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Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

14 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

Don't miss this life-changing book

How can a memoir about food possibly be so enthralling, so inspiring? This is a book for every American. It is a key component to a more sustainable and responsible future, to living more in sync with our planet. I have made subtle changes in my diet over the years, try...
How can a memoir about food possibly be so enthralling, so inspiring? This is a book for every American. It is a key component to a more sustainable and responsible future, to living more in sync with our planet. I have made subtle changes in my diet over the years, trying to "eat right," but this book was the nudge I needed to go all the way. You will laugh about turkey sex and cry over poor farm children (and swear at the agribusiness conglomerates). Don't miss this life-changing book co-written by Barbara Kingsolver (my favorite author), her husband Steven Hopp (who adds thought-provoking inserts), and her daughter Camille Kingsolver (whose brief narratives and recipes left me begging for more).

posted by Ed-Philosopher on December 19, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

24 out of 42 people found this review helpful.

Waste of my time

When referring to organic produce, the author asks who put the sanctimony into the phrase organic. If she has read her own book it should be crystal clear that it was none other than herself. Sanctimonious perfectly describes almost the entire book, Animal, Vegetable, M...
When referring to organic produce, the author asks who put the sanctimony into the phrase organic. If she has read her own book it should be crystal clear that it was none other than herself. Sanctimonious perfectly describes almost the entire book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. I say almost, because the portions added by her daughter and husband are actually informative and enjoyable. The book must not be aimed at the American consumers to which it would be sold, because the author does not have one nice thing to say about her fellow Americans. She has even trained her younger daughter to deny her American heritage by saying that she is American, but not really. You can¿t possibly hope to influence people¿s attitudes by attacking them and then explaining why you are so much better, and this is what Kingsolver tries to do. The sad thing is that she even attacks like-minded people. She criticizes a ¿starlet¿ for wanting to save farm animals, saying that her logic is flawed. Then the author proceeds to say that dairy cows are bred to produce milk and cannot live without being milked. She should check out her facts before ridiculing someone else for getting them wrong. If a milking cow is not milked, the milk will eventually stop being produced, just like it does for us humans. For large-scale dairy farming, the cow could be milked less and less until the milk dries up. So it is pretty ridiculous to giggle about the starlet¿s stupidity and then say something really stupid herself. Ms. Kingsolver repeats over and over in the book that America has no food culture. This is totally untrue. America is a melting pot and has the richest food culture of anywhere else. America absorbed peoples from every nationality and their food cultures along with them. She also avows that the French sample McDonalds, but they don¿t really eat there. I hate to break it to her, but there are McDonalds restaurants in almost every European city, and if you want to buy a burger there you will have to wait in line. France is no different. The lines are always nearly out the door. I live in a European city with a population of only about 100,000 people, and there are no less than 4 McDonald¿s here. They are never empty. Ever. It was difficult for me to get all the way through the book. Most of the factual material was no news to me, and I think the book was a big waste of my time.

posted by Anonymous on February 8, 2008

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  • Posted October 8, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    The DIY Diet

    A book that will change the way you eat. And the way you think about turkeys.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Just not the book for me.

    I have read Barbara Kingsolver before and absolutely LOVED her writing; however, our book club chose this book, and I could barely make it through the first four chapters. I felt so guilty as I sat there eating my Smartfood popcorn reading about how I am contributing to Global Warming and other ills of society. I certainly admire Ms Kingsolver and her family's dedication, and Barbara's writing style is as beautiful as ever, it's just that my personal reaction was difficult to overcome and I could not get lost in the book. A wonderful read for someone who is thinking of sustaining themselves on the fruits of their labor (I should note that the Kingsolver's neighbors also provided some of their necessities as well, but that they spurned anything that was mass produced and thus had to be shipped in from different parts of the country). Please try reading "The Bean Trees" before you give up on Barbara Kingsolver. She has the ability to captivate me, move me and leave me with a literature masterpiece that will live in my soul for some time to come.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 29, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is an okay read. It has alot of inter

    Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is an okay read. It has alot of interesting information about choosing eggs and turkey sex. However, some of the information is presented in a dry manner. I liked the chapters about raising chickens, turkeys, and cheeses the most. The chapter about pumpkins is good as well. I guess I am just not a farmer. Therefore, parts of this book are hard to read. I didn't not need to learn that much about asparagus or cherries. I give this book an A for effort and a C mins for execution.

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  • Posted May 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Interesting

    Loved the parts that talked about what her and her family were growing and eating. Especially enjoyed the parts where they were cooking. I wish there was more of that and less of the data and hard facts. I get that they help to make the point, but I found those sections very dry.

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  • Posted February 16, 2009

    Informative but somewhat redundant

    Kingsolver takes on a great responsibility of running a small farm and writing, while still bringing up her children. However, I have heard her arguments before. I don't think she is going to have a mass movement on organically grown local food for a while. I certainly don't see any in my area. Also, the people that should read this book, don't. So, I hope we have more people in support of the local farms, but I don't think it will happen for a while. Good recipes though.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2009

    This book was chosen as recommended by a Women's Book Club. The subject was uninteresting to me. Others in the club enjoyed it as intelleactually stimulating.

    I didn't finish this book because it wasn't interesting to me. Perhaps if I were younger & interested in growing my own food it would have inspired me. Instead, I felt it read as facts rather than an interesting story.

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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