Hot Summer Reads

hot-summer-reads-cover-images

I’m looking forward to the next chapter of the Mexican Revolution by two authors who have covered this history splendidly, The Plan de San Diego: Tejano Rebellion, Mexican Intrigue, by Charles H. Harris III and Louis R. Sadler (University of Nebraska Press, July 2013).

Bob Alexander, Riding Lucifer’s Line (University of North Texas Press, May 2013)

*****

I am working on reading the entire collection of Louis L’Amour novels. I’m also looking forward to Andrew Isenberg’s book Wyatt Earp: A Vigilante Life (Hill and Wang, June 2013).

Catherine Holder Spude, Spur finalist for “That Fiend in Hell:” Soapy Smith in Legend (University of Oklahoma Press)

*****

I will set aside everything to read Riding Lucifer’s Line by Bob Alexander (University of North Texas Press, May 2013).

Chuck Parsons, coauthor of A Lawless Breed: John Wesley Hardin, Texas Reconstruction, and Violence in the Wild West (University of North Texas Press, June 2013)

*****

Paul Hedren’s Ho! For the Black Hills (South Dakota State Historical Society Press) and Joan Nabseth Stevenson’s Deliverance from Little Big Horn (University of Oklahoma Press) were both already on my reading list before their selections as Spur finalists. I will also read the two books from Candace Simar’s four-book series of the Sioux Conflict of 1862 that I have not read yet: Birdie and Blooming Prairie (both from North Star Press of St. Cloud).

Doreen Chaky, Spur finalist for Terrible Justice: Sioux Chiefs and U.S. Soldiers on the Upper Missouri, 1854-1868 (Arthur H. Clark Co.)

*****

Along with my Italian travel guides for my vacation in Italy, I’ll be reading Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History by S.C. Gwynne (Scribner).

James P. Muehlberger, The Lost Cause: The Trials of Frank and Jesse James (Westholme Publishing, May 2013)

*****

I’ll be reading Railroaded by Richard White (W.W. Norton & Co.); Empire of Shadows: The Epic Story of Yellowstone by George Black (St. Martin’s); and The Papers of Edward S. Curtis Relating to Custer’s Last Battle edited by James S. Hutchins (Upton & Sons).

Joan Nabseth Stevenson, Spur finalist for Deliverance from Little Big Horn: Doctor Henry Porter and Custer’s Seventh Cavalry (University of Oklahoma Press)

*****

I plan to read The Machine in the Garden: Technology and the Pastoral Ideal in America by Leo Marx (Oxford University Press reprint; Kindle edition); Badges, Bears, and Eagles, a true-life account of the experience of a California game warden, by Steve Callan (Coffeetown Press, March 2013; Kindle edition); and Tucker’s Reckoning, this year’s Spur winner for best Western short novel, by Matthew P. Mayo (New American Library; Kindle edition).

–John D. Nesbitt, Dark Prairie (Five Star, July 2013)

*****

Sandra K. Sagala’s Buffalo Bill on the Silver Screen: The Films of William F. Cody (University of Oklahoma Press, August 2013). She did a great job recounting Cody’s stage career, and I’m looking forward to seeing what she does with the movies.

–Johnny D. Boggs, Spur finalist for And There I’ll Be a Soldier (Five Star, January 2013) and author of upcoming Five Star Westerns: Wreaths of Glory (August) and Greasy Grass (December)

*****

I’m looking forward to reading The Texans by Brett Cogburn (Berkley, September 2013); he’s a young, exciting author who has a promising career ahead of him. Also on my
to-be-read pile are The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin (HarperCollins) and County of the Bad Wolfes by James Carlos Blake (Cinco Puntos Press).

–Larry D. Sweazy, Spur winner for The Coyote Tracker (Berkley) and author of The Gila Wars (Berkley, May 2013)

*****

I plan to read American Gun by Chris Kyle (William Morrow, June 2013), which tells the story of 10 significant guns in American history, including the Colt Single Action Army and Model 1873 Winchester. I was both saddened and angered to read of Kyle’s death last February at the hands of a veteran he was trying to help.

–Mark Lee Gardner, Shot All to Hell: Jesse James, the Northfield Raid, and the Wild West’s Greatest Escape (William Morrow, July 2013)

*****

I’ll be fact-checking the first draft of my Doc Holliday novel Epitaph as I read Tim Fattig’s massive and magisterial biography Wyatt Earp (Talei Publishers). It’s very difficult to get a copy, but Burt Webster at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone recently loaned me his. Jeff Guinn’s The Last Gunfight (Simon & Schuster) has the narrative drive of a novel, but I like to recheck everything and Tim’s work explores every nook and cranny of the events in Tombstone. My library has about 24 linear feet of reference works for this novel, but those two are my go-to sources for the overall arc of the story.

–Mary Doria Russell, Doc: A Novel (Random House)

*****

I’ll probably dive into Ivan Doig’s new novel, The Bartender’s Tale (Riverhead). And I’m looking forward to reading the final volume in Rick Atkinson’s epic WWII trilogy, The Guns at Last Light (Henry Holt & Co., May 2013). Doig and Atkinson are both master storytellers with wonderful commands of the English language.

