Books

Reviews of literature from the West


Books: Writing the West (Fly Fishing 2013)

Fly Fishing 2013       Written By Matthew P. Mayo      

Fly-Fishing: The Sacred Art — Casting a Fly as a Spiritual Practice Fly-Fishing: The Sacred Art — Casting a Fly as a Spiritual Practice (Skylight Paths; $16.99) by Rabbi Eric Eisenkramer…

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Books: Reading the West

Summer 2015       Written By Erin H. Turner      

Lentil Underground (Gotham Books, $26.95) is an entertaining, moving and thought-provoking portrayal of a group of renegade farmers and ranchers in Montana who, for the past 40 years, have been…

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Books: Writing the West (Arts 2013)

Arts 2013       Written By Matthew P. Mayo      

Todd Wilkinson’s Last Stand: Ted Turner’s Quest to Save a Troubled Planet Todd Wilkinson’s Last Stand: Ted Turner’s Quest to Save a Troubled Planet (Lyons Press; $26.95) leads me to suspect that Ted…

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Books: Writing the West (Fall 2014)

Fall 2014       Written By Erin H. Turner      

If Not for This In his new novel, If Not for This (Red Hen Press, $14.95), Pete Fromm weaves a powerful love story within the misshapen lives of Maddy and…

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Books: Reading the West

Winter 2016       Written By Erin H. Turner      

Edward Stanton likes structure. He likes consistency. He likes precision. He has deeply ingrained habits, like kissing his wife eight times before she leaves the house in the morning. But…

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Books: Writing The West (Summer 2010)

Summer 2010       Written By Matthew P. Mayo      

Becoming Teddy Roosevelt Andrew Vietze's Becoming Teddy Roosevelt (Down East Books, $22.95), as unlikely as it seems, is about a specific — and all-encompassing — aspect of the great man’s life…

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Books: Writing the West (Fly Fishing 2014)

Fly Fishing 2014       Written By Erin H. Turner      

Fly Fishing Must-Reads Perhaps no American sport, besides baseball, constantly inspires the wide variety of literature that fly fishing does. From guides for experts and amateurs to literature on fishing, there…

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Books: Reading the West

Summer 2016       Written By Erin H. Turner      

Terry Tempest Williams visits and revisits 12 national parks in her new book, The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America’s National Parks (Sarah Crichton Books, $27).  Williams’ latest…

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Books: Writing the West (Winter 2011)

Winter 2011       Written By Matthew P. Mayo      

Hand Raised: The Barns of Montana This comprehensive history and photo essay of historic barns featured in Hand Raised: The Barns of Montana (Montana Historical Society Press;  $39.95) is as much…

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Books: Writing the West (Arts 2010)

Arts 2010       Written By Matthew P. Mayo      

How to Build a Dinosaur When I first read the back-cover copy of How to Build a Dinosaur: The New Science of Reverse Evolution (Plume Books, $16), I thought, “Come on already,…

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Books: Reading the West

Fall 2015       Written By Erin H. Turner      

Jeff Guinn’s Buffalo Trail (Putnam, $27) picks up where his previous novel Glorious left off, continuing the story of Cash McLendon, the former protégé of a St. Louis businessman on…

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Books: Writing the West (Winter 2010)

Winter 2010       Written By Matthew P. Mayo      

Blindsided After a quick read of the flap copy of Blindsided: Surviving a Grizzly Attack and Still Loving the Great Bear (St. Martin’s Press; $25.99), one could be excused for…

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Books: Writing the West (Fly Fishing 2011)

Fly Fishing 2011       Written By Matthew P. Mayo      

Beyond Catch & Release Paul Guernsey's latest book, Beyond Catch & Release: Exploring the Future of Fly Fishing (Skyhorse Publishing; $19.95) is a thoughtful, reasoned road map of fly fishing, of…

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Books: Writing the West (Fly Fishing 2015)

Fly Fishing 2015       Written By Erin H. Turner      

Animal Weapons: The Evolution of Battle, by Douglas J. Emlen and illustrated by David J. Tuss (Henry Holt, $32.50), has a kind of gleeful exuberance about it, bringing the weapons…

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Books: Writing the West (Summer 2012)

Summer 2012       Written By Matthew P. Mayo      

The Mountain Pine Beetle: Tiny but Mighty The Mountain Pine Beetle: Tiny but Mighty (Pruett Publishing; $14.95), by Kay Turnbaugh and illustrated by David Brooks, is a refreshing take on the…

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Books: Writing the West (Arts 2011)

Arts 2011       Written By Matthew P. Mayo      

Come and Get It!  Corinne Joy Brown's book, Come and Get It! The Saga of Western Dinnerware (Johnson Books; $29.95), is just plain cool. I say this as someone not…

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Books: Writing the West (Summer 2014)

Summer 2014       Written By Erin H. Turner      

In The Mountain: My Time on Everest On May 19, 2009, legendary mountaineer Ed Viesturs reached the summit of Mount Everest for an incredible seventh time. In The Mountain: My…

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Books: Reading the West

Arts 2016       Written By Erin H. Turner      

Rick Bass’ mastery of the modern American short story is on full display in his new collection. For a Little While (Little, Brown, $28) contains within its hefty 472 pages…

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Books: Writing the West (Spring & Summer 2009)

