2013 Falmouth Reads Together
Animal Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life is the account of a family’s locavore year on their farm in Southern Appalachia. Kingsolver and her coauthors unearth the secret lives of vegetables and the unexpected satisfactions of knowing their food producers — and sometimes their dinner — on a first-name basis. The family’s year-long experience leads them through a season of planting, pulling weeds, expanding their kitchen skills, harvesting their own animals, joining the effort to save heritage crops from extinction, and learning the time-honored rural art of unloading excess zucchini. Kingsolver’s narrative is enriched by husband Steven Hopp’s in-depth reports on the science and industry of food, and daughter Camille’s youthful perspective on cooking and food culture.
Candyfreak: A Journey Through the Chocolate Underbelly of America takes readers on a quest to discover candy’s origins in America, to explore little companies that continue to get by on pluck and perseverance, and to witness the glorious excess of candy manufacturing. Perhaps you remember The Marathon, Oompahs, Bit-O-Choc, or Kit Kat Dark. Where did they go? Driven by his obsession, stubborn idealism, and the promise of free candy, self-confessed candy freak Steve Almond explores the role candy plays in our lives as both source of pleasure and escape from pain. By turns ecstatic, comic, and bittersweet, Candyfreak is the story of how he grew up on candy—and how, for better and worse, candy has grown up too.
The children’s companion book for 2013 is Growing Vegetable Soup – written and illustrated by Lois Ehlert
About Barbara Kingsolver:
Barbara Kingsolver is an American novelist, essayist, and poet. She was raised in rural Kentucky and lived briefly in Africa in her early childhood. Kingsolver earned degrees in Biology at DePauw University and the University of Arizona and worked as a freelance writer before she began writing novels. Her most famous works include The Poisonwood Bible, the tale of a missionary family in the Congo, and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, a non-fiction account of her family’s attempts to eat locally.
“April is the cruelest month, T.S. Eliot wrote, by which I think he meant (among other things) that springtime makes people crazy. We expect too much, the world burgeons with promises it can’t keep, all passion is really a setup, and we’re doomed to get our hearts broken yet again. I agree, and would further add: Who cares? Every spring I go out there anyway, around the bend, unconditionally. … Come the end of the dark days, I am more than joyful. I’m nuts. ”
About Steve Almond:
Award-winning author Steve Almond is the author of 10 books of fiction and non-fiction, including Not That You Asked, My Life in Heavy Metal, Rock and Roll with Save Your Life. A prolific essayist, his work appears regularly in the Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, the Huffington Post and others.
“We need books…because we are all, in the private kingdoms of our hearts, desperate for the company of a wise, true friend.”