I haven't read, but have heard very good things about the almost Forest Gump-like life of Jimmy Winkfield. An African-American man who won the Kentucky Derby 1901 and 1902 then went to Europe and Russia for more victories, fame, fortune, and love.
I always enjoy Rita Mae Brown's. They do vary in quality somewhat but I find them absorbing whether the plot is well organized or not...
I have to say, her books are beginning to make me wonder whether hunt clubs attract psychopaths, or just Sister's. Or maybe Virginians are just a murderous lot? Tthe number of people connected to the Jefferson Hunt who've either BEEN murdered or COMITTED murder makes me wonder how the club continues to maintain its membership, let alone enlarge it.
As far as good horse books, I really liked Jean Slaughter Doty's YA and middle-grade novels. Well-written and written by someone who knows and loves horses.
I also picked up a cheezy novel while traveling -- Sun Kissed, by Catherine Anderson. It's a romance novel with a horsie setting. (Warning, the plot features some horsie tragedy.)
I do like Dick Francis's books and find them re-readable. Some favorites are Banker and, er, the one where the main character is a photographer.
Beautiful Jim Keyes was an interesting read
Funny Cide by the Funny Cide team was entertaining
Chosen by a Horse by Susan Richards- sad but good
And I just finished 2 Marguerite Henry books: Brighty of the Grand Canyon
and Mustang, Wild spirit of the West - the story of Wild Horse Annie. More kids' books, but well written and good reads...
Rita Mae Brown's foxhunting series: Outfoxed, Hotspur, The Hunt Ball, The Hound and the Fury. All part of the "Sister Jane" series.
Rita Mae Brown & Sneaky Pie Brown's: "Mrs. Murphy" series books are also quite a fun read - not entirely horse related - but there are horses in the books and of course Ms. Brown is extremely knowledgeable in what she writes when it concerns anything equestrian. (FYI she is the MFH of her hunt in case anyone didn't know).
Jan Neuarth's The Hunt and The Chase. The Chase is the sequel to The Hunt, but you could certainly read it without having first read The Hunt and not be lost or confused.
Jodi Jaffee - If you can find them used (I did several years ago on Amazon), I loved Chestnut Mare Beware, Horse of A Different Killer, and In Colt Blood. Last I knew, she posts here and talk was that she was in the making of a new book (centered around Devon), but I haven't seen it out yet.... She also did a book with her husband called Shenandoah Summer (that involves Natty Gold). If you search for that book the author is listed as John Jaffee.
Also, it's non-fiction, but I really enjoyed In Service to the Horse. It's a behind the scenes look that follows a year in the life of a groom/barn manager for Karen and David O'Connor, Anne Kursinski, and a big-time TB Breeder in Kentucky.
Tami Hoag's Dark Horse was enjoyable as well, but I would put those listed above ahead of Dark Horse as far as an enjoyable read.
Meant to be a "young adult" or teen read, but I still found enjoyable was Kim Ablon Whitney's The Perfect Distance about a working student who is trying to get and keep it together for a national medal final. Kim, the author, comes from a background of being a very successfull junior rider who trained with a VERY BNT during her junior years, and she currently is a USEF licensed h/j judge. Her experience, combined wtih her writing ability, makes this fictional book very realistic.
Caitlin Brennan has a series that is very fictiony (yeah, I know not a word) which features Lippizan-like horses that are worshipped as gods and ridden by the chosen Riders who use the intricate patterns of the haute ecole to keep the patterns of the world going.
I really enjoyed them as a fun quick read--there are three in the series...
The Mountain's Call, Song of Unmaking and Shattered Dance.
Proud Member of Wood Hill Farm who's motto is "I'm not going sober!"
Misty of Chincoteague is not a work of total fiction. It may have a bit of poetic license, but the story is true. The Beebe family is related to my own, and I had Thanksgiving dinner with Maureen (the little girl) this past November. Of course, she's not a little girl anymore.
I support and enable the USA bred horse and the USA breeder.
I second "The Lady" by Anne McCaffrey. It's about an Irish family raising showjumpers, IIRC.
Also, Jennifer Roberson's Tiger and Del series (6 books, all the titles start with Sword.) It's not entirely horsey, more fantasy sword fighting, but the main character does have a rogueish horse known only as "the stud." The author is a horse person, so the descriptions are accurate.
They're out of print and tough to find, but Mary Stanton's "Heavenly Horse of the Outermost West" and "Piper at the Gates" are wonderful.
For nonfiction, I recently enjoyed both "Frankie", the autobiography of Lanfranco Dettori, and "The Racing Tribe" by Kate Fox. The latter is a social anthropologist's take on British horse racing. I purchased both books in London but they appear to be available on amazon.com.
Some oldies but extremely goodies:
The Irish R.M. - as good as Horse Heaven, and that's high praise from me.
Horse Tradin' - Ben Green (he also did More Horse Tradin, and a vet one... Country Horse Doc, maybe) all great
My Friend Flicka, of course
More recent -
Baxter Black has some cute cowboy novels
Not Quite a Horsewoman - a series of articles, but screamingly funny.
A great series that I read at least once a year is Cormack McCarthy's Border Trilogy (All the Pretty Horses, The Crossing, and Cities of the Plain).
They aren't about horses per se, but equines play an integral role in all three books.
They are great coming-of-age novels, sprinkled with metaphysical questions and fantastic stream-of-consciousness passages. McCarthy's description of the terrain of southern Texas and northern Mexico is breathtaking.
If you've seen the movie version of All the Pretty Horses, it is nothing compared to the novel.
These books are guaranteed to take longer than 2 days to read! A worthy investment of time.
Last edited by NoGreatMischief; Mar. 20, 2007 at 09:26 PM.
Reason: mental lapse
I'm not one to say I toadaso. But I toadaso. - Ricky
A Portion for Foxes by Jane McIlvaine McClary.
My all-time favorite.
If you read one book in your life make it this one.
I totally agree, and I love her Cammie series for young adults as well. They are all out of print but easy enough to find on B & N, Alibris, Amazon, Bookfinder, etc. ITs sort of a fox hunting Gone with the Wind, and I like that its long, I hate when a good book ends too quickly.