A delightful and revealing book from Kingsolver and her family. This book which has chapters by Kingsolver, her husband and her children, invites us to share the experience and learning a year of eating locally has to offer. A great weekend read that will continue to resonate as you walk thorough the aisles of your grocery store.
I really liked the way the book began; chronicling the year of local food and discussion of the food industry in this country. I started to lose it, however, when she went into making their own cheese and then the tours of some small farmers' operations. It started to get too preachy and seemed to prattle on without the realization that most readers would not be interested in making their own cheese (or sausage or whatever), and she just kept going on about it. Also had a touch of one of the "simple life" books which I have enjoyed in the past, it is true, but I don't expect here because she is a best selling author and presumably well off. I thought the "asides" by the daughter were absolutely not necessary and preachy as well and I have a hard time being preached to by a girl in her teens or early twenties.
This was one of the best audiobooks I have ever listened to. I was so inspired by this book! If we could all follow this path, just think what our future would look like. This is also one of the rare times when the author is the BEST person to narrate. Thank you!
Being read by Kingsolver and family brings this book closer to home and makes it real to the reader. It's a combination of good story, good food, and interesting facts for the environmentally friendly. It'll put you off well traveled food and on to good home grown tomatoes.
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is a great blend of personal history, environmental updates, farmer's almanac and enticing cookbook. You'll want to take a break from listening to go online where you can download some of the great recipes or access references.
I've read, or listened to, quite a few books this past year. I would rank this one at the top of the list. I enjoyed listening to Barbara's voice and laughed out loud at many places throughout the book. Camille's recipes made me hungry and wishing I knew how to make my own mozzarella. The book does come with a more serious side than simply teaching us how to "grow our own food". There is a downside to this particular Audible selection. I don't have access now to the many facts given to me by her husband Steven. I think this is an oversight on Audible's part and hope to find the supporting footnotes on her website.
This is really a very fun and informative book, largely because Barbara Kingsolver is such a good writer. I believe everyone should read this and start thinking seriously about our food and how what we eat affects the rest of our world. I'm getting the Omnivore's Dilemma next....
I love thrillers!! Harlan Coben, Lee Child, Michael Connolley, John Sanford, David Baldacci, and others! These authors can make a long road trip very enjoyable!
I have only listened to the audio edition, so I cannot make a comparison to the print edition. I did enjoy hearing the authors reading what they wrote. It makes the story that much more compelling.
It provided new information as well as the emotional aspect of why people choose to eat local. It also contained the only discussion about eating meat that I've ever encountered that matches my own philosophy. People are meant to eat meat - however, factory farmed, antibiotic filled meat is wrong. It's not ethical to treat the animals that way and it puts unhealthy elements into the food we consume.
The turkey mating and birth scenes were my favorite. First, I didn't realize how all that worked. Second, it was funny and poignant to hear about the range of emotions the author experienced while waiting for the eggs to hatch.
Farming, Food, and Fun
This book has challenged me to try and eat more locally. While I don't have the space or patience for growing a large garden, I can shop at farmers markets. We can can make sauces, dehydrate food, and so forth. I also really enjoy cooking. It will be nice to know where the food came from. It's also a great way to support local families and businesses.
Barbara Kingsolver and her family embarked on an experiment to grow their own food - both plant and animal - for a year and eat locally grown, seasonally-available produce. I applaud their effort and I do not stand in judgment for anything they did or didn't do in their quest. Kingsolver and her family narrated and didn't do a terrible job although I had to speed it up to 1.5 and 2x in parts because they read very slowly.
This wasn't a bad book. It actually contains a lot of useful information for anyone interested in raising poultry. It just got too preachy in certain areas, it contained too many weird thrown-in references to various religions, and it didn't contain the information I was hoping for in the way of gardening techniques for growing vegetables. Perhaps that last part was unjustified given that I have recently read The Edible Garden by Alys Fowler, which I consider to be the magnum opus of vegetable gardening books. Kingsolver's agenda was very different from Fowler's in that she sought to document her family's year-long quest and not to provide a step-by-step guide.
I have to say that I thought the best part of the book to be the interview with Kingsolver at the end in which she describes the process of writing the book and how she approached it stylistically (which information she decided to include and why). I consider that interview to be one of the best explanations of the ethics and dynamics of the writing process that I've ever heard.
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is more of a story than a guide, and maybe that's why I didn't like it more; I wanted a guide. The story is well-documented, although I thought it could have used a little less description and a little more information. Kingsolver and her family have calming voices and they all read very slowly. It took me a couple of months to finish because the book drags in places and the overall pace of the book is so slow that it didn't maintain my attention.
The main point of the book seemed to me to be that there is a moral point to be made about overconsumption and that small, individual efforts against gluttony and overuse of resources add up to big changes. This would be an invaluable reference for anyone who wants to raise their own poultry or for anyone who wants some basic ideas about how to grow or raise their own food. If you're looking for more of a guide to gardening, however; read The Edible Garden by Alys Fowler. Something else - you may not want to listen to this one while driving. It's not exactly caffeine for the mind and it drags in places, but it's a great listen around bedtime or while doing something else around the house.