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Saturday, 8 February 2014


Author: Shauna Niequist
Narrator: author
Length: 4 hrs 30 min
Publication Date: Released 28.11.07
Producer: Jeff Bowden 
Publisher: Zondervan New Media
Cold Tangerines is a collection of stories that celebrate the extraordinary moments hidden in our everyday lives. It is about God, and about life, and about the thousands of daily ways in which an awareness of God changes and infuses everything. It is about spiritual life, and about all the things that we have called nonspiritual life that might be spiritual after all. It is the snapshots of a young woman making peace with herself and her life, and trying to craft a life that captures the energy and exuberance we long for in the midst of the fear and regret and envy we all carry with us. It is both a voice of challenge and song of comfort, calling us upward to the best possible life, and giving us room To breathe, to rest, to break down and break through. Cold Tangerines offers bright and varied glimpses of hope and redemption, in and among the heartbreak And boredom and broken glass.     - ©2007 Shauna Niequist; (P)2007 Zondervan

~~~~~~~~~ * ~~~~~~~
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 this book's author, Shauna Niequist.  Niequist's book is a call to a life discipline of celebration - 
a collection of positive vs negative approaches to life. 
"... to choose joy, to choose to dance, to choose to love your life.  It’s much easier and much more common to be miserable. "  The author speaks of many personal experiences, including her responses to those situations whereby we gain insight into her life and the basis for the discipline to celebration she's promoting.  
"Life is painful and we carry with us so much disappointment and heartbreak , but 
I’m fighting to save some space inside me where I can create hope. " 

Niequist describes how she's journeyed to these conclusions. 
I wanted to connect with God...I decided to go to the beach everyday at sunset.  It was the most sacred thing I could think to do...I wasn’t ready yet for church, but I was ready for God and I have always believed that the ocean is one of the surest places to find Him...I started praying a little bit more honestly and listening a little bit more closely...there was something inside me – some hopeful, small , faltering voice that said, ‘there’s room for you’. I don’t know why, but I trusted that voice." 
Her internal contemplative journey leads her to reconnect with community and further recognition of the life choices within her power .  
"... all I can see are the crumbs on the counter... I just don’t want to live in only that reality because there’s another reality, a better one.  Hope and redemption and change are real and they’re happening all around me, 
so I choose to act out of that reality  "

"I can’ t live there in the disappointment anymore .  
I’ve missed whole seasons of my life .  I didn’t love the gift of life because I was too busy being angry about a life I was given.  I wanted it to be different, but being angry didn’t change those things it just wasted time."
Furthering her message of intentionality,
                   Niequist inspires listeners toward this perspective when she states,       
" I choose to do what I can do to create hope, to celebrate life and the act of celebrating connects me back to that life I love ...  Live each day like it’s a special occasion because we’ve been given a gift .  We get to live in this beautiful world .  When I live purposefully and well, when I dance instead of sitting it out... "  adding her challenge, "What can I do today to bring more energy, more beauty, more hope?"  then concludes with her mandate,                                                "Let’s echo His words and let our lives speak those words, “It is Good”

Being a contemplative, I valued the instances where that played into Niequist's spiritual journey.  
No doubt various aspects of content will resonate with listeners on other paths 
as evidenced in the many Goodreads reviews.
I found the brief selections of material content to be excellent for audio listening,
though what I found to be a major loss was the performance of the author as narrator.
A trained and experienced voice would have added immeasurably to content and understanding,
with the outcome being an audiobook with impact.
The entire recording was a race to the finish.  I was never given a chance to relish the creative aspects of the author's poetic wordsmithing.   Basically, no rests between thoughts.  As in music, the rest allows one to pause, both in playing and in listening, for the pleasurable benefit of both instrumentalist and listener.  This audio would have benefited from such meaningful pauses. 
Including careful enunciation and articulation of the actual written words.  A narrator's enjoyment of the words spoken translates to a listener's enjoyment of those very words heard.
Clarity was non existent because Niequist was rushing out the words past a listener's capability of comprehension.  
Considering the content, enjoyment of this audio would have increased by a leisurely pace, taking care to clearly articulate the words.  
Which creates hearing space to comprehend the thoughts being presented.  
Another frustration was the voice modulation.  At once a normal volume, the next all but faded to non-existent,  I found it hard to follow and sensed a loss of many points being presented.
Was this an error in production?  Could it not have been picked up by the director/producer on playback before release?    Sadly, I was not impressed with this audiobook production and wouldn't recommend without further recording improvements.

Posted to AudioJukeBox

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