Author Topic: Good books on Wyoming?  (Read 4370 times)

Offline Monika

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Good books on Wyoming?
« on: June 26, 2011, 11:41:29 am »
Hi, Im looking for good reading material on Wyoming. Ive just ordered a book titled "Wyoming Fence Lines" but am looking for more. If anyone has read anything good on this topic, Id appreciate it if youd point me in the right direction. Im mainly looking for non-fictional reading material that deals with different aspects of Wyo culture.


Ive also started a subscription to a magazine called High Country News. Does anyone have any experience from that?

Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: Good books on Wyoming?
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2011, 12:05:27 pm »
High Country News is an excellent publication about the U.S. West. Regarding nonfiction about Wyoming culture, I used to have some that I bought at the literary festival in Casper, but I have passed them all along to other people. Search under Wyoming essays, anthologies, nonfiction, etc. Also, different writer's groups, such as Ucross Ranch, have released collections of their work. John McPhee wrote a three-volume nonfiction series including Rising from the Plain about Wyoming geology. Also there is a good book called Where the Rivers Run North, which has a lot of history. Annie Proulx recently published Red Desert. Some fiction I would recommend include the work of David Romtvedt, the poet laureate of Wyoming; anything by C. J. Box, the mystery writer; The Virginian, a historical novel; and Try, about rodeo types, by Lily Burana (that's of course in addition to Annie Proulx).
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Offline Monika

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Re: Good books on Wyoming?
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2011, 01:05:14 pm »
High Country News is an excellent publication about the U.S. West. Regarding nonfiction about Wyoming culture, I used to have some that I bought at the literary festival in Casper, but I have passed them all along to other people. Search under Wyoming essays, anthologies, nonfiction, etc. Also, different writer's groups, such as Ucross Ranch, have released collections of their work. John McPhee wrote a three-volume nonfiction series including Rising from the Plain about Wyoming geology. Also there is a good book called Where the Rivers Run North, which has a lot of history. Annie Proulx recently published Red Desert. Some fiction I would recommend include the work of David Romtvedt, the poet laureate of Wyoming; anything by C. J. Box, the mystery writer; The Virginian, a historical novel; and Try, about rodeo types, by Lily Burana (that's of course in addition to Annie Proulx).
thanks, Lee. This is exactly what I was after. Rising from the Plain, in particular, sounds interesting. Good to hear about HCN as well. I signed up for a free trial but if it is good, Ill be more than glad to pay money for it.

Oh yeah, The Viriginian. I stoped by the hotel in Medicine Bow last summer but had forgotten about it. Thanks for the reminder.

Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: Good books on Wyoming?
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2011, 03:43:00 pm »
I found a couple of others in my upstairs bookcase:

Crazy Woman Creek: Women Rewrite the American West, edited by Linda Hasselstrom and others. Hasselstrom holds women's writing seminars at her ranch.

The Mountain Reader, edited by John A. Murray, A Nature Conservancy Book

Annals of Wyoming, published by the Wyoming State Archives and Historical Department, and the Wyoming State Historical Society. My friend Chuck gave me the October, 1983 edition!!
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Offline Monika

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Re: Good books on Wyoming?
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2011, 04:22:38 pm »
Hi, Lee! I looked them all up on eBay and I especially found Crazy Woman Creek: Women Rewrite the American West to be of interest. I think Im gonna a bid on it.


Right now Im in the midst of reading The Virginian. Its not exactly great literature, but its interesting in its historical context.

Btw Lee, I was interested in hearing if you perhaps had checked out a book called "History and Ecology: Studies of the Grassland" by James C. Malin. Annie has mentioned it in a couple of interviews and given it a lot of praise.

Offline Andrew

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Re: Good books on Wyoming?
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2011, 09:33:37 pm »
Monika, they do have Crazy Woman Creek at Amazon starting at 15 cents for used 'good condition', plus they have it new...

Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: Good books on Wyoming?
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2011, 10:08:23 pm »
I would be happy to send you Crazy Woman Creek.

And, here's the discussion thread from The Virginian. Let's revive it, it's only been four effin' years!!
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Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: Good books on Wyoming?
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2011, 09:03:20 am »
I would be happy to send you Crazy Woman Creek.

And, here's the discussion thread from The Virginian. Let's revive it, it's only been four effin' years!!

Ever' once in a while I get a notion to read it. One of these days I'll get a copy and follow through. At the present time I'm kind of intrigued because I'd like to check the accuracy of the plot summary I read about a week ago in a listing for the book that I found on line--I forget if the listing was on eBay or Amazon. Warning! What follows may be considered spoiler! The listing summary described the plot as being inspired by the Johnson County Cattle War(s) in Wyoming, and made out the "big ranchers" to be "the good guys" in the story, against small ranchers and rustlers. That surprised me because it seems to me that in Hollywood, anyway, the "convention" of the Western genre evolved such that "big ranchers"--or "cattle barons"--are usually the "bad guys," against small ranchers and homesteaders.
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: Good books on Wyoming?
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2011, 10:08:41 am »
I'd be happy to go into that on the Virginian thread, Jeff. I always thought of you when I read it because, guess what the Virginian's name is??

