A SPORTSMAN'S LIFE

HOW I BUILT ORVIS BY MIXING BUSINESS AND SPORT

Perkins, former CEO of Orvis, has never had a bad day fly fishing or bird hunting, nor many selling the sports and their accouterments to the public, as reported in this memoir written with sporting journalist and Forbes FYI contributor Norman. Perkins was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, but his father encouraged him to go into business: “He knew only a few men who did not work and were happy and that they were inevitably men of very high intelligence—He added that he didn’t think I qualified.” Perkins keeps this self-effacing tone brewing throughout the book, giving credit to his co-workers and his customers and his own native wits to turn Orvis into the grand sporting emporium it became under his near 30-year stewardship. Equal emphasis is placed on Perkins’s business philosophy and his days afield. In a twangy voice, he’ll drop his nuggets of business wisdom, most of which possess a Dale Carnegie common sense: love your work, be serious, innovate and stay ahead of the curve, listen to the customer, don’t be governed by a cash push but rather by the pull of an idea. These points, and the various tactical moves he made situating Orvis to capitalize on the fly-fishing boom of the 1980s, are invariably nestled in well-paced stories of hunting red-legged partridge in Spain, rough shooting in northern Scotland, going after salmon in Norway’s Alma River, trout in the chalk streams of England, and tarpon off Belize. And always he’s out there putting the Orvis equipment through its paces: “I tested that rod on the Malleo River in Argentina in late March when the red stags were bugling in the hills and the geese were gathering to migrate.” Hunters and fishers will weep with envy at Perkins’s life, and those who don’t may well be tempted to try them as he writes of these pursuits with humility and genuine relish. (photos, not seen) (First printing of 75,000; $100,000 ad/promo; author tour)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-87113-757-7

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Atlantic Monthly

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1999

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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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UNTAMED

More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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An engrossing memoir as well as a lively treatise on what extraordinary grace under extraordinary pressure looks like.

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BECOMING

The former first lady opens up about her early life, her journey to the White House, and the eight history-making years that followed.

It’s not surprising that Obama grew up a rambunctious kid with a stubborn streak and an “I’ll show you” attitude. After all, it takes a special kind of moxie to survive being the first African-American FLOTUS—and not only survive, but thrive. For eight years, we witnessed the adversity the first family had to face, and now we get to read what it was really like growing up in a working-class family on Chicago’s South Side and ending up at the world’s most famous address. As the author amply shows, her can-do attitude was daunted at times by racism, leaving her wondering if she was good enough. Nevertheless, she persisted, graduating from Chicago’s first magnet high school, Princeton, and Harvard Law School, and pursuing careers in law and the nonprofit world. With her characteristic candor and dry wit, she recounts the story of her fateful meeting with her future husband. Once they were officially a couple, her feelings for him turned into a “toppling blast of lust, gratitude, fulfillment, wonder.” But for someone with a “natural resistance to chaos,” being the wife of an ambitious politician was no small feat, and becoming a mother along the way added another layer of complexity. Throw a presidential campaign into the mix, and even the most assured woman could begin to crack under the pressure. Later, adjusting to life in the White House was a formidable challenge for the self-described “control freak”—not to mention the difficulty of sparing their daughters the ugly side of politics and preserving their privacy as much as possible. Through it all, Obama remained determined to serve with grace and help others through initiatives like the White House garden and her campaign to fight childhood obesity. And even though she deems herself “not a political person,” she shares frank thoughts about the 2016 election.

An engrossing memoir as well as a lively treatise on what extraordinary grace under extraordinary pressure looks like.

Pub Date: Nov. 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6313-8

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 30, 2018

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