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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.

I am really at an all-time low point this week after having to put down my best good friend of the past 11 years, my Lab/Rott cross, Hoss-dog…so I was at the bookstore looking for something to ease the heartbreak. I picked up Angel Pawprints (dog memorials) and Spoken in Whispers, The Autobiography of a Horse Whisperer. Both are great–I thought the Horse Whisperer thing might be a knock off of Monty Roberts, but I can’t put this book down. Great read–makes you think.

Marnye–the book you’re thinking of is Jilly Cooper’s Riders. Immensely fun and trashy. Cooper has also written some sequels to Riders, featuring Rupert Campbell-Black, the “bad guy” (don’t worry–he actually turns out ok, sort of). They’re called Rivals, Polo, Appassionata, The Man Who Made Husbands Jealous, and Score. I ordered mine from Amazon.co.uk.

Another British writer that I discovered from UK Amazon is Fiona Walker. She’s written 2 books ala Jilly Cooper, but about eventing–“French Relations” and “Well Groomed”. Again, trashy, fun “beach reads”–and the horsey elements are fairly accurate, I think.

Amazon.co.uk is great for books that are only published in England–a lot more “horsey” novels that in the US. Shipping’s a bit expensive, but if the books are in stock, it has taken me less than a week to get my orders from the UK.

Yes, BostonBanker, “Fall” was pretty good, and it hardly ever gets mentioned on these books threads.

a very disturbing, but interesting book, especially considering the sexual abuse thread that has been running, is “house rules” by heather lewis, i think. not for the fainthearted, but sure made me think.

on a lighter note, it’s interesting to me to hear that anne mcaffrey has written some horse books… when i was a kid the only science fiction-y things i liked were her “dragon riders of pern.” the thing i liked best was the human characters’ relationships with their dragons… must have been based on her relationships with horses. it all makes sense now…

also, did anyone ever read a book called “talking of horses” by monica dickens? it was published in the seventies, and i read it over and over as a young teenager. some of the passages i can still practically recite by heart. i’m inspired to pick it off the shelf again tonight…

finzean, I think that’s “Fall”, by Kai Maristed, mentioned above.

Bad girls - you’ve cost me a fortune! Now I’ve had to order almost all of these bloody books.

However … with UK books (or with any for that matter) try bookfinder.com or bibliofind.com, too. Lots of times you can find them there for next to nothing.

Oooh Kryswyn, I have a Maine Coon Cat! He is my gentle giant - follows me around the house like a dog and has to curl up with me whether I’m reading a book or taking a nap. And they really do “chirp” and “trill” - nothing like a meow.

Thank you for your very kind and encouraging comments about my books. Horses and words – my two favorite things in the world. I loved writing them. Yup, that’s past tense.
I have about 100 pages of the fourth book, “Sins of the Sire,” (set at Devon.) But I opted out of my contract. There was just too much tumult in life at the time to finish it on deadline.
Things have settled down for me, but the publishing industry has the attention span of strawberries. Which is to say it’s virtually impossible to restart a series you’ve stoppped, according to the editors.
But I haven’t stopped writing (and I’ll never stop riding). I’m working on a thriller called “You Gotta Have Heart.” No horses though.
Again thanks,
Jody Jaffe
PS – I have just started riding Brenda Starr’s son, Royal T (named after John Royal Branscome and T for tommy, brenda’s barn name). Not only does he look just like her, but he’s got her wonderful mind. So there is a God.

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.

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Dee - A bit off topic but if you haven’t come across it before, Cynthia Rylant has written & illustrated a wonderful book entitled “Dog Heaven”. Although it is a children’s book (at least that’s where Barnes & Nobles keeps it), it made this adult feel much, much better about where my old friends are now. I have been in your shoes before & will be there again in the not too distant future - this book made me cry but it let me smile through my tears. My condolences on your loss.

Back on topic, I am one of the few people who didn’t like Horse Heaven, but I do cast another vote for Jody to finish her manuscript. Perhaps she could follow Steven King’s lead & post chapters on line - I would ante up!

And Trooper, what is the title of the Margaret Cabel Self edited anthology? Perhaps another copy is lurking out there somewhere that I could track down! Thanks.

The best book out recently hands down is Seabiscuit by Laura Hildenbrand! it was soooo engrossing

Grey Sport Coat

I’m taking a moment for you and your friend. I lost the best one I ever had in February; unfortunately, very well acquainted with sadness this year. My thoughts are with you…

finzean: You’ll probably have to order In the Presence of Horses online if you can’t find it at the library. It falls into that “artsy, only published in hardback and available in bookstores for about 15 mins.” category. Dick Francis’ Field of Thirteen is a good place to start and you’ll get a real flavor for what his novels are like.

Endless Summer by Elizabeth Lowell is very good, it centers around the equestrian events of the L.A. Olympics. You should be able to find it in any bookstore.

I echo everyone else…“Jody Jaffe, PLEASE write another book!!”

I just found an old out of print paperback book called The Corinthian Class, which deals with the hunters, I just started reading it so not sure if it’s any good yet!!

There’s also another book called Trail of Tears I believe by Elizabeth Goudge. Horses aren’t the main focus of the story but they play an important part. It’s also a fairly new novel so most book stores should have it.

Thumbs up for The Lady by Anne Mccaffrey. has anyone read her Dragonrider of Pern series?? Even though not horse related they really are wonderful

Hey, if you want “FREE” library books online, try www.netlibrary.com! Just sign up and the list of online free books is huge!! I was shocked, and the classics are there, too.

C.S. Lewis’ The Horse and His Boy - part of his Narnia series - the chapter with the horse teaching the boy about tack and giving beginner lessons was priceless~!

Here are some suggestions from an aging bibliophile. If you have never read Enid Bagnold’s classic National Velvet, (don’t laugh) it is well worth reading as an adult.
If you like D. Francis, try the novels of Mark Daniel. They are bleaker than Francis, but well-written, and are generally about Irish steeplechasing. The Bold Thing and Devil to Pay are two titles I can remember.Jockey John Francome wrote a few Francis-type spinoffs. They aren’t brilliant, but will do for an emergency .

Josephine Tey’s Brat Farrar is a classic both of British whodunnits and of horsey books.
If foxhunting and Irishness appeal to you, the stories of Somerville and Ross (Tales of an Irish R.M., Further Tales of an Irish R.M.) are priceless. If you are willing to wade through 600 or so pages of turgid Victorian prose in order to glean a great chapter or two on foxhunting, the novels of Anthony Trollope almost always come through.And many years before Horse Heaven (which I loved), Jane Smiley wrote a truly grim and strange book called Barn Blind. Hope this adds to someones list!

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Read my new thread to Everyone who read Adult Horse Books thread. A good true story.

Wecome aboard, Jody! It was great hearing from you in person, even though it was NOT good news to those of us that have been waiting with baited breath for your next horsey book!!! Alas, what do Editors know?!?!?!

I’m also sorry you’ve been going through some rough times. Hopefully things are looking up now. I know, for me at least, there are, and will continute to be, milestones or such that keep “tripping me up” and setting me back a bit, but I also feel that I’m finally headed in a positive direction overall. Good Luck to you!