Author Topic: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver  (Read 786 times)

Stachey

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Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
« on: December 28, 2016, 10:38:28 AM »
Barbara Kingsolver's "Poisonwood Bible" was such a good work of fiction but she has also written non-fiction and I highly recommend "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle"

It chronicles the first year that her and her family set out to be self sufficient by growing or raising all their own food.  If you are at all interested in homesteading or gardening or just the environment in general, this is a very good read.

It's hilariously funny in some parts (the turkeys...holy crap who knew?) while in other parts of the book it really highlights major problems (like the decline of family farms and how that will affect all of us).   
Overall it is very informative and a wonderful book.

Libertea

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Re: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2016, 07:14:18 PM »
Posting to second this recommendation and to put in a plug for all of Barbara Kingsolver's fiction as well.  If you liked The Poisonwood Bible, don't stop there.  Flight Behavior is excellent as well and was actually the first book of hers I read.  Liked it so much that I went on to read all of the rest of her books, including Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.  My favorite though is The Lacuna.  Highly, highly recommend.

Stachey

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Re: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2016, 07:48:21 PM »
Cheers Libertea!  I have to request The Lacuna from the library.

A friend is presently reading Prodigal Summer and said I could read it after her.  It's taking a lot of willpower not to keep asking "Are you finished yet? Are you finished yet?"

Libertea

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Re: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2016, 09:15:55 AM »
The Lacuna is amazing; you're going to love it.  You should request Flight Behavior too.  I wound up buying a copy of that one for my mom since it deals with, among other topics, family relationships.  If you are still looking for more books after finishing all of Kingsolver's, check out Joanne Harris's Five Quarters of the Orange.  Or Chocolat. 

We should start a women's epic novel book club.  :-D

SisterX

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Re: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2016, 10:09:07 AM »
The Lacuna is amazing; you're going to love it.  You should request Flight Behavior too.  I wound up buying a copy of that one for my mom since it deals with, among other topics, family relationships.  If you are still looking for more books after finishing all of Kingsolver's, check out Joanne Harris's Five Quarters of the Orange.  Or Chocolat. 

We should start a women's epic novel book club.  :-D

Thanks for the recommendations! I've read "Poisonwood Bible" and "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" and loved both of them. I think my favorite part of PB was the fact that the father character, while getting to make all the decisions regarding the family, has no voice in the novel itself. That was beautifully done.

And AVM helped get me motivated when I was just starting to garden and has really shaped the way I shop for food. For the better.

I'll try to think of some good, similar recommendations. But most of my books are packed away, and I have a much easier time of it when I can browse the covers/titles rather than going on memory.

Stachey

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Re: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2016, 10:24:51 AM »
The Lacuna is amazing; you're going to love it.  You should request Flight Behavior too.  I wound up buying a copy of that one for my mom since it deals with, among other topics, family relationships.  If you are still looking for more books after finishing all of Kingsolver's, check out Joanne Harris's Five Quarters of the Orange.  Or Chocolat. 

We should start a women's epic novel book club.  :-D

Oh I like this idea.

I really liked "Away" by Jane Urquhart
and "My Antonia" by Willa Cather 

That's off the top of my head.  I have to think of some more.

Libertea

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Re: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2016, 06:43:04 AM »
I haven't read Away, but thanks for the suggestion; I'll add it to my To-Read list.  Agree with you about My Antonia.  Also want to suggest The Night Circus by Morgenstern if you haven't read that one.  Phenomenal book.  And if we're including classics, we should also really include To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.  Though for anyone who's grown up in the US, you've probably already read it at least once in school.  (FWIW, her recently published sequel Go Set a Watchman is not nearly as good.  Very disappointing.)  I'm also a fan of Fannie Flagg (of Fried Green Tomatoes fame) and Jodi Piccoult.  If you liked the movie based on Fried Green Tomatoes, you should read the book too.  The books are always better than the movies....but I think Flagg's best book is The All Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion.

Should we maybe start a new thread for this?  And do you two want to pick a book to read together to discuss each month?  I think we've already got enough suggestions for at least the first couple of years.  Heh.

jengod

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Re: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2017, 12:45:54 AM »
Just wanted to vouch for "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle." One of the most readable books ever, and such inspiration. "What part of a potato comes...up?" And the egg-sale project. And the recipes. And the weeding. And cheese-making class. It's all wonderful.

Another book in a somewhat similar vein is Farm City by Novella Carpenter, about raising pigs and rabbits and more in a bad part of Oakland, California.
Waste is lost profit made visible. #zerowastehome #permaculture

SisterX

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Re: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2017, 11:18:07 AM »
Just wanted to vouch for "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle." One of the most readable books ever, and such inspiration. "What part of a potato comes...up?" And the egg-sale project. And the recipes. And the weeding. And cheese-making class. It's all wonderful.

Another book in a somewhat similar vein is Farm City by Novella Carpenter, about raising pigs and rabbits and more in a bad part of Oakland, California.

Ooh, Farm City was also really good. I gotta say, she made the idea of raising pigs sound very unappealing. I'd always thought that the worst part would be knowing that you're killing and eating a very intelligent creature at the end of it. She said that hers got so large, though, that not only was it a ton of work to feed them (from restaurant scraps they scrounged) but they were also quite frightening to go near because they could have taken her down at any time.

I still want city chickens, though. So much.

Moonwaves

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Re: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2017, 07:05:30 AM »
I was just thinking yesterday that I might re-read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle for a bit of positivity in a world that feels increasingly like it's gone mad. I find it really inspiring. For those interested in the topic another one that comes to mind is Gary Nabhan's Coming Home to Eat: The Pleasures and Politics of Local Foods. It's from 2001 (how can that be 16 years ago already!!!) and I'd heard about it but didn't read it until a year or so ago. What I found interesting is the difference between Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, which starts with her leaving Arizona for a more temperate climate and easier-to-live-from-the-land location, and Gary Nabhan's book dealing with the same issue (a year of eating locally) in Arizona. It was really interesting, in large part because so much of it was far less relatable to me than Kingsolver's book. Actually, since I couldn't remember the name of his book, I looked it up on his website and now have loads more books to add to my list - he writes about some interesting stuff.