–Paul Hedren, Spur finalist for Ho! For the Black Hills: Captain Jack Crawford Reports the Black Hills Gold Rush and Great Sioux War (South Dakota SHS Press)

*****

Sandra K. Sagala’s Buffalo Bill on the Silver Screen: The Films of William F. Cody (University of Oklahoma Press, August 2013). She did a great job recounting Cody’s stage career, and I’m looking forward to seeing what she does with the movies.

–Johnny D. Boggs, Spur finalist for And There I’ll Be a Soldier (Five Star, January 2013) and author of upcoming Five Star Westerns: Wreaths of Glory (August) and Greasy Grass (December)

I’m looking forward to reading The Texans by Brett Cogburn (Berkley, September 2013); he’s a young, exciting author who has a promising career ahead of him. Also on my to-be-read pile are The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin (HarperCollins) and County of the Bad Wolfes by James Carlos Blake (Cinco Puntos Press).

–Larry D. Sweazy, Spur winner for The Coyote Tracker (Berkley) and author of The Gila Wars (Berkley, May 2013)

*****

I plan to read American Gun by Chris Kyle (William Morrow, June 2013), which tells the story of 10 significant guns in American history, including the Colt Single Action Army and Model 1873 Winchester. I was both saddened and angered to read of Kyle’s death last February at the hands of a veteran he was trying to help.

–Mark Lee Gardner, Shot All to Hell: Jesse James, the Northfield Raid, and the Wild West’s Greatest Escape (William Morrow, July 2013)

*****

I’ll be fact-checking the first draft of my Doc Holliday novel Epitaph as I read Tim Fattig’s massive and magisterial biography Wyatt Earp (Talei Publishers). It’s very difficult to get a copy, but Burt Webster at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone recently loaned me his. Jeff Guinn’s The Last Gunfight (Simon & Schuster) has the narrative drive of a novel, but I like to recheck everything and Tim’s work explores every nook and cranny of the events in Tombstone. My library has about 24 linear feet of reference works for this novel, but those two are my go-to sources for the overall arc of the story.

–Mary Doria Russell, Doc: A Novel (Random House)

*****

I’ll probably dive into Ivan Doig’s new novel, The Bartender’s Tale (Riverhead). And I’m looking forward to reading the final volume in Rick Atkinson’s epic WWII trilogy, The Guns at Last Light (Henry Holt & Co., May 2013). Doig and Atkinson are both master storytellers with wonderful commands of the English language.

–Paul Hedren, Spur finalist for Ho! For the Black Hills: Captain Jack Crawford Reports the Black Hills Gold Rush and Great Sioux War (South Dakota SHS Press)

*****

Once I turn in my manuscript on Mickey Free and the Apache Wars to Crown this summer, I hope to read Glenn Frankel’s The Searchers: The Making of an American Legend (Bloomsbury, February 2013), which is getting great reviews and has already become a bestseller; Ann Kirschner’s Lady at the O.K. Corral: The True Story of Josephine Marcus Earp (Harper, March 2013) looks fascinating; and Bob Thompson’s Born on a Mountaintop: On the Road with Davy Crockett and the Ghosts of the Wild Frontier (Crown, March 2013) is right up my alley.

–Paul Hutton, editor of Western Heritage: A Selection of Wrangler Award-winning Articles (University of Oklahoma Press)

*****

Next up on my reading stack is a new poetry collection by John Dofflemyer, Gate Left Open (Dry Crik Press). Dofflemyer’s Proclaiming Space is this year’s winner of the Cowboy Hall of Fame’s Wrangler award for Poetry.

–Red Shuttleworth, Spur award winner for Best Western Poem, Johnny Ringo, (Riverhouse Lit)

*****

I’ll be finishing Hilary Mantel’s numinous memoir, Giving up the Ghost (Henry Holt), and Ben Fountain’s novel, a National Book Award finalist, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (Ecco). I think I’ll take a look at Glendon Swarthout’s classic The Homesman (Weidenfeld & Nicolson), my last chance to read it before Tommy Lee Jones makes a movie out of it and it will no longer be possible to imagine the characters without picturing Jones and Meryl Streep and Hilary Swank.

–Stephen Harrigan, The Eye of the Mammoth: Selected Essays (University of Texas Press, April 2013)

*****

This summer I’m planning on reading Jeff Guinn’s The Last Gunfight (Simon & Schuster) and Robert Morgan’s Lions of the West (Algonquin). Also, coming out this summer, from Hill and Wang, is Andrew Isenberg’s fine biography of Wyatt Earp, Wyatt Earp: A Vigilante Life, which I read prepublication.

–Thomas Cobb, Spur award winner for With Blood in Their Eyes (University of Arizona Press)

*****

As I research my project to compare Billy the Kid with Australia’s Ned Kelly, I will be reading Fred Nolan’s The Billy the Kid Reader (University of Oklahoma Press), which contains many entries I had read, but some that I had not. Just finished an excellent book by John Meredith and Bill Scott, Ned Kelly: After a Century of Acrimony (Lansdowne Press). Finally, the incontestably best biography, which I am re-reading after 10 years, is by Ian Jones, Ned Kelly: A Short Life (Lothian Books).

–Robert Utley, Spur and Wrangler winner for Geronimo (Yale University Press)

 





Related Posts

  • summer book reviews for western travel

    Go on the road with five masterful storytellers. Find out what your favorite authors are reading…

  • rodeo-summer

    Trevor Hodge graduates from college with a degree in accounting, but his life changes abruptly…

  • In her novel The Audacity of Patience Levi, Billie Bierer based her lead character on…