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Richard

Auckland, New Zealand

5
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 5 reviews
  • 9 ratings
  • 34 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Novella Carpenter
    • Narrated By Karen White
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (213)
    Performance
    (137)
    Story
    (137)

    Novella Carpenter loves cities - the culture, the crowds, the energy. At the same time, she can't shake the fact that she is the daughter of two back-to-the-land hippies who taught her to love nature and eat vegetables. Ambivalent about repeating her parents' disastrous mistakes, yet drawn to the idea of backyard self-sufficiency, Carpenter decided that it might be possible to have it both ways.

    Sarah says: "Not an instruction book but a fun read"
    "Superbly interesting story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Although not someone I would normally choose to listen to, the story of Novella in Oakland, what animals she went though had me at times in tears of laughter and I learnt a great deal from her story! Before this story, I had considered keeping a Pig but no-way now! Bees are still a possibility.

    Karen's Oratory was superbly on target, it just had an air of authenticity that I've only ever heard from Bill Wallis, really made the trials and successes a joy to listen to!

    One of the best of this genre of audio books I have heard.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Town That Food Saved: How One Community Found Vitality in Local Food

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Ben Hewitt
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (31)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (23)

    Over the past several years, Hardwick, Vermont, a typical hardscrabble farming community of three thousand residents, has jump-started its economy and redefined its self-image through a local, self-sustaining food system unlike anything else in America.

    Richard says: "Trepidation turned to intruige"
    "Trepidation turned to intruige"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I started listening to this book and for the first hour or so, wasn't sure what I had gotten myself in for. It seemed (and maybe still seems, I'm not sure) a big advert for this town. However, Ben really does explore some really interesting and worthwhile questions about the whole local food economy idea that other books (including Barbara Kingsolver's Animal Vegetable Miracle) simply don't cover. Its very much an in depth view and discussion of what local food really means, what impact that has and what it means to this one small town. And Arthur (whose accent I didn't at first like and then it grew on me over time, really fitting the words from the mouths of some of the locals) really added character to each of the different people in the story, making them very distinct and separate from each other. All in all, a very good (and different book), well orated and well written.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Growing to a Ripe Old Age: 50 Years in the Garden

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Edward Enfield
    • Narrated By Bill Wallis
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Edward Enfield came to his three quarters of an acre knowing nothing about growing anything, and this book is an account of his horticultural successes and failures, inventions and frustrations, discoveries and developments. With wry humour, he leads us through the thorny subject of roses, counts the blessings of keeping chickens, and exposes the perfidy of gardening copywriters, while offering wise and witty tips on how best to enjoy the fruits of your labour.

    Richard says: "Mildly funny from someone completely out of touch"
    "Mildly funny from someone completely out of touch"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It was funny in some places, but if the author really believes what he is saying in relation to much of his gardening advice, its really quite dubious. He has some good stories, Bill Wallis' performance is (as always) superb, it makes a mildly interesting listen, but I wouldn't recommend purchasing it if you have something else on your list.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Second Nature: A Gardener's Education

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Michael Pollan
    • Narrated By Michael Pollan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (222)
    Performance
    (119)
    Story
    (121)

    In his articles and in best-selling books such as The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan has established himself as one of our most important and beloved writers on modern man's place in the natural world. A new literary classic, Second Nature has become a manifesto not just for gardeners but for environmentalists everywhere.

    Marie says: "Lush no-nonsensical brilliance"
    "Mostly boring book but well read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed listening to Michael Pollan read the book, and his tales of growing up, his grandfather and father, moving houses and growing crops were all interesting. What I found extremely dull and only listened to since I'd paid for the audio book (I couldn't skip as easily as a printed one) was the endless philosophy on topics - especially whether or not we *should* garden. If you are into philosophy or gardening as a holistic concept, this may be for you, but it was not for me.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Folks, This Ain't Normal: A Farmer's Advice for Happier Hens, Healthier People, and a Better World

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Joel Salatin
    • Narrated By Joel Salatin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (343)
    Performance
    (318)
    Story
    (311)

    From farmer Joel Salatin's point of view, life in the 21st century just ain't normal. In Folks, This Ain't Normal, he discusses how far removed we are from the simple, sustainable joy that comes from living close to the land and the people we love.

    Erin says: "Sometimes preachy, but informative"
    "At the same time informative and entertaining!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm not sure anyone other than Joel would have done justice to this book. Its very easy to get past the Christianity and the other tendencies towards right-wing - he does tell you his belief system up front - and pick out the real innovative, interesting and informative elements in this story. His indignation with bureaucracy really comes through and it led me to investigate what the story was here in New Zealand. To some degree, he is preaching to the converted in me as a listener, which helps my high rating but I was surprised at just how much I learnt from the audio book. I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoyed Michael Pollan's books or Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, MIracle and I'd recommend watching his talk at the GooglePlex on YouTube as well.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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