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Search: A Novel | Michelle Huneven
16 posts | 15 read | 19 to read
*Named One the 10 Most Anticipated Fiction Books of 2022 by Kirkus* From critically acclaimed, award-winning author Michelle Huneven, a sharp and funny novel of a congregational search committee, told as a memoir with recipes Dana Potowski is a restaurant critic and food writer and a longtime member of a progressive Unitarian Universalist congregation in Southern California. Just as shes finishing the book tour for her latest bestseller, Dana is asked to join the church search committee for a new minister. Under pressure to find her next book idea, she agrees, and resolves to secretly pen a memoir, with recipes, about the experience. That memoir, Search, follows the travails of the committee and their candidatesand becomes its own media sensation. Dana had good material to work with: the committee is a wide-ranging mix of Unitarian Universalist congregants, and their candidates range from a baker and microbrew master/pastor to a reverend who identifies as both a witch and an environmental warrior. Ultimately, the committee faces a stark choice between two very different paths forward for the congregation. Although she may have been ambivalent about joining the committee, Dana finds that she cares deeply about the fate of this institution and she will fight the entire committee, if necessary, to win the day for her side. This wry and wise tale will speak to anyone who has ever gone searching, and James Beard Awardwinning author Michelle Hunevens food writing and recipes add flavor to the delightful journey.
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Deblovestoread
Search: A Novel | Michelle Huneven
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First book haul of 2023. Last night between dinner and a concert with my daughter we had a little time to kill. Lucky for me we are both happy to spend that time in a bookstore. Two of these are blame it on Litsy, the tagged book and Ocean State. Honor is my next fiction #AuldLangSpine read from @Amiable and the Williams for my NYRB shelf.

Megabooks Search was 5⭐️ for me. I hope you enjoy it! 1w
Amiable Have you read any books by Thrity Umrigar? She's an auto-buy author for me now. I love her works. 1w
Deblovestoread @amiable I haven‘t yet although have The Weight of Heaven on my shelf. I love having a new author to explore. 1w
Amiable @Deblovestoread I'm just starting my next #AuldLangSpine read too -- I'm going with “The Mercies“ 🙂 1w
54 likes4 comments
review
Bookwormjillk
Search: A Novel | Michelle Huneven
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Pickpick

After spending the last year hiring in various capacities and on assorted committees this book was so relatable.

Megabooks Loved this too! 1mo
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Bookwormjillk
Search: A Novel | Michelle Huneven
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Listening to this audiobook on a very wet and cold walk today. I was grateful to past me for investing in good walking clothes over the last few years.

Kristin_Reads Well done 👏🏼👏🏼 2mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks 💚💚💚 2mo
Aimeesue Cute boots 💚 1mo
CoverToCoverGirl I love those wellies! 💚 1mo
Bookwormjillk @Aimeesue @CoverToCoverGirl thanks! The fun color gives me motivation 1mo
67 likes5 comments
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Cinfhen
Search: A Novel | Michelle Huneven
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Pickpick

Search was witty & wonderful and 💯 universal to anyone who has ever belonged to an organization or committee. The internal politics and clashing personalities were spot on & completely recognizable. This book was delightful, but felt a tad too long. Narration by Cassandra Campbell was fantastic & the included recipes added to this charming book.
#ToB23 hope this book moves on!!

Hooked_on_books I‘ve been unsure about this one. Is it at all churchy? 2mo
squirrelbrain Gah! I hope I can get hold of it soon in the UK…. 2mo
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Cinfhen It‘s a twee churchy but not preachy at all @Hooked_on_books and it‘s heavier on satire than satan 😁😉I think you‘d like it, Holly 2mo
Cinfhen I hope so too @squirrelbrain - it‘s great 😊 2mo
sarahbarnes The premise of this one is so interesting. I might have to give it a try based on your review! 2mo
Cinfhen It‘s really clever @sarahbarnes 2mo
Ruthiella Two thumbs up from you and @Megabooks makes it a must read! #BlameitonLitsy 2mo
Hooked_on_books Hmmmm, ok, I‘ll think about it! 😉 2mo
Cinfhen @Megabooks Do u feel this book is churchy?? Asking for a friend ☺️ @Hooked_on_books 2mo
Megabooks @Hooked_on_books it‘s Unitarian so not preachy at all. Not particularly Christian either in the traditional Jesus sense. It‘s more about disagreements among a dynamic group of people than about anything specifically religious. I think it‘s funnier if you know what makes some of the candidates good and horrible choices for leading a church. I think that‘s part of what had me laughing so much. 2mo
Hooked_on_books @Megabooks That‘s really helpful—thank you! I‘m not a fan of churchy, so your description makes me a bit more interested in reading this one. I grew up Catholic, so I‘m not unfamiliar with that brand of church stuff. 2mo
Cinfhen I do think you‘ll appreciate all the internal power plays amongst the search committees @Hooked_on_books the humor is really sharp!! 2mo
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Cinfhen
Search: A Novel | Michelle Huneven
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This is utterly delightful and 💯 universal 🌐 I‘m loving the narration 🎧♥️#ToB23 long list

