Monday, May 10, 2010

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

A few posts ago, I mentioned that I'm reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver for the Seasonal Book Challenge on Goodreads. Well, I'm still reading it. It might be the only book I read for the challenge this spring, which is a pretty pathetic showing. I'm reading it for one of the 5 point tasks, which is the smallest number of points you can earn at one time.
It's a life changing book though. Her premise is relatively simple--we should buy food from local sources. Then she tells us about the year her family strove to do only that while explaining why in great detail. There are so many reasons--better flavor and nutrition, a smaller carbon footprint, economics, our health...the list goes on and on, and it sounds so boring when I tell it to you, but she makes it come alive. I read the section about turkeys out loud to my whole family. We laughed until we cried and then we had a very serious discussion about the implications of eating mass produced turkeys. I'm still not sure what we're going to do about it, but we'll never look at turkeys the same way again.

I completely recommend this book. Yes, it does have some strong opinions, and you may not agree with all of them, but isn't that the beauty of a book that makes you think? It's one of those books that I find myself constantly inserting into conversations.

Still, it's not the kind of book I would usually choose to read on my own, which is the whole point of the Seasonal Book Challenge--to get people out of their comfort zones, expanding our horizons. Which is a great idea, but the Seasonal Book Challenge is a massive project, and I mean that in more ways than one. Although they specifically say that there is no minimum commitment for the challenge, most of the people in it earn a lot more than 5 points--I'm talking numbers in the hundreds. The number of people participating is the other huge factor in the Seasonal Reading Challenge. It's become a national phenomenon, and I don't feel a sense of connection with these women.

Which is why I'm considering starting my own group--both here on my blog and on goodreads. It would probably involve doing only one challenge a month instead of dozens. I hope you'll get involved--starting right now with any suggestions about how to get started!


  1. Melanie, I don't have any suggestions, but I would consider joining in your group. The next book on my reading list is Jim Butcher's Changes. After that, I'm not sure.