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Favorite Grown Up Horse Books

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  • Favorite Grown Up Horse Books

    The children's book category was such a hit! But I'm wondering if there are others like me that are avid readers and constantly on the search for equine related novels. Many of you probably don't have time to even read the mail but I, fortunately, am on down time for the next few months.

    I read all the Rita Mae Brown/Sneaky Pie Brown books and a few months ago read 'Outfoxed' and 'Riding Shotgun'. Both were very good. "Outfoxed" is especially entertaining if you hunt. A friend recently mentioned a book titled "A Portion for Foxes" or something along those lines - anyone read this?

    To be shamefully honest, I've never read any of the D.Francis novels(didn't want to spell the first name and get edited - this is happening on other sites!!!). I read a couple of very short books set in Texas (I think) about a dressage rider - "Death by Dressage" and a couple of others by the same author (Horse of a Different Color?)

    Incidentally, did anyone else read the Patricia Cornwell book, "Point of Origin"? Do you think her inspiration was Salamander Farm?

    I'm out of summer reads for the moment and am always interested in new horse novels.
  • Original Poster

    #2
    The children's book category was such a hit! But I'm wondering if there are others like me that are avid readers and constantly on the search for equine related novels. Many of you probably don't have time to even read the mail but I, fortunately, am on down time for the next few months.

    I read all the Rita Mae Brown/Sneaky Pie Brown books and a few months ago read 'Outfoxed' and 'Riding Shotgun'. Both were very good. "Outfoxed" is especially entertaining if you hunt. A friend recently mentioned a book titled "A Portion for Foxes" or something along those lines - anyone read this?

    To be shamefully honest, I've never read any of the D.Francis novels(didn't want to spell the first name and get edited - this is happening on other sites!!!). I read a couple of very short books set in Texas (I think) about a dressage rider - "Death by Dressage" and a couple of others by the same author (Horse of a Different Color?)

    Incidentally, did anyone else read the Patricia Cornwell book, "Point of Origin"? Do you think her inspiration was Salamander Farm?

    I'm out of summer reads for the moment and am always interested in new horse novels.

    Comment


    • #3
      Finzean--If you read just one page of one d. Franacis novel--you will be hooked! There are probably 30 or so of them--all are worth the read, and some are just great! I am reading "Hugger Mugger" right now by another of my favorites, Robert B. Parker. It's about racehorses in the south, and a detective from Boston who knows nada about horses, and some of the questions he asks are pretty funny! Its a little slow tho, so I am reserving judgement on it till I'm finished!

      Comment


      • #4
        Yep, I'm with you Sparky...D. Francis novels are the best! Pick one up and you don't want to put it down until your finished! Very in depth horse oriented.

        Comment


        • #5
          I think finzean is recalling the Jody Jaffe books - Horse of a Different Killer, Chestnut Mare Beware, and In Colt Blood. All 3 feature Nattie Gold and are set in the hunter circuit, primarily in the southeast. Jody rides herself (I believe with Peter Foley) and her stuff is dead on. Anyone who scans the Chronicle with half an eye will recognize who some of her fictional barbs are pointed at. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

          The Texas dressage series was written by Carolyn Banks.

          Has anyone picked up Jane Smiley's latest, Horse Heaven? I don't care for her essays in PH at all, but I loved Horse Heaven. It's mostly centered around the track, but there are prominent hj bits too.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Anne-
            it was carolyn banks i was thinking of but i'm glad you brought up the jody jaffe books. there is a character in one of her books that is based loosely on one of my good friend's mother! first and last name rhyme, I believe. I meant to pick up one of those from the good friend but forgot about it entirely until you mentioned it.Thanks!

            Comment


            • #7
              Reading Horse Heaven now--well, obviously, not this exact instant--and love it. Best and most interesting characters are the horses themselves (no surprise there).

              Anyone who hasn't yet, should read ALL the Dick Francis novels...and WHEN will Jody Jaffe write another one? They are a lot of fun!
              Tinwhistle Farm

              Comment


              • #8
                The book " A Portion for the Foxes" was set in Middleburg quite a few years ago. For those "old timers" reading it, you can tell who the characters were based upon by the "behaviors" being written about. I was just at the right age when it came out to know who it was scandalizing. In truth it's very tame compared to books of this day and age. I enjoyed it greatly but then again it was my backyard.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Jodie Jaffe used to ride with Peter Foley. I'm not sure who she rides with now but last I had heard it was either Tony Workman or Patty Foster.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Another vote for Jane Smiley's Horse Heaven. One of her early novels, Barn Blind, is also about horses, but it's more serious.

