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The Turquoise Table: Finding Community and Connection in Your Own Front Yard

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Loneliness is an epidemic right now, but it doesn't have to be that way. The Turquoise Table is Kristin Schell's invitation to you to connect with your neighbors and build friendships. Featured in Southern Living, Good Housekeeping, and the TODAY Show, Kristin introduces a new way to look at hospitality. Desperate for a way to slow down and connect, Kristin put an ordinary Loneliness is an epidemic right now, but it doesn't have to be that way. The Turquoise Table is Kristin Schell's invitation to you to connect with your neighbors and build friendships. Featured in Southern Living, Good Housekeeping, and the TODAY Show, Kristin introduces a new way to look at hospitality. Desperate for a way to slow down and connect, Kristin put an ordinary picnic table in her front yard, painted it turquoise, and began inviting friends and neighbors to join her. Life changed in her community, and it can change in yours too. Alongside personal and heartwarming stories, Kristin gives you: Stress-free ideas for kick-starting your own Turquoise Table Simple recipes to take outside and share with others Stories from people using Turquoise Tables in their neighborhoods Encouragement to overcome barriers that keep you from connecting This gorgeous book, with vibrant photography and a ribbon marker, invites you to make a difference right where you live. The beautiful design makes it an ideal book to give to a friend or to keep for yourself. Community and friendship are waiting just outside your front door.


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Loneliness is an epidemic right now, but it doesn't have to be that way. The Turquoise Table is Kristin Schell's invitation to you to connect with your neighbors and build friendships. Featured in Southern Living, Good Housekeeping, and the TODAY Show, Kristin introduces a new way to look at hospitality. Desperate for a way to slow down and connect, Kristin put an ordinary Loneliness is an epidemic right now, but it doesn't have to be that way. The Turquoise Table is Kristin Schell's invitation to you to connect with your neighbors and build friendships. Featured in Southern Living, Good Housekeeping, and the TODAY Show, Kristin introduces a new way to look at hospitality. Desperate for a way to slow down and connect, Kristin put an ordinary picnic table in her front yard, painted it turquoise, and began inviting friends and neighbors to join her. Life changed in her community, and it can change in yours too. Alongside personal and heartwarming stories, Kristin gives you: Stress-free ideas for kick-starting your own Turquoise Table Simple recipes to take outside and share with others Stories from people using Turquoise Tables in their neighborhoods Encouragement to overcome barriers that keep you from connecting This gorgeous book, with vibrant photography and a ribbon marker, invites you to make a difference right where you live. The beautiful design makes it an ideal book to give to a friend or to keep for yourself. Community and friendship are waiting just outside your front door.

30 review for The Turquoise Table: Finding Community and Connection in Your Own Front Yard

  1. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Lewis

    Thumbs up for the concept and the visual appearance. What a lovely idea to live as front yard people with a turquoise table. Loved the emphasis on hospitality. From a reader perspective, the chapters were redundant and it felt like the author was trying too hard to stretch out the concept into a whole book.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance

    I’ve never forgotten a survey I did back in 2000 for the government. In it, I interviewed exactly 100 people. It was one question that shocked me. “Outside of my immediate family, I have few friends.” Ninety-five people agreed with that question. We are feeling a poverty of connection here in America. Kristin Schell has struck out against that lack of connection by doing something incredibly simple: placing a table painted turquoise in her front yard and visiting at the table with passing people. I’ve never forgotten a survey I did back in 2000 for the government. In it, I interviewed exactly 100 people. It was one question that shocked me. “Outside of my immediate family, I have few friends.” Ninety-five people agreed with that question. We are feeling a poverty of connection here in America. Kristin Schell has struck out against that lack of connection by doing something incredibly simple: placing a table painted turquoise in her front yard and visiting at the table with passing people. I love this idea. I’m so happy I got to read about Schell’s movement, and I can’t wait to see where it goes from here.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    My first initial impressions were that I loved the way the book feels in my hands. This isn't your normal book. It reads more like a small, yet beautiful coffee table book that you can shove in your purse. The pages are gorgeous and so inviting, just like the painted picnic table that the author created. I love how this book is one that creates spaces for community, relationships and to meet new people. The idea behind this is that you can invite people over and you don't have to worry about a c My first initial impressions were that I loved the way the book feels in my hands. This isn't your normal book. It reads more like a small, yet beautiful coffee table book that you can shove in your purse. The pages are gorgeous and so inviting, just like the painted picnic table that the author created. I love how this book is one that creates spaces for community, relationships and to meet new people. The idea behind this is that you can invite people over and you don't have to worry about a clean home because your picnic table is outside. This book is so easy to read and is filled with stunning photos. You'll enjoy stories from others as they experience the Turquoise table and the delicious recipes. This book even has a book marker in it, which makes it even more fabulous. I love how Kristin paid so much attention to the details, which makes this a lovely read for the summer and even better to actually do. We should all be apart of the larger community of the the turquoise table. I give this book 5/5 stars and the opinions expressed here are my own. A favorable review was not required.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Charlsa

