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

4.66  ·  Rating details ·  240 ratings  ·  85 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
Paperback, 224 pages
Published October 15th 2019 by B Books (first published October 2019)
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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
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 ...more
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.
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.
Aug 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
A delightful and deeply personal book from an artist I’ve long appreciated.
Ben Palpant
Oct 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was a pure pleasure to read. It's a casual stroll through Peterson's life, exploring the why and the how of creativity along the way. The underlying premise of the book is that creativity is an act of worship. "Since we were made to glorify God, worship happens when someone is doing exactly what he or she was made to do." In other words, our creative work is a doorway through which an audience walks and encounters whatever or whomever we worship. Peterson is a humble guide which makes ...more
Nov 20, 2019 rated it liked it
My favorite part of this was how well Mr. Peterson conveyed the sheer insecurity and terror an artist can feel about their work. And how it's tied to our personhood. I also loved the pops of humor. Overall, a quick, inspiring read.
David  Schroeder
Jun 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Rarely does a book serve as beautiful writing as well as a practical guide to accessing the creative person God has intended you to be. Andrew Peterson has done it. This has been an impactful book to help me in my times of being stuck creatively. It is helping me to let go and allow God to work through the ideas He has given me. For those who read "The War of Art" by Steven Pressfield, this books picks up on where and what this "Resistance" is in our lives and helps us practically in how to ...more
Nov 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Writing a story, a poem or a song is hard work. Yes, we may feel called to do one or more of those things but it is still work to answer that call. Andrew Peterson in Adorning the Dark presses in to the creative process and shares some of his insights and his personal life.

Adorning the Dark is part memoir and part encouragement and invitation to the creative process for all of us. He tells about how he has struggled to write songs and music and poetry and even to creative beautiful gardens on
Oct 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Reads like an autobiography of Andrew Peterson, but with an emphasis on content creation. As a preacher the application is very practical.
Samson Kubicek
Nov 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
beautiful storytelling, moving, simply great.
Oct 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Not just because of the amazing cover, but because Andrew Peterson wrote one of my favorite series ever was the reason that I bought it before it even came out. I was not disappointed. I love and agree with so much of Peterson's philosophy on life and creativity that I just felt refreshed reading it. Each chapter was episodic and taught me something in itself, so that the whole book is just a wonderful take on creating with God. It felt a little rough around the edges, but I don't think that's a ...more
Jen H.
Oct 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is an excellent book for any Christian who has a desire to create. Andrew is very forthcoming with his own story, and I found his examples of his own struggles encouraging. Creation takes work. Creation isn't easy. But creation is imperative because of whose we are.

There were times throughout the book where I felt his prose fairly sang, as when he said,

"Love the Lord your God and love your neighbor too, by making worlds and works of beauty that blanket the earth like flowers. Let your
David Jordan
Aug 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Adorning the Dark is an Andrew Peterson memoir, and is certain to be a hit with fans of Andrew's music and books, especially if they want to know more of his story and the events that led him to where he is and helped him become the artist they know and love. But this is also a book about creativity, a handbook for singer/songwriters, authors, poets, and musicians. The author uses his life as the basis for helping his readers understand the joys, challenges, and hard work of creating and ...more
Daniel Ligon
Oct 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Andrew Peterson's book Adorning the Dark is not at all the kind of book that I normally read. I found it very enjoyable though; Peterson is a talented and transparent writer. I first heard of Andrew Peterson through his wonderful song "Is He Worthy?" and have listened to more of his music since then. I read the book simply because I recognized his name and wanted to hear more of his story. This book is part loose memoir and part semi-organized philosophizing on Christian artistry and creativity. ...more
Gabrielle Daigle
Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written, in the same kind of personal tone and authenticity that you’d expect from Andrew Peterson. I loved his discussion of art, writing, and being creative, but it was the memoir element of this book that I found myself enjoying most of all. I bought my first AP album somewhere around 2000 or so, as a college kid (note that it wasn’t a Napster download, as he discusses in the book). Anyway, as a longtime fan, I loved reading about the ups and downs of his career and how Christ was ...more
Nov 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wish-list
Fresh Wind in My Sails

I decided upon reading this book that I must meet Andrew Peterson some day. I’ve already listened to several of his lectures or whatever you wanna call them, and every time I replay them (and I’ve replayed them a lot) my heart burns. Something about the way he describes writing resonates very deeply with my soul and makes me want to blaze through every story that is still baking in my head. This book was no different.

