"For one year, the author's family pledged to eat only what it could procure from within an hour of its home. Meats, vegetables, grains, you name it.
After eleven previous books — bestselling novels, short stories, essays, and even a volume of poetry — Animal, Vegetable, Miracle marks yet another departure for Kingsolver. Her first full-length nonfiction narrative, and it's a family project besides. Husband Steven Hopp contributes informative sidebars that supplement Kingsolver's narrative and point out sources of additional information. Daughter Camille pens a short personal essay at the end of each chapter, offering seasonal recipes and weekly meal plans. Third-grade Lily starts an egg and poultry business."
You can read an interview with Kingsolver at Powell's site.
2. As an Edith Wharton fan, I'm not sure I have the stamina to get through Hermione Lee's new 880-page biography of the author, but I do hope to at least spend some time with the book. If you ever get a chance to visit Wharton's summer "cottage" (we should all have such cottages) in Lenox, Mass., do visit. Quite cool. The estate, known as the Mount, even has a web site. While you're up that way, you can drop in on Herman Melville's home in Pittsfield, Arrowhead, and see where he wrote Moby Dick.
3. DVDs are on my list, too. I still haven't caught up with one of my all-time favorite documentary series, Michael Apted's "7 Up." Starting in the mid-sixties, filmmakers have followed a group of British school children from a range of economic and social backgrounds, interviewing them every seven years. The latest one, which I have not seen, is "49 Up."