Spring & Summer 2009       Written By Big Sky Journal Staff      

The Norman Maclean Reader If you are looking for a volume that reduces the enigmatic qualities of Norman Maclean’s A River Runs through It to simplistic explanations, turn the page. O. Alan…

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Books: Writing the West (Winter 2009)

Winter 2009       Written By Matthew P. Mayo      

Classic Film Collection In these high-tech, ricochet-speed days, a distinctive concept goes a long way in the publishing world, and the good folks at Dorchester Books have hit on a…

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Books: Writing the West (Arts 2012)

Arts 2012       Written By Matthew P. Mayo      

Smidgen & Cedrick  Smidgen & Cedrick by Carol Hagan (carolhaganstudios.com, signed Collector’s Edition book is accompanied by an original sketch done by Carol of one of the story’s characters; $150) is…

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Books: Reading the West

Fall 2016       Written By Erin H. Turner      

Sport fishing in the Bahamas, and in particular the sport of fly fishing for bonefish, is a huge industry that lures hundreds of fishing enthusiasts and millions of dollars to…

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Books: Writing the West (Winter 2013)

Winter 2013      

Sweet Thunder Sweet Thunder, by Ivan Doig (Riverhead Books; $27.95) continues the saga of Morris Morgan, hero of The Whistling Season and Work Song, erstwhile schoolteacher, funeral cryer, librarian and wordsmith with a…

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Books: Reading the West

Fly Fishing 2016       Written By Erin H. Turner      

All the Wild that Remains: Edward Abbey, Wallace Stegner, and the American West by David Gessner (W.W. Norton, $26.95) is a fascinating new book — part biography, part eco-travel guide…

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Books: Writing the West (Summer 2013)

Summer 2013       Written By Matthew P. Mayo      

The River Swimmer The River Swimmer (Grove Press; $25) by the estimable Jim Harrison is actually two wee books in one — a pair of memorable novellas about two curious men,…

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Books: Reading the West

Arts 2015       Written By Erin H. Turner      

While Thomas McGuane’s new collection of short stories, Crow Fair (Knopf, $25.95), more than demonstrates his gifts as a writer, it’s not a precious, “I’m such a great writer” collection…

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Books: Writing the West

Winter 2014       Written By Erin H. Turner      

In 2005, Gary and Jane Ferguson spent five days at a renowned paddling school in Ontario, where they put a little extra polish on their canoe skills amid experts and…

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Books: Writing the West (Winter 2012)

Winter 2012      

Riding the Rough String: Reflections on the American West Riding the Rough String: Reflections on the American West (Bangtail Press; $19.95) by veteran journalist Toby Thompson is a collection of 20…

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Books: Writing The West (Fly Fishing 2010)

Fly Fishing 2010       Written By Matthew P. Mayo      

The Fly-Fishing Predator My first impression of The Fly-Fishing Predator (University of New Mexico Press, $24.95), by Raymond C. Shewnack, was, “handsome book, interesting premise, but is it really necessary?” And then, of…

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Books: Writing the West (Arts 2014)

Arts 2014       Written By Erin H. Turner      

Painted Horses Catherine Lemay is the deeply flawed, passionate young heroine and archaeologist at the center of Montana writer Malcolm Brooks’ ambitious and affecting first novel, Painted Horses (Grove Atlantic,…

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Books: Writing the West (Fall 2013)

Fall 2013       Written By Matthew P. Mayo      

Shot All to Hell: Jesse James, The Northfield Raid, and the Wild West’s Greatest Escape Mark Lee Gardner’s new book, Shot All to Hell: Jesse James, The Northfield Raid, and the…

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Books: Writing the West (Summer 2011)

Summer 2011       Written By Matthew P. Mayo      

Blind Your Ponies In Blind Your Ponies (Algonquin Books; $14.95), Stanley Gordon West asks the following questions, and then sets out to answer them: What makes a person never give up? What…

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Books: Writing the West (Fly Fishing 2012)

Fly Fishing 2012       Written By Matthew P. Mayo      

The Little Red Book of Fly Fishing Through The Little Red Book of Fly Fishing (Skyhorse Publishing; $16.95), by Kirk Deeter and Charlie Meyers, has been out for a year or…

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Books: Writing the West (Arts 2009)

Arts 2009       Written By Matthew P. Mayo      

Poacher’s Moon Often when we are looking for something, we find something else that turns out to be of more use. And sometimes we don’t even realize we’re looking until…

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Books: Reading the West

Fly Fishing 2017       Written By Erin H. Turner      

The state of fly fishing in Yellowstone National Park, and indeed the state of fly fishing in America, is the subject of Greg French’s The Imperiled Cutthroat: Tracing the Fate…

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Books: Writing the West (Fly Fishing 2009)

Fly Fishing 2009       Written By Big Sky Journal Staff      

Cutthroat: Native Trout of the West  Patrick Trotter's Cutthroat: Native Trout of the West (Second Edition, Revised and Updated; University of California Press, $34.95) is a thorough compendium on our local…

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Books: Reading the West

Winter 2015       Written By Erin H. Turner      

Grizzly: The Bears of Greater Yellowstone, (Rizzoli, $60) photographed by Thomas Mangelsen and written by Todd Wilkinson, is a giant, oversized, gorgeous, fascinating, old-fashioned photo book that belongs on bookshelves…

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