This book is like Andrew sitting down with you and
Dec 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book about the creative work that all of us have to bring forth as sub-creators. Much of what Peterson + Rabbit Room and the related community (esp The Habit / Jonathan Rogers) are talking about and living out has encouraged me in my architecture and helped me to see my work with fresh eyes. This book is a good place to dive in.
Dec 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Highly insightful and incredibly engaging. A keeper.
Oct 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book started slowly for me and I found myself wondering if maybe Andrew should have stuck to fiction (since I loved the Wingfeather Saga). But, somewhere around chapter 5, he fell into a rhythm and I started to warm to it and ended up really enjoying it. I’m not a songwriter by any means, but there is creative application for any type. Also, there’s a book list at the end which is always a win for me.
Joey Tomlinson
Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of the most encouraging books I've read this year. Beautifully written, very honest, gritty, and practical.
Shane Marcus
Nov 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Andrew Peterson sings and writes the language of my heart into being. Even just reading the chapter titles of his book strikes a chord in my soul that makes me weep, for his sehnsucht is also mine.
Nov 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
This is one of the best I’ve ever read.
Beth Anne
Oct 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
I will be thinking about this book for years to come.
Rick Lee Lee James
As good as you would expect from Andrew Peterson, but better.

This amazing book is one part autobiography and another part advice for writers. There is a lot to think about in these pages and it’s hard to describe a book that is both simple while at the same time beautifully poetic. If you’re a songwriter, a singer, and author, a teacher, or a person who is interested doing anything creative in life, I recommend this book to you. It’s much less a how-to manual as it is a memoir from a fellow
Conrade Yap
Sep 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Seeking God in our lives is a daily practice of intentionality. Seeing God clearly comes about with an awareness that His presence is always with us. If we take our time and pay attention to the way others have done it, we would learn a great deal. The great song composer Bach is acutely aware of the presence of God as he writes the initials "S.D.G" (To God be the Glory) at the bottom of his manuscripts written for church. Eric Liddell runs for God and feels His pleasure. Instead of getting ...more
Michele Morin
Dec 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In his theological writing, C.S. Lewis described an inconsolable longing, sehnsucht, and pointed to it as proof for the existence of God. In his fiction, Lewis’s characters vividly enfleshed that longing in their pursuit of mystery and their yearning for adventure. Unless we have fully anesthetized ourselves with Netflix and Amazon Prime, we all experience that sense of pining for something “other,” and in Adorning the Dark: Thoughts on Community, Calling, and the Mystery of Making, Andrew ...more
Bill Pence
Oct 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Andrew Peterson is a talented singer, songwriter and author. I heard parts of this book, which I couldn’t put down, and he refers to as a “barrage of thoughts and anecdotes” at his breakout sessions at the 2018 and 2019 Sing! Getty Worship Conference in Nashville. He writes that the book is a glimpse into his own faltering journey as a songwriter, storyteller, and Christian. He calls it a love song about the life that God has given him, and it’s one of my favorite books of the year.
As you read
Aaron Lee
Nov 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review is going to be difficult to write. How do you review a book on art? And it’s not hard because the book is bad. It’s hard because the book is so good.

Author Andrew Peterson is an award-winning singer-songwriter, author, founder of The Rabbit Room ministry. He has written songs, children’s books, and fantasy/adventure novels for young adults. This is his first foray into non-fiction. But that doesn’t mean that this book is not filled with imagination and creativity. This book is the
Karl Dumas
Nov 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
But I don’t have a creative bone in my body. I can’t paint, can’t sing, dance, or play an instrument. I’m not a good writer or speaker. How can God use me?
Like most of the world, I have doubts about where I fit into the grand scheme of things. I worry that my efforts won’t be good enough, but try anyway only to prove myself right. I’m convinced that I don’t have what it takes, but am also desperate to prove to myself and others that if only I put in enough effort, something good will result.
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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