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Listening to Your Life
Book Review: Buechner, Frederick, Listening to Your Life, Harper Collins, San Francisco, Ca 1992

Reviewed by Ron Aguilera

If you are looking for a good devotional book, I would recommend this one. This three hundred forty-one page book has a short devotional thought for each day of the year. The thoughts have culled from the books Buechner has written over the years. If you are not familiar with Buechner, I would highly recommend this book. I have thoroughly enjoyed some of his other books, such as: “Telling the Truth: The Gospel as a Tragedy, Comedy, and Fairy Tale,” “The Hungering Dark,” and “The Book of Bebb”.

One of the things I like about Buechner’s writing is his use of different genres. This devotional book will give you a taste of the varied genres he uses such as: Fiction, autobiography, essays, and sermons. Probably the thing I love most about Buechner’s writing is his ability to communicate grace and how we can see grace in our daily lives.

Here’s a Buechner quote I love, "Grace is something you can never get but only be given. The grace of God means something like: Here is your life. You might never have been, but you are because the party wouldn't have been complete without you. Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid. I am with you. Nothing can ever separate us. It's for you. I created the universe. I love you. There's only one catch. Like any other gift, the gift of grace can be yours only if you reach out and take it. Maybe being able to reach out and take it is a gift too.”

There’s a little of everything in this book—bits of novels, lectures, autobiographical ruminations, even some foundational theological points, ABC’s so to speak. This book is the best way to get exposed to a new writer, who often pens familiar thoughts in a new way…and you can get it for only $1 online. Can beat that!