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Small Wonder | [Barbara Kingsolver]

Small Wonder

In her new essay collection, the beloved author of High Tide in Tucson brings to us from one of history's darker moments an extended love song to the world we still have. From its opening parable gleaned from recent news about a lost child saved in an astonishing way, the book moves on to consider a world of surprising and hopeful prospects, ranging from an inventive conservation scheme in a remote jungle to the backyard flock of chickens tended by the author's small daughter.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Those familiar with Barbara Kingsolver's work are aware of her distinctive literary voice. In the audiobook version of her most recent collection of essays, listeners are also treated to her actual voice, and the result is pleasing. With beautiful language and heartbreaking turns of phrase, Kingsolver reflects on the world community and one's individual role in it. The author's actual voice is as thoughtful and quietly strong as her written voice, lending a certain calm to her thought-provoking commentary. Hearing a brilliant author read her own work is rewarding in this case. No matter what one thinks about Kingsolver's worldviews - she loves her country and sees its flaws as well - this audiobook is timely and interesting.

Publisher's Summary

In her new essay collection, the beloved author of High Tide in Tucson brings to us from one of history's darker moments an extended love song to the world we still have. From its opening parable gleaned from recent news about a lost child saved in an astonishing way, the book moves on to consider a world of surprising and hopeful prospects, ranging from an inventive conservation scheme in a remote jungle to the backyard flock of chickens tended by the author's small daughter.

These essays are grounded in the author's belief that our largest problems have grown from the earth's remotest corners as well as our own backyards, and that answers may lie in those places, too. In the voice Kingsolver's readers have come to rely on, sometimes grave, occasionally hilarious, and ultimately persuasive, Small Wonder is a hopeful examination of the people we seem to be, and what we might yet make of ourselves.

©2002 Barbara Kingsolver; (P)2002 HarperCollins Publishers

What the Critics Say

"Soulful and soul searching....A passionate invitation to readers to be part of the crowd that cares about the environment, peace, and family....A tantalizing peek into Kingsolver's world." (San Francisco Chronicle Book Review)
"This book of essays by Barbara Kingsolver is like a visit from a cherished old friend." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (54 )
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4.3 (22 )
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4.3 (22 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Robert B. Birney 09-01-10 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Daring heart"

    Barbara opens her heart and lays it bare. Naysayers can easily take offence, but that is because they either don't want to face up to what is happening to us or don't care. I care, Barbara cares. Wonderful read with lots to think about. Her voice is mesmerizing.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Myke Canada 10-20-06
    Myke Canada 10-20-06 Member Since 2006
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    "Not much of a Wonder"

    This is a book of essays by Barbara Kingsolver in her attempt to come to terms with 9/11. There are several exceptional images and stories, including that of a missing child nursed by a bear in Iran and her own reflections on raising children in a hyper-consumer world at war. For those who love to garden, be a parent, or raise chickens, Kingsolver captures the beauty and importance of these passions poetically. The book can be a bit self-indulgent at times, with Kingsolver going on at length about her views of things. While some of the essays were repetitive and tedious in this regard, others made for excellent listening. If you are looking for a story, this is not the book for you. However, if you like Kingsolver's outlook and ethics about the world, you can hear her say it herself (she is the narrator) in her own erudite and passionate way.

    9 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rachel Ann Arbor, MI, USA 12-08-07
    Rachel Ann Arbor, MI, USA 12-08-07 Member Since 2004
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    "beautiful book"

    Kingsolver reads this book herself, which is always a huge plus for me. She is a brilliant essayist, and this book actually made me feel better in the wake of 9-11 (especially since she reads with such a sweet and sincere voice). I enjoy her fiction, but this is the first book of hers that I truly loved. You will enjoy it much more if you're in the liberal/environmentalist camp- otherwise it will probably sound preachy.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer New London, NH, United States 01-07-07
    Jennifer New London, NH, United States 01-07-07 Member Since 2004
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    "Educators: please read"

    Barbara Kingsolver writes beautifully and movingly - particularly about the impact of the human race on our delicate environment.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maria Petrova New York, NY 12-09-12
    Maria Petrova New York, NY 12-09-12
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    "Adore."

    I absolutely adore this thoughtful, compelling collection of essays on topics familiar to Kingsolver fans: the environment, farming, parenting, and being a responsible, thoughtful human being. There is such delight in the way she words things...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    history buff louisiana 08-26-09
    history buff louisiana 08-26-09 Member Since 2008

    carol

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    "Slow."

    loved animal, vegetable, miracle, but this one was an effort to listen to.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert West Monroe, LA, USA 05-09-07
    Robert West Monroe, LA, USA 05-09-07 Member Since 2002
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    "We can do more!"

    Very informative about ways to personally make positive changes in our environment and mitigate the damage we are doing to it. I feel the author is a bit self indulgent sometimes. I don't really feel men are to blame for everything, but if they are, women raised them. Maybe THEY should be doing something different.

    2 of 8 people found this review helpful
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