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Animal, Vegetable, Miracle Audiobook

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 (1305 )
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4.3 (582 )
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  •  
    S Houston, TX, USA 05-06-09
    S Houston, TX, USA 05-06-09 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Hard to get through"

    I read In Defense of Food in about a day, but this is really hard to get through. There is so much detail- about everything. I'm not a hard-core farmer, just a gardener looking for some gems of information for my little yard. She goes into such detail about every little thing that it makes me wonder if it would go quicker as a 'read' rather than a listen, or if I should have looked for an abridged version first.

    4 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Tippecanoe, IN, USA 01-09-09
    Andrew Tippecanoe, IN, USA 01-09-09 Member Since 2011
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    "Good for a city slicker"

    Barbara Kingsolver does know how to tell a good story. She manages to turn what can be a very boring topic and makes it relatively interesting. For anyone who hasn't grown a large garden, eaten their own food, or know why asparagus isn't available in August, then this is a good book. She talks about why, when and how food is grown.

    In the vein of making a good story she also anthromorphize all animals and plants. For example, the end story turns a large part on turkeys she is raising. Having raised the exact breed of turkeys she does perhaps gave me a little more insight. Her story is cute, but they aren't people. Applying human attributes to turkeys, or any animal, is annoying and not very helpful. They will squat or want to mate with a towel on a stick.

    You also have to be careful. She wants to return her turkeys to a more "natural" animal that can raise their young and help the breed survive. This desire may kill the breed. Bourbon Red Turkeys have never lived on their own, they are a commercial breed developed in the 1900 and raised for meat. If you want to save the breed you need people to buy the meat, which then encourages people to raise the breed to meet the demand. This means it has to be affordable. Having birds sit on their own eggs and raise the breed means a female may raise 6 or 7 birds a year. They can produce up to 50 eggs/year, artificially incubated that's 50 turkeys. Heritage turkeys are already expensive enough to raise and sell, you don't need to increase costs more. Over the last 100 years they almost died out since they have little economic value and are raised as a hobby. If we're not careful they will be lost forever.

    Her parts of the book are mixed with commentary from her partner and daughter. She's pretty lose with the facts in the first place, but in these asides lack total balance or realism. They really do detract from the book.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christine Yemoto 08-30-08 Member Since 2007
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    "Hard Listening"

    After listening to about 2/3 of this book, I took it off my iPod. Just the narrators' tones alone made it difficult enough, but then the book got preachy. I admire Barbara Kingsolver and love her fiction. I respect her family's life choices and applaud their commitment to sustainable food sources. Just give me professional narrators, especially if some of the content tends toward the righteous.

    4 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kevin Alleyton, TX, United States 11-25-07
    Kevin Alleyton, TX, United States 11-25-07 Member Since 2009
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    "interesting book"

    made me think about our food and where it comes from.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James danbury, CT, USA 07-23-07
    James danbury, CT, USA 07-23-07 Member Since 2003
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    "excellent"

    i can only hope that a trend begins where everyone who reads this book recommends it to ten friends.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Klara Visalia, CA, USA 07-22-07
    Klara Visalia, CA, USA 07-22-07
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    "Deightful"

    As always, B. Kingaolver delivers critical infomation embedded in a delightful story. A must read!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kate D Canada 05-04-10
    Kate D Canada 05-04-10 Listener Since 2009

    Dianne in Canada

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    "Painstaking to listen to...."

    I, like another reader am a gardener into healthy living and eating. I expected to learn something new or to at least be entertained. If you want to learn about gardening and healthy eating read Michael Pollans book "The Omnivores Dilema". This book wouldn't have been so bad if: 1-the older daughter Camille left her contributions out - they are really shallow and narrow minded and she obviously hasn't reserached her facts very well, and 2-if the book had been narrated by someone else, not the author.
    If you want to fall asleep just start listening to this book. It is read at a painfully slow pace and is mostly boring and only occasionally entertaining. I couldn't finish it. It was too painful listening to the monotone drawl.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Liv2Write 08-11-08
    Liv2Write 08-11-08 Member Since 2015
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    "Another Narrator Please!"

    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.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
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    Kimberly Kapolei, HI, United States 10-01-10
    Kimberly Kapolei, HI, United States 10-01-10
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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
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    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

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