    This book was much more than what I expected. I thought this would be a sweet little book about entertaining in your front yard, but it is a book about faith and community and connection. It has reminded me that I am not doing enough to extend the love of Jesus to my neighbors through simple acts of hospitality. Yep, I feel compelled to do this now.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Juliana

    We didn't have a turquoise picnic table in our front yard--but my Dad was always out front with a bunch of his friends and neighbors in lawn chairs. This is a sweet, pretty little how-to book about community and connection. If nothing else, my family just enjoyed eating the Overnight French Toast recipe in the first chapter. So I would say it has served its purpose. We didn't have a turquoise picnic table in our front yard--but my Dad was always out front with a bunch of his friends and neighbors in lawn chairs. This is a sweet, pretty little how-to book about community and connection. If nothing else, my family just enjoyed eating the Overnight French Toast recipe in the first chapter. So I would say it has served its purpose.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Barker

    The Turquoise Table is an excellent book for those that are longing to connect with people. The author provides you with stories of her own life experiences and how her vision to become hospitable incarnated in her putting a turquoise table in her front yard. She provides brain storming prompts, practical ideas of how to get started and tried and true recipes.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Donna Craig

    This book is a quick easy read written in a conversational tone. It is visually appealing as well. My husband and I really enjoyed reading and discussing it. The author found a way to be hospitable and neighborly without having to entertain in a spotless house. We were excited and inspired by her ideas. We can’t wait to try them out in our neighborhood!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Hope Eifert

    Really practical tips on building community and hospitality. Feels very inspiring and do-able. I thought of it as baby steps to Gospel Comes with a House Key.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ginger

    My new friend Jane told me about this book, I promptly left our meeting, purchased a copy, and read it over the course of a day (really, just an hour or two total, but I started it before bed one evening). I have to say, I don't think my neighborhood/yard/house is right for a turquoise picnic table (though I do LOVE that color), but it has given me quite a few small, practical ideas as to how to work hospitality into my every day life better, taking advantage of EVERY opportunity. What's more tha My new friend Jane told me about this book, I promptly left our meeting, purchased a copy, and read it over the course of a day (really, just an hour or two total, but I started it before bed one evening). I have to say, I don't think my neighborhood/yard/house is right for a turquoise picnic table (though I do LOVE that color), but it has given me quite a few small, practical ideas as to how to work hospitality into my every day life better, taking advantage of EVERY opportunity. What's more than ideas, it's given me inspiration to DO the thing, taking actions on a couple of them this very day. And besides, it's an absolutely beautiful physical book with gold binding, thick pages, and lush photography throughout.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Denise Spicer

    A quick read and mildly interesting story about a sweet Christian lady who felt called to be more hospitable and so she put a turquoise table in her front yard to meet her neighbors, etc. Although a nice concept this book will mainly be of interest to people who are: A. gregarious, friendly, outgoing, do-gooders B. affluent or at least well enough off to provide snacks for all the neighbors C. have good homeowners insurance. The book has recipes and activities to stimulate ideas for other “Front Yar A quick read and mildly interesting story about a sweet Christian lady who felt called to be more hospitable and so she put a turquoise table in her front yard to meet her neighbors, etc. Although a nice concept this book will mainly be of interest to people who are: A. gregarious, friendly, outgoing, do-gooders B. affluent or at least well enough off to provide snacks for all the neighbors C. have good homeowners insurance. The book has recipes and activities to stimulate ideas for other “Front Yard People”. Especially interesting were the Turquoise Table M and M cookies. The book includes lots of personal backstory by the author and some cute photos.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Hammer

    Loved the message of the book, gave good ideas of hospitality but the writing style was just too simple for me, overall lacked depth

