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.
Yikes. This book is about how sad and unhealthy the rest of the world is in comparison to her family. A long over the top celebration of their life style. Learned very very little about how to actually DO anything with the land.
Narration was a fail, over-the-top self narration.
Absolutely nothing. Already know too much.
This author clearly has a background in literature. Therefore she is very happy to finally write her very own book. Result? Every sentence is over written. I want my money back
I would recommend this book to a friend because many of us "try" to eat healthy and organic, but it can seem like a lonely path to travel. Barbara tells about her family's project to "eat local" for one year. Although this is a true story, this book does not sound like a non-fiction book, but an enjoyable story to listen to. It has inspired me rather than overwhelmed me to look at the food I eat and to try to make a few changes in my diet to eat better and feed my family well.
As a farmer's daughter, turned city dweller, I could relate to and laugh about the chapter on harvesting the turkeys and chicken day! Barbara also comes up with delightful twists of wording that just draw the listener in.
The author narrated this book herself along with other family members. I truly enjoyed Barbara's narration and I've listened to hundreds of books! Her voice is soothing which made this a relaxing listen when it could have been sort of overwhelming with advice, tips, and recipes. I really enjoyed hearing her family member's voices as well. It kind of felt like I was sitting in their living room listening to them tell me personally about their experiment to eat locally for one year.
An inspiring yet "do-able" listen for anyone who eats organic, cares about animal rights and the environment. Through her storytelling, Barbara has a way of encouraging small changes to improve our food choice lifestyle. Looks like I'll finally make my way to my local farmer's market!
I live in the same county as the authors and know many of the same farmers. It was enjoyable to read about their interactions at my local farmer's market and about attempts at cultivating many of the same crops I have tried to grow.
The Omnivore's Dilemma is the obvious comparison because of the subject matter but this book seemed much more personal to me. It is aptly subtitled as a memoir, for that is what it is.
Picking the garden on the way out the door to vacation. Been there, done that.
I love this book and the experiment this family did. When I purchased the book I expected to hear their story, but had no idea there would be so much more information as well. This is well written and well researched. The gardening and nutritional information alone is worth the purchase but this book is so much more. Every time I re-listen to this book I hear more and it also makes me remember other things and make better choices.
I have to mention the author's reading of this book makes the audio version so much better. She has a voice/accent that gets into such a great rhythm that it is really relaxing to listen to her. Sometimes I put this book on just to relax and it makes me feel like I am sitting at my mom's or grandma's kitchen table talking about our gardens. Usually I am not particularly fond of the author as narrator but Barbara Kingsolver does such an awesome job that I can't imagine anyone else reading this book. Also, the readings from her daughter and husband are great too.
I would recommend this audio book to just about anyone. You will listen again and again.
Educational, Enlightning, funny
It's a little over the top in some area. its good information to have. She definetely has an agenda. its inspiring as well.
I have been an audible member for two years and I have owned this book for over a year. I finally decided to write a review because I visited the page looking for links to a similar book and skimmed over some of the other reviews. It seems to me that a better understanding of what you are getting into with this book might increase the potential for enjoyment if you decide to purchase it or save you the trouble in the first place. First, this is a book about the author's convictions and belief system regarding food production and sustainability. It is also a book about family that chronicles difficult choices the authors made for their family based on their deeply held beliefs. Is it preachy? I never thought so. While the authors did provide supporting information and interesting sidebars regarding how our food is processed, grown, and sustainability/ethical issues with the industrial food system, I never felt this was forced on the reader. They were presented almost as little news snippets along the way that were relevant to the story. That being said, if you are not interested in this sort of issue or if you aren't interested in why the author thinks it is an important issue then this is probably not the book for you. However, if you are interested in how a family comes to decide to eat locally for a year largely by growing their own food, the reasons for that choice, and the adventure along the way, then you will enjoy it.
As far as the narration goes, I must confess that I read the print version before I purchased the audio version and I love that Barbara Kingsolver and her family narrate the book. I enjoyed the level of feeling this brought to the reading, so much so that it was more like sitting around the kitchen table with the Kingsolver's as they told their story than it was like listening to someone read a book. Officially, I enjoyed the print version but I absolutely love the audio version.
Who will like this book? If you like Michael Pollan, investigative journalism with a personal spin, you are interested in sustainability issues, or you long for a simpler life, you will enjoy this book at the very least and possibly find it inspiring. Be careful, you may find you begin to make your own changes. Since reading it, I have switched to purchasing local pastured beef, chicken, and pork. I visit my local farmers markets each weekend in season and I now have 4 laying hens of my own for fresh eggs (and fertilizer :)). I still visit the grocery store (although my list is getting shorter and shorter) but I am conscious of my choices there and check the origins of my fruits and veggies for proximity. I have given up bananas and I purchase what is in season. No watermelons for me in February. It is safe to say this book changed the way I view food. You may not make these changes but after reading this you will be irrevocably aware of the story behind your groceries.
I feel certain that the story of their year living locally and simply has forever changed me.
Kingsolver's voice telling the story is music to one's years.
Already shopping differently!
A how-to guide on how one family can connect to the earth, connect with each other and change their corner of the world.