Whether you’re seeking a book for gift giving or just curling up by a cozy fireplace this winter, now is a good time to add two books to your reading list. You’ll like David Farbman’s The Hunt and Chris Cheng’s Shoot to Win.

The only thing upsetting about reading The Hunt was realizing it had been on my stack of books for several months and I could have enjoyed it sooner. D’oh! I don’t know why it took so long to get to the top of my pile, but I was glad it recently did. The Hunt, published by Jossey-Bass, is an excellent motivational book, but it also has sound strategic coaching for accomplishing life’s goals.

The Farbmans are a business-driven family and in The Hunt, David shares some of his entrepreneurial successes, though not all went the way he originally planned. He learned a lot from his biggest mistake, and not only did he turn that start-up around midstream (he calls it a “pivot” in the book), that very adjustment became what is today OutdoorHub—the very place you are reading this story and his book review. How quaint.

As a passionate hunter, Farbman uses hunting analogies and authentic terminology, connecting to the adventures surrounding all of our lives. Whether it’s business goals or personal goals, The Hunt motivates with real-life stories and applications from Farbman’s inner circle. Perhaps the reason I didn’t jump into The Hunt as soon as it arrived was because I can be a little bit leery of business executives cheerleading their can-do message. Maybe I have trust issues. I would never emulate some business people, even if by the world’s standards they were incredibly successful. Before I would follow anyone’s advice and counsel, I would need to know they were a person of integrity; someone worthy of my time and attention. I don’t want to be lured into the dark side. Farbman showed his integrity in The Hunt and set forth a plan that fits exactly within the parameters of ethical hunting. He is worth listening to and has my respect.

Will I let him guide me? Yes. Winning (or in the hunting analogy—killing) is not a whatever-it-takes-to-get-it-done outcome. There are decisions and strategies at every stage and we don’t pursue our goals in a vacuum. This is real world and the how to get things done is as important as how to treat people in the process.

Farbman gets all that, and challenges us in a fresh way to define our Desired Outcomes (DOs) while gaining clarity and focus. Because of the hunting parallels, it rings authentic because of strategies we already do, or in some cases, what we don’t do on our paths to success afield. I can recommend this book for anyone who owns their own business or is trying to get ahead in a job or career. It is also a great book for anyone with decisions looming and personal goals to achieve; goals such as attending college or owning a home.

For any novice hunter or shooter, I strongly recommend Chris Cheng’s Shoot to Win, just released by Skyhorse Publishers. Cheng was the season four winner of The History Channel’s Top Shot reality television series. Cheng’s book provides detailed safety information essential for hunters and shooters. He thoroughly covers important terms and tips for handguns, rifles, and shotguns. He intentionally avoids getting overly techie in some areas and encourages a more advanced reader to seek additional information in other sources. This is a solid cover for the basics and good marksmanship. Occasionally something new popped up and surprised me. For example, I knew the correct word was a “magazine” and not a “clip” from my own handgun experience and training for concealed carry, but I didn’t realize that there really is something else that is a clip. That made it clear for me; it wasn’t just someone’s anal retentive wig-out for their preference to call it a magazine. Clip is the wrong word for that method of delivering cartridges into certain semiautomatic firearms. Cheng shows a photo of several styles of clips used to load revolvers. Voilà! Now I know.

Cheng, like Farbman, sprinkled his own stories and experiences around the how-to strategies, so we also get to know Chris Cheng and some of his fundamentals for success in any goal setting in our lives, all while learning about firearm safety and basics. It’s pretty cool and would make a great gift.

K.J. Houtman is the author of the award-winning Fish On Kids Books series, chapter books for eight- to 12-year-olds with adventures based around fishing, camping, and hunting. Her work is available at Amazon and local bookstores. Find out more at fishonkidsbooks.com.

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