  12. 5 out of 5

    Melody Riggs

    Kristin Schell wanted to get to know her neighbors. So she put a picnic table in her front yard, painted it turquoise, and started a movement. I loved how she emphasized hospitality over entertainment. I also loved how she encouraged keeping things simple. I spend a lot of time on my front porch, but this book encouraged me to be more intentional with that time.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Danette

    Many people are looking for more community and deeper relationships. Schell's idea? It doesn't have to be complicated: she put a table in her front yard and began to spend time getting to know her neighbors. The book was beautiful and included testimonies and recipes. 2019 - A book with a great cover Many people are looking for more community and deeper relationships. Schell's idea? It doesn't have to be complicated: she put a table in her front yard and began to spend time getting to know her neighbors. The book was beautiful and included testimonies and recipes. 2019 - A book with a great cover

  14. 5 out of 5

    Janice McLaughlin

    The book is about establishing community in simple ways wherever you are, and there are some great recipes included.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Aimee Kollmansberger

    I love this concept so much. As new to a neighborhood, I just took our battered picnic tables and am in the midst of painting them turquoise and white. This weekend they will find a new home in the front yard so that we can be available and open to our neighbors. This idea was an answer to prayer I began 9 months ago... that God would give me a simple, practical and sustainable way to know + love the people around me. *also her podcast interview with Rosaria Butterfield is gold*

  16. 5 out of 5

    Annaliese Wink

    I wanted to love this book. It's so pretty, and will spend time on my coffee table to display. And the author's heart and life are simply beautiful. The content, however seemed redundant and more fitting for a blog. I didn't feel overly stimulated. And maybe that's my own problem. I don't typically love books with the "challenges" and questions that feel so hokey. I wanted to love this book. It's so pretty, and will spend time on my coffee table to display. And the author's heart and life are simply beautiful. The content, however seemed redundant and more fitting for a blog. I didn't feel overly stimulated. And maybe that's my own problem. I don't typically love books with the "challenges" and questions that feel so hokey.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Natalie Weber

    This beautiful book piqued my curiosity from the shelves of a bookstore I visited several weeks ago. Since one of my favorite colors is turquoise, I couldn’t help but be interested in a title like “The Turquoise Table.” And since I love hosting people in our home and dreaming of ways to build community, the subject matter instantly appealed to me. Author Kristin Schell shares how she came to a place of desperate pleading with God to help her understand how she could practice hospitality in the mi This beautiful book piqued my curiosity from the shelves of a bookstore I visited several weeks ago. Since one of my favorite colors is turquoise, I couldn’t help but be interested in a title like “The Turquoise Table.” And since I love hosting people in our home and dreaming of ways to build community, the subject matter instantly appealed to me. Author Kristin Schell shares how she came to a place of desperate pleading with God to help her understand how she could practice hospitality in the midst of an already busy schedule. His answer came in the form of a story she heard about Ludmilla, an 84-year old widow in Prague who hung a plaque outside her apartment that invited any and all to make their way into her home. Kristin was struck by the simplicity of just being available, something others have termed “the ministry of presence.” Shortly thereafter Kristin was inspired with a practical way to institute the same kind of simple hospitality in her suburban community: a picnic table painted turquoise and placed under a magnolia tree in her front yard. She and her family transitioned to using this spot for daily activities that might otherwise be conducted inside or in the backyard, and were hopeful that it would give them opportunities to meet and cultivate relationships with neighbors. The plan was an instant success and has since spawned an entire network of Turquoise Table homes and Front Yard People. Although The Turquoise Table is the central object in this story (and sometimes may go a bit over the top in being heralded as the savior of community and hospitality), Kristin is quick to acknowledge that even those who may not want or be able to employ this exact replica of hometown hospitality can still find other ways to participate in community. The book is a quick, inspirational read that provides practical ideas, checklists to consider possibilities and logistics of how to implement the ideas, and even a handful of recipes that look tasty! A great read for anyone who wants to grow in their practice of hospitality and needs reassurance that it doesn’t have to be an elaborate endeavor; the simple act of being available can make a world of difference in a culture that increasingly longs for a sense of community and belonging.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Annie Rim

