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Small Wonder

Small Wonder

Veröffentlicht von HarperAudio


Small Wonder

Veröffentlicht von HarperAudio

Bewertungen:
4/5 (23 Bewertungen)
Länge:
10 Stunden
Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
8. Nov. 2005
ISBN:
9780060894580
Format:
Hörbuch

Beschreibung

In her new essay collection, the beloved author of High Tide in Tucson brings to us from one of history's darker moments an extended love song to the world we still have. From its opening parable gleaned from recent news about a lost child saved in an astonishing way, the book moves on to consider a world of surprising and hopeful prospects, ranging from an inventive conservation scheme in a remote jungle to the backyard flock of chickens tended by the author's small daughter.

These essays are grounded in the author's belief that our largest problems have grown from the earth's remotest corners as well as our own backyards, and that answers may lie in those places, too. In the voice Kingsolver's readers have come to rely on -- sometimes grave, occasionally hilarious, and ultimately persuasive -- Small Wonder is a hopeful examination of the people we seem to be, and what we might yet make of ourselves.

Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
8. Nov. 2005
ISBN:
9780060894580
Format:
Hörbuch

Über den Autor


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Rezensionen

Was die anderen über Small Wonder denken

4.2
23 Bewertungen / 15 Rezensionen
Wie hat es Ihnen gefallen?
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Leser-Rezensionen

  • (4/5)
    Powerful Essay
  • (5/5)
    A collection of essays assembled after 9/11/2001, where Barbara Kingsolver writes about her feelings and reactions, along with essays written earlier about her children and her own past experiences.
  • (4/5)
    A collection of essays that read, many times, like secular sermons. I enjoyed the book.
  • (5/5)
    I love Barbara Kingsolver and her collection of essays, Small Wonder was no exception. She covers a wide variety of topics such as the aftermath of 9/11, parenting, television, biodiversity, growing food, and patriotism, and through them all she shines a light on what it means to live a full, meaningful, heartfelt life and how to make the best of our little bit of time here on earth. I think I love her writing so much simply because she puts into words so very well things that I have myself felt deeply. I especially appreciate her deep belief in biodiversity and community and the persuasive way in which she writes about these things. Barbara Kingsolver is a wonderful voice of hope and sanity in a world that often seems to me rather insane. I'll leave you with a few quotes from the essays:

    I wish all children could be taught the basics of agriculture in school along with math and English literature, because it's surely as important a subject as these. Most adults my age couldn't pass a simple test on what foods are grown in their home counties and what month they come into maturity. In just two generations we've passed from a time when people almost never ate a fruit out of season to a near-universal ignorance of what seasons mean... [T]he strategy of our nation is to run on a collision course with the possibility of being able to feed ourselves decently (or at all) in twenty years' time. I can't see how any animal could be this stupid; surely it's happening only because humans no longer believe food comes from dirt.

    I start fidgeting at any community meeting where the first item on the agenda is to discuss and vote on the order of the other items on the agenda; I have to do discreet yoga relaxation postures in my chair to keep myself from hollering, "Yo, people, life is short!"

    Meanwhile, viewers are lured into assuming, at least subconsciously, that this "news" is a random sampling of everything that happened on planet earth that day, and so represents reality. One friend of mine argued... that he felt a moral obligation to watch CNN so he could see all there was and sort out what was actually true - as if CNN were some huge window thrown wide on the whole world at once. Not true, not remotely true. The world, a much wider place than seventeen inches, includes songbird migration, emphysema, pollinating insects, the Krebs cycle, my neighbor who recycles knitting-factory scraps to make quilts, natural selection, the Loess Hills of Iowa, and a trillion other things outside the notice of CNN. Are they important? Everything on that list I just tossed off is life or death to somebody somewhere, half of them are life and death to you and me, and you may well agree that they're all more interesting than Monica Lewinsky. it's just a nasty, tiny subset of reality they're subsisting on there in TV land - the subset invested with some visual component likely to cause an adrenal reaction, ideally horror.

