Anglers of all stripes will relish these delectable morsels of love.




A gathering of writers expound on their love for fishing.

Editors Joy (The Line that Held Us, 2018, etc.) and Rickstad (The Names of Dead Girls, 2017, etc.) invited 25 authors to contribute pieces about their love of fishing (four were previously published). In his introduction, Joy writes, “all I know of beauty I learned with a fishing rod in my hand.” These delightful and sprightly essays are “about friendship, family, love and loss, and everything in between.” Throughout the anthology, nature and nostalgia run deep, as the contributors reflect on when they fell in love with the sport while fishing with relatives, friends, or alone. Ron Rash writes about fishing in North Carolina’s Goshen Creek as a 14-year-old boy and almost snagging the “biggest fish of his life.” Jill McCorkle, who loved fishing with her father, was proud to be the “daughter who could touch anything stinky and slimy without flinching.” As J. Todd Scott writes, “angling for catfish” with night crawlers and mealworms “isn’t hard. They’re always hungry and not particularly canny.” Ray McManus confesses that “much of what I understand about writing was shaped from fishing.” He can work as hard as he can and “still end up with an empty hook.” Some writers discuss fly-fishing. Scott Gould recalls his father casting “gorgeous giant perfect loops spooling off the water.” Near Georgia’s Saint Simon’s Island, Taylor Brown fearfully recounts hooking a shark in the surf. There are lovely pieces about Massachusetts lobstering and night swimming in the Great Barrier Reef when the “coral release trillions of eggs and sperm sacs simultaneously.” Natalie Baszile loved frogging in the Louisiana “bayou-dark—which is more like the darkness of deep space.” As Silas House reminds us, “fishing stories are among the best kind.” Other contributors include C.J. Box, Jim Minick, and Rebecca Gayle Howell.

Anglers of all stripes will relish these delectable morsels of love.

Pub Date: May 7, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-938235-52-8

Page Count: 216

Publisher: Hub City Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 4, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2019

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A tiny book, not much bigger than a pamphlet, with huge potential impact.

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A collection of articulate, forceful speeches made from September 2018 to September 2019 by the Swedish climate activist who was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

Speaking in such venues as the European and British Parliaments, the French National Assembly, the Austrian World Summit, and the U.N. General Assembly, Thunberg has always been refreshingly—and necessarily—blunt in her demands for action from world leaders who refuse to address climate change. With clarity and unbridled passion, she presents her message that climate change is an emergency that must be addressed immediately, and she fills her speeches with punchy sound bites delivered in her characteristic pull-no-punches style: “I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act.” In speech after speech, to persuade her listeners, she cites uncomfortable, even alarming statistics about global temperature rise and carbon dioxide emissions. Although this inevitably makes the text rather repetitive, the repetition itself has an impact, driving home her point so that no one can fail to understand its importance. Thunberg varies her style for different audiences. Sometimes it is the rousing “our house is on fire” approach; other times she speaks more quietly about herself and her hopes and her dreams. When addressing the U.S. Congress, she knowingly calls to mind the words and deeds of Martin Luther King Jr. and John F. Kennedy. The last speech in the book ends on a note that is both challenging and upbeat: “We are the change and change is coming.” The edition published in Britain earlier this year contained 11 speeches; this updated edition has 16, all worth reading.

A tiny book, not much bigger than a pamphlet, with huge potential impact.

Pub Date: Nov. 26, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-14-313356-8

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Penguin

Review Posted Online: Nov. 3, 2019

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An absorbing, wide-ranging story of humans’ relationship with the water.


A study of swimming as sport, survival method, basis for community, and route to physical and mental well-being.

For Bay Area writer Tsui (American Chinatown: A People's History of Five Neighborhoods, 2009), swimming is in her blood. As she recounts, her parents met in a Hong Kong swimming pool, and she often visited the beach as a child and competed on a swim team in high school. Midway through the engaging narrative, the author explains how she rejoined the team at age 40, just as her 6-year-old was signing up for the first time. Chronicling her interviews with scientists and swimmers alike, Tsui notes the many health benefits of swimming, some of which are mental. Swimmers often achieve the “flow” state and get their best ideas while in the water. Her travels took her from the California coast, where she dove for abalone and swam from Alcatraz back to San Francisco, to Tokyo, where she heard about the “samurai swimming” martial arts tradition. In Iceland, she met Guðlaugur Friðþórsson, a local celebrity who, in 1984, survived six hours in a winter sea after his fishing vessel capsized, earning him the nickname “the human seal.” Although humans are generally adapted to life on land, the author discovered that some have extra advantages in the water. The Bajau people of Indonesia, for instance, can do 10-minute free dives while hunting because their spleens are 50% larger than average. For most, though, it’s simply a matter of practice. Tsui discussed swimming with Dara Torres, who became the oldest Olympic swimmer at age 41, and swam with Kim Chambers, one of the few people to complete the daunting Oceans Seven marathon swim challenge. Drawing on personal experience, history, biology, and social science, the author conveys the appeal of “an unflinching giving-over to an element” and makes a convincing case for broader access to swimming education (372,000 people still drown annually).

An absorbing, wide-ranging story of humans’ relationship with the water.

Pub Date: April 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-61620-786-1

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Algonquin

Review Posted Online: Jan. 5, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

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