TrishB Can‘t find it on any site here! Weird. 2mo
Bookwormjillk Darn I just had to return that to the library before I got a chance to read it. So many books so little time. 2mo
Cinfhen That is weird @TrishB it‘s probably not out yet in the UK 🤷🏼‍♀️ 2mo
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Cinfhen Definitely try to borrow again @Bookwormjillk I think you‘d really like it ❤️🤓 2mo
squirrelbrain @TrishB - I found it but for (d7! ? I‘ll let you know if it appears anywhere cheaper…. 2mo
TrishB @squirrelbrain found one for (d0 on eBay! But that‘s still not cheap! 2mo
Cinfhen It‘s such a great book but I don‘t think you need to spend that much @TrishB @squirrelbrain it‘s actually $21.95 every place in the states but I‘m watching if the price drops to pick up a copy for you guys 😘 2mo
TrishB 😘👍🏻 I like a good book search! 2mo
BarbaraBB Okay you have convinced me! 2mo
BarbaraBB @TrishB @squirrelbrain I found it for 18 euros on Amazon, strange that you don‘t! 2mo
Cinfhen I‘ve been listening to the audio all day @BarbaraBB it‘s really good but a tad too long is my only complaint but maybe because I‘m listening at a slower speed 🤷🏼‍♀️ anyway, im sure you‘re gonna like it- 😁🤞🏽🤞🏽 2mo
Ruthiella Excellent! My library has a copy so I will definitely check it out! 2mo
Cinfhen Ohhhh, that‘s wonderful @Ruthiella 2mo
TrishB @BarbaraBB not even on Amazon to buy 🤷‍♀️ 2mo
70 likes14 comments
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Megabooks
Search: A Novel | Michelle Huneven
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Pickpick

The #ToBlonglist is already bringing the 🔥 to my winter reading! I don‘t always enjoy novels where it‘s the fictional MC is writing a memoir, but it worked here. 5⭐️🙌🏻

Dana is a food critic and longtime member of a SoCal Unitarian Universalist church. When the minister announces his retirement, Dana joins a committee with 7 others to find his replacement. And it is wild! Immediately a young member begins to hijack it and chaos ensues. ⬇️

Megabooks I have no idea who else will find this book as funny and wild and horrifying as I did, but I‘m a longtime member of a liberal church, whose parents have been on committees like this, so it hit a lot of right notes for me. When I told my mom about it as I was reading, her eyes got wide, and she said, “This is a horror novel!” 🤣 2mo
Ruthiella Love your mom‘s comment! 😂 I really hope this makes the shortlist! 🤞 2mo
CarolynM I have a morbid interest in church politics😆 This sounds fun. Stacked. 2mo
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Scochrane26 I‘m Presbyterian, & we have many inside jokes about always having committees for everything. 2mo
JamieArc I‘m a Quaker, and because we don‘t have a hierarchical church, we have so many committees that keep everything going. I‘ve been looking forward to this one. 2mo
LeahBergen Ooo, stacked! 2mo
Cinfhen Sounds fun, im looking forward 😁 2mo
BarbaraBB I didn‘t mean to read this one but your 5 stars mean a lot 🤔 2mo
Megabooks @Ruthiella me too! My mom can be really funny sometimes. 😂 2mo
Megabooks @CarolynM it definitely jives with a morbid interest in church politics, so enjoy! 2mo
Megabooks @Scochrane26 so. Many. Committees! I‘ve been both Christian Church Disciples of Christ and Methodist and both are lousy with committees! Although my current church has cut down on the number from when I was a kid. 2mo
Megabooks @JamieArc oh yes! You‘d definitely relate to the church politics part, but I wonder what you‘ll think of the finding a minister part because that‘s definitely different. 🤔 2mo
Megabooks @LeahBergen 👍🏻👍🏻 2mo
Megabooks @Cinfhen @BarbaraBB very curious what you‘ll each think (as non-Christians) and whether you‘ll enjoy it at all. Really unsure if it‘s as enjoyable if you haven‘t experienced these situations. 🤔🤔🤔 2mo
BarbaraBB I have indeed no idea what you all are talking about above 😀 2mo
Cinfhen I started listening last night. First, I love CC and she‘s doing an outstanding job so far 🙌🏻 2. Even though I don‘t belong to a church, it feels completely relatable to the same type of synagogue politics that goes on & though I‘ve never sat on a board I‘ve known friends & remember my parents going through search committees for finding a new Rabbi!! It‘s universal!!! I think you‘ll like it @BarbaraBB 2mo
BarbaraBB @Cinfhen Thank you for the heads-up. If both of you love it I can‘t resist of course @Megabooks 🤍🤍 2mo
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Lynnsoprano
Search: A Novel | Michelle Huneven
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Probably not everyone‘s cup of tea, but I thoroughly enjoyed this book centered around a ministerial search at a UU church. As a UU and in a congregation that‘s currently going through a search, there was a lot here that really spoke to my soul. It also made me very happy that I‘m not on the search committee! I completely identified with the MC and her angst; I could hear myself making her arguments. When an author can get in your head 👇

