Will appeal to readers with subscriptions to both Guideposts and Guns & Ammo.


Pastor, insurance salesman and now-writer Drotos reflects on what he’s learned about getting through the hard times (divorce, bankruptcy, etc.) by hunting white-tailed deer in the Virginia woods.

In bite-sized anecdotes intended for reading in the deer stand, Drotos shares memories of his hunting life, beginning at age 18 when he killed his first buck. Amusingly, he relates getting suckered into buying a time-share for its hunting provisions and suffering a blow to his ego when he’s out-hunted by a first-timer. There are also cautionary tales, as when, seemingly in a fugue state, Drotos shoots and kills four deer, violating game law. “My definition of integrity is doing the right thing even when nobody is watching,” he writes. “I failed that day.” Now in his mid-40s, the author says his love for hunting has only increased—along with his tendency to find moral instruction in the sport. In practiced Sunday-school style, Drotos treats his hunting stories as parables from which one can easily draw the conclusion: “Life is nothing more than seasons,” “Life is never what you expect,” and “[L]ife is not a straight highway. It is more like a winding road.” Such bromides often feel at odds with the events described, as when Drotos writes of landing a lucky shot into a deer’s brain through the ear: “In life when you get your opportunity, pull the trigger (metaphorically speaking) to make your dream come true.” Some readers may also pause over Drotos’ tendency to see divine intervention in the oddest places. When a coyote crosses his path (and he kills the animal), the author calls it a “divine wink from God assuring me that He will be with me in both the good times and the bad ones.” The final section of the book is filled with lined pages in which readers can write their own hunting journal.

Will appeal to readers with subscriptions to both Guideposts and Guns & Ammo.

Pub Date: April 8, 2012

ISBN: 978-1466411678

Page Count: 140

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: July 3, 2012

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


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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An inspiring memoir that will thrill soccer fans as well as social justice activists.

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The soccer superstar discusses her life on and off the field and how she has used celebrity in the service of social justice.

Rapinoe grew up in “an athletic family” in small-town Northern California. Early in childhood, she and her identical twin, Rachael, revealed exceptional physical gifts. Both began playing soccer on a boys team at age 6 and quickly overshadowed peers with their "instinctive hand-eye coordination and physical fearlessness.” Later, they played on an all-female team their father created until both were selected to join a bigger, more competitive one in Sacramento. As their soccer skills developed, the sisters discovered a passion for justice of all kinds. “My sister and I have this in common: nothing riles us up more than bullying, cheating, unfairness,” writes the author. Eventually, this passion for social justice became the cornerstone of Rapinoe's stances on such issues as LGBTQ+ rights, pay equity in sports, and the Black Lives Matter movement. When the author reached college in 2004, she surpassed Rachael as an athlete and received an invitation to play in the FIFA Under-19 Women's World Championship in Thailand. In 2006, she joined the U.S. national team as the "youngest and least experienced player.” A major knee injury put her out of contention for the 2008 Olympic team but also taught her the meaning of patience and humility. After college, she turned professional and, in 2012, publicly came out as a lesbian. After a World Cup victory in 2015, Rapinoe became a vocal advocate for pay increases for female athletes, and in 2016, she took a knee to protest racial injustice. This candid memoir about an outspoken White athlete who has consciously "extend[ed] [her] privilege" to those marginalized people both in and out of the sporting world is sure to engage general audiences and soccer fans alike.

An inspiring memoir that will thrill soccer fans as well as social justice activists.

Pub Date: Nov. 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-984881-16-8

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Penguin Press

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2020

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