The first of the series is my favourite, but I absolutely loved this one, poignant, action-packed and sad. Definitely a more mature book than the firsThe first of the series is my favourite, but I absolutely loved this one, poignant, action-packed and sad. Definitely a more mature book than the first, with themes to match....more
I first encountered this book at my local library when I was little (actually, I think I did a book report on it when I was 10 or so). I had known aboI first encountered this book at my local library when I was little (actually, I think I did a book report on it when I was 10 or so). I had known about Jane Yolen and loved her picture books and illustration. She remains one of my favourite children's authors.
I absolutely adore this book and the series, so much so that as an adult I decided I must own the series. I still pick it up every once in a while. It's just beautifully written, crisp, and full of action and emotion....more
This is a wonderful book for the beginner/intermediate SLR photographer. It lays out the most important concepts of photography out in a way that is eThis is a wonderful book for the beginner/intermediate SLR photographer. It lays out the most important concepts of photography out in a way that is easy to understand and keeps the technical mumbo jumbo to a minimum. The explanations along with the beautiful photography is a great touch and makes the whole process more accessible. I'm looking forward to spending more time with this book and trying out the exercises for myself!...more
I absolutely adored this book, it was delicious in every sense of the word, and I couldn't wait to get home from work each day to spend time with it.I absolutely adored this book, it was delicious in every sense of the word, and I couldn't wait to get home from work each day to spend time with it. Though I found it a bit slow at the beginning, the pace picked up quickly, and I finished it in a few days because I *had* to know what was going to happen next.
I liked the fact that the Faerie World wasn't typically Fairy-Fantasy (all pixie dust and light), but had a huge undercurrent the dystopian and political, and drawing on issues that have plagued us for some time. It was an incredibly complete, textured and vivid world, which impressed me because that's more common in long, ongoing series. Speaking of which, though I'm sad there isn't another book, I am very glad that this is a stand alone book because I didn't have to fight through thousands of pages to come to a resolution, which made this book all the more satisfying.
Loved the characters, the twists, and pretty much the entire thing. Who'd have thought Flowers could get so violent?...more
Before I get into what I liked about this book and didn't, above all, I do think it's important to read it. Whether you agree with all of her specificBefore I get into what I liked about this book and didn't, above all, I do think it's important to read it. Whether you agree with all of her specific arguments or not, the point remains that most of us are rather unaware of the toll it takes our food to get to us. We're fuzzily aware that we should eat local, but the message (for me at least) didn't come packaged in a way that made me sit up and actually pay attention to it...until now. This book is an extremely positive force for local food.
Now let's get onto the details. The context in which I read this book was an atypical one, but it made the experience particularly enriching - I was an urbanite spending a week Wwoofing on an organic farm. I assume that most people reading this book are urbanites, and that many of them are, at best, just passingly familiar with growing their own food in a backyard garden. Certainly, very few of my friends and family members have spent time growing food on a farm. The unfamiliar details of farm life, were actually playing out right there in front of me all week, which quite filled me with awe.
To those coming from a similar place to me (previously unfamiliar with anything farm related), I can say that all of the details, the mechanics of growing your own food are absolutely accurate. Aside from experiencing up close and personal the overabundance of everything squash and tomato related, I was able to reinforce what I learned from the book on the farm. I visited the asparagus patch to see what it looked like months after the asparagus itself had come and gone, had the canning process described to me in depth, and saw for myself the large, orange-yellow blossoms at the top of the zucchinis (if it's fallen off, it's definitely time to grab that one). I would have been surprised to see the bright yellow flying-saucerlike Pattypan squash in the fields, except that I had discovered them in the book the night before. Trying to cover all the bases, I was treated to anecdotes of the first awkward poultry kills, and took a long look at the "fancy plucking machine" alluded to in the book. Perhaps most important, I learned for myself how utterly satisfying it is to grow your own food - Barbara Kingsolver can describe that all she wants, but that's something you can't learn from reading a book.
The process of growing your own food, pieced together from the details and cute anecdotes was by far, the most enjoyable part of the book. I wish there could have been more of that, and maybe also a chart that showed what grew when (although of course this would vary across the world). So that's what I loved, and now we're moving into murkier waters.
Generally, the factual, more theoretical information about the state of the food industry had its place although some of that kind of lost me, it's nice to know that the information and the means to get more information from the websites Steven listed is there when I want it.
Now we're getting into the realm of the bad side of the book. I do believe that the positive in this book overrides the negative, and so I am willing to be forgiving, but I feel that I have to air one very large grievance in particular. While I really love what she said when it came to eating dairy, I was sorely disappointed when it came to her discussion of vegetarianism. Despite Camille's admission that it's "wrong to try and impose my food ethics on others," I felt as though Kingsolver was trying to do just that, in this section alone, I found her annoyingly preachy. As a vegetarian/vegan myself, my attitude is similar to the attitude she puts into practice each day ("if you're going to eat meat, factory farming is definitely not the way to go"). Nevertheless her arguments against vegetarianism were largely hollow and overdone, almost as though they were there to validate her own choice. Just two particularly irksome examples, because this has already been covered in other reviews: 1) Pulling plants out of the ground does not equate to chopping the heads off animals. Sorry :( 2) The fact that farmers in Peru and Africa use goats and cattle to sustain themselves has no merit in an argument for eating meat in urban cities.
I guess I'm just annoyed that the vegetarian argument had to enter this book at all, the overall message is important enough that it should override that issue.
This is probably the longest review I've ever posted on here - are you still with me? I guess the final thing to say is that this book is full of hope. Even though most of us don't have the means to embark on a year of local food through working at home and devoting time to a large scale gardening project, we are now aware, and can still use the ideas in it to make small changes that will get us a little closer. ...more
I didn't love this as much as I thought I would - sorry Deej! I found Calamity really abrasive, and while I don't have a problem with that in and of iI didn't love this as much as I thought I would - sorry Deej! I found Calamity really abrasive, and while I don't have a problem with that in and of itself, I don't think she changed very much over the course of the book. Her story seemed relatively unfinished and the book didn't end with the bang I was expecting. Still, Hopkinson is a good writer that paints quite vividly and I'd like to read more of her work.
[As an aside - I think there's something I'm missing in the ending. If you completely understood it, can you DM me and unconfuse me?]...more