that even amid suffering, doubt, and sin, I'm part of a redeemed people who belong to him by faith, and he we will bring us home. I eagerly awaited his first foray into non-ficti ...more
Misty Wilson read.fine.print
Apr 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
#bookreview #readfineprintreviews I read a non-fiction book! Every time I do it I should reward myself with ice cream or something. It does NOT come easy for me— it’s something I have to discipline myself to do.

THIS BOOK IS BEAUTIFUL. You need to read it if you are a writer of anything— music, books, poetry—- and you believe God wants you to proclaim the gospel through your words. The author tells about his own adventures in writing and in life, and he describes the lessons he’s learned in such
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Sarah
Apr 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is amazing. Andrew has some great thoughts and reflections here on art and community and creation and worship, and it's kind of like a lot of Lewis's essays and such, where it's really deep but it's . . . comfortable, you know? You can read it curled up in an armchair (which I did), rather than at a desk with a notebook and pencil. And it's very poetic, but not pretentious, and Andrew is very honest about his struggles and his triumphs, which I appreciate. Basically, if you are a perso ...more
Beth Anne
Oct 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020, 2019
2020:
My second full read of this book and my third time through several chapters. It seemed appropriate to re-read this during quarantine, a time when I find myself searching for beauty, creating in order to push back the darkness.

2019:
Last night I finished Adorning the Dark by @andrewpetersonmusic (thank you @lifeway for the free review copy). You know I'm a huge fan of Andrew Peterson's @wingfeathersaga books, his music, and the community at @therabbitroom, but I wasn't exactly sure what to e
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Bryn Shutt
Sep 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
An interesting, honest exploration of the journey and processes of one of the most revered song/story writers of our time.
J.Aleksandr Wootton
Nov 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
I've been a fan of Peterson's work since his first single hit the radio in 2000 (or 99?). I bought his album right away, and it was clear to me in those first songs that he was trying to do something different, that he was about something different, than what was being increasingly promoted on the radio even then. (Twelve years ago I accidentally disconnected the radio antenna in my car when I upgraded the dashboard media player, and I still haven't regretted it).

Then I lost track of Peterson fo
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Josh
Feb 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Super good.
Brandon Miller
Mar 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Fun and easy to read. I want my own Warren.
raffaela
Dec 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Oftentimes in the daily grind of life, I forget why I'm doing what I'm doing when it comes to my creative work (mainly writing, DnD DMing, and sewing). At worst this means my motivation for it tends to leak, but usually it just means that I lose perspective of how it fits into my overall life as a Christian. This book helped me to remember that, and I'm especially grateful that I read it at this time of the year, just when I'm looking forward to next year. It's definitely a book that I really ne ...more
Faith
Sep 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalleyarc, 2020
My first introduction to Andrew Peterson was through his work as a songwriter. Then, years later, I started hearing recommendations for The Wingfeather Saga, and discovered the author of these children's books was the same as the songwriter. Add in his homestead and his beekeeping, and his eclectic interests resist pigeonholing him into one sphere; Adorning the Dark is his opus on creativity and the creative process.

In November 2006, I first learned about and participated in NaNoWriMo, an annual
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Reagan
Nov 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is about how sorrow and joy are intertwined; so are hard work and harder faith; so are homesickness and belonging. Read this book if you want your laughter to turn into tears, and tears to laughter. Read this book, and plant berries.
J.E.
Apr 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful musings on art and life. I called it On Writing for Christians at one point and that's both accurate and not. I highly recommend it for all artists, even if its main focus is on writing music. Beautifully poetic prose.
Yolanda Smith
Dec 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So much to love about this book. Andrew Peterson gives us insight into his creative process, a bit of memoir throughout his career, and advice and encouragement for our own creative journey. The book was even more special because I got to see the twentieth anniversary Behold the Lamb of God concert in the middle of my reading. What a beautiful story and phenomenal presentation of the gospel.
Kyle
Jun 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If you've been reading or listening to AP over the years, this book is everything you would expect from him. A mixture of memoir, wisdom, and stories of failures and successes, Adorning the Dark is not just a book for artists, but for anyone that feels called to create, whether it be in the back garden, in the kitchen, or in front of a computer screen.
Shelley
Jan 05, 2020 rated it liked it
I came to appreciate Andrew Peterson through reading his Wingfeather Saga, a quartet of fantasy novels featuring a spirited trio of siblings who discover their family’s true identity while reclaiming their homeland from a race of evil, colonizing lizard-men. My kids adore the novels for their action, humor, and pathos. I’ve been reading the quartet aloud to them for the better part of a year and have come to expect a mini battle each night when I close the book at bedtime. (Copping a ‘tude is on ...more
Jocelyn Green
In his trademark story-filled style, Andrew Peterson takes the reader on a rambling walk through his thoughts on community, calling, and creating (hence the subtitle). If you're looking for a concise and bulleted how-to book on the writing craft, this isn't it. Instead, it's exactly what it claims to be: a look inside Andrew's head on the mystery of making. Along the way, I found some treasures of wisdom that were so beautiful they brought me to tears. Other times, I found myself skimming length ...more
Ginger
Dec 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: tbg
I’ve remarked before that Andrew Peterson’s music makes me homesick in the best possible way. This is his story that explains why. I loved hearing the parts about the genesis of his career and the Square Peg Alliance (because I attended Union University, where he played one of his very first shows, I found out I had unknowingly been there quite early on, which was a treat I didn’t know at the time).

AP is so generous. I’m not a “creative” (and you’ll learn why he hates that term). Every year I’ve
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1,847 followers
Hey, folks. If you're just discovering me or any of my work, it can be a little confusing because there are several facets to it. Here’s the rundown:

• I write songs. I also record them to these cool things called CDs and put on concerts around the country. (And beyond! To my great delight, I get to play in Europe every year or so.)

• I write books. I’ve written a four-part fantasy series for young
...more

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