‘Wisdom and Things’ Video Review: Barbara Baird

Are you looking to get inspired in 2023? Barbara Baird, our publisher, knows just the book to read! Barbara met Vera Koo almost a decade ago, and has watched from the sidelines as Vera excelled first at professional shooting, and then as an author sharing her life’s experiences. In this video, Barbara answers a few questions about Koo’s second book “Wisdom and Things,” and reads us an inspiring passage.

Sometimes, the most powerful and the most memorable experiences are the ones you least expect. ~ Vera Koo

Review: Vera Koo’s ‘Wisdom and Things’

Below is an excerpt from Barbara’s written review of ‘Wisdom and Things.’ Click here to read her full review.

Time has faded the memory of how Vera Koo agreed to start contributing monthly columns to this publication. It happened after meeting her at a prestigious pistol shooting match several years ago, and talking about how valuable her life story could be to others. I thought surely Vera would be able to inspire other women to try the shooting sports. But little did I imagine that she would go on to inspire women to aspire to greatness within themselves. 

Vera’s first book, “The Most Unlikely Champion, A Memoir,” (cowritten with Justin Pahl) was published in 2017. Through that book, I saw how Vera overcame some of the most challenging life scenarios anyone can go through – such as death and betrayal. Throughout the book, she never pats herself on the back, but instead, picks herself up and tells us why she is worth the effort. That’s what we learn from her – that we are worth it, no matter what life throws at us.

Vera's New Book Wisdom and Things
Barbara Baird review

Shortly after Vera wrote the first book, she began compiling her second book, “Wisdom and Things: Essays from an Unlikely Champion” (with co-author Blake Toppmeyer). Again, the unlikely champion moniker that she hangs on herself is well-earned. You’ll find out why if you read the first book. But in this book, she organizes her thoughts into sections: 

  • Becoming a Champion
  • Get Knocked Down? Get Up Stronger
  • A Little Religion. A Little Philosophy. A Little Introspection.
  • Lessons from Travel

Although I’ve read most of these essays, in the form of her columns at The WON, I enjoyed how she grouped the topics in the book. Vera draws parallels between shooting and life, or travel and life. In fact, the travel section ranks as my favorite. You’ll understand, after you read this part, that Vera is an itinerate traveler, always ready for the next adventure.

  • About Jackie Richardson

    Jackie Baird Richardson is an interior designer, editor at The WON and avid junker. Watch for her design tips and occasional crafting ideas, bringing the outdoors indoors.