Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

  • by Barbara Kingsolver
  • Narrated by Barbara Kingsolver, Steven L. Hopp, Camille Kingsolver
  • 14 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

When Barbara Kingsolver and her family move from suburban Arizona to rural Appalachia, they take on a new challenge: to spend a year on a locally-produced diet, paying close attention to the provenance of all they consume. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle follows the family through the first year of their experiment. They find themselves eager to move away from the typical food scenario of American families: a refrigerator packed with processed, factory-farmed foods transported long distances using nonrenewable fuels. In their search for another way to eat and live, they begin to recover what Kingsolver considers our nation's lost appreciation for farms and the natural processes of food production. Americans spend less of their income on food than has any culture in the history of the world, but they pay dearly in other ways: losing the flavors, diversity, and creative food cultures of earlier times. The environmental costs are also high, and the nutritional sacrifice is undeniable: on our modern industrial food supply, Americans are now raising the first generation of children to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents. Part memoir and 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.


What the Critics Say

"Kingsolver has the ear of a journalist and the accuracy of a naturalist." (Publishers Weekly)


See More Like This

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

mixed feelings

I think I agree with other reviews that this particular book might be best left to print rather than spoken word.

I already knew I liked Barbara Kingsolver's books and her particular viewpoint resonates with me. Her knowledgeable and thoughtful observations were well-stated but not dry. She skillfully and lyrically describes the wonder of watching vegetables and animals grow and ponders the ethics and traditions of our food choices. And EATING! The descriptions of mouth-watering meals made me hungry!

I personally didn't respond to the contributions of her husband and daughter in this audiobook. I thought their voices interrupted the narrative and imagine that in the printed text these are sidebars - extras that could be skipped over if you already "got it" that you should only buy fair-trade coffee and that meat from supermarkets is from mistreated animals. There is a preachiness here that even I found tedious as much as I might be in agreement with the POV.

I think this book could have stood a lot of editing and found it difficult to finish, even though I appreciated the insight into her family's 'experiment'.
Read full review

- pterion

Bringing Pause to What We Eat

Since reading this book I can't reach for a pepper at the grocery store without wondering where it came from, how many miles it traveled, or how it was grown. In fact, I only buy my produce from my local farmer's market and am learning to eat seasonally. How and what I eat hasn't been the same since finishing this book - Barbara Kingsolver invites an intellectual conversation back into the American diet, after decades of forfeiting our knowledge about what's in our food over to the food processing plants and agricultural system. In our hustling bustling lives of today we must learn to take pause and give more thought to what gets us through day by day - our food. This book is a great way to stimulate how you think about what you eat and your relationship with food. Kingsolver's self narration of her book is charming and one of the best I've heard. If you enjoyed Michael Pollen's "The Omnivore's Dilemma" you'll love this book even more.
Read full review

- Niki

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-25-2007
  • Publisher: HarperAudio