The Wild West

Desperadoes, hired guns, and pale riders.


Son of the Morning Star: Custer and The Little Big Horn

By Evan S. Connell


One of the most mythologized and contentious episodes in American History, Custer's Last Stand gets a detailed, engaging treatment here. Connell's fantastic book offers a fascinating history of Plains Indians culture, a welcome dose of military history, and close attention to each of the story's major players.






The Collected Works of Billy the Kid

Michael Ondaatje


Poet, novelist and essayist Ondaatje -- most famous for his love-in-war saga The English Patient -- brings his gaze to bear on a man who has been worshiped by outlaws and reviled by the law-abiding. Billy the Kid is revealed both villain and victim in a soundly researched biographical study that also illuminates the chaotic world which he came to represent.







Draw: The Greatest Gunfights of the American West

By James Reasoner


Novelist Reasoner (Appomatox) works in reverse and undertakes an extraction of all the legendary gunfighters of the Wild West -- Doc Holliday, Wyatt Earp, Wild Bill Hickok, and Bat Masterson, to name just a few -- from the dime-store novels and cheap movies that obscure their true careers. Draw places these surprisingly complex figures back into history, holding each pistolero and shootout up to an unforgiving and mesmerizing light.







The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

By Ron Hansen


Jesse James had a quick temper, a quicker gun hand, and a young acolyte who wanted to be him someday. The 24-year-old Ford finally decided that the time was ripe and murdered James, only to spend his life tormented by his decision. Hansen re-creates their brutal world in unforgettable detail.






Bendigo Shafter

By Louis L'Amour


America's most prolific writer of the West, L'Amour builds a small epic out of the tale of 18-year-old Shafter, who builds, alongside six other men and 13 women, a town in the hills of Wyoming. The story has it all: love, feuds, guns, Indians, a cattle drive, and a train full of Mormons to boot.



April 17: "In less than three years, both GM and Chrysler would be bankrupt, and a resurgent Ford would wow Wall Street..."

Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. James Parker calls this Dickensian coming-of-age novel "an enveloping…

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Poems That Make Grown Men Cry

And women too.  Luminaries from Colin Firth to Nick Cave and Jonathan Franzen chose the poems that bring them to tears, and the result is a stunning collection of poignant verse from writers like Auden, Whitman, Bishop, Larkin, Neruda and many others.  Warning: choking-up hazard.

The King of Pain

Trapped beneath his entertainment system, reality TV mastermind Rick Salter reflects on his life and tries to piece together the events of the previous evening. Seth Kaufman’s romp is an outrageous meditation on pain and entertainment in a deranged world in which the two are often interchangeable.

The Good Inn

Frank Black, frontman for the Pixies, has written a transgressive historical fiction with shades of Thomas Pynchon (focused as it is on the history of explosives and cinematic pornography), all set in a hallucinatory Edwardian Europe.