Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Cold Tangerines: A Book Review

Not long ago, Sarah offered a chance to read and review the book, Cold Tangerines. I was excited, as I'm an avid reader, and Sarah thoroughly enjoyed the book.

Let me say that I had expectations about the book. Big expectations. Perhaps because Sarah said that this book is "so her". Perhaps because it was printed by a Christian publisher. For whatever reason, I expected to fall in love.

As I started into the book, I thought it was a pleasant read. Each chapter was short, and could be read quickly. I was intrigued with the chapter, Spark. I wanted to know how Shauna came to the Lord. I wanted the book to be a telling of how she drew closer to Him, day by day, year by year.

That's not what I found. Instead, I found myself reading about friends, and dinner parties, and vacations. I read about luck. Lots and lots of luck. And I found that to be a problem for me. I read about birth, and death, and the stuff that life is made up of, but I expected to find more of a contemplative work about how God oversees it all. I expected Scripture references, and God's plan. Instead, I found the author's triumphs and shortcomings. Not that she never mentions God, but I found the Lord to be almost an afterthought.

I won't say that I found every chapter to be unenjoyable. There were times I could relate to Shauna, but far more often I was left feeling empty. Perhaps my expectations were too high. At any rate, I'd sum this book up by saying that it's very much like Christian music today. It may not be offensive, but it lacks substance.


Abounding Treasures said...

Thanks for this insightful review.

I hadn't heard of this particular book, but have read a few other Christian books like it ... your description of Christian music today was apt ~ nothing offensive, but lacking in substance :o(

Kristy said...

You voiced my opinion exactly. I read Cold Tangerines also for the challenge, and was looking for more. More honor and glory given to God, more reliance on Him! I think this is where the modern day church us heading also.

Mary@notbefore7 said...

Thanks for the review. I think I'll pass on it for now. I recently read a book that was not by a christian by was highly recommended and found myself sadly empty. Good thoughts, but lacking the perspective of God.

I recently read, Breathe - have you read it? Amazing! I am in the midst of "He speaks to me" by Priscilla Shirer and it is so challenging and so direct and so biblical.

Got any good recommendations?

Ok - I am off. BTW...I have felt the same about so much praise music these days. There are the songs that so beautifully speak my heart and I could listen to them all day, but so many lack anything more than a focus on ourselves...

50shousewife said...

I've recently had a Christian fiction book recommended to me called "The Shack". Have you heard of it or read it? My library doesn't have it.

Tracy said...

I haven't read Breathe or Speak to Me. In fact, I've not heard of them. Recommendations? Hmmm.... I'll think on that.

50's Housewife,
I haven't heard of The Shack. Sorry! :o(

Short Stop said...


Thank you for your review! And, thank you for sharing your thoughts so honestly. Perhaps I set up the book to be something that it wasn't meant to be - thus, your expectations. I'll share more of my thoughts on Thursday!

Thank you, again, for participating and for sharing your honest thoughts!

jane said...

I hadn't heard of this book til reading your review. Thank you for a well-considered opinion, Tracy. I'm careful what I read and believe that "twaddle" exists Christian literature. "Twaddle" books equal idle time, imho.

So much in the way of Christian literature and Christian music is nothing more than basic words/chords sprinkled with just a dash of Christ. This results in no growth as a believer.

Anonymous said...

Tracy, I have to admit that I was not quite as honest as you in my review of the book. I was let down and disappointed in the over all content of the book. As a dear friend of mine said, "It's whiny and shallow." I'm not sure I would go that far, but I was not edified by this author.

Penless Thoughts said...

I have the book, too, but didn't receive mine in time to participate in the review. I've read Leigh Ann and Ginger's reviews and now yours. I am really curious to see how I will view it. I have a felling I'm going to react more like you. I was disappointed when both LA & G said there was not much scripture. As you know, I'm a WORD person.

I appreciate your review.

Momma Roar said...

I appreciate your honest reveiw too - I just don't desire, at this time, to read just to read. I need, for myself and my family, to be reading books that will show me how to live and grow with Christ as the center!

Julieann said...

Tracy, I have never heard of this book--but I really enjoyed your review--I am sure now, that I have read this post, I will see this book everywhere...LOL


Jodi said...

It may not be offensive, but it lacks substance.

After I read your review, I clicked over to the other reviews and found the book's website. I read the three free chapters online. After reading just that little bit alone I agree with you.

While I do not know enough to question this author as being anything other than a lovely Christian lady, based on her biography alone, I would pass on her book. I find that most of those coming out of seeker sensitive churches offer a worldview that is rooted less deeply in God's Word than than I'm comfortable with.

jane said...

Mama *bear* Roar said:

***I need, for myself and my family, to be reading books that will show me how to live and grow with Christ as the center!***


Anonymous said...

I haven't heard of this book either, but your review was very helpful. It's so disappointing when a book is not up to expectations. Are you going to write more book reviews? I'd enjoy some recommendations.

Love, Tina :)