Animal, Vegetable, Miracle follows the family through the first year of their experiment. They find themselves eager to move away from the typical food scenario of American families: a refrigerator packed with processed, factory-farmed foods transported long distances using nonrenewable fuels. In their search for another way to eat and live, they begin to recover what Kingsolver considers our nation's lost appreciation for farms and the natural processes of food production. Americans spend less of their income on food than has any culture in the history of the world, but they pay dearly in other ways: losing the flavors, diversity, and creative food cultures of earlier times. The environmental costs are also high, and the nutritional sacrifice is undeniable: on our modern industrial food supply, Americans are now raising the first generation of children to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents.
Part memoir and part journalistic investigation, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle makes a passionate case for putting the kitchen back at the center of family life and diversified farms at the center of the American diet.
©2007 Barbara Kingsolver; (P)2007 HarperCollins Publishers
"Kingsolver has the ear of a journalist and the accuracy of a naturalist." (Publishers Weekly)
Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
I have read all of Barbara Kingsolver's books multiple times, and have been a fan for years. I was really excited when I saw that she was reading her own books, and promptly downloaded a couple.
Unfortunately, I find her reading voice/rhythm unbearable. I never finished listening to either of her books that I purchase from Audible.
So. Buy her books, but skip the audiobooks.
No-I couldn't stand listening to her. It was as though she was reading/speaking to a 5 year old or someone she thought was slow to understand.
But her books are great, so go forth and read them all!
I really thought that this would be a book that I would love. It seemed right up my alley. I love food documentaries and Michael Pollan and I thought that this would interest me in a very similar way. I was so excited to start it too. I downloaded it and started it the same day. But much to my surprise I had a really hard time with this book. I even stopped listening about half way through it and listened to another book for a break.
To be fair, this book is very well written and Kingsolver is easy to listen to in her reading of the book. I think my disappointment stems from the fact that the book isn't what I was expecting. I was expecting to hear all about their year of growing their own food and all the ups and downs of that process. And those parts of the book where she talks about exactly that in detail are my favorite parts. For example, I loved hearing all about her exploits with her turkeys. I also really enjoyed when they visited other locavores and hearing about how they live. But most of this book doesn't focus on the details of what it was like for them. I could have done with less talk about why eating local is so great, even though I don't disagree. Some of it just felt too preachy.
I wonder if I would feel differently about the book if I had read it instead of listening to it but I'm not sure. I may have just decided to skim through some parts. I really was looking forward to hearing more of the details from that first year and those were the parts that I enjoyed the most. This book was really good, it just wasn't great for me.
Barbara Kingsolver's book about her family's year of eating locally is fun, inspiring and written in a manner that informs without feeling preachy. While many of us may not be in a position to raise our own poultry or grow the majority of our own vegetables, this book is full of ideas that allow us to shop and eat more attentively. Thank you, Ms. Kingsolver!
I like Barbara Kinsolver's writings. If you are interested in gardening, sustainability and where your food comes from, then you will enjoy this book. I didn't find the book riveting. It wasn't one of those that causes you to find an excuse to keep driving because you want to finish a chapter. It's just solidly written and addressed an interesting subject. I doubt that I would listen to it again, which is one of my requirements for a 5-star book.
I found my self wondering why this great book about animals / vegetables wasn't also to be found in the comedy genre. Barbara is funny, witty, and VERY intelligent. She would also make a great philosophy professor. I love the way she thinks. THANK YOU ! Barbara, Camille and Steven. This was one of the best books I've read.
I just finished listening to this book again this year. I cant believe how much more I got from this book the second time around. I have 10 acres in central Texas, we have a flock of chickens and a small heard of goats and of chourse cats and dogs and some other animals. We are by no means a realy Real farm. We are however working towards being a realy real farm, the kind that is self sufficient for the most part. I have looked and looked for guides on the audible web sight for helping me get started with being a real (small scale) farmer, to no avail. This book was the closest thing to having a friend and neighbor who knows the ins and outs of running a small farm as you can get. One of the reasons that I chose this book was its length, I want to have a good long book. I will likely read it again this spring, the insights are Excellent, the explinations of gardens,plantings,flock care,culling,harvesting,cooking,etc,etc are second too none. I very highly recomend this book!
This book captured my attention for its entirety! An endless supply of valuable references and recipes. Most of all the encouragement to eat local and to be local. I also love how detailed Barbara gets with certain topics, such as Asparagus and Turkeys. I feel I have a better understanding of farm life and the daily chores this lifestyle entails. I am purchasing the book as well to have as a reference but loved hearing the audiobook read by the author.
barbara does it again. read all her books b/c she is wonderful. if only we were all this disiplined and could live like her. this is a uplifting and educational book that tells a great true story. all must read.. and to their childresn.
I love this book - one of my favorites of all time in the non-fiction, food genre. Makes me want to get out into the garden no matter the time of year, and I really want to raise chickens (for the eggs). I feel like I am part of the family.
I am 19 minutes away from the end of the book and I am so sad. I want to stay in Barbara Kingsolver's world on the farm and continue learning about eating locally and more responsibly. She is so skilled at expressing her thoughts and masterful at interweaving useful information for all of us.
I highly recommend this audio book. Yes, it is long but I did not even notice.
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