“Engaging…Absorbing…Lovely food writing…[Kingsolver] succeeds at adopting the warm tone of a confiding friend.”
“A profound, graceful, and literary work . . . Timeless. . . . It can change who you are.”
"Kingsolver beautifully describes this experience."
"Kingsolver dresses down the American food complex…These down-on-the-farm sections are inspiring and…compelling."
"Provocative . . . Kingsolver . . . evokes the sheer joy of producing one’s own food."
“Lessons learned in sustainability are worth feasting on-and taking to heart.”
“Provocative . . . Kingsolver . . . evokes the sheer joy of producing one’s own food.”
Chicago Tribune (on the audiobook)
“Wry, insightful and inspiring to anyone who yearns to work with the earth.”
“If you...buy...one book this summer, make it this one...As satisfying and complete as a down home supper.”
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“Equal parts folk wisdom and political activism . . . This family effort instructs as much as it entertains.”
“Charming . . . Literary magic . . . If you love the narrative voice of Barbara Kingsolver, you will be thrilled.”
“Loaded with terrific information about everything from growth hormones to farm subsidies.”
Raleigh News & Observer
“Full…of zest and sometimes ribald humor… Reading this book will make you hungry.”
Rocky Mountain News
“[Written] with passion and hope…This novelist paints a compelling big picture-broad and ambitious, with nary an extraneous stroke.”
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“Charming...and persuasive...Each season-and chapter-unfolds with a natural rhythm and mouth-watering appeal.”
St. Petersburg Times
“An impassioned, sensual, smart and witty narrative…Kinsolver is a master at leavening a serious message with humor.”
“ANIMAL, VEGETABLE, MIRACLE is a chronicle of food feats…I’m inclined to agree with most points Kingsolver makes.”
“Every bit as transporting as-and more ecologically relevant than-any “Year In Provence”-style escapism...Earthy...informative....[and] englightened.”
“Delectable . . . steeped in elegant prose and seasoned with smart morsels about the food industry.”
“Kingsolver dresses down the American food complex…These down-on-the-farm sections are inspiring and…compelling.”
“Anyone who read and appreciated THE OMNIVORE’S DILEMMA by Michael Pollan will want to read Barbara Kingsolver’s book.”
“[This] is a book that, without being preachy, makes a solid case for eating locally instead of globally.”
“Kingsolver, who writes evocatively about our connection to place, does so here with characteristic glowing prose. She provides the rapture.”
“Homespun, unassuming, informed, positive, inspiring. . . . Unstinting in its concerns about this imperiled planet.”
Los Angeles Times
“A lovely book. ”
“Kingsolver beautifully describes this experience.”
Washington Post Book World
“Charming, zestful, funny and poetic…a serious book about important problems.”
“[Kingsolver is] a master storyteller, and even those who’ve heard this tale before will be captivated.”
“I defy anyone to read this book and walk away from it without gaining at least the desire to change.”
Christian Science Monitor
“Kingsolver…adds enough texture and zest to stir wistful yearnings in all of us...[A] vicarious taste of domesticity.”
“Other notable writers have addressed this topic, but Kingsolver claims it as her own....Self-deprecating instead of self-righteous.”
“Faithful, funny, and thought-provoking...Readers-whether vegetarian or carnivore-will not go hungry, literally or literarily.”
The Oregonian (Portland)
“A terrific effort. The delight for readers…is the chance to experience the rediscovery of community through food.”
This is a serious book about important problems. Its concerns are real and urgent. It is clear, thoughtful, often amusing, passionate and appealing. It may give you a serious case of supermarket guilt, thinking of the energy footprint left by each out-of-season tomato, but you'll also find unexpected knowledge and gain the ability to make informed choices about what -- and how -- you're willing to eat.
The Washington Post
What is likely to win the most converts, though, is the joy Kingsolver takes in food. She isn’t just an ardent preserver, following the summertime canning rituals of her farming forebears. She’s also an ardent cook, and there’s some lovely food writing here.
