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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Jahren transcends both memoir and science writing in this literary fusion of both genres.

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LAB GIRL

Award-winning scientist Jahren (Geology and Geophysics/Univ. of Hawaii) delivers a personal memoir and a paean to the natural world.

The author’s father was a physics and earth science teacher who encouraged her play in the laboratory, and her mother was a student of English literature who nurtured her love of reading. Both of these early influences engrossingly combine in this adroit story of a dedication to science. Jahren’s journey from struggling student to struggling scientist has the narrative tension of a novel and characters she imbues with real depth. The heroes in this tale are the plants that the author studies, and throughout, she employs her facility with words to engage her readers. We learn much along the way—e.g., how the willow tree clones itself, the courage of a seed’s first root, the symbiotic relationship between trees and fungi, and the airborne signals used by trees in their ongoing war against insects. Trees are of key interest to Jahren, and at times she waxes poetic: “Each beginning is the end of a waiting. We are each given exactly one chance to be. Each of us is both impossible and inevitable. Every replete tree was first a seed that waited.” The author draws many parallels between her subjects and herself. This is her story, after all, and we are engaged beyond expectation as she relates her struggle in building and running laboratory after laboratory at the universities that have employed her. Present throughout is her lab partner, a disaffected genius named Bill, whom she recruited when she was a graduate student at Berkeley and with whom she’s worked ever since. The author’s tenacity, hope, and gratitude are all evident as she and Bill chase the sweetness of discovery in the face of the harsh economic realities of the research scientist.

Jahren transcends both memoir and science writing in this literary fusion of both genres.

Pub Date: April 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-101-87493-6

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Jan. 5, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2016

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

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ONE LIFE

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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