A generous, stirring collection honoring loving relationships, hope in hard times and religious devotion.

THE WINDS OF TIME

Newfoundland-born author Difalco adds to her growing catalog of inspirational verse with a masterful collection of poems.

The author’s latest poetry collection—the first published for an American audience—is a veritable font of wisdom about such profound issues as life, death, family and faith. Like many other talented poets, Difalco uses her own experiences, her memories, and stories told to her as inspiration for verse. In one particularly poignant piece, she reminisces about her grandparents who were lighthouse keepers: “The winds of time now gently flow / The lamps are trimmed and fit / From sunset rays till early dawn / All through the night you sit.” She bases many of her precisely metered verses on real events, as in the stirring “Don’t Leave Me,” about a lone survivor of a plane crash awaiting help in the cold ocean: “I must not drift back into night.” In “Only a Girl,” based on a story told to the poet, an old man buries his wife but sees her only as she was when she was young. Although a few verses reflect larger socioeconomic issues such as homelessness or environmental decay, the main themes are nostalgia and finding strength in religious faith. The collection could have drifted dangerously toward sentimentality, but the author’s deft touch maintains a wise voice throughout, keeping the verses strong and clear rather than melodramatic—a difficult high-wire act for any writer. Despite her tendencies toward Christian themes, nonbelievers may find solace and joy in her descriptions of the power of the natural world and of the comfort of loving family members past and present. This volume might make an excellent gift for friends in need of a touchstone of inspiration.

A generous, stirring collection honoring loving relationships, hope in hard times and religious devotion. 

Pub Date: Aug. 27, 2013

ISBN: 978-1452579924

Page Count: 94

Publisher: BalboaPress

Review Posted Online: April 3, 2014

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A pithy, upbeat memoir by a self-described romantic feminist.

THE SOUL OF A WOMAN

The popular Chilean novelist shares life's lessons.

Approaching 80, Allende offers wise thoughts on aging, romance, sex, love, and, above all, her feminism—which began in kindergarten, when she saw her mother, abandoned with three small children, forced to become dependent on men. “I became obsessed with justice,” writes the author, “and developed a visceral reaction to male chauvinism.” Angry and often rebellious, Allende was “expelled from school—run by German Catholic nuns—at age 6, accused of insubordination; it was a prelude to my future.” Thankfully, her doting grandfather, although “the unquestionable patriarch of the family,” encouraged her abilities; “he understood the disadvantages of being a woman and wanted to give me the tools I needed so I would never have to depend on anyone.” Married at 20 and soon a mother of two, Allende felt stifled until she joined the staff of Paula magazine, where writing provided an outlet for her restlessness. The author charts the evolution of her own “fluid, powerful, deep” feminism as it relates to her self-image. While she refuses “to submit to the Eurocentric feminine ideal—young, white, tall, thin, and fit,” she does “jump out of bed an hour before everybody else to shower and put on makeup because when I wake up I look like a defeated boxer.” Now happily married to her third husband, Allende claims that “love rejuvenates” and that after menopause, life gets easier, “but only if we minimize our expectations, give up resentment, and relax in the knowledge that no one, except those closest to us, gives a damn about who we are or what we do.” Buoyed by the “spiritual practice circle” she dubs the “Sisters of Perpetual Disorder” and involved in a foundation dedicated to empowering vulnerable women and girls, Allende is ultimately joyful: “My theory and practice is to say yes to life and then I’ll see how I manage along the way.”

A pithy, upbeat memoir by a self-described romantic feminist.

Pub Date: March 2, 2021

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: Dec. 10, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2021

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A welcome reference, entertaining and information-packed, for any outdoors-inclined reader.

THE MEATEATER GUIDE TO WILDERNESS SKILLS AND SURVIVAL

The bad news: On any given outdoor expedition, you are your own worst enemy. The good news: If you are prepared, which this book helps you achieve, you might just live through it.

As MeatEater host and experienced outdoorsman Rinella notes, there are countless dangers attendant in going into mountains, woods, or deserts; he quotes journalist Wes Siler: “People have always managed to find stupid ways to die.” Avoiding stupid mistakes is the overarching point of Rinella’s latest book, full of provocative and helpful advice. One stupid way to die is not to have the proper equipment. There’s a complication built into the question, given that when humping gear into the outdoors, weight is always an issue. The author’s answer? “Build your gear list by prioritizing safety.” That entails having some means of communication, water, food, and shelter foremost and then adding on “extra shit.” As to that, he notes gravely, “a National Park Service geologist recently estimated that as much as 215,000 pounds of feces has been tossed haphazardly into crevasses along the climbing route on Denali National Park’s Kahiltna Glacier, where climbers melt snow for drinking water.” Ingesting fecal matter is a quick route to sickness, and Rinella adds, there are plenty of outdoorspeople who have no idea of how to keep their bodily wastes from ruining the scenery or poisoning the water supply. Throughout, the author provides precise information about wilderness first aid, ranging from irrigating wounds to applying arterial pressure to keeping someone experiencing a heart attack (a common event outdoors, given that so many people overexert without previous conditioning) alive. Some takeaways: Keep your crotch dry, don’t pitch a tent under a dead tree limb, walk side-hill across mountains, and “do not enter a marsh or swamp in flip-flops, and think twice before entering in strap-on sandals such as Tevas or Chacos.”

A welcome reference, entertaining and information-packed, for any outdoors-inclined reader.

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-12969-2

Page Count: 464

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2020

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