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on November 7, 2010
This book is pure pleasure! You will be salivating at the author's descriptions and humored as well. Kristin is an artist of the written word. You should not miss the book!
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on November 14, 2010
I learned so much about love, relationships and commitment. In a world where it seems everyone is trying to make themselves look better than the rest, I appreciate Kimball's honesty about the ups and downs and ultimate rewards of an authentically lived life. I am astounded by the life of a farmer! I will never look at organic foods the same way. So many layers to this beautifully written book. I look forward to more books by this talented writer!
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on October 19, 2010
I greatly enjoyed this book. Kristin Kimball and her husband have my deepest admiration. The life they've chosen can be tough, but their convictions, their love for the land and each other, come through loud and clear. Loved the writing. Hoping she writes another one in a few years to show how much they've progressed and how they've inspired others.
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on November 3, 2010
Truly a love story, in all the best ways. The title says it all-- farming, food and love-- and even if you aren't into farming, this is an honest and witty memoir about what it's like to live one's life authentically- raw and honest. I loved it. Anyone who supports the local food movement or lives in a small community will love it all the more.
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on June 27, 2013
I'll summarize:

Part one: Woman (somewhat dispassionately) falls in love with a grungy, self-centered, uncompromising hippie who makes no attempt to meet her halfway on anything. She visits him on a farm and works her ass off... he visits her in the city, pooh-poohs everything she enjoys and basically s**** all over her lifestyle. He pressures her to sell her apartment and furniture and drags her upstate to move in with his parents for almost a year while he sits around waiting for a free farm to fall into his lap, because apparently a sense of entitlement counts as a business plan now. He can't be bothered to turn his shirt right-side-out to meet her parents, and demands she crap in a bucket in the living room and not use electricity.

She assures you, dear reader, that these "quirks" are really quite entrancing.

Part two: They move onto an enormous farm that some rich dude volunteered for free (yep, he found one), ousting the current tenants, but not before all of the tenants' pet dogs get shot for attacking (non-fatally) the author's new dairy cow (and making them cover the vet bill.) She makes a vague mention that oh, it's possible one of the renters might've sort of liked his dog because he seemed to be crying when she went to collect her money... but expresses pretty much no sympathy towards the dogs, renters, OR cow.

At this point, I stopped reading. If I wanted to read a boring book about unlikeable people being self-absorbed and emotionally cut-off I'd read some Bret Easton Ellis and at least get some sex and drugs in the deal.
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on November 27, 2010
The only bad thing about this book was that it was so hard to put down. Kimball's voice moves gracefully from witty and blunt to poetic as she describes her adventures, discoveries, humiliations and accomplishments as a New York City writer transforming herself to organic farmer. Part love story, part coming-of-age story, part meditation on glorious food and its dirty origins, this book is many things but never boring. I've already started using parts of it with my eleventh and twelfth grade AP English students, who share my rave review.
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on October 31, 2010
The Dirty Life is an engrossing and finely crafted look into the world of family farming. In an era when "farm" increasingly indicates gigantic agribusiness concern, this book shows what it's like for the small local farm. Spanning both the gritty details of the daily grind as well as larger reflections on the rural pastoral life, Kimball shows she has an eye for details great and small. I can't help but feel that this book could spur a new movement of local farmers.
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on November 2, 2010
My mother loved this book so much she asked me to post her review. 10/25/10 4pm: I just finished the Dirty Life by Kristen Kimball and loved every word in the 276 pages. I laughed out loud, was quietly amused and actually cried while identifying throughout with Kristin's Mom and Dad. Like Bill Mckibben says author of Eaarth- "This is a wonderful tale!" It's warm and comforting and truely enjoyable!!
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on October 31, 2010
I loved this book so much! It was about farming though not too much, it was about falling and staying in love, though not too much, it was about hard work and ingenuity and insights, it was about a journey that consisted of all the above. It's about life and how it's lived. I can't wait for her next book.
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on November 1, 2010
Kimball is a deeply gifted writer and this memoir is one of the finest I've ever read. This is is not really a book about farming, although you will learn a lot about this endlessly difficult life. This is more a book about searching for where you belong...and finding it with in unexpected places and unexpected people. THE DIRTY LIFE is a total pleasure to read. I've already bought a half-dozen copies and given them to friends.
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