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Welcome to Books R Us, a recommended reading blog from InfoSoup librarians and users and home to A Year of Listening Dangerously, the 2014 InfoSoup Reading Challenge! Find a great book to read next, add your own reviews, and check out our book related resources such as NoveList and BookLetters.

western

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Author: Leif Enger

I am so glad I read this book. The writing was so so beautiful--the choice of words, exquisite. What a joy to read! Monte finds himself and his way back to his wife and son through an absolutely wild adventure through the West as he accompanies an Outlaw and then the Outlaw's hunter! There is wild violence, too. You just stop and say, (spoiler:) "Oh, my gosh, did he just break his finger?" Stuff like that. And, of course, some shootouts. Trying to pinpoint motivations is fun. And Leif did not opt for the clean ending--yippee! This is the way a Western should be written. It had me captured from the first page. Short chapters made progress measurable and fast. Can't wait to read Peace Like a River by the same author!

Gunman's Rhapsody

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Author: Robert B Parker

The story revolves around the life of Wyatt Earp in Tombstone. The familiar characters of Doc Holliday and the Earp brothers. Life was hard in the west and Earp's sense of right helped bring order to the town. Earp is enamored with Josie, the girl of a rich man. She of course chooses Earp and the outlaws side with Benson, the power hungry ex-lover. The action moves along quickly and your sense of right by any means is proven. If you like Parker's Spenser series, you will like this book.

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Deadly Prey

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Author: Peter Brandvold

A federal marshal, Hawk, becomes an outlaw himself after his wife an child are killed. He pursues the "bad" guys and takes no prisoners. The 4 governors of the neighboring territories hire a man to kill Hawk as he chases a gang who robbed the town bank and victimized some ranchers. Hawk gets the gang and the trackers himself dies. Hawk disappears again to regroup and wait for the next occasion to do good. The reader will sympathize with Hawk and want him to live to fight another day.

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Author: Zane Grey

Madeline Hammond, a rich Eastern socialite, is bored with her life--too many parties, golf games and smooth-talking men.  She escapes her usual life by traveling to New Mexico to see her black-sheep brother Alfred, who has a cattle ranch.  Her unheralded arrival late at night means she is accosted by a cowboy and witnesses a murder.  Despite this rocky start, the longer she stays, the more she learns to love the land and people. 

Written in 1914, the prose is more florid than today and contains terms which currently are not politically correct.  The main appeal--the beautiful description of the land and appreciation for the Western life--makes it still readable as a Western classic.  It was made into a movie four times, the last with Alan Ladd, JoAnn Sayers and Victor Jory in 1940.

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Sheriff Luke Ludd

Author: D.J. Bishop

Luke Ludd is the sheriff of Rising Star. He finds his friends Tom and Beth Tidwell shot to death in their home. He follows the trail of their stolen wagon and finds the killers Pots and Leonard Logan, two of five brothers known for their evil ways. On the trail of the two Logans he runs into attacking Indians and the rest of the Logans try to ambush him. Of course, he captures his men in the end. I would consider this a very formulaic western. There is no sex or swear words, but obviously violence. A very easy read and kept me entertained.

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Author: Larry McMurtry

Larry McMurtry is best known as the author of Lonesome Dove, Terms of Endearment, and The Last Picture Show. Boone's Lick is a small town in Missouri and the Cecil family lives nearby. The Civil War has recently ended. Ma, her children, and Uncle Seth set out for Wyoming to find Pa (Dick Cecil, Seth's brother) after he disappears. Along the way they pick up a variety of characters ranging from Ma?s half -sister, Aunt Rosie, an Indian who serves as a guide, and a priest. The story is expressed through the voice of Sherman (Shay) one of Ma's sons. McMurtry uses his storytelling talent to make the reader feel that he or she is along for the ride.

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Author: Tabor Evans

I read this for an assignment to try the genre of a western. It is formulaic and the final chapter takes the time to review the whole mystery (yes, this was written more like a mystery) by putting all the pieces together. I was blown away by the graphic sexual content (I'm not sure if all westerns have that!) but Longarm is a major Casanova and you do have to laugh at how he "gets busy" wherever he goes. Wouldn't read another one--not my thing.

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Whistling Season

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Author: Ivan Doig

Paul Milliron lives with his widowed father and two brothers on a dry farm in Montana. The boys receive their education in a one-room schoolhouse. They limp along in with cooking and housekeeping. Their father is busy hauling freight for the "Big Ditch," a government irrigation project as well as farming. They send for a housekeeper from out east (Minnesota) after seeing an ad in the newspaper. The housekeeper and her brother land on their doorstep and soon insinuate themselves into the family's everyday life. When the school teacher runs off with a traveling evangelist, the brother steps into the schoolroom. It turns out he is an accomplished scholar and an inspiring educator. There is a mystery surrounding the housekeeper and her brother that brings the story to a satisfying conclusion.