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Jul 11, 2008 08:10 AM

Animal Vegetable Miracle

If anyone is into food related literature I would highly suggest Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingslover (she has written fiction books also such as The Poison Wood Bible).

This non fiction book is about a year of her and her family being self sufficent and living off the land at their newly acquired VA farm.

Ok sounds a little boring to some? Me too. However by the time I was into Chapter 4 I was enthralled by it. It focuses on the Slow Food Movement, food economics, seasonal items (what and when), and the current state of food here in America. It also includes great tibits from her daughter and recipes.

I live in NYC and was not on the organice, local, seasonal band wagon because I deemed the slightly high prices to much. After reading this book I honestly look at food a totally different way.

Check it out! Was a NYT bestseller so it's not just me who thinks its great!

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  1. I second that! I believe both foodies and non-foodies who appreciate humorous and informative writing will like it too! As an added bonus I learned tons about the amount of work it takes to grow things. It definitely brought things into perspective when I visit the farmers market!

    1. I really enjoyed it too. She gets a few of the scientific facts wrong but overall it was a very inspiring read - even for someone already on the bandwagon.

      1. I loved Poisonwood Bible (except for the final part, which was a bit of a mess, I thought) and think Kingsolver is a wonderful, descriptive writer. I've been on the waiting list at my library for months for Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. I've been told I'm "next" on the library waiting list for the book. Hurray! I can't wait.


        3 Replies
        1. re: The Dairy Queen

          I hate to say it, but I returned my copy of AVM to the library after 5-6 chapters. Even though I agree with many of the points she makes in the book, I found her tone too preachy and self-congratulatory . Otherwise, Kingsolver's writng (great imagery) is wonderful as always, but the daughter's, not so much. She's a perfectly acceptable writer for her age, I'm sure, but her viewpoint wasn't interesting to me. The husband's writing was fine, but very fact-based, so, quite dry. I have so many books on my list to read, when I realized I was just power-reading this one to have it over with, I decided to return it.


          1. re: The Dairy Queen

            I'm glad I'm not the only one who felt a bit this way. I'm on chapter 3 and there have been a couple of times I've had to put the book down because I was irritated by the preachy tone of the writing. That said, I grew up in a household where we grew our own vegetables so I already know how potatoes and asparagus are grown - I'm probably not be the main audience she is targeting with those explanations. I do agree with her basic philosophy and admire what they've done. I plan to finish the book but so far it hasn't been one that I can't put down and read through in a day.

            1. re: ms. clicquot

              I totally agree with the thoughts on her being preachy/ self rightous at times. I even found her to be holier then thou on some of her thoughts. I also felt that way but still enjoyed it. I did find parts to be slow and actually didn't enjoy the book that much until I was almost done with it. I found it to me interesting if nothing else bc it made me re-evaluate somethings. I also hate to admit I've never even grown a tomatoe so that could have something to do with it.

              In the past I haven't bought organic, all natural, free range, antibiotic free, or anything else of the sort because I do notice a big price difference (sometimes). Although my habits have changed am I the only one that seems a big price difference?

        2. I heard her speak on Krista Tippet's Speaking of Faith on Minnesota Public Radio.


          Very interesting.

          1 Reply
          1. re: type2runner

            Neat! I think I was doing too much multi-tasking with my computer, as it started to play but now just spins endlessly. But, I will have to come back and listen to this audio when I have more time--it's almost an hour long!

            Thanks for the link.


          2. I also really enjoyed this book and it got me thinking a lot about the food purchasing practices in our household. And it doesn't hurrt that she's a great writer.