Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Review: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

Author: Barbara Kingsolver
Format: 14 hrs audio, 400 pages equivalent
Subject: local organic farming
Setting: rural western Virginia
Genre: memoir
Source: Overdrive audio download from public library
Challenge: Support your local library, Audio Books

One of the few "year of this and that" books I really enjoyed. Kingsolver's family decides to live off the local area for all food for a year. They raise turkeys/chickens, bake bread, grow vegetables and fruit and gather anything they don't produce from local farmers markets and sources no more than 100 miles away.

They agonize over buying some items not locally produced - coffee, olive oil, flour, spices.  They debate whether to take a vacation when crops must be tended and chickens fed and watered.  The text is actually written not only by Kingsolver, but by her husband Stephen Hopp who gives us short 'articles' full of statistics and facts about the entire industrial agriculture empire in the world, and by her daughter  Camille, who left in the middle of this year of eating locally to attend college and try to implement the lifestyle on campus.  Her essays on various recipes and nutrition add quite a bit to the story.

The audio was read by the author, and I was engaged from the beginning. By the end, when we get quite a detailed lesson in the sex life of turkeys, I was rolling on the floor laughing, but came away with great admiration for this dedicated and loving family.


  1. I love memoirs and I think I'd like this book. What I can't figure out is how you do all that work and still have time to write. I'm just not that energetic.

  2. I've been wanting to read this book. Everyone that has read it has seemed to enjoy it...great review.


Welcome, thanks for stopping by. Now that you've heard our two cents, perhaps you have a few pennies to throw into the discussion. Due to a bunch more anonymous spam getting through, I've had to disallow anonymous comments. I try to respond to all comments posing a question, but may not always get to you right away.