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Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life (P.S.)

by and and

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life (P.S.) Cover

ISBN13: 9780060852566
ISBN10: 0060852569
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

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Staff Pick

After 25 years in the Arizona desert, in 2004, Kentucky-bred Barbara Kingsolver moved back to the Appalachians, to a Virginia farm just hours from her childhood home. Family called. "Returning," she explains in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, "would allow my kids more than just a hit-and-run, holiday acquaintance with grandparents and cousins."

But Kingsolver adds, "There is another reason the move felt right to us, and it's the purview of this book. We wanted to live in a place that could feed us: where rain falls, crops grow, and drinking water bubbles right up out of the ground."

The typical food in an American supermarket has traveled considerably farther than some people do in a year of vacations. Consider the impact of those miles on fuel consumption, or the effect that chemical preservatives and industrial processing have on our health, not to mention what this long haul paradigm does to local economies and to our grasp of what food really costs, what food is.

For one year, the author's family pledged to eat only what it could procure from within an hour of its home. Meats, vegetables, grains, you name it.

After eleven previous books — bestselling novels, short stories, essays, and even a volume of poetry — Animal, Vegetable, Miracle marks yet another departure for Kingsolver. Her first full-length nonfiction narrative, and it's a family project besides. Husband Steven Hopp contributes informative sidebars that supplement Kingsolver's narrative and point out sources of additional information. Daughter Camille pens a short personal essay at the end of each chapter, offering seasonal recipes and weekly meal plans. Third-grade Lily starts an egg and poultry business.

"As we come around to being more mindful of our carbon footprint, being more thoughtful about the fuel we use as consumers, food is a natural place to begin," Kingsolver explained a week before publication. "Food is the rare moral arena in which the choice that's best for the world and best for your community is also the best on your table."
Recommended by Dave, Powells.com

Review-A-Day

"This may sound like a pretty crunchy read — either a frivolous ecofantasy or an uncomfortable scold aimed at those of us unable or unwilling to raise chickens in our backyards. But rest assured, it's neither. This is largely an informational book, short on plot, and don't expect any deep insights into the Kingsolver-Hopp family. Yet Kingsolver...adds enough texture and zest to stir wistful yearnings in all of us who have 'lost the soul of cooking from [our] routines.'" Marjorie Kehe, The Christian Science Monitor (read the entire CSM review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Bestselling author Barbara Kingsolver returns with her first nonfiction narrative that will open your eyes in a hundred new ways to an old truth: You are what you eat.

"As the U.S. population made an unprecedented mad dash for the Sun Belt, one carload of us paddled against the tide, heading for the Promised Land where water falls from the sky and green stuff grows all around. We were about to begin the adventure of realigning our lives with our food chain.

"Naturally, our first stop was to buy junk food and fossil fuel...."

Hang on for the ride: With characteristic poetry and pluck, Barbara Kingsolver and her family sweep readers along on their journey away from the industrial-food pipeline to a rural life in which they vow to buy only food raised in their own neighborhood, grow it themselves, or learn to live without it. Their good-humored search yields surprising discoveries about turkey sex life and overly zealous zucchini plants, en route to a food culture that's better for the neighborhood and also better on the table. Part memoir, 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. "This is the story of a year in which we made every attempt to feed ourselves animals and vegetables whose provenance we really knew . . . and of how our family was changed by our first year of deliberately eating food produced from the same place where we worked, went to school, loved our neighbors, drank the water, and breathed the air."

Review:

"If you've ever been lucky enough to eat a tomato in the middle of summer, while it's still warm from the sun, if you've seen a farmer's market filled with fresh produce and happy people, if you've stopped at a farm stand, even (or especially) if it's just a table at the side of the road, you know the difference between the taste of real food and what's sold at the grocery store. But advocates of locally... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"Kingsolver's passionate new tome records in detail a year lived in sync with the season's ebb and flow....Writing with her usual sharp eye for irony, she urges readers to follow her example..." Booklist

Review:

"With...assistance from her husband, Steven, and 19-year-old daughter, Camille, Kingsolver elegantly chronicles a year of back-to-the-land living with her family in Appalachia....Readers frustrated with the unhealthy, artificial food chain will take heart and inspiration here." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"[Kingsolver] has now written a big-hearted, tough-minded account of her family's decision 'to step off the nonsustainable food grid.'...." Cleveland Plain Dealer

Review:

"The book springs to life when Ms. Kingsolver describes special food events, such as growing and eating their own miraculous asparagus." Dallas Morning News

Review:

"[P]art memoir...part call to action, part education, part recipe collection....Animal, Vegetable, Miracle makes an important contribution to the chorus of voices calling for change." Chicago Tribune

Review:

"If you are what you eat, then surely you are also what you read, and so this book offers real nourishment for the soul." San Francisco Chronicle

Review:

"This is largely an informational book....Yet Kingsolver...adds enough texture and zest to stir wistful yearnings in all of us who have 'lost the soul of cooking from [our] routines.'" Christian Science Monitor

Synopsis:

Author Barbara Kingsolver and her family abandoned the industrial-food pipeline to live a rural life—vowing that, for one year, theyd 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.

