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Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food…

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life (original 2007; edition 2007)

by Barbara Kingsolver

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,805214732 (4.16)352
Title:Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life
Authors:Barbara Kingsolver
Info:HarperCollins (2007), Hardcover, 384 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:sociology, gardening, agriculture, sustainability, cooking

Work details

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver (2007)

  1. 70
    The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan (SqueakyChu, heidialice, booklove2)
    SqueakyChu: Both books address a way of working with our current food culture.
  2. 20
    The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice, and Sustainability by Lierre Keith (owen1218)
  3. 10
    Made from Scratch: Discovering the Pleasures of a Handmade Life by Jenna Woginrich (sonyagreen)
  4. 10
    The Seasons on Henry's Farm: A Year of Food and Life on a Sustainable Farm by Terra Brockman (JanesList)
    JanesList: Both are delightful to read and tell the story of sustainable growing and eating throughout the year, with recipes and family contributions to the books. You might not want to read them both in the same month, but if you liked one, I bet you'll like the other.… (more)
  5. 00
    Fifty Acres and a Poodle: A Story of Love, Livestock, and Finding Myself on a Farm by Jeanne Marie Laskas (hipdeep)
    hipdeep: Not a book about slow food, but for my money a far more interesting memoir of an urbanite's move to a farm.
  6. 00
    An Economist Gets Lunch: New Rules for Everyday Foodies by Tyler Cowen (BookshelfMonstrosity)
  7. 22
    Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen by Julie Powell (sturlington)
  8. 00
    The New English Kitchen: Changing the Way You Shop, Cook and Eat by Rose Prince (hipdeep)
  9. 00
    Goat Song: A Seasonal Life, A Short History of Herding, and the Art of Making Cheese by Brad Kessler (Muriel743)
    Muriel743: Covers similar topics - i.e. mainly urban people pursuing food self-sufficiency, forming relationships with rural community and neighbours and learning the skills needed to feed themselves.

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Showing 1-5 of 212 (next | show all)
I love the way Barbara Kingsolver writes! Her style is beautiful even though her tone grew to be overbearing. I appreciated the way her husband and daughter's writings were included and while it didn't always have precisely the intended effect, I see what they were trying to do by it. I liked her husband's statistics heavy approach because it offset Kingsolver's. The inclusion of receipes was also a nice touch. Overall, the reason I didn't give it 5 stars is beacuse of the assumption that we all should go out and live off the land completely and totally, like Kingsolver and her family did, when this is not an option for all of us. A worthwhile read though and I have recommended it a lot. ( )
  Jackie_Sassa | Nov 20, 2015 |
After years of spending summers at her husband's farm in southwestern Virginia, growing as much food as possible, Kingsolver and her family moved there permanently from Tucson, with a plan to spend one full year living off what they could raise themselves, or obtain from local sources, and documenting the results. No Twinkies, bananas, or pre-packaged anything. A very few exceptions were allowed---coffee (as long as it was fair trade), flour (for which a local source turned out to be a disappointment), olive oil (from Italy where they KNOW about organics and sustainability in a way that Americans just don't). This is the story of how that year went, and it's fascinating, instructive and entertaining. Ain't no way I'm going to be a self-sustaining gardener, and my deed restrictions won't let me have so much as a couple laying hens on the property even though we're pretty rural here, but I do favor the idea of knowing where our food comes from, being mindful of the seasonality of things, and understanding the true cost of those bananas and almonds and New Zealand lamb chops in the overall scheme of things. A criticism I sometimes hear of Kingsolver, is that she "gets preachy"...well, there's no doubt she has opinions and is proposing that things should change, but I never detected a self-righteous tone or got any sense that she felt she had the Solution for Mankind. When she points a finger, it is at Monsanto, not at individual consumers. She does not try to make us feel guilty for where we are, but offers a map for where we might go from here. She pokes fun at herself (there is a LOT of humor in this book), acknowledges that most people cannot do what she and her family did, admits to her failures, lets us in on HER guilty secrets (inability to function without Ziplock bags or live without coffee; constant presence of boxed mac & cheese in her pantry for one of her younger daughter's friends who simply would not eat anything else--"No child is going to starve on my watch"), and offers practical advice on how to make the changes you CAN make. She and her husband are both scientists, and the research offered in the book is impressive without being oppressive. Some of the data suggests that even small adaptations in the way we shop for food could make enormous differences in our dependence on agribusiness and fossil fuels over time, which in turn could improve our health, and the health of our planet. There are recipes, and sidebar essays written by her daughter, Camille, who at the time was studying biology at Duke. I checked to see whether Camille had written anything more, and found this update from HarperCollins Publishers: "Camille Kingsolver graduated from Duke University in 2009 and currently works in the mental health field. She is an active advocate for the local-food movement, doing public speaking for young adults of her own generation navigating food choices in a difficult economy. She lives in Asheville, N.C., and grows a vegetable garden in her front yard." The book includes a list of organizations that offer support for the local food/sustainability movement. Of the first 12 websites listed, only one link was defunct when I checked it, so the book remains a viable resource for current information on an important subject. Highly recommended.
review written in August 2015 Book published in 2007 ( )
1 vote laytonwoman3rd | Aug 28, 2015 |
I read this book as soon as it was published and this was before I joined Goodreads. I did not go back and add everything I read before joining, but I feel like I want people to know how much I liked this book. It was inspiring, informative and entertaining. Highly recommended! ( )
  TheresaCIncinnati | Aug 17, 2015 |
She's my friend. ( )
  jessicaofthebees | Aug 15, 2015 |
A surprisingly enjoyable read. ( )
  PiperUp | Aug 14, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Barbara Kingsolverprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hopp, Steven L.secondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kingsolver, Camillesecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Buchbinder, ClaireTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Daniel, HankPhotographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Houser, Richard A.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jiménez, NoeliaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Metsch, FritzDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Picture a single imaginary plant, bearing throughout one season all the different vegetables we harvest...we'll call it a vegetannual.
In memory of Jo Ellen
First words
This story about good food begins in a quick-stop convenience market.
If everything my heart desired was handed to me on a plate, I’d probably just want something else. (Camille Kingsolver)
We all cultivate illusions of safety that could fall away in the knife edge of one second.”
People who are grieving walk with death every waking moment. When the rest of us dread that we’ll somehow remind them of death’s existence, we are missing their reality.
Wake up now, look alive, for here is a day off work just to praise Creation: the turkey, the squash, and the corn, these things that ate and drank sunshine, grass, mud, and rain, and then in the shortening days laid down their lives for our welfare and onward resolve. There’s the miracle for you, the absolute sacrifice that still holds back seeds: a germ of promise to do the whole thing again, another time.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060852569, Paperback)

Author Barbara Kingsolver and her family abandoned the industrial-food pipeline to live a rural life—vowing that, for one year, they’d only buy food raised in their own neighborhood, grow it themselves, or learn to live without it. Part memoir, part journalistic investigation, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is an enthralling narrative that will open your eyes in a hundred new ways to an old truth: You are what you eat.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:42 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Follows the author's family's efforts to live on locally- and home-grown foods, an endeavor through which they learned lighthearted truths about food production and the connection between health and diet.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 11 descriptions

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