    I've read other books about the importance of hospitality but The Turquoise Table grabbed my attention fully. Perhaps is that Kristin Schell offers such grace in the journey. She shares her own stories - both relatable successes and failures - as she found her rhythm living in her front yard. She also shares the stories of others living life with their neighbors and through this mix she gives permission to find your own path. For some, an actual turquoise picnic table in the front yard is a perf I've read other books about the importance of hospitality but The Turquoise Table grabbed my attention fully. Perhaps is that Kristin Schell offers such grace in the journey. She shares her own stories - both relatable successes and failures - as she found her rhythm living in her front yard. She also shares the stories of others living life with their neighbors and through this mix she gives permission to find your own path. For some, an actual turquoise picnic table in the front yard is a perfect tool to start conversations. For others, creating an intentional time to be outside may be how they connect. Schell reminds us that we are all different and our neighborhoods are different, so to try and recreate something exactly most likely won't work. Not only is this beautiful book filled with stories, but it's also formatted as a guide to living an intentional life. Schell has prompts and questions to help the reader get started on a journey of living life communally. She also includes favorite recipes with each chapter to help inspire gathering around the table. Especially with summer approaching, I'd highly recommend this book as a way to get connected with your neighbors! **I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.**

  19. 5 out of 5

    Julia

    This is a quick read but one I appreciated as it held an important message. To be honest it's much more religiously oriented than something I would typically pick up (there are quoted bible versus throughout the text) but there are also simple recipes shared throughout the book. Overall it's easy to understand the story behind the text and be connected to the larger message - connecting to community and giving yourself permission to turn the thought into action. Its cute and quirky to think abou This is a quick read but one I appreciated as it held an important message. To be honest it's much more religiously oriented than something I would typically pick up (there are quoted bible versus throughout the text) but there are also simple recipes shared throughout the book. Overall it's easy to understand the story behind the text and be connected to the larger message - connecting to community and giving yourself permission to turn the thought into action. Its cute and quirky to think about so many 'front yard people' across the states and world and it's definitely got me thinking about my own needs for community and how to better participate in what is happening right here around me rather than on social media.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Leah Good

    Do you ever wish you knew your neighbors? Do you ever think wistfully of bygone days of sitting on the front porch, waving, and calling to people by name as they walk past? "The Turquoise Table" is the story of one woman's hunch of a way to neighbor well, and her invitation to join her in being front yard people. This book was a fairly light read. It's enhanced with full color picture illustrations, testimonies, and recipes. The content is definitely meant to sit and read through, but the book is Do you ever wish you knew your neighbors? Do you ever think wistfully of bygone days of sitting on the front porch, waving, and calling to people by name as they walk past? "The Turquoise Table" is the story of one woman's hunch of a way to neighbor well, and her invitation to join her in being front yard people. This book was a fairly light read. It's enhanced with full color picture illustrations, testimonies, and recipes. The content is definitely meant to sit and read through, but the book is pretty enough to serve as a coffee table book. I recommend this book for people wanting to grow in hospitality towards their neighbors and who like the idea of old-fashioned, front porch living.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kaytee Cobb

    Good thing I liked this book and ordered my own copy because I accidentally set my coffee mug on the open page and I'll have to replace the library copy anyway. oops. This goes right along with the neighboring/ hospitality bug that has bitten me over the past few years, ever since reading The Art of Neighboring by Dave Runyon and Jay Pashak. I envision a neighborhood that feels like community and Schell has great suggestions for ways to make that happen on a small scale instead of relying on the Good thing I liked this book and ordered my own copy because I accidentally set my coffee mug on the open page and I'll have to replace the library copy anyway. oops. This goes right along with the neighboring/ hospitality bug that has bitten me over the past few years, ever since reading The Art of Neighboring by Dave Runyon and Jay Pashak. I envision a neighborhood that feels like community and Schell has great suggestions for ways to make that happen on a small scale instead of relying on the big parties and movements that happen occasionally but don't change the everyday that much. coffee and cookies and conversation around the table. being present, Front Yard People. it's in my list!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Abbi

    This idea of building relationships/community around the table is a theme I’ve focused on in my personal life pretty heavily over the last couple of years. I loved reading the author’s revelations as she went from being over-busy and lonely to intentional and connected to her family and neighbors on a deep, meaningful level. Her suggestions were easily doable for anyone, and the anecdotes were all so inspiring. Also, as a graphic designer myself, I thought this book was beautifully crafted, with This idea of building relationships/community around the table is a theme I’ve focused on in my personal life pretty heavily over the last couple of years. I loved reading the author’s revelations as she went from being over-busy and lonely to intentional and connected to her family and neighbors on a deep, meaningful level. Her suggestions were easily doable for anyone, and the anecdotes were all so inspiring. Also, as a graphic designer myself, I thought this book was beautifully crafted, with lovely accents, color photos, and simple recipes. I loved how the author gave God all the glory for the way her obedience built community in her neighborhood and inspired others around the world.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Stratia

