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)
Kingsolver is another example of why authors should not read their own books. I have to turn the volume down very low because her voice annoys me so much. The fact that she is more concerned with trying to sound a certain way than getting her ideas expressed are obvious. I haven't yet made it past the first hour. I may have to buy the paperback and scratch the audiobook.
These voices were not meant for naration. I had a hard time focusing on the story and mental imagery simply because I could not ignore this fact.
Being a gardener and back to basics advocate I expected this to be an entertaining listen. I had a hard time finishing it. The authors come off as smug and superior. The narration sounds as if read by a school child giving a report in front of the class. They have some good points but are presented with a very condescending tone.
I am all for saving the planet and eating well, but this book makes its point early and then proceeds to beat you to death with it. Enough already.
What a disappointment! Barbara and her family preach throughout the book making the self-righteous assumption that they are the only North American family to cook and socialize with friends and family. Nothing new here - same old information told in a self-satisfied manner. The inserts by hubby and daughter are enough to make one gag.
Say something about yourself!
I found the narration poor and gave up on the book 1 hour into it. I agree with other reviews that this book should never have put into audio format.
I'll see ya in the smoke.
When Ms Kingsolver chooses to wrap her agendas with a good story, she is one of my favorite authors. This book too, had it's interesting times when she talked about her garden, and her experiences throughout the year of self imposed food life. But she was way to preachy, much too preachy, preachy, preachy, preachy. Can I get an amen!
While the content of the book was important, a more vigorous read would have improved it. An avid lifetime gardener, I finally gained understanding of the local food movement, somewhat. It seems the author did not recommend this except in a minimal way...stating even limited use of local foods would have a big impact on fuel used to transport it from afar. I wonder where she got those numbers?
Kingsolver provided a good overview of the challenges and pleasures of trying to live a contemporary life "off the land." Beyond helping us understand the dynamics of "eating local," she, her husband and daughter shared informative and interesting insights on a range of issues related to eating. Finally, Kingsolver narrated most of the book, and it was like listening to a kind aunt reading to you.
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