The New York Times
In her engaging though sometimes preachy new book, Kingsolver recounts the year her family attempted to eat only what they could grow on their farm in Virginia or buy from local sources. The book's bulk, written and read by Kingsolver in a lightly twangy voice filled with wonder and enthusiasm, proceeds through the seasons via delightful stories about the history of their farmhouse, the exhausting bounty of the zucchini harvest, turkey chicks hatching and so on. In long sections, however, she gets on a soapbox about problems with industrial food production, fast food and Americans' ignorance of food's origins, and despite her obvious passion for the issues, the reading turns didactic and loses its pace, momentum and narrative. Her daughter Camille contributes recipes, meal plans and an enjoyable personal essay in a clear if rather monotonous voice. Hopp, Kingsolver's husband and an environmental studies professor, provides dry readings of the sidebars that have him playing "Dr. Scientist," as Kingsolver notes in an illuminating interview on the last disc. Though they may skip some of the more moralizing tracks, Kingsolver's fans and foodies alike will find this a charming, sometimes inspiring account of reconnecting with the food chain. Simultaneous release with the HarperCollins hardcover (Reviews, Mar. 26). (May)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
What happens when the beloved novelist and her family decide to settle in southern Appalachia and eat only food that's available locally. With a 12-city tour; one-day -laydown. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Adult/High School -This book chronicles the year that Barbara Kingsolver, along with her husband and two daughters, made a commitment to become locavores-those who eat only locally grown foods. This first entailed a move away from their home in non-food-producing Tuscon to a family farm in Virginia, where they got right down to the business of growing and raising their own food and supporting local farmers. For teens who grew up on supermarket offerings, the notion not only of growing one's own produce but also of harvesting one's own poultry was as foreign as the concept that different foods relate to different seasons. While the volume begins as an environmental treatise-the oil consumption related to transporting foodstuffs around the world is enormous-it ends, as the year ends, in a celebration of the food that physically nourishes even as the recipes and the memories of cooks and gardeners past nourish our hearts and souls. Although the book maintains that eating well is not a class issue, discussions of heirloom breeds and making cheese at home may strike some as high-flown; however, those looking for healthful alternatives to processed foods will find inspiration to seek out farmers' markets and to learn to cook and enjoy seasonal foods. Give this title to budding Martha Stewarts, green-leaning fans of Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth (Rodale, 2006), and kids outraged by Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation (Houghton, 2001).-Jenny Gasset, Orange County Public Library, CA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
With some assistance from her husband, Steven, and 19-year-old daughter, Camille, Kingsolver (Prodigal Summer, 2000, etc.) elegantly chronicles a year of back-to-the-land living with her family in Appalachia. After three years of drought, the author decamped from her longtime home in Arizona and set out with Steven, Camille and younger daughter Lily to inhabit fulltime his family's farm in Virginia. Their aim, she notes, was to "live in a place that could feed us," to grow their own food and join the increasingly potent movement led by organic growers and small exurban food producers. Kingsolver wants to know where her food is coming from: Her diary records her attempts to consume only those items grown locally and in season while eschewing foods that require the use of fossil fuels for transport, fertilizing and processing. (In one of biologist Steven's terrific sidebars, "Oily Food," he notes that 17 percent of the nation's energy is consumed by agriculture.) From her vegetable patch, Kingsolver discovered nifty ways to use plentiful available produce such as asparagus, rhubarb, wild mushrooms, honey, zucchini, pumpkins and tomatoes; she also spent a lot of time canning summer foods for winter. The family learned how to make cheese, visited organic farms and a working family farm in Tuscany, even grew and killed their own meat. "I'm unimpressed by arguments that condemn animal harvest," writes Kingsolver, "while ignoring, wholesale, the animal killing that underwrites vegetal foods." Elsewhere, Steven explores business topics such as the good economics of going organic; the losing battle in the use of pesticides; the importance of a restructured Farm Bill; mad cow disease; and fairtrade. Camille, meanwhile, offers anecdotes and recipes. Readers frustrated with the unhealthy, artificial food chain will take heart and inspiration here.