    Outsiders can destroy airplanes and buildings, but only we the people have the power to demolish our own ideals.
  • (4/5)
    In this book of essays, Kingsolver expresses so eloquently my feelings on such topics as parenthood, stages of being a female, corporate swallowing of small businesses, war, the evils of TV, responsibility for homelessness, sex in literature, and poetry in school. Her non-fiction touches me much more than the previous novels of hers I’ve read. Although a bit naive and too liberal on the topics of homelessness and war, her way with words simply amazes me. This is the book that finally shows me what writing talent the author has. I think it surprising that, “dafka” in the last essay, she stated not to call her naive! I guess she knows the audience she is addressing. Interestingly enough, that particular essay was the only one of those she chose for this book that I didn’t care for all that much.
  • (4/5)

    1 Person fand dies hilfreich

    I am struggling with how to rate this book. I loved parts of it, and some of the writing, but then I'd read something that made me roll my eyes and grit my teeth. As Kingsolver says, "This is a collection of essays about who we seem to be, what remains for us to live for, and what I believe we could make of ourselves." So there's a lot in these 260+ pages.Kingsolver channels some Annie Dillard in writing about the landscape and nature near her two homes (she doesn't match Dillard's skill, though). She also channels a vein of smugness and self-righteousness that I find distasteful. It's easy to bemoan the state of something and not propose a solution beyond, "Well, if politicians had to take care of babies, they wouldn't go to war" (see page 252). I loathe that kind of non-sensical triteness.But then, at times, she spoke to me so clearly and articulated so well, thoughts that I have. About reading and books. About family. About what makes up a good life. In the first essay, she writes, "However much I've lost, what remains to me is that I can still speak to name the things I love." And in the last, "Maybe life doesn't get any better than this, or any worse, and what we get is just what we're willing to find: small wonders, where they grow."A final note: the essay "And Our Flag Was Still There" is an excellent rumination on the meaning of flags, national pride, the co-opting of symbols to specific (often hateful) rhetoric, etc. I found it particularly worthwhile reading given the current state of political discourse in the US. As Kingsolver says, "We're a much nobler country than our narrowest minds and loudest mouths suggest. I believe it is my patriotic duty to recapture my flag from the men who wave it in the name of jingoism and censorship." Amen. And I think I just decided to up my rating.

