Tag Archives: The Rise of Wolf 8

Book Club Reflection: The Rise of Wolf 8 by Rick McIntyre

16 Nov

My book club met last week to talk about our latest read, The Rise of Wolf 8 by Rick McIntyre. This was a read I listened to, mostly while moving and driving back and forth between my apartment and my new house so I was able to get through it rather quickly. It wasn’t one I particularly enjoyed but, as I suspected, I was the minority when we met to talk about it.

McIntyre clearly knows a lot and understands wolves well. He’s able to describe the narrative of wolf interaction and is a gifted storyteller. Now, he’s not going to win a Nobel for his writing, but it was still more engaging than most naturalists can probably tell a story about non-verbal animals. Sometimes, he walked a line between telling a story and sharing his research. But his connections to the wolves are strong and he shows his passion. The second book in this series, The Reign of Wolf 21, came out this past September and there’s a planned third book to finish the series.

The reader who most liked this book already liked wolves and dogs. It did get one reader to have a greater affinity for wolves than she’d had before. Many with pet dogs were able to compare the behavior to their dogs. One thing that didn’t come across as well in the book was the size of Yellowstone. A few of our members had visited the park and they said you couldn’t imagine the range of the park and by focusing on the wolves, you didn’t always get a sense of how far apart they were. The Wolf Project is a big undertaking for the park, which is funded with public funds. Some questioned if the public supported the project enough to justify the cost. It seems like McIntyre’s arguing that the additional revenue to Yellowstone is enough to pay for the project and that it’s also supported surrounding businesses.

We had a few criticisms that were shared almost universally. One is that the middle of the book seemed repetitive and long. I noticed this myself and was glad I wasn’t alone. The second was that with the animals being numbered it was easy to forget the relationships and who packed with who if you didn’t read the book daily. I heard the print version contained a family tree that I would have found immeasurably helpful. We heard that the rationale for numbering the wolves is to keep the researchers from getting so attached to the animals. Though, McIntyre seems to do this anyway. Jane Goodall was criticized for naming the chimps she studied since the generally accepted practice is to use numbers.

We’re going to continue to meet virtually so I plan to continue attending. Once this group meets in person again, I’ll likely drop off since it’s now quite far from me.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

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WWW Wednesday, 28-October-2020

28 Oct

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: I made an effort to make some progress on Running with a Police Escort by Jill Grunenwald this week and it’s gone well! I’m getting closer to the end and I’m optimistic I’ll finish this one in November. Fingers crossed!
I’m moving quickly through The Millionaires by Brad Meltzer and think I can finish it within a week. The short chapters make it easy to think ‘Just one more’ a few times before turning in for the night. My husband is usually snoring before I put it down.
I was able to start a new audiobook over the weekend and snagged a copy of The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare. It’s not terribly long and I’m hoping I can finish it in a week or two. It looks like I was the only person not to read this as a child so I’m glad I’m finally catching up!

Recently finished: I finished The Rise of Wolf 8 by Rick McIntyre while I was cooking dinner one night. It felt so good to finish a book with my house in boxes all around me! At least one thing was done. I was able to post my review on Monday so please go check that out. I gave the book Three out of Five Stars.

I also posted my review for Lipstick Jihad by Azadeh Moaveni on Thursday. I liked this book but it wasn’t a good fit for reading right before bed. I ended up giving it Three out of Five Stars.

Reading next: I’m looking to finish up my reading challenge with my next audiobook. Some detailed Googling led me to A Burnable Book by Bruce Holsinger. I don’t know much about it except the setting but I’m so pumped to finish the challenge that I’ll jump in with two feet.
I’ll likely need another physical book soon. This may sound crazy, but I haven’t made it to our new library to get a library card yet, so I’ll be taking from my personal stash for at least one more book. Next on my list is Knitting Yarns by Ann Hood. A friend of mine bought this for me years and years ago and I’m sorry it’s taken me this long to get to it.


Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

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Book Review: The Rise of Wolf 8 by Rick McIntyre (3/5)

26 Oct

It had been a while since we’d done a nonfiction book for one of my book clubs so I was a bit excited when we selected one. I’ve never been a big fan of wolves and I don’t own dogs (I’m allergic) so I don’t think I was a target audience for this one. Nevertheless, I recognize that Rick is an expert like few others in his field and he was able to tell a compelling story.

Cover image via Amazon

The Rise of Wolf 8 by Rick McIntyre

Summary from Amazon:

Yellowstone National Park was once home to an abundance of wild wolves—but park rangers killed the last of their kind in the 1920s. Decades later, the rangers brought them back, with the first wolves arriving from Canada in 1995.

