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Books & Authors

New Reads Set in the Old West

How Much of These Hills Is Gold by C Pam Zhang
Newly orphaned children of immigrants, Lucy and Sam are suddenly alone in a land that refutes their existence. Fleeing the threats of their western mining town, they set off to bury their father in the only way that will set them free from their past. Along the way, they encounter giant buffalo bones, tiger paw prints, and the specters of a ravaged landscape as well as family secrets, sibling rivalry, and glimpses of a different kind of future.

Inland by Tea Obreht
In the lawless, drought-ridden lands of the Arizona Territory in 1893, two extraordinary lives collide. Nora is an unflinching frontierswoman awaiting the return of her husband and her elder sons. Nora is biding her time with her youngest son, who is convinced that a mysterious beast is stalking the land around their home. Lurie is a former outlaw and a man haunted by ghosts. He sees lost souls who want something from him, and he finds reprieve from their longing in an unexpected relationship that inspires a momentous expedition across the West.

My Calamity Jane by Cynthia Hand
Welcome to 1876 America, a place bursting with gunslingers, outlaws, and garou (werewolves). And where there are garou, there're hunters: the one and only Calamity Jane along with her fellow stars of Wild Bill's Traveling Show, Annie Oakley and Frank the Pistol Prince Butler. After a garou hunt goes south and Jane finds a suspicious-like bite on her arm, she turns tail for Deadwood, where there's talk of a garou cure. But, rumors can be deceiving -- meaning the gang better hightail it after her before they're a day late and a Jane short.

Shotguns and Stagecoaches : The Brave Men Who Rode for Wells Fargo in the Wild West by John Boessenecker
This collection of true stories of the Wild West heroes who guarded the iconic Wells Fargo stagecoaches and trains introduces a colorful cast of characters as they battle thieves, highwaymen and robbers armed with explosives.

Simon the Fiddler by Paulette Jiles
Following a barroom brawl in Victoria, Texas, twenty-three-year-old Simon Boudlin finds himself conscripted, however belatedly, into the Confederate Army. Weeks later, on the eve of the Confederate surrender, Simon can't help but notice the lovely Doris Mary Aherne, an indentured girl from Ireland, who is governess to a Union colonel's daughter.

The Removes by Tatjana Soli
Traces the intertwining stories of Civil War hero George Armstrong Custer, his frontierswoman wife Libbie and a teen who became a member of the Cheyenne tribe after surviving a homestead attack.

The Three-Cornered War : The Union, the Confederacy, and Native Peoples in the Fight for the West by Megan Kate Nelson
A deeply-researched, dramatic, and character-driven narrative account of the violent struggle between Union and Confederate forces to claim the American West during the Civil War.

Unbury Carol : A Novel by Josh Malerman
This horror novel, set in the Old West, is creepy, atmospheric, and suspenseful. A husband has nefarious plans for his comatose wife Carol. James Moxie, a legendary outlaw, sets off on The Trail to save her. Hot on James tail is a sinister hit man with a thirst for murder-by-fire and a supernatural entity, Rot, who wants to collect Carol.

West Like Lightning : The Brief, Legendary Ride of the Pony Express by Jim DeFelice
In the spring of 1860 on the eve of a civil war that threatened to tear the country apart, two Americans conceived of an audacious plan for linking the nation's two coasts, thereby joining its present with its future. This book traces the development of the Pony Express and follows it from its start in St. Joseph, Missouri 1,500 miles west to Sacramento.


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