    I really enjoyed this book! The author, Kristin Schell, does an amazing job sharing how she got had a God given burden to opening herself up and establishing relationships and connections in the community through the turquoise table. She shares how relationships were established and personal lives were shared at this table placed in her front yard. You don’t have to be worried about a clean house or what food to make in order to provide hospitality which is the main concern to most people before I really enjoyed this book! The author, Kristin Schell, does an amazing job sharing how she got had a God given burden to opening herself up and establishing relationships and connections in the community through the turquoise table. She shares how relationships were established and personal lives were shared at this table placed in her front yard. You don’t have to be worried about a clean house or what food to make in order to provide hospitality which is the main concern to most people before they make the decision to invite guests over. I enjoyed how the book gave her personal experiences, provided advice and recipes and shared different stories about people who also had experiences at a turquoise table.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Lucking

    I ordered online after having the book on my "to read" list for quite a while and hearing Kristin on a podcast. I expected a typical non-fiction book, maybe with a couple of pictures. Was pleasantly surprised to see a beautiful book - kind of "coffee table" style book. It really is quite beautiful. Book is easy to read, nothing is that out of the box, but her message about relationship-building, community, and the art of listening and loving each other well was refreshing and genuine. Beautiful I ordered online after having the book on my "to read" list for quite a while and hearing Kristin on a podcast. I expected a typical non-fiction book, maybe with a couple of pictures. Was pleasantly surprised to see a beautiful book - kind of "coffee table" style book. It really is quite beautiful. Book is easy to read, nothing is that out of the box, but her message about relationship-building, community, and the art of listening and loving each other well was refreshing and genuine. Beautiful pictures too and some recipes I'm excited to try.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Speight

    I love this idea - to live life in the front yard and be more aware of the people around you. Community is so hard to do today - working away from home 10 hours a day, kids on electronics and watching TV inside. How can we show people hospitality if we never see them? And not just at home, but in the church too. I see the Turquoise Table as the adult version of the ‘Buddy Bench’ some schools have. This book gave me lots to think about being more intentional in my interactions.

  26. 4 out of 5

    MacKenzie

    I read this book in less than 24 hours- it was nothing short of inspiring! Simple, heartfelt, deep and meaningful. I have listened to Kristen on podcasts before and have wanted a Turquoise Table for quite some time, but this book drove it home even further! I also loved that so much of the inspiration came from France!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jennie

    I liked this book, I really did. I liked the look and feel and message. It made me appreciate my neighbors and how we don't need a table, we already have community. If you're looking for something profound, it's not here. But that doesn't mean it's not an enjoyable book, because it was. I liked this book, I really did. I liked the look and feel and message. It made me appreciate my neighbors and how we don't need a table, we already have community. If you're looking for something profound, it's not here. But that doesn't mean it's not an enjoyable book, because it was.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Tricia

    Love the idea of this. I had been thinking of putting a table in the front yard- granted a turquoise table wasn't what I had in mind- but a table with maybe a tabletop fire bowl. I have an alley garage and never see the front of my house. Would be a big step for an introvert though.🙈 Love the idea of this. I had been thinking of putting a table in the front yard- granted a turquoise table wasn't what I had in mind- but a table with maybe a tabletop fire bowl. I have an alley garage and never see the front of my house. Would be a big step for an introvert though.🙈

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    Having watched Kristin's journey with the turquoise table through social media over the years, it was fun to read her book and hear more of her behind the scenes stories. The Turquoise Table gives a solid look at the heart of hospitality, the need and desire for community, practical tips and suggestions to find what works for you in your neighborhood and season, and how non-fuss it can be. It really is a simple, helpful guide to rethinking hospitality and community right where you are. Having watched Kristin's journey with the turquoise table through social media over the years, it was fun to read her book and hear more of her behind the scenes stories. The Turquoise Table gives a solid look at the heart of hospitality, the need and desire for community, practical tips and suggestions to find what works for you in your neighborhood and season, and how non-fuss it can be. It really is a simple, helpful guide to rethinking hospitality and community right where you are.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Cherry Martinez

    An easy read. Not life changing for me, but just an easy pleasant read.

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