                    D. Francis is also a personal favorit. In addition to reading them, if you spend time in the car, they are great on tape!

                    A friend bought me a novel for Xmas called In the Presence of Horses. Again, a pretty intense story, but I liked it. Can't remember the author at the moment.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I agree - Jody Jaffe needs to get a book out ASAP! I told Peter Foley to tell her she needs to stop riding and get to work! Finzean, just curious - I've read "Point of Origin" - why do you think it's based on Salamander Farm?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Some good grown-up horsey booksÂ… Anything by Francis, of courseÂ….

                        “True Betrayals”, I don’t remember the author and I just lent it to someone… it’s what I would classify as “romantic murder mystery” I guess, set in the world of horseracing. Young woman discovers long-lost (thought dead) mother owns huge racing stables, gets involved in horse ‘fixing’ and murder and such….

                        “The Lady” by Anne McCaffrey—contemporary “romance” novel but not one of those ridiculous torrid things, a lot of hunt and horse show ‘footage’, I thought it was pretty neat. But then I’m fascinated by anything Irish since that’s where my family is from!

                        I’ve read a couple of interesting Fantasy novels by a writer whose name I cannot remember, of course, but the books are called “The Heavenly Horse From the Outermost West” and “Piper at the Gates”. They are kind of Watership Downs for horse folks—the horses have their own society, pantheon of gods, demons, etc. and the books are about the Dark Horse and his minions quest to destroy the Appaloosa breed. The writer is pretty darn good!

                        I like the Banks and Jaffe books too—I thought Banks’ first book’s murder method was pretty nifty. Heh heh….

                        JenniferS
                        Third Charm Event Team

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          "Some Horses" by Thomas McGuane! This is a collection of essays on horses he's known, and his prose is phenomenal. I've lent it to all my friends and they've all loved it.
                          Kathleen
                          http://www.grayhorsestudio.com
                          *member of artist clique
                          *devout worshipper of the American Thoroughbred
                          *member of the vertically-gifted clique
                          *owner of the most expensive \"cheap\" horse and dog EVER

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            "True Betrayals" is written by Nora Roberts. Finzean - I also read "Point of Origin" - I'm just curious why you think its based on Salamander Farm.

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Maybe this is a stab in the dark, but here goes. The farm that was burned down contained very nice, very expensive show horses (the book uses Morgans) and the owner of the farm was a black man very deeply involved in the entertainment industry. The detectives initially wondered if the fire wasn't set by some good old boy who didn't appreciate a rich, black man owning such a nice piece of Virginia (very much a southern state). So, I guess I should reword this and ask does anyone think maybe P. Cornwell used Slamander Farm as her inspiration for her farm owner. Not so much that the book itself is about Salamander Farm. I hope I'm right in thinking this is the farm owned by the BET exec....if I'm wrong, let me know, I'll be in my closet looking for the hair shirt! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Finzean, you're right. And hopefully the Johnsons will be around in the industry for quite some time to come - should we be watching for the DC Air Grand Prix in the future? [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img] (Bob Johnson will be the president of the mega-airline formed by the United and US Air merger.)

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Actually, if I understand the news report properly, DC Air (which will be run by Johnson) will be formed by the "overlap" that will have to be spun off before United and US Air can merge. Referred to as a "sweetheart deal".

                                  I didn't hear anything about Johnson taking over the combined United/USAir. Though they did say that he is on the board for US Air.

                                  Back on topic, I second "The Lady" by Ann McCaffrey. She also wrote a (much shorter) book centerd on the US show hunter/jumper circuit that was quite good- but I forget the title.
                                  Janet

                                  chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I have a copy of a GREAT out of print book i got through Amazon that was a compilation of some of the best horse stories I have ever read - everything from Edgar Allen Poe, to Kipling to Anna Sewwll - it was compiled and edited by Magaret Cabell Self.

                                    And here's another vote for Smiley's Horse Heaven!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Janet, please jog your memory [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]
                                      Tinwhistle Farm

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        headed for the library & book store.
                                        I think i may have read something about "In the Presence of Horses" is it sort of a Horse Whisperer type book? I'll check it out when I'm shopping today....
                                        Thanks for all the input [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

                                        Comment

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