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Animal, Vegetable, Miracle Audiobook

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life

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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 (1543 )
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4.4 (792 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Lisa 11-22-12
    Lisa 11-22-12
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    18
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    "Fantastic"
    What did you love best about Animal, Vegetable, Miracle?

    I feel certain that the story of their year living locally and simply has forever changed me.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Kingsolver's voice telling the story is music to one's years.


    Have you listened to any of the narrators’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Already shopping differently!


    Any additional comments?

    A how-to guide on how one family can connect to the earth, connect with each other and change their corner of the world.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SoCalBonnie Southern California 11-10-12
    SoCalBonnie Southern California 11-10-12 Member Since 2015
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    "Thoughtful, but lapses into a bit of sanctimony"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Yes and no. It was my first experience with the "back to the earth" genre, and I loved the discussions about our disconnect with the real world. However, it kind of wore me down with breathless descriptions of bucolic living.I also felt the different voices in this narrative were superfluous, like they were just "tacked on".


    Would you be willing to try another book from Barbara Kingsolver? Why or why not?

    Yes. I've not ready anything else of hers yet but I'd like to see how she does fiction.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    Yes. I'm not sure this should've been performed by the author and her family members. They seem like sincere people who really believe in what they are doing but their performance removed me from the narrative.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Truth Speaker Asheville, NC, United States 11-04-12
    Truth Speaker Asheville, NC, United States 11-04-12
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    "Well-written and Disquietingly Informative"

    This well-written, spotlessly narrated treatise on the personal, economic and environmental benefits of local food-sourcing held my attention like a well-written novel.
    That Ms. Kingsolver knows how to translate her story-telling skills from fiction to reality is only slightly surprising, given her prowess as one of America's great living novelists.
    "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" is a worthy agrarian disquisiton in the tradition of Wendell Berry.
    The book is compelling without being preachy. The authors let their audience off lightly, encouraging small steps, in lieu of life-long locavore fasts. For example, we learn:
    --one locally sourced meal a week would direct $10,000,000
    weekly into local farms
    --if every restaurant sourced just 10% of its food from nearly by
    producers, the entire food economy would be changed
    --mid-winter readers will need to make their transition to
    local foods by planning over the next year
    That said, do not expect to listen to this book and buy grocery store bananas or off-season aspargus heedlessly again. What "Food, Inc." the movie does to carnivore sensibilities, this work does for every morsel we consume.
    If every local farmers' market had a stand selling this book, supermarkets would be a thing of the past.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathleen Lowell, MI, United States 10-01-12
    Kathleen Lowell, MI, United States 10-01-12
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    3
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    "An Important Story about Food Choices"
    What did you love best about Animal, Vegetable, Miracle?

    Kingsolver tackles a big issue in a personal perspective with eloquence.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Food choices impact our health, our community and our world - it can seem like too big of a topic for one person to make a difference. This story brings it to a level where we can understand that small choices can have a big impact.


    What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I enjoy their voices. I think their three voices with three perspectives works well.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I enjoyed the entire book. It was interesting to hear about their food choices when travelling.


    Any additional comments?

    I try to get everyone I know to read this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kristi Smyrna, GA, United States 09-03-12
    Kristi Smyrna, GA, United States 09-03-12 Member Since 2016
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    6
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    "I'm making a change!"
    Where does Animal, Vegetable, Miracle rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Really enjoyed this book, probably even more than I thought I would. It was my first book along these lines, but won't be my last.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle?

    whole thing


    Have you listened to any of the narrators’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    Would recommend to anyone looking for more info on this subject. Really fascinating and inspiring.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandra Woolstenhulme 08-27-12 Member Since 2003
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    "Great read!"
    Would you listen to Animal, Vegetable, Miracle again? Why?

    I would listen to this book again. Yes! Not only is it entertaining it is informative and engaging.


    What other book might you compare Animal, Vegetable, Miracle to and why?

    Maybe jane Goodall's book Harvest for Hope.


    What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn???t experience if you just read the book?

    I loved the various voices and writing styles that husband and daughter brought to the performance.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The statistics early in the book regarding calories (energy) required to move vegetables, fruit and other foods around the world to bring substandard and possibly deterimental foods to us year round was enlightening.


    Any additional comments?

    Read/listen to it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Parkville, MD, United States 07-30-12
    Jennifer Parkville, MD, United States 07-30-12 Member Since 2007
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    "Love Barbara Kingsolver... hate her reading voice"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle to be better than the print version?

    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.


    Would you be willing to try another one of the narrators’s performances?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    But her books are great, so go forth and read them all!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maggie 25 Walhowdon Way, Lebanon, NH 03766 04-25-12
    Maggie 25 Walhowdon Way, Lebanon, NH 03766 04-25-12 Member Since 2017
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    "It's good but I wanted more daily details"
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debra 01-31-12
    Debra 01-31-12 Member Since 2009
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    "Everyone should read this"

    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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M.W. 07-08-11
    M.W. 07-08-11 Member Since 2009
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    "Enjoyable"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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