This is the incredible true story of one of those wolves.

Wolf 8 struggles at first—he is smaller than the other pups, and often bullied—but soon he bonds with an alpha female whose mate was shot. An unusually young alpha male, barely a teenager in human years, Wolf 8 rises to the occasion, hunting skillfully, and even defending his family from the wolf who killed his father. But soon he faces a new opponent: his adopted son, who mates with a violent alpha female. Can Wolf 8 protect his valley without harming his protégé?

I hadn’t heard of this project and when I started reading, was really excited to see how such an ambitious program would play out. Moving wild wolves to a new area and seeing if they’d survive sounded like a massive undertaking. McIntyre is the perfect person to tell this story because he was there from the beginning and his perspective of the project is unlike any other. The afterword of the book really highlights how much time he’s spent with the wolves and how unusual that is, even among wolf researchers. I really liked the expertise McIntyre brought to the book.

I don’t know why I was surprised by the variety of personalities the wolves had. Wolf 40 was so aggressive while 21 and 8 were so mild-mannered and able to avoid confrontation. I shouldn’t have been surprised, my turtles have distinct personalities and they’re way less complex than a wolf. McIntyre’s expertise and the amount of time he spent watching them made for some great descriptions and a lot of details about the personalities of each wolf and the pack politics that each fit into.

Despite the title, I felt the book focused more on Wolf 21 and I enjoyed his story. 21 was born in the park and we see him go from an orphaned pup to a strong Alpha. I liked his journey and how he interacted with 8 when they met at the end.

The wolf personalities were so distinct and McIntyre was able to get into their heads so well that they almost seemed like characters in a story, dealing with family drama and a fight with nature. I can’t say I related to the wolves, but I could see a lot of human traits in them that made the story read a lot more like fiction.

Rick McIntyre
Image via Amazon

I liked it when McIntyre would talk about the pups. It made me think of puppies and always brought a smile to my face. The ways they would play together were adorable and I liked how McIntyre described their games and the play bows they did. It had a lot of human and domesticated-dog feeling to it.

In spots, the book dragged on with a bit too much description. It’s clear McIntyre takes extensive field notes and on some occasions, it felt like he was just reading his field notes without too much thought given to a narrative plotline. This wasn’t often, however, and I would find that these stretches did end and wouldn’t come up again for a while. They stuck out to me a bit when they did.

The audiobook was narrated by Geoff Sugiyama and I thought he did a great job with the story. Because the wolves don’t talk, there wasn’t any voice acting that required different voices, but Geoff kept the story interesting. I’m not sure how he’d do with a fiction title, but he did great with this non-fiction piece.

How the wolves in Yellowstone thrived seemed like a testament to resilience in nature. It was great to hear that animals could be reintroduced to an environment where they’d been wiped out and that they could do well and create a community. It goes to show that if we make an effort to help nature, we can make an impact.

Writer’s Takeaway: McIntyre is an expert and he shows his dominant knowledge well in this book. You can see that he is knowledgeable and passionate in a way that few people are. His willingness to get up at unreasonable hours so that he can sit still for 19 hours and watch wolves without any financial compensation isn’t something you’ll find in many people. When someone with that level of expertise is able to share what they know, it’s fun to read and share their passion.

Overall, an important book and one that taught me a lot. However, I wasn’t the right audience for this one and that’s the only reason I didn’t enjoy it more. Three out of Five Stars.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Related Post: 
In Search of Wolves, Day 1 (Gunnison to Craig, Colorado) – March 05, 2020 | Rockey Mountain Hiker 

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Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

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WWW Wednesday, 21-October-2020

21 Oct

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: With all the moving craziness of last week, I haven’t touched Running with a Police Escort by Jill Grunenwald. I hope to get a bit more in, but it may be a bit before I find the time. I’m liking this one a lot and I hope to finish it this month but I’m not holding myself too that too strongly.
I’m enjoying having The Millionaires by Brad Meltzer to turn to for some escapism. The fast pace is wonderful for my short attention span right now.
I started a new audiobook and had a ton of time to listen to it while driving back and forth on moving day! It’s my next book club pick, The Rise of Wolf 8 by Rick McIntyre. It’s been a while since we did some non-fiction so it’s a nice change of pace. I’ll have this one finished up by next week easily.

Recently finished: Nothing this week but after having two last week, I’m not worried. I did write a review for The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo which posted on Monday so please check that out!

Reading next: I need to start focusing on my reading challenge so I’m going to try and get a copy of The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare. It’s been a while since I read a MG/YA book and this time period setting is perfect for my 1500-1699 slot in the historical fiction challenge!


Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

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