Lynnsoprano Like that, they‘ve done a good job. Recommend. 3mo
Aimeesue Our UU church is doing the same - lots to identify with in this one! I kept picturing all the scenes at the church on our grounds 😂 2mo
Lynnsoprano @Aimeesue Exactly! 😄 2mo
56 likes3 comments
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Lynnsoprano
Search: A Novel | Michelle Huneven
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This wasn‘t what I had planned to read next, but it‘s the current book for our church book group. Although I don‘t participate-long story-this book includes a bunch of recipes that I‘ve been asked to include in the next challenge for the church‘s virtual dining group, which I head up. I have wasn‘t really looking forward to this, but so far I‘m enjoying it quite a bit.

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Aims42
Search: A Novel | Michelle Huneven
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Pickpick

If you want a book that will raise your blood pressure & get you to care about the characters, this is it! During my childhood my church had to search for a new pastor to take over when our current pastor was retiring, this book encapsulated the process perfectly! The drama, the personalities, the endless potlucks! It‘s not a book I‘d recommend to everyone, but anyone in the church or dealing with committees will find humor & heart in this read.

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Erinreadsthebooks
Search: A Novel | Michelle Huneven
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Perfection. This character driven novel is exactly how I like my books: quiet, understated, layered, interesting, introspective, and thoughtful. (That‘s how I like my people, too 😉). Huneven masterfully writes about a progressive church‘s search for a new minister. I don‘t do church, but I‘m fascinated by them and this deep dive was quite interesting. Throw in some food writing and recipes and you can‘t go wrong. I love this book! 🏆🤓💯

Tamra Understated gets me every time - stacked! 6mo
JamieArc I love understated as well. This is one I‘m really looking forward to reading. Glad to see your review! 6mo
jlhammar Same here! You definitely have me interested in this one. 6mo
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Erinreadsthebooks
Search: A Novel | Michelle Huneven
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Yes, Lord, if I have to do church, for the love of God leave me alone 🙏. “When I first attended, some months went by before anybody talked to me—but I‘d liked that, mostly. I liked drifting unknown at the edge of things and entering church life at my own speed. I appreciated that nobody forced a name tag on me or demanded my contact information or knocked on my door unannounced at dinnertime…” Introverts unite! ✊🤓😁

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Erinreadsthebooks
Search: A Novel | Michelle Huneven
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Spending this Saturday reading and relaxing. 🤓📚📖🐩

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merelybookish
Search: A Novel | Michelle Huneven
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Pickpick

A soft pick. A fictionalized memoir about a food writer participating in her church's search for a new minister. I decided to read it based on an endorsement from John Warner of Bibracle. I did find the group dynamics and decision-making process pretty interesting, and ultimately found myself caring who the final pick would be. But it was too long and definitely dull for stretches.

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Kristin_Reads
Search: A Novel | Michelle Huneven
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Pickpick

📖 6-9-22 || I admit I was drawn to this book primarily because of the cover! Cleverly written in memoir format, the story follows the search for a pastoral candidate from the point of view of a committee member who is also a food-writer. A bit too long in my opinion, but the concept and setting (SoCal) were intriguing enough for me to finish it!
Ooh! Just saw that todays #BookMoods prompt is #Recipes and this includes recipes in the back..

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks So pretty 💛💚 8mo
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Christine
Search: A Novel | Michelle Huneven
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I feel like this one may not be for everyone. BUT, if you're interested in following an eclectic group of people getting to know each other better while thinking about what their progressive church means to them, with lots of food talk and levity and some plot sprinkled in, this indeed might be for you, as it was for me! I thought it was fun and thought-provoking and a bit suspenseful, even. My first Huneven but not my last!

BennettBookworm Wow gorgeous cover 8mo
Christine @BennettBookworm Yes, really eye-catching! 8mo
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Lauren.Archer
Search: A Novel | Michelle Huneven
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Pickpick

Super fun book to read, and great for discussion, especially the culmination of who the committee ends up selecting. I had so much fun with this story. Bonus, Cassandra Campbell is the narrator for the audiobook and she was just perfect, if you want to try that medium

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