July 16th, 2024

Library Chat: Some rip-roaring reads for Stampede

By Medicine Hat News on July 21, 2017.

First off, don’t forget to pick up or renew library cards for your whole family so that you can all enjoy the library’s member appreciation pancake breakfast at 7 a.m. before the parade next Thursday. You need to show us your library card for free pancakes, and if you’re thinking of bringing guests we’ll honour library cards from out of town. Otherwise it is $5 and that gets you a coupon for your next library card.

I thought we’d celebrate Stampede Week with a few notable westerns. We have a lot more than Zane Grey available, although speaking of Zane Grey; we have two Zane Grey biographies, one on the shelf in Bassano and another instantly available in e-book format via Hoopla. We also have “Zane Grey: Outdoorsman: Zane Grey’s Best Hunting and Fishing Tales Published in Commemoration of His Centennial Year” on the shelves here in Medicine Hat.

If, on the other hand, you want a more realistic western with very fine writing, read the 1972 Pulitzer award winning “Angle of Repose” by Wallace Stegner. Another classic, first published in 1940, “The Ox-bow Incident” by Walter Van Tilburg Clark, draws a vivid picture of frontier justice gone too far. You can also borrow the movie starring Henry Fonda.

In e-book format only we have “The Brave Cowboy: An Old Tale in A New Time” by Edward Abbey. In this work a modern day cowboy and non-conformist attempts to ride across what was once open prairie. The book inspired the movie “Lonely are the Brave” in 1962, starring Kirk Douglas, on the shelf at Brooks Public Library waiting for you to place a hold and have it delivered to you at Medicine Hat or Redcliff or the Vera Bracken College Library.

Glendon Swarthout’s “The Shootist” is available in everything from large print and audiobook to a DVD featuring John Wayne, John Carradine, Richard Boone, James Stewart, Ron Howard and Lauren Bacall.

There are also some great offerings which complete the picture by offering the female side of the story. One of the best is “These Is My Words: The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1901: Arizona Territories: A Novel” by Nancy E. Turner.

This work has broad appeal, especially for people who enjoyed the Laura Ingalls Wilder books as children. Speaking of which, check out “The Selected Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder” for a glimpse into her real life.

Lastly, for a series of modern stories, try Anne Proulx’s Wyoming stories series, starting with “Close Range” in 1999 through the most recent one “Fine Just the Way it Is.”

Shelley Ross is chief librarian at the Medicine Hat Public Library.

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