    1 Person fand dies hilfreich

  • (5/5)
    Small Wonder, Barbara Kingsolver’s second book of essays, was written after the events of 9/11, and touches on subjects as diverse as Terrorism, why the world doesn’t like America, Genetic Modification, Teenagers, Mothers, and Self-Sustainability. While I may not have agreed with every single word of the essays, on the whole, I found Kingsolver’s to be the Voice of Reason. As with her previous book of essays, High Tide in Tucson, there were some aspects that avid readers of Kingsolver’s novels would have found reflected there. The essays are interesting and thought-provoking. The essay on Genetic Modification is particularly succinct. I would recommend this book, not just to Kingsolver fans, but to anyone who wants to read a reasonable point of view.
  • (4/5)
    Barbara Kingsolver, novelist and naturalist, writes in Small Wonder her thoughts on the raising chickens, motherhood, television, and war. She is at her best when she writes about what she knows, birds and crabs, daughters and deserts.
  • (1/5)
    Although 'nuff has been said by other reviewers on the subject of Kingsolver's hypocrisy -- I'd like to point out a couple more quaint symptoms. Kingsolver appears to passionately believe that if America is hated by somebody, then it's time for America to examine its soul and change its behavior until it finally pleases the haters. In the next breath, she complains about the hate mail she gets and assures us -- and herself -- that it must be sent by people who haven't read her (only *about* her) and don't know her, because, well, if they got to know her, they just couldn't help loving her. People who hate America have a point, people who hate her are ignorant redneck psychos. Hmm...Another reason why this book doesn't deserve more than an E for Effort is that Kingsolver makes an awful lot of lofty claims on environmental subjects because she's "a trained biologist," having majored in biology in college. Her take on genetically engineered crops actually sounds interesting and convincing until one looks at the credits in the book and sees that that particular essay was based almost entirely on somebody else's essay in Harper's magazine -- no more a scientific journal than, say, The New Yorker. And when you decide to learn more about the subject (anathema to breathy eloquence like Kingsolver's)and check junkscience.com, you find out that one guy who swears by genetic engineering in his crops is that ol' farmer, Jimmy Carter. Not exactly a man you'd call a blinded-by-his-greed-and-hatred-of-the-environment conservative. Considering she never actually practiced as a biologist except in her vegetable garden, I'd just like to know what Kingsolver's GPA in college was.
  • (5/5)
    Everyone alive today in 2009 should have this book as a MUST READ. Kingsolver so beautifully encapsulates the conditions going on in our world and our environment with what it means to be human: writer, friend, daughter, mother. But most importantly, she has tremendous facts in hand with the reality of what is happening (and has happened) in our environment, with global warming. As well as incorporating 9/11 and her own personal story. I alternately laugh and cry with this book - kudos to Kingsolver.
  • (5/5)
    I don't read a whole lot of nonfiction, but Barbara Kingsolver's essays are the exception to my rule. I LOVE them. They make me want to stand up and yell "Hallelujah, you tell 'em, Sister!" She says exactly what I think but could never express in such beautiful language.
  • (5/5)
    Small Wonder is the second collection of essays I have read by Barbara Kingsolver. Like her first collection, High Tide in Tucson, this collection is heartfelt and thought provoking. Written in response to September 11, Kingsolver expresses her sorrow through her writing, covering a variety of subjects including parenting, world peace, agriculture, nature, social protest and homelessness. While reading Small Wonder, I was maddened, saddened and moved all at once – an exhilarating ride that left me near breathless when I was done.I learned so much about our country in this book. My first reaction, as Kingsolver criticized how wasteful Americans can be, how inappropriate war can be and how our planet and its resources are dwindling, was anger toward the writer. I considered her un-American, a non-patriot, and a loud liberal complainer who should move to another country if she thinks it’s so terrible here.But as she continued to write, to tell – I saw a writer just wanting to make a better place for herself and her family. I began to soften and become more objective.In her last chapter, she made a point that will resonate with me for a long time. By protesting, by objecting, by making people aware – she is being very American. Isn’t that how this country was founded? What if Susan B. Anthony didn’t protest for women’s suffrage? Or Martin Luther King didn’t stand up for civil rights? The best changes are country has ever made were moved by people who wanted to make a difference. Kingsolver and those like her can make a difference- if people like you and me remain open-minded and listen to what they have to say.I listened, and I am ready to take some steps to help make our country and Earth better for my fellow Americans (and especially my children):1) Recycling – I am so ashamed that all of my aluminum cans, plastic bags and newspapers go into the trash. No more!2) Purchasing fruits and vegetables from local farmers – By buying from a local farmers’ market, I won’t be supporting an industry that transports fruits and vegetables from all parts of the world – a way to help curb gasoline waste. My local farmers only have to come a few miles, and I bet the food will taste better.3) Paying attention to the upcoming 2008 election – I have not been a conscientious voter. I really don’t research the candidates like I should. I will do a better job picking my candidates in the upcoming elections.Inspired, yes. Motivated, absolutely. I am proud to be an American and a citizen on this planet. If you want to learn some ideas on how to make your little section of the world better, I highly recommend Small Wonder. Be ready to be moved.
  • (5/5)
    Loved it, like I do most of her work. She's one of the few writers around whose non-fiction equals her fiction.
  • (3/5)
    some excellent, personal writing in it, but also a hell of a lot of preaching
  • (4/5)
    As I read about her feelings regarding Sept 11, the environment, and a wide range of other topics, it occurred to me that this is the type of stuff I would write if I had a flare for writing short essays.