About the Author

Barbara Kingsolver's twelve books of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction include the novels The Bean Trees and The Poisonwood Bible. Translated into nineteen languages, her work has won a devoted worldwide readership and many awards, including the National Humanities Medal. Her most recent book is the highly praised, New York Times bestselling Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, published in May 2007. She lives with her family on a farm in southwestern Virginia.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 21 comments:

Frenchie, January 14, 2013 (view all comments by Frenchie)
Barbara Kingsolver is one of my favorite authors. She speaks to the consciousness we all share.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(2 of 5 readers found this comment helpful)
RSR, January 2, 2013 (view all comments by RSR)
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle inspired me to change how I relate to food and I have tailored my diet in a way that is much healthier for me and the planet. Not only was it informative and interesting, but also included entertaining stories of the trials of growing your own food as wells as the many rewards.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(4 of 9 readers found this comment helpful)
Rachel Oftedahl, August 4, 2012 (view all comments by Rachel Oftedahl)
Barbara Kingsolver has to be my favorite author, hands down, both fiction and non-fiction. Her book of essays "Small Wonders" fueled my interest in sustainable food and mindful thought about where the things on my plate come from, and this book just cranked that into overdrive. While I do not have a farm, or even a yard, being a city dweller in a small apartment, I started making my own yogurt after this book. Never went back. I shared this book with my mother (well, I bought her a copy of her very own so I could be selfish with mine,) and now she is starting to make cheese. Read this book, and then I dare you to not make your own cultured or fermented dairy product or grow a garden. Go on.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(6 of 13 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 21 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780060852566
Author:
Barbara Kingsolver and Steven L. Hopp and Camille Kingsolver
Publisher:
Harper Perennial
With:
Hopp, Steven L.
Illustrator:
Houser, Richard A.
Author:
Hopp, Steven L.
Author:
by Barbara Kingsolver and Camille Kingsolver
Author:
Kingsolver, Camille
Author:
Kingsolver, Barbara
Author:
by Barbara Kingsolver and Camille Kingsolver
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Biography - General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade PB
Series:
P.S.
Publication Date:
20080431
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
, Y
Pages:
400
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 0.93 in 15.04 oz

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Related Subjects


Biography » General
Biography » Literary
Cooking and Food » Food Writing » Gastronomic Literature
Cooking and Food » Food Writing » General
Cooking and Food » Sustainable Cooking
Featured Titles » General
Featured Titles » Literature
Featured Titles » Staff Picks
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Home and Garden » Gardening » Organic Gardening
Home and Garden » Sustainable Living » Food
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » Food and Famine

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life (P.S.) Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$10.95 In Stock
Product details 400 pages Harper Perennial - English 9780060852566 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

After 25 years in the Arizona desert, in 2004, Kentucky-bred Barbara Kingsolver moved back to the Appalachians, to a Virginia farm just hours from her childhood home. Family called. "Returning," she explains in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, "would allow my kids more than just a hit-and-run, holiday acquaintance with grandparents and cousins."

But Kingsolver adds, "There is another reason the move felt right to us, and it's the purview of this book. We wanted to live in a place that could feed us: where rain falls, crops grow, and drinking water bubbles right up out of the ground."

The typical food in an American supermarket has traveled considerably farther than some people do in a year of vacations. Consider the impact of those miles on fuel consumption, or the effect that chemical preservatives and industrial processing have on our health, not to mention what this long haul paradigm does to local economies and to our grasp of what food really costs, what food is.

For one year, the author's family pledged to eat only what it could procure from within an hour of its home. Meats, vegetables, grains, you name it.

After eleven previous books — bestselling novels, short stories, essays, and even a volume of poetry — Animal, Vegetable, Miracle marks yet another departure for Kingsolver. Her first full-length nonfiction narrative, and it's a family project besides. Husband Steven Hopp contributes informative sidebars that supplement Kingsolver's narrative and point out sources of additional information. Daughter Camille pens a short personal essay at the end of each chapter, offering seasonal recipes and weekly meal plans. Third-grade Lily starts an egg and poultry business.

"As we come around to being more mindful of our carbon footprint, being more thoughtful about the fuel we use as consumers, food is a natural place to begin," Kingsolver explained a week before publication. "Food is the rare moral arena in which the choice that's best for the world and best for your community is also the best on your table."

"Review A Day" by , "This may sound like a pretty crunchy read — either a frivolous ecofantasy or an uncomfortable scold aimed at those of us unable or unwilling to raise chickens in our backyards. But rest assured, it's neither. This is largely an informational book, short on plot, and don't expect any deep insights into the Kingsolver-Hopp family. Yet Kingsolver...adds enough texture and zest to stir wistful yearnings in all of us who have 'lost the soul of cooking from [our] routines.'" (read the entire CSM review)
"Review" by , "Kingsolver's passionate new tome records in detail a year lived in sync with the season's ebb and flow....Writing with her usual sharp eye for irony, she urges readers to follow her example..."
"Review" by , "With...assistance from her husband, Steven, and 19-year-old daughter, Camille, Kingsolver elegantly chronicles a year of back-to-the-land living with her family in Appalachia....Readers frustrated with the unhealthy, artificial food chain will take heart and inspiration here."
"Review" by , "[Kingsolver] has now written a big-hearted, tough-minded account of her family's decision 'to step off the nonsustainable food grid.'...."
"Review" by , "The book springs to life when Ms. Kingsolver describes special food events, such as growing and eating their own miraculous asparagus."
"Review" by , "[P]art memoir...part call to action, part education, part recipe collection....Animal, Vegetable, Miracle makes an important contribution to the chorus of voices calling for change."
"Review" by , "If you are what you eat, then surely you are also what you read, and so this book offers real nourishment for the soul."
"Review" by , "This is largely an informational book....Yet Kingsolver...adds enough texture and zest to stir wistful yearnings in all of us who have 'lost the soul of cooking from [our] routines.'"
"Synopsis" by , Author Barbara Kingsolver and her family abandoned the industrial-food pipeline to live a rural life—vowing that, for one year, theyd 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.
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