On My Nightstand...

...you will find:


What are YOU reading?

{In Review}
NOTE: This is a slightly longer review than normal, as I'll be linking it to the next Booking It post

The Dirty Life: A Memoir of Farming, Food, and Love by Kristin Kimball
When Jessica picked this as one of our twelve Booking It books, I was intrigued by the reviews and excited to see what Kimball had to say. I think that expectations are more than half the reason you either love a book (because it exceeds low expectations), or you dislike a story (because expectations were set high). My expectations of The Dirty Life started at the top, so when I commenced reading, I was dismayed to discover that Kimball was far left to my right when it comes to life choices (living with Mark, but fearful of marriage), politics (openly dissing her father's thoughts about the media and global warming - which mirrored my own, by the way), and life in general. Honestly, it put a damper on my interest in the story. I don't mind if you disagree with me, but it bothers me when the standards and opinions that I (and others) hold, are dismissed as backward and stupid. But that's beside the point. About half-way through The Dirty Life, things began to look up and I actually found myself chuckling over Kimball's attempts to sugar maples, drive horses, and deal with disruptive piglets. I even upped my star rating on Goodreads from a 2 to a 3 - even though it didn't stay there. In the end, I fell back to my original opinion that the story was "OK", but I didn't LIKE it.

On the flip side: Reading The Dirty Life made me want to go get my hands dirty in my own backyard. I don't want a farm (and I totally admire her willingness to work hard and try things outside of her comfort zone), but the idea of growing food that I will eat is extremely appealing to me. Without a doubt, one of the best sections comes shortly after Kristin has met Mark and it's right at the beginning of the book (when my hopes were still high). Mark slaughters a pig and enlists Kristin - straight from the city - to help him haul the slippery carcase to the cooler. The next morning, Kristin (who is still trying to get an interview with Mark, but keeps getting sucked into farm work) arrives at the farm in time for breakfast, which Mark has cooked. "The next morning I got up at dawn and went back to the farm. Mark's crew was gathered for breakfast: cornmeal pancakes and homemade sausage drizzled with warm maple syrup. I ate a double helping of sausage, and that was the end of my life as a vegetarian." {pg.11} Despite the fact that I don't agree with lifestyle choices or her political views, I would love to visit their farm and buy produce that is fresh from the fields because she makes it sound amazing.

Have YOU read The Dirty Life?
If so, what did you think? 


  1. My feelings exactly. I would have been happier if it stuck to food and farming, but at the same time, it's good for me to look outside my life, even if it's too feel "mocked" as you say. ;)

    And, yes, I had higher expectations, too.

  2. I've never read it... but you've intrigued me. Even though you didn't love it, the premise of a city girl down on the farm sounds kinda good.


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