August 16, 2007

Green and Tasty Reading

books

I was just rereading Barbara Kingsolver's Prodigal Summer while waiting for the books I've requested to be delivered to my library branch. Prodigal Summer is one of my favorite feel-good novels. And it has strong environmental/sustainability/nature themes. I thought I'd check Barbara's website to see what she has been writing lately, and I found this! Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life.

I thought our Sew Green friends might be interested. I plan on reading it as soon as I can get it at my local library branch. Hell, I might even buy it, because I have a feeling, in addition to being funny and excellent, it will come in handy.

Copied from her website:

"As the U.S. population made an unprecedented mad dash for the Sun Belt, one carload of us paddled against the tide, heading for the Promised Land where water falls from the sky and green stuff grows all around. We were about to begin the adventure of realigning our lives with our food chain.

Naturally, our first stop was to buy junk food and fossil fuel. . . ."

Hang on for the ride: With characteristic poetry and pluck, Barbara Kingsolver and her family sweep readers along on their journey away from the industrial-food pipeline to a rural life in which they vow to buy only food raised in their own neighborhood, grow it themselves, or learn to live without it. Their good-humored search yields surprising discoveries about turkey sex life and overly zealous zucchini plants, en route to a food culture that's better for the neighborhood and also better on the table. Part memoir, 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.

"This is the story of a year in which we made every attempt to feed ourselves animals and vegetables whose provenance we really knew . . . and of how our family was changed by our first year of deliberately eating food produced from the same place where we worked, went to school, loved our neighbors, drank the water, and breathed the air."

SO I guess that's two green book recommendations really, a novel and non-fiction by Barbara Kingsolver. Have any of you already read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle?

25 comments:

melissa said...

i read it and loved it! by the end of it, even though i live in a condo in downtown seattle and have no hope of having a garden of my own, i was just desperate to get my fingers dirty planting some food! it inspired me to get my name on the waiting list for a community garden plot. it's well worth the read!

EnviroMom said...

Yes! Incredibly inspiring! After reading it, I immediately went out to our one tiny patch of sun-lit yard and planted two tomato plants. Have also heard the book "Plenty" -- along the same lines -- is also a must-read.

AnandaDevika said...

I am about halfway through with this one - just loving it! I'm a bit food-obsessed anyway, and started my first garden this summer - tomatoes anyone? I've got plenty!

sarah said...

This book is in high demand at our library so I was only able to have it for a short time. The chapters I read were great - so enlightening. She involves her family in both the adventure and in the writing. Do check out her daughter's recipe for 'eggs in a nest' -- it's been a great way to use the abundance of chard that keeps popping up in our CSA share. I'm back in the queue with hopes of reading more soon...
Another great book along these lines is Michael Pollan's 'Omnivore's Dilemma'.

Katie Alender said...

Not yet, but I've heard wonderful things. I'm going to get the audiobook soon -- apparently each family member reads his or her own section and it's just great. I know my husband is going to love this book -- he's a total foodie.

heather t said...

I requested this book from my library months ago, but haven't heard yet. I can't wait to read it. I've been a fan of Kingsolver for several years now, so I've also read Prodigal Summer. May be time for a re-read tho.

Angelena said...

I have read the book and HIGHLY recommend anyone reading it. It is a wonderful book!!

Tracy said...

i just picked it up a couple of days ago shash. now i really want to delve in - thanks!

Blondie said...

Yep, I got it early this summer. It was a must buy for me - this is a book about my neighborhood! (I live in the same county as Kingsolver, and know some of the people she talks about in the book). It has really influenced our eating and shopping habits. If their family can do it for a year, we can eat local quite a bit more than we do.

Donna said...

I just finished it and it was incredibly eye opening. I will never look at grocery food store the same way again. I too want to turn the whole back yard into a garden. I also loved "Prodigal Summer". I've read it twice and may revisit it soon.

shash said...

oh, now i really want to get my hands on the book. thanks readers for sharing your enthusiasm. i should have known a ton of you would already have read it! :-)

emily said...

i'm absolutely smitten with Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. it's my little escape from my condo. turns out, I've also been watching It's Not Easy Being Green, about a family going off the grid in England, featured on the sundance channel. Additionally, my town is having Eat Local month this September which should be filled with usefull information to help make the transition to more locally purchased foods.

The Whole Self said...

hands-down the best book i've read in a long, long while.

Al said...

Prodigal Summer and Poisonwood Bible are in my top 10 favorite books of all time, so I had to pick up Animal, Vegetable, Miracle - I just finished it this week - it's a great book, full of excellent recipes and much inspiration. I'm heading the the farmer's market after work today - Barbara inspired me to plan some home grown meals :)Enjoy everyone!

molly said...

I just picked mine up from hold at the library yesterday. I can't wait to start it!

Melissa Garrett said...

I love the Prodigal Summer (anything by Kingsolver, really!) and I am just dying to read her latest . . .

April said...

Ditto to everyone! My husband and I absolutely loved this book! It really changed the way we think about a lot of subjects.

Julia said...

love this book! (actually, any words that come out of barbara kingsolver are like heaven to me). i thought it was a really wonderful mix of their personal experiences with info about the larger food system. there was also a great interview with her on an mn public radio show called speaking of faith- you can probably find it online.

Heather said...

I just read it last month and it is a great book (other than the sly dis to the 100-Mile-Diet people, who are from my own city.) Highly recommended. It was the first thing I has read by Kingsolver, so I an keen to check out some of her other writing.

(By the way, my word verification was "ecobhhn" which seems appropriate. I think of us moseying along the "Eco bahn" as oppsosed to speeding carelessly along the "Autobahn". Yes, I am a nerd.)

Crazy Mumma said...

Love, love, loved it! Inspiring and such a wonderful writing style, I will be returning for re-reads many times with this one :-)

Anne said...

I loved it, too! I immediately planted my first veggie garden (all organic non-GM seeds of course) and have had really good luck with it. It's been so satisfying to eat fresh cucumbers, squash, peas, and beans. I also read Plenty and enjoyed that quite a lot (though slightly less than AVM - Kingsolver is one of my favorite writers and I just dig her style). My tomatoes are now ripening and I'm already excited to figure out what to plant next year.

Deb G said...

Just started reading it and am loving it! I loved Small Wonder too.

historicstitcher said...

I've been listening to it while driving (she reads it herself!) and we are LOVING it! Even my 7-yr-old Little Boy is getting into it!

We've been planting gardens for years, but now I have even grander plans for my yard and am going to plant a small orchard, as well as a larger garden!

susan said...

she is my all time favorite author. each book is a diamond and the last was wonderful.

Gift of Green said...

Funny...love AVM and reviewed it on my blog - couldn't stand Prodigal Summer. Funny how two books from the author could be polar opposites for me.