2100350901 Image representing cover of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life 2100351001 Photo of Barbara Kingsolver March/April Pick 2009 :: SFPL :: San Francisco Public Library Mobile
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March/April Pick 2009

Image representing cover of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life

by Barbara Kingsolver

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, from bestselling novelist, Barbara Kingsolver, will open your eyes in a hundred new ways to an old truth: You are what you eat.

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.”

The San Francisco Chronicle says the book…“might persuade readers to return to the soil, or put down new roots in rural communities. But you don't have to be a budding farmer to appreciate this book. You might come away from Kingsolver's memoir more aware of what you're putting into your body, where you shop and how you cook in your kitchen.”

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 food raised only in their own neighborhood, grow it themselves, or learn to live without it. Their good-humored search yields surprising discoveries about the sex life of turkeys and overly- zealous zucchini plants, en route to a food culture that's better for the neighborhood and also better on the table.

For On the Same Page, the Library has purchased the 2008 Perennial trade paperback edition. It is also available at the Library as an unabridged audio book in CD format.

Book Reading Groups

Merced Book Club 2009: Join us for a lively discussion of Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009, 6:30–7:30 p.m.
Merced Branch Library
155 Winston Drive (at 19th Ave.)
(415) 355-2825

Lunch-time Book Club: Join us on Tuesday, April 14th at noon as we discuss Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver. Meetings are every other month. Feel free to bring a lunch, snack or beverage with you! Sign up for the book club and get a 15% discount on the featured title as well as insight and advance information on all book club happenings at Books Inc.

Of course, you can also bring your copy checked-out from SFPL to the discussion! Books Inc. in Opera Plaza 601 Van Ness Avenue (415.776.1111) presents a bimonthly lunch-time book club in conjunction with the San Francisco Public Library: On the Same Page.

Photo of Barbara Kingsolver About the Author

Barbara Kingsolver was born in Annapolis, Maryland and grew up in Eastern Kentucky. Her articles have appeared in a number of publications, including The Nation, The New York Times and Smithsonian magazines.

Her first novel, The Bean Trees, published in 1988, is about a young woman who leaves rural Kentucky and finds herself living in urban Tucson. Since then, Kingsolver has written the short story collection, Homeland and Other stories and Another America, a bilingual Spanish and English poetry collection, as well as several other novels, including Animal Dreams, Pigs in Heaven, The Poisonwood Bible—which was shortlisted for the Pulitzer Prize and PEN/Faulkner Award—and Prodigal Summer.

Her nonfiction work includes HighTide in Tucson: Essays from Now or Never—for which she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from her alma mater, DePauw Universit. Kingsolver again turned to nonfiction in 1996 with Holding the Line: Women in the Great Arizona Mine Strike of 1983, and in 2002 with an essay collection, Small Wonder. In 2000 she received the National Humanities Medal, our nation's highest honor for service through the arts.

Reviews

“Kingsolver takes the genre to a new literary level; a well-paced narrative and the apparent ease of the beautiful prose makes the pages fly. Her tale is both classy and disarming, substantive and entertaining, earnest and funny...More often wry than pious...this practical vision of how we might eat...is as fresh as just-picked sweet corn.
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“With... assistance from her husband, Steven, and 19-year-old daughter, Camille, 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

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, might persuade readers to return to the soil, or put down new roots in rural communities. But you don't have to be a budding farmer to appreciate this book. You might come away from Kingsolver's memoir more aware of what you're putting into your body, where you shop and how you cook in your kitchen. Then, too, you might see, more clearly, the choices facing humanity that concern the survival of our species, the continued existence of plants and animals and the health and well-being of the Earth itself.”
San Francisco Chronicle

Of Related Interest

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