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Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: Our Year of Seasonal Eating [Paperback]

Barbara Kingsolver
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
RRP: 10.99
Price: 7.69 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

3 April 2008
Barbara Kingsolver opens her home to us, as she and her family attempt a year of eating only local food, much of it from their own garden. With characteristic warmth, Kingsolver shows us how to put food back at the centre of the political and family agenda. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is part memoir, part journalistic investigation, and is full of original recipes.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber (3 April 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571233570
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571233571
  • Product Dimensions: 2.1 x 12.6 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 36,023 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Barbara Kingsolver was born in 1955 and grew up in eastern Kentucky. Her books include poetry, non-fiction and award-winning fiction, and in 1999 she was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for The Poisonwood Bible (recently voted Britain's favourite reading group book). She lives with her husband and daughter in southern Arizona and in the mountains of southern Appalachia.

Product Description


'A beautifully written plea for a return to authenticity in eating and food production.' -- Irish Times

'Kingsolver returns again and again to subjects such as food miles and the use of pesticides, and on these occasions her folksy humour turns into something much more polemical.' -- Sunday Times

'This is a rich, rewarding book.' -- The Times

Book Description

A year in the life of bestselling novelist and her family as they try to eat local, grow their own, and reduce their ecological footprint.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring 3 Sep 2007
I've never felt moved enough to review a book before but this one is outstanding. It's such a wonderful mix of fact, story-telling and delicious recipes that you can't fail to find something to interest you. The story had me gripped all the way, and I'll never look at a turkey quite the same way again! I'll be making a far greater effort to shop locally from now on. I'm already finding myself rather overwhelmed and slightly horrified by a trip to Tesco. Be warned, once you start on this your life is going to change :-)
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Local is possible 4 July 2007
What a delightful book this is! It is about food, of course, but also about much more. Kingsolver very skilfully combines an entertaining memoir of her family's year of living on local provisions, mostly home grown on their farm in southern Appalachia, with humorous and serious reflections on rural life, the food industry, the environment, health and local farmers' economics. Given her science background and success as a fiction writer, she is best placed to captivate her audiences.

Roughly following a monthly rhythm, we learn what crops to plant and when, how to mix and match what grows best together in the fields and how to deal with the vegetable abundance at one time or another. She shares the ups and downs of yearlong fieldwork in a personal and charming way that even non-gardeners will enjoy the walk. There are birds to observe, chickens to raise and Bourbon Red heritage turkeys to nurture without being adopted as the mother hen. Kingsolver and her family literally dig in to realize the growing plans they had made to ensure feeding themselves throughout the year. The periods of abundance when canning and drying and other methods of preservation become essential, are followed by less rich harvest when they have to rely on the pantry and eat what they have saved. For one month the kitchen may be covered in red: it's tomato season, another one in green when the surplus of zucchini results in experimenting with daily new recipes. Daughter Camille brings to book and the table a delightful range of easy to follow recipes that celebrate the fresh produce from their garden and fields. She also adds her own personal touch with reflections of a young person experience on family life on a farm. Friends, neighbours and the local farmers' market play an important role in any hobby farmer's life.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FAB BUT BUY THE HARDBACK ! 15 April 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Excellent, informative book - very good at explaining scientific backgounds to issues. (Kingsolver and husband are both scientists.) Not what I was expecting. I probably expected jolly year-in-the-life-of, and that is there, but also so much more. As an example, regarding knowing what veg are in season & when - other books provide plenty of lists, but this explains in a way that makes you understand. Very well written, laugh aloud funny in parts, I just wish I'd bought the hardback because I know I will want to keep it to refer to again, or lend to friends, but also because I found the paperback needed constant pressure to keep it open, especially when reading the inside of the left- hand page. Annoying! For a few extra pounds get the handback - it's worth it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How come I didn't notice all the smugness? 10 Sep 2008
By emma who reads a lot TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
A few other reviews have drawn attention to Barbara Kingsolver's "smugness", including one person who liked the book but doesn't want her round for dinner.

I'm usually really sensitive to people being a bit too pleased with themselves, but I didn't think this book was like that at all. I thought it was touchingly hilarious about the weeks that they ended up just bottling tomatoes for days on end. And I loved all the information about intensive farming, agribusiness seed companies, and terminator genes - like a good article in the Sunday paper.

Most of all I found the book really inspiring. It made me pay attention to where my food came from, much more than I already did. I have always tried to eat seasonally and avoided food imports, but I found myself really being intrigued by her model, where you stuff your face with a couple of foodstuffs until you are heartily sick of them, by which time something else is coming into season. It's just such a different way of doing things. I don't know if it'll ever totally catch (back?) on, but my god, she makes a persuasive case.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars an exuberant inspiring book 30 Nov 2007
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Although the context is North American, and very different from Britain, nevertheless this exuberant tale of growing, preserving, and eating locally grown and home grown food is inspiring. Immense hard work, a determination to stick to the principle come what may ( such as what fruit can you get in february - oh yes, rhubarb! ) and an immensely cheerful disposition gets this family through.We also learn disturbing facts about commercial food production, at least in the States. A wonderful, inspiring book.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you Barbara 7 Jun 2007
Written in her beautiful and often humorous style, Barbara and her equally eloquent daughter are able to inspire and touch us to live better. Supported by her husband's well-documented facts revealing the truth about the shocking history and current practices of American commercial farming. Barbara's ordinary American family were able to sacrifice and make changes in their lives which in turn improved their own lives and helped make the planet a better place. A model for any family, they are living testimonies that we can do it!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it
Fantastic book, informative and thought provoking. Thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommended.
Published 3 days ago by Caroline
5.0 out of 5 stars superb
I loved this book (love all her books) and was sad when I had finished it! Can't recommend it highly enough. If you are a gardener you need to read it. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Windhound
5.0 out of 5 stars A necessary read for these times!
With her usual humor, Kingsolver traces the miracle of living from the earth with a family, and loving every sprout!
Published 5 months ago by pamporos
4.0 out of 5 stars Much funnier than anticipated
This was a bookclub book, so not something I would have chosen to read myself. And having only read Poisonwood Bible, from Barbara Kingsolver before, I wasn't expecting anything... Read more
Published 9 months ago by foodycat
5.0 out of 5 stars A book to be savored and digested.
Like a good meal this book should be read slowly and digested. Extremely well written with thought provoking facts and great recipes. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Mrs. Ingrid Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars A year in the country
Fantastic writing of a superb author.
It is the tale of a family uprooting and trying to live of the land but in a nice sophisticated way. Read more
Published 11 months ago by rb
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it
I absolutely love this book. I've read it over and over again. A beautiful story of a family growing one's own food for a year.
Published 15 months ago by Holly
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally inspiring
Loved this. Opened my eyes to a whole new way of looking at food consuming. I already use local meat & veg as and when I can but now I've started tracking down local food products... Read more
Published 19 months ago by L Seward
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this book
If you eat food then you should read this book. Yes it's a great story about a family trying to grow their own food to eat, it's inspiring and educational with crops and recipes... Read more
Published on 22 May 2012 by ionabunny
5.0 out of 5 stars The "how to", "why to" story of eating locally
This book is about the year that Barbara Kingsolver and her family moved to some land in Virginia and tried to eat as locally as possible for a year. Read more
Published on 8 April 2012 by Dr. K. E. Patrick
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