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Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life | [Barbara Kingsolver]

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life

When Barbara Kingsolver and her family move from suburban Arizona to rural Appalachia, they take on a new challenge: to spend a year on a locally-produced diet, paying close attention to the provenance of all they consume. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle follows the family through the first year of their experiment.
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Publisher's Summary

When Barbara Kingsolver and her family move from suburban Arizona to rural Appalachia, they take on a new challenge: to spend a year on a locally-produced diet, paying close attention to the provenance of all they consume.

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

What the Critics Say

"Kingsolver has the ear of a journalist and the accuracy of a naturalist." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (1205 )
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  •  
    Kimberly Kapolei, HI, United States 10-01-10
    Kimberly Kapolei, HI, United States 10-01-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Naration disappointing"

    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.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dayle West Richland, WA, United States 04-26-10
    Dayle West Richland, WA, United States 04-26-10
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    "soapbox journalism"

    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.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrea Bloomfield, CT, United States 10-12-08
    Andrea Bloomfield, CT, United States 10-12-08 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good idea. Preached too hard."

    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.

    2 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ingrid Lantzville, BC, Canada 08-07-07
    Ingrid Lantzville, BC, Canada 08-07-07 Member Since 2015
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    "Preachy and smug"

    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.

    2 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dezertol 01-10-12
    Dezertol 01-10-12
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    "Looking for approval?.."
    Any additional comments?

    This book is not a how-to, .. it is not a guide of any kind, and it's not really a

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Grcla 10-31-11
    Grcla 10-31-11 Member Since 2012

    Say something about yourself!

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    "I never finished it."

    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.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    anthony lower lake, CA, United States 02-07-11
    anthony lower lake, CA, United States 02-07-11 Member Since 2005

    I'll see ya in the smoke.

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    "Another Kingsolver book I couldn't finish"

    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!

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 06-27-08 Member Since 2013
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    "Worthwhile information in a somewhat sappy format"

    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?

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andy Westport, CT, United States 06-01-07
    Andy Westport, CT, United States 06-01-07 Member Since 2010
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    "informative and relaxing"

    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.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Yvette Flores Saint Paul 06-14-07
    Yvette Flores Saint Paul 06-14-07 Member Since 2015
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    "Sample before you buy"

    I listed to this book for about 2 hours and gave up on it. The writer is constantly using metaphores. It becomes very distracting, after an hour you want the writer to just say what they mean and MOVE ON.
    Try it if you like overy descriptive writing.

    4 of 19 people found this review helpful

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