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.
Huntress of Dirty Socks
Yes and no. It was my first experience with the "back to the earth" genre, and I loved the discussions about our disconnect with the real world. However, it kind of wore me down with breathless descriptions of bucolic living.I also felt the different voices in this narrative were superfluous, like they were just "tacked on".
Yes. I've not ready anything else of hers yet but I'd like to see how she does fiction.
Yes. I'm not sure this should've been performed by the author and her family members. They seem like sincere people who really believe in what they are doing but their performance removed me from the narrative.
This well-written, spotlessly narrated treatise on the personal, economic and environmental benefits of local food-sourcing held my attention like a well-written novel.
That Ms. Kingsolver knows how to translate her story-telling skills from fiction to reality is only slightly surprising, given her prowess as one of America's great living novelists.
"Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" is a worthy agrarian disquisiton in the tradition of Wendell Berry.
The book is compelling without being preachy. The authors let their audience off lightly, encouraging small steps, in lieu of life-long locavore fasts. For example, we learn:
--one locally sourced meal a week would direct $10,000,000
weekly into local farms
--if every restaurant sourced just 10% of its food from nearly by
producers, the entire food economy would be changed
--mid-winter readers will need to make their transition to
local foods by planning over the next year
That said, do not expect to listen to this book and buy grocery store bananas or off-season aspargus heedlessly again. What "Food, Inc." the movie does to carnivore sensibilities, this work does for every morsel we consume.
If every local farmers' market had a stand selling this book, supermarkets would be a thing of the past.
Kingsolver tackles a big issue in a personal perspective with eloquence.
Food choices impact our health, our community and our world - it can seem like too big of a topic for one person to make a difference. This story brings it to a level where we can understand that small choices can have a big impact.
I enjoy their voices. I think their three voices with three perspectives works well.
I enjoyed the entire book. It was interesting to hear about their food choices when travelling.
I try to get everyone I know to read this book.
I’m a creator, leader, writer, Christian, humorist, multi-tasker, filmie, foodie, environmentalist, daydreamer, traveler and entrepreneur, to name a few.
Really enjoyed this book, probably even more than I thought I would. It was my first book along these lines, but won't be my last.
Would recommend to anyone looking for more info on this subject. Really fascinating and inspiring.
I would listen to this book again. Yes! Not only is it entertaining it is informative and engaging.
Maybe jane Goodall's book Harvest for Hope.
I loved the various voices and writing styles that husband and daughter brought to the performance.
The statistics early in the book regarding calories (energy) required to move vegetables, fruit and other foods around the world to bring substandard and possibly deterimental foods to us year round was enlightening.
Read/listen to it.