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Extended Audio Sample Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life Audiobook, by Barbara Kingsolver Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (58,912 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Barbara Kingsolver Narrator: Barbara Kingsolver, Camille Kingsolver, Steven L. Hopp Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2007 ISBN: 9780061449932
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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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Charming, zestful, funny, and poetic…A serious book about important problems.”

    Washington Post Book World

  • “Engaging…Absorbing…Lovely food writing…[Kingsolver] succeeds at adopting the warm tone of a confiding friend.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • Animal, Vegetable, Miracle makes an important contribution to the chorus of voices calling for change.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “A profound, graceful, and literary work…Timeless…It can change who you are.”

    Boston Globe

  • “Homespun, unassuming, informed, positive, inspiring…Unstinting in its concerns about this imperiled planet.”

    Seattle Post-Intelligencer

  • “[Written] with passion and hope…This novelist paints a compelling big picture—broad and ambitious, with nary an extraneous stroke.”

    Rocky Mountain News

  • “Kingsolver dresses down the American food complex…These down-on-the-farm sections are inspiring and…compelling.”

    Outside

  • “Equal parts folk wisdom and political activism…This family effort instructs as much as it entertains.”

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch

  • “Full…of zest and sometimes ribald humor…Reading this book will make you hungry.”

    Raleigh News & Observer

  • “Provocative…Kingsolver…evokes the sheer joy of producing one’s own food.”

    People

  • “An impassioned, sensual, smart, and witty narrative…Kingsolver is a master at leavening a serious message with humor.”

    St. Petersburg Times

  • “Kingsolver…adds enough texture and zest to stir wistful yearnings in all of us…[A] vicarious taste of domesticity.”

    Christian Science Monitor

  • “A terrific effort. The delight for readers…is the chance to experience the rediscovery of community through food.”

    Oregonian

  • “If you’re interested in learning more about healthful eating, you’ll want to read…Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.”

    Charlotte Observer

  • “Loaded with terrific information about everything from growth hormones to farm subsidies.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “Kingsolver carries us along in her distinct and breezy prose.”

    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

  • “[This] is a book that, without being preachy, makes a solid case for eating locally instead of globally.”

    Richmond Times-Dispatch

  • “Other notable writers have addressed this topic, but Kingsolver claims it as her own…Self-deprecating instead of self-righteous.”

    Charlotte Observer

  • “[Kingsolver is] a master storyteller, and even those who’ve heard this tale before will be captivated.”

    Daily News

  • Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is a chronicle of food feats…I’m inclined to agree with most points Kingsolver makes.”

    Chicago Sun-Times

  • “Kingsolver, who writes evocatively about our connection to place, does so here with characteristic glowing prose. She provides the rapture.”

    Miami Herald

  • “Charming…Literary magic…If you love the narrative voice of Barbara Kingsolver, you will be thrilled.”

    Houston Chronicle

  • “As satisfying and complete as a down home supper.”

    Tuscon Citizen

  • “The book is so jam-packed with information that listeners will want to take notes.”

    AudioFile

  • “I defy anyone to read this book and walk away from it without gaining at least the desire to change.”

    Bookreporter.com

  • “Kingsolver elegantly chronicles a year of back-to-the-land living with her family in Appalachia…Readers frustrated with the unhealthy, artificial food chain will take heart and inspiration here.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “[Kingsolver’s] tale is both classy and disarming, substantive and entertaining, earnest and funny. Kingsolver is a moralist, but more often wry than pious.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “[Kingsolver] records in detail a year lived in sync with the season’s ebb and flow. Starting with spring’s first asparagus, summer’s chickens, and the fall’s surfeit of vegetables, Kingsolver’s family consumes what they and their farming neighbors produce. Writing with her usual sharp eye for irony, she urges readers to follow her example and reconnect with their food’s source.”

    Booklist

  • “Faithful, funny, and thought-provoking…Readers—whether vegetarian or carnivore—will not go hungry, literally or literarily.”

    BookPage

  • A 2007 Time Magazine Top 10 Book for Nonfiction
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • An AudioFile Best Audiobook of the Year in 2007
  • An ALA Notable Book Finalist for Nonfiction
  • A 2008 Book Sense Book of the Year for Nonfiction
  • Audio Publisher’s Association “Audie” Award
  • Audiofile Magazine “Best of the Year”

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jennifer Wilson | 2/17/2014

    " Maybe it was me reading this book after reading lots of food-power manifestos, but I didn't feel like it was nearly as rich in story and beauty as her others before it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laurel | 2/12/2014

    " This book, as well as others, have me thinking about how I purchase and eat food. I'm hoping to cut a lot more processed food out of my family's diet as well as eat more local products. It's tough but I figure even a little bit of change can make a difference "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Suzanne LaVenture | 2/6/2014

    " Kingsolver is an excellent evangelist for the local food movement. She convinced me of the truth and beauty of her position. I am tempted to give this book 5 stars because I have no doubt it has forever altered the way I think about what I eat. I also learned how ignorant I was about vegetables! And it certainly is a miracle that for several minutes she had me seriously contemplating making my own cheese. On the flip side, there were parts that were too draggily didactic. I faded for a while in the middle. However, I perked right up for the excellently instructive and hilarious chapter about turkey sex. In the end, she cleverly convinced me that small changes were indeed an adequate response to this book (I might as well become flat out Amish if I were to completely embrace this lifestyle). So maybe I'm not a full-fledged convert, but I'm definitely paying more attention to what I eat and from whence it comes. Amen and pass the local produce. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lynn | 1/28/2014

