The author did a nice job of retelling the ups and downs of their relationship. I empathized with just about all of it, as the owner of a dog with farThe author did a nice job of retelling the ups and downs of their relationship. I empathized with just about all of it, as the owner of a dog with far too much personality for his own good. And being the sap that I am, I laughed and cried all the way through. ...more
This book affected me profoundly. Not only is it well-written, it's very persuasive. First, Barbara Kingsolver made me want to learn to make cheese. ThThis book affected me profoundly. Not only is it well-written, it's very persuasive. First, Barbara Kingsolver made me want to learn to make cheese. This is not something I've ever wanted before, and three months after reading it, I'm still kind of hoping that a soft cheese kit from New England Cheesemaking Supply will be showing up as a holiday present.
Secondly, it made me want to eat tomatoes. I have never liked tomatoes; I'd actually call it an aversion. And yet, after reading the summer chapters, I gave them a try for the first time in about twenty years. I'm still working on actually liking them, but the total disgust is gone, replaced by a standoffish approval.
While I didn't close the book, sell my house, and move to a farm, I did look into subscribing to my local CSA. I also strengthened my resolve to buy more of my food locally (I was already buying farmer's market produce, but now I'm getting dairy there as well). Kingsolver's book is witty, engaging, persuasive, and achingly, mouth-wateringly descriptive. It's also useful: each chapter includes recipes (courtesy of her daughter) and political musings (courtesy of her husband) as well. This is a great read for anyone interested in making educated choices about what they eat.
I got the free audiobook of this last week and downloaded it to my iPod for the 20 hour roundtrip we were driving Thanksgiving week. It kept my friendI got the free audiobook of this last week and downloaded it to my iPod for the 20 hour roundtrip we were driving Thanksgiving week. It kept my friends and I awake and alert the whole time, but not for the author's intended reasons. It was like Rocky Horror or MST3K. Never have I had so much fun ripping a book apart. The good parts: It was pretty well plotted, and the characters were engaging. The author did a good job setting up a situation in which you could cheer for the Robin Hood-like protagonists despite their crime. The unintentionally hilarious: The characters do some really stupid stuff. The author spends several paragraphs describing the bile in the main character's throat. After ten or twenty (out of 88!) chapters of one first person protagonist, the reader is unexpectedly tossed into another person's head. In the latter half of the book, the perspective rotates between various characters with no real rhyme or reason other than convenience. The two protagonists, brothers, spend most of the book giving each other meaningful looks. "Buck up, cowboy, and while you're at it, can you make me a corned beef sandwich with mustard on rye" Charlie said to me with his eyes. I got some great mileage out of those expressive eyes. My sisters and I are close, but there's no way they would know my look for mustard from my look for french dressing. You could also make a great drinking game out of the adverbs: just chug anytime one character speaks, and the other "shoots back" or "blurts". There is a lot of shooting back and blurting. The word "blurt" sounds really funny after nine hours. So yeah, this was a lot of fun to read, but not for the right reasons. ...more