Nature Book Club: Animal Vegetable Miracle

JCC’s new Nature Book Club is off to a great start! The club has provided a fun way to connect within a community while also having deep and meaningful conversations. With Braiding Sweetgrass wrapped up (a book we strongly recommend!), we’re moving on to Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle tells the story of a family who vows to spend a full year eating only locally produced food. From the back of the book:

Author Barbara Kingsolver and her family abandoned the industrial-food pipeline to live a rural life – vowing that, for one year, they’d only buy food raised in their own neighborhood, grow it themselves, or learn to live without it. Part memoir, part journalistic investigation, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is an enthralling narrative that will open your eyes in a hundred new ways to an old truth: You are what you eat.

With victory gardens once again all the rage, subscriptions to CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) at max capacity and beyond, and with the sudden demand for locally sourced and butchered meat, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle could not be a more timely read. But in addition to its sudden relevancy, this book provides the message that all of us need to hear: the food choices we make are amid the most profound ways we shape the health of the landscape around us (for better or for worse).

To join in this month’s book club discussions:

1.) Fill out the quick Google form.

2.) There are a handful of openings for the club – we’ll limit each discussion to 15 people to keep the Zoom meetings flowing well. If there is enough interest to host a second discussion, we’ll add a second group.

4.) Purchase, borrow, or check out a virtual copy of the book (below) right away. The first Zoom gathering will take place on Monday, May 18, at 8:00 p.m. If you are new to Zoom, see this tutorial for instructions.

5.) Start reading! To facilitate more social gatherings, we’ll host two discussions for this book (May 18 and June 1). The first meeting will discuss the first half of the book, but this is a casual goal, not a reading requirement.

Where to buy: We’d strongly suggest looking locally first. Prairie Lights Books offers mail orders and free deliveries to Iowa City and Coralville residents. The Haunted Bookshop also offers home delivery and curbside pick-up. In addition, for those looking to listen to this book, both Prairie Lights Bookstore and The Haunted Bookshop partner with, an independent audiobook subscription company that benefits small bookstores (prices are equivalent to Audible subscriptions, and there are additional perks for those making the switch!).

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