    " Not wild about the subject matter, but Kingsolver never disappoints with her masterful craftsmanship. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Heather Raye | 1/22/2014

    " One of the most influential books I have ever read. It completely solidified my life philosophy and plans for my future. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shara | 1/14/2014

    " interesting; now I want a vegetable garden and to make my own cheese!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Annamarie | 1/13/2014

    " This book as been on my "to read" radar for a long time. I'd say almost as long as it's been out (about 5 years). And as much as I thought I wanted to read it, and as many times as I checked it out from the library, I just never got started. But, with the beauty of 20/20 hindsight vision, I realize that I was just saving it so that I could read it now. I'm so glad this one didn't fall off my radar, because it really is an enjoyable read. It has a lot to offer, and although I agree with some people's reviews that it can get a little "preachy," I think the message overall is important and has been interestingly conveyed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Aran | 1/1/2014

    " Really enjoyed this. I want a garden. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bethany Joy | 12/28/2013

    " This was one of the most enjoyable books I've read in the general category of "books about people farming and eating good food". It helps that Kingsolver is a compelling storyteller, that her whole family gets into the book writing, and that they successfully ate local for a year... without resorting to locusts or wallpaper. I really enjoyed the format of the book, walking through the experiences and food of each month of a year of local eating. I learned several things I didn't know about growing asparagus, 'harvesting' chickens, and cooking zucchini. There were a few preachy parts about the environmental and health costs of relying on imported foods, but the preaching was mostly well researched and simply stated. I would definitely recommended it to my many friends who endeavor to live thoughtfully in the ways they eat. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jessica Schmidt | 12/27/2013

    " Our favorite Chard dish is from this book EGGS IN A NEST "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Eotten | 12/24/2013

    " Great book for those interested in local eating and the relationship we have with our food. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rebecca Thompson | 12/20/2013

    " Re-reading, as we are trying to be healthier and I want a good veggie patch this year. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cheryl Williams | 12/16/2013

    " Not enough good things to say about this book. Loved it! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cathy | 12/10/2013

    " I read this book when it first came out along with some other very thought provoking books on food consumption in this country. I have all the books on my bookshelf along with cookbooks. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Janet Bellusci | 9/7/2013

    " This book made me want to be a better person, a healthier eater, and a more conscientious earth dweller. What a wonderful tale of a family's one year journey in the world of food and the impact on the planet. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dawn Ruth | 6/27/2013

    " I love this book. In fact, I want to live the life that Barbara Kingsolver lived during this year of eating locally. Read this book and change your mind about how you eat! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jan | 5/31/2013

    " Chocolate Chapter selection "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kirstin | 4/24/2013

    " Totally inspiring! This book helped me focus the changes I wanted to make into tangible impacts on the world around me. And very well written! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Linda Barlow | 2/14/2013

    " Preachy tone, awful!!!!!!!!!!!! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nicolebyrnes | 12/28/2012

    " it wasnt my favorite Kingsolver book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marianna | 5/14/2012

    " I credit this book with changing many people's views on eating locally. The recent phenomenon of backyard chickens and proliferation of CSAs are very likely a result of this book. It's a wonderful story and very informative. Particularly informative are the "sidebars" by Ms. Kingsolvers' husband. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Paul Baribeau | 5/2/2012

    " Parts of this book really inspired me. Other ideas in this book are a real letdown. Kingsolver's thoughts on veganism are just pointless and ignorant. Skip anything her daughter wrote besides recipes. I think people should read this book though. I'm glad I read it. Made me think about my food life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Denise | 2/5/2012

    " Kingsolver spends a year eating local and makes us care. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lily | 1/9/2012

    " Thoroughly enjoyed her writing. Although their quest was extreme, I hope to emulate this, if even in small part, starting next year on our own farm. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Audra | 10/5/2011

    " Every average American who eats food should read this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Darci | 6/30/2011

    " Changed the way we buy food. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kay | 6/30/2011

    " I learned so much - wish I could apply more to my daily eating habits - Heidi's book "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tiffany | 6/29/2011

    " I loved two-thirds of this book. I quickly tired of the preaching and lecturing on the merits of their family plan to eat locally for a year. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Lisa | 6/27/2011

    " Really tried with this one, because I love Barbara Kingsolver...but couldn't do it. Boring. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jessica | 6/26/2011

    " Great read... really makes you want to follow a local diet. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Artslyz | 6/25/2011

    " I enjoyed this but would have appreciated it more had i read it closer to publication date - I've read widely on food security/local eating and didn't get as much out of it as i might have when it was new. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lindy | 6/22/2011

    " This book definitely made me change the way I think about food. Although I don't think I could do exactly what she did, I was inspired to be better about what my family eats. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lana | 6/21/2011

    " Love the idea; love Barbara Kingsolver. Fun and fascinating. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cassi | 6/17/2011

    " This book was far different than most of Kinsolver's. I loved the education on food and the story behind her family's journey. As a foodie, I loved the recipes. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nancy | 6/9/2011

    " One of my favorite authors opened my eyes to the local food movement. Does it make economic or nutritional sense to buy food that has been shipped across the country (or world)? "

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About the Author
Author Barbara Kingsolver

Barbara Kingsolver’s twelve books of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction include the novels The Bean Trees and The Poisonwood Bible. Translated into nineteen languages, her work has won a devoted worldwide readership and many awards, including the National Humanities Medal.