Posted by: Karen | July 13, 2009

FARM CITY: The Education of an Urban Farmer by Novella Carpenter



November, 2011: New review in EARphoria!

“This upbeat account of raising poultry, rabbits, pigs and bees in the middle of a rundown neighborhood in Oakland, Calif., will make listeners either run out to reclaim some vacant lots or cringe at the thought that they might one day live next door to and downwind from such a menagerie. Karen White vividly individualizes the colorful locals, including Bobby (who lives in abandoned cars), the Buddhist monks across the way, the skeptical neighbors, the Chinese landlord and the random foragers who help themselves to Carpenter’s bounty. Narrated with cheerful verve, White’s performance will charm even those readers without the slightest inclination to get up close and personal with their future meals.” Publisher’s Weekly Reviews, Apr. 20)

Freelance journalist Carpenter tells the remarkable story of how she turned a vacant lot in inner-city Oakland into a thriving farm. Actress/narrator Karen White (Too Good To Be True: The Rise and Fall of Bernie Madoff) gives a self-possessed, well-paced, and expressive reading; her pronunciations of such tricky terms as “cream of Saskatchewan watermelon” and “bougainvillea” are flawless. The story flows smoothly, and this audio’s high production quality further makes this a joyful listening experience. For nature lovers and urbanites of all ages.” Library Journal.  [The Penguin hc, published in June, was an Oprah’s Book Club summer pick.—Ed.]Laurie Selwyn, formerly with Grayson Cty. Law Lib., Sherman, TX

“Highways roared in the distance. Gunshots could be heard a few blocks away. And a homeless man slept in an abandoned car down the street. Among these modern-day urban scenes, author Novella Carpenter put down roots—literally—turning a vacant lot in Oakland, California, into a working mini-farm, complete with vegetables, herbs, chickens, ducks, and bees. Karen White reads these lively accounts of missteps and delicious victories, including recipes, with the author’s intelligence, humor, and devotion to the American ideal of hard work and self-sufficiency. Farming is about food, and food is always about people. Carpenter’s encounters with third-world neighbors, block parties, and the boy who came to buy a rabbit are beguiling and inspiring.” B.P. © AudioFile 2009, Portland, Maine [Published: SEPTEMBER 2009]


  1. […] giving away one copy of the CD version of FARM CITY.  Just fill out the form below (18+, Continental US addresses only, please) and a winner will be […]

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