Did I mention Annie's own book Red Desert? It started out as a photo book by a photographer friend Marty Stypitch, but once Annie got involved, the prose portion grew and grew. It was finally published as a comprehensive tome with chapters on history, flora and fauna, environment and every other aspect you can imagine. Annie's memoir, Bird Cloud, contains a lot of history and nature writing about the South Central part of Wyoming on the eastern edge of the Red Desert.
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Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: Good books on Wyoming?
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2011, 10:11:11 am »
I'd be happy to go into that on the Virginian thread, Jeff. I always thought of you when I read it because, guess what the Virginian's name is??

Chuck?  Adam? ;D

I wouldn't want to spoil the story for anyone. That's why I put the spoiler warning in my post. I guess rustlers are always bad guys, anyway.
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline Monika

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Re: Good books on Wyoming?
« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2011, 12:13:07 pm »
I would be happy to send you Crazy Woman Creek.

And, here's the discussion thread from The Virginian. Let's revive it, it's only been four effin' years!!
Thats awful nice of you, Lee, but Ill buy it from eBay and save you the trouble.


Oh, a whole thread! very cool. Ill check it out.

Offline Monika

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Re: Good books on Wyoming?
« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2011, 05:07:01 pm »
. John McPhee wrote a three-volume nonfiction series including Rising from the Plain about Wyoming geology.
Im currently reding this one and finding it quite useful as well as entertaining. Next time I visit Wyoming, I will for sure look at the landscape around me in a different light.

Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: Good books on Wyoming?
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2011, 08:28:29 pm »
At a recent party at my local bookstore, a person recommended the novels of Craig Johnson when I said I liked C. J. Box. I'm reading his The Dark Horse now. I found his style clipped and annoying at first but now I'm really starting to like it. The novel is about a Wyoming misfit, Walt Longmire. Stay tuned.
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Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: Good books on Wyoming?
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2011, 03:34:55 pm »
I can't say that I would recommend Craig Johnson's books. In fact, I'm just about ready to jettison The Dark Horse in the middle of it for several reasons.

Are you familiar with the Roundup Magazine published by the Western Writers of America? It isn't published very often but is full of writing samples, photos, and articles about the profession.
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Offline Monika

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Re: Good books on Wyoming?
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2011, 04:14:02 pm »
I can't say that I would recommend Craig Johnson's books. In fact, I'm just about ready to jettison The Dark Horse in the middle of it for several reasons.

Are you familiar with the Roundup Magazine published by the Western Writers of America? It isn't published very often but is full of writing samples, photos, and articles about the profession.
Too bad The Dark Horse didnt live up to your expectations, Lee!


No, Ive never heard of it. Ill definately check it out. Thanks, Lee!

Ive been looking up Wyoming bloggers as of late, but its been hard to find much of interest. One blogger I do follow is a woman writing about hers and her husbands move from California to Wyoming and their new life there. They bought a piece of land near Cody and then built their own house.
http://newlifewy.blogspot.com/


This might be a longshot, but does anyone know anything about the northern alignment of the Lincoln Highway, that is pictured on the attached postcard (and that bypasses Sage)? Ive never seen it on other maps of the Lincoln Highway, but just the southern one. Its a mystery to me.


Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: Good books on Wyoming?
« Reply #15 on: October 31, 2011, 06:38:33 pm »
Thanks for the link to that blog. Now I'm a follower too! I'm very interested in the chicken coop they're putting in.

Maybe Pete Tannen would know about that stretch of the Lincoln Highway. He knows a lot about history and geography. He hardly ever comes here anymore so you should send him a PM. I was just on that road in early October, returning to Denver from Salt Lake City. I had hoped to see some scenic country after reading Annie Proulx's Red Desert, but alas, it was pretty nondescript. I couldn't see far enough to the south to see the Flaming Gorge area which I'm told is very scenic. Then, around Wolcott, I wanted to turn south and go into Colorado on the west side of the Continental Divide, but I could see that a storm was brewing that way, so I went over to Laramie and down the 127 Highway through Tie Siding and some pastoral country to the sprawling metropolis of Fort Collins. It was bumper to bumper going across town where I caught I-25 for the cruise into Denver and back, sigh, to civilization.
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Offline Sason

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Re: Good books on Wyoming?
« Reply #16 on: November 01, 2011, 03:00:56 pm »
Thanks for reminding me Lee!

Monika, you should ask Fritz! He knows everything about driving in the USA!!

Dva pp is a frce of natre

Offline Monika

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Re: Good books on Wyoming?
« Reply #17 on: November 01, 2011, 03:10:38 pm »
Thanks, Lee and Sonja! Ill get in touch with both Pete and Fritz.


Thanks for describing your drive, Lee. To have those areas so close to home...*sigh*  :)

Offline Monika

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Re: Good books on Wyoming?
« Reply #18 on: January 19, 2012, 12:56:28 pm »
Today I got my last book purchase in the mail.

Ancient Visions - Petroglyphs and Pictographs of the Wind River and Bighorn Country, Wyoming and Montana
(Phew! thats one long title)


Looks interesting!

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: Good books on Wyoming?
« Reply #19 on: August 13, 2012, 10:51:02 am »
At a recent party at my local bookstore, a person recommended the novels of Craig Johnson when I said I liked C. J. Box. I'm reading his The Dark Horse now. I found his style clipped and annoying at first but now I'm really starting to like it. The novel is about a Wyoming misfit, Walt Longmire. Stay tuned.

Craig Johnson's Walt Longmire mysteries have now inspired a TV series on A&E. The series just had it's season finale last night (Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012), and I was happy to learn that it has been renewed for a second season.

I don't know how close the series resembles the novels, or whether any of the episodes are taken from the novels. I also haven't read any of the novels, but I want to check them out. But in any case I have really gotten into this series--which is possibly a reflection of how much I miss Wyoming. It's also true that show combines two genres, contemporary Western and police procedural, both of which I enjoy.

In the TV series anyway, Walt Longmire is the sheriff of the fictional Absaroka County, Wyoming. I bear in mind, however,  that "Absaroka" is sort of the nickname for the region east of the Big Horn Mountains and extending up into Montana "where the rivers run north." Also, Craig Johnson, author of the novels, lives in Ucross, which is on the county line between Johnson and Sheridan counties, Wyoming. So those of us who have been to Buffalo and Sheridan and across and up to Lightning Flat can enivision the geography of the area. Unfortunately the series is not actually filmed in Wyoming; it's filmed in New Mexico, near Santa Fe. Still, the show has a real feel of place to it. I've also gotten into all the characters.

If the first season is released on DVD I expect I will buy it.

Here's a link to the IMdB entry for the show:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1836037/

FRiend Lee, is there any update on The Dark Horse?
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Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: Good books on Wyoming?
« Reply #20 on: August 13, 2012, 02:28:12 pm »
I never finished The Dark Horse because I found the characters too stereotyped. I kept comparing it to the novels of C. J. Box and it kept falling short of them. Box's series of Joe Pickett novels has much more depth. Pickett is the conflicted game warden in Ten Sleep County with a native American sidekick...or is he the enemy? Maybe Walt is a better protagonist for television, though.
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Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: Good books on Wyoming?
« Reply #21 on: August 13, 2012, 06:15:42 pm »
I never finished The Dark Horse because I found the characters too stereotyped. I kept comparing it to the novels of C. J. Box and it kept falling short of them. Box's series of Joe Pickett novels has much more depth. Pickett is the conflicted game warden in Ten Sleep County with a native American sidekick...or is he the enemy? Maybe Walt is a better protagonist for television, though.

Thanks for the update, FRiend Lee. I'll have to think about checking into C.J. Box's novels.
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

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Re: Good books on Wyoming?
« Reply #22 on: August 13, 2012, 06:22:30 pm »
Our friend Offline Chuck has read a couple of those novels too and could give you a second opinion. I was at the book fair last weekend (tickets courtesy of OCD) and I saw two of C. J. Box's novels. Only trouble was, one was $30 and the other was $80. They must have been signed first editions! I opted for a book of stories and illustrations by Charles Russell, the artist, that was only $12. The seller told me that the stories are very colorful and interesting. I remember Annie Proulx mentioning his work too. He, Remington, Bierstadt and Owen Wister pretty much put Wyoming and the West on the map for curious Easterners.
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Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: Good books on Wyoming?
« Reply #23 on: August 13, 2012, 08:59:38 pm »
Box's series of Joe Pickett novels has much more depth. Pickett is the conflicted game warden in Ten Sleep County with a native American sidekick...or is he the enemy? Maybe Walt is a better protagonist for television, though.

Tell you what. I have a lot on my mind right now, and this innerestin' point didn't sink in before:

Joe Picket is a conflicted game warden in (fictional) Ten Sleep County with a Native American sidekick.

Walt Longmire is a conflicted sheriff in (fictional) Absaroka County with a Native American friend (at least in the TV series; he's played by Lou Diamond Philips and I can't say exactly why, but he reminds me of OCD).

I wonder whether the, er, parallel holds true in the Longmire books?  ???
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.