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Relive The Wild West With These 9 Books

The wild west is an iconic period captured so many times on film. But have you tried reading about it?

While the wild west is a memorable time thanks to films, there are also plenty of books and stories that have never been made into films. Guaranteed to lasso you into reading them cover to cover, these books are a great way to get away from modern life. So why not travel back to a time where America’s nature was even more unconquerable, to a time of romantic duels and amazing fashion?
These books just make it so easy!

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#1 Wild by Cheryl Strayed

Wild by Cheryl Strayed
Who recommended this book?
This was recommended by Mia Clarke from InvertPro.

As a woman, especially one who travels a lot for work, I’ve had my fair share of misconceptions regarding my audacity to live such a lifestyle – saying that I will just ruin my relationship with my family by going on trips and leaving them behind most of the time.

However, this story (all the while happening in a period of time where working is mainly necessary to survive as compared to starting a family) reminds me about these in a way where I still get to prioritize what’s more important to me and that is my family – no matter how busy I may be and no matter where my work takes me.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#2 West: The American Cowboy by Anouk Masson Krantz

West: The American Cowboy by Anouk Masson Krantz
Who recommended this book?
This was recommended by ACC Publishing.

West: The American Cowboy features exceptional fine art photography – several years in the making – of the American cowboy/cowgirl and rodeo communities, the horse and cattle ranches, and the remarkable landscape of America’s Wild West, by celebrated and award-winning photographer, Anouk Masson Krantz.

This lavish tome filled with rich and awe-inspiring photography includes images of a society that honors historical traditions and practices a set of values that includes honesty, integrity, loyalty, work ethic, and dedication to family. Set out in a stunning large-format book, and with heartfelt contributions from Jon Pardi, Red Steagall and others, the pages within inspire with a fresh and contemporary perspective of the American West.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#3 Oklahoma Originals by Jonita Mullins

Oklahoma Originals by Jonita Mullins
Who recommended this book?
This was recommended by Jonita Mullins from okieheritage.

The history of the Wild West is more than just a few shootouts in the street. It is a panoply of people and events. No area saw more of the wild in the Wild West than Oklahoma – the former Indian Territory.

The history of Oklahoma is peopled with fascinating characters. For many who came here this place was the end of the hard Trail of Tears. For others it was a place of new beginnings in a land of opportunity.

Whatever their reason for coming, the people of early Oklahoma were a colorful crew who left an indelible mark on the landscape of the West. From explorers and settlers of the early nineteenth century to oil tycoons and social activists in the first years of the twentieth century, Oklahoma saw a wide variety of men and women march across the stage during its formation.

Over eighty brief biographies tell the unique stories of doctors, lawyers and chiefs with a few outlaws, cattlemen and beauty queens thrown in for good measure. This remarkable group of individuals proves what a wonderful mosaic of color, culture and character Oklahoma and the Wild West is.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#4 Pioneer Girl by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Pioneer Girl by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Who recommended this book?
This was recommended by Shannon Serpette from Mom Loves Best.

This book follows the adventures of young Laura Ingalls Wilder, the historical figure who exploded in popularity in the 1970s and 1980s as a result of the television show, Little House on the Prairie.Even hardcore fans of Laura Ingalls Wilder will find fresh insights in this autobiography.

Some of the material will already be known by readers who were fans of her other books, but Pioneer Girl also has new material readers will enjoy about the young girl’s journey through the Dakota Territory, Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Missouri. It does more than contain stories about Wilder’s life though — it also features images, maps, and historical records.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#5 Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey

Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey
Who recommended this book?
This was recommended by Rebecca Graham from Best Company.

This is a great read for fans of the wild west, national parks enthusiasts, and environmentalists alike. I was introduced to Desert Solitaire in one of my favorite college courses, Literature and Cultures of the American West.

The book is a series of vignettes that illustrate the author’s experience as a park ranger in Arches National Park in 1956 and 1957. Abbey describes the desert wildlife, unique red rocks, and other distinguishing terrains and features of this region of Utah in an approach similar to Henry David Thoreau’s Walden. He also provides a commentary on the impact of tourism on the nature and culture of Arches. The issues he discusses could not be more relevant today as the number of yearly visitors to Arches is now 1.5 million (and growing).

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#6 Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy

Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
Who recommended this book?
This was recommended by Timothy Carlson from Hike the Planet!.

Widely considered to be a modern classic, Blood Meridian follows a protagonist known only as The Kid during his travels with a marauding gang of outlaws. Together with the bloodthirsty John Joel Glanton