Author: Barbara Kingsolver
Publish date: 2007
"Author Barbara Kingsolver and her family abandoned the industrial-food pipeline to live a rural life—vowing that, for one year, they'd only buy food raised in their own neighborhood, grow it themselves, or learn to live without it. Part memoir, part journalistic investigation, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is an enthralling narrative that will open your eyes in a hundred new ways to an old truth: You are what you eat." (Goodreads)
I bought this book at a used bookstore, along with two of Kingsolver's other books, The Poisonwood Bible and Prodigal Summer. I bought them knowing I would read them someday, that proverbial time in the future when I would feel the need to read literature. I forgot about Animal, Vegetable, Miracle until my coworker started talking about it one day and I thought, I just planted a garden and am very interested in sustainable eating habits...time to check this one out. SO GLAD that I did!
The first thing I noticed is that Barbara Kingsolver is a funny lady. I was cracking up from the first chapter to the end and really enjoyed her quiet, intelligent sense of humor. The humor really helped remind me that she and her family are normal people with their quirks, not just a family lucky enough to be able to eat locally. I especially enjoyed her younger daughter Lily's remarks about that year.
I think that this book could be construed as "preachy" if read a certain way. I didn't read it that way and instead enjoyed it as an account of the family's year of eating locally. The family is able to do many things that I can't do, like raise animals or afford only organic food, but that didn't bother me. This book was just a testament to the fact that there are things I CAN do to help support the local economy and eat healthily. I also liked that there are recipes sprinkled throughout the book; I will definitely be trying them this summer, hopefully with food grown from my garden! Maybe someday you'll read a book about me trying to eat locally ;)
I would definitely recommend this if you are looking for an interesting account of food culture. I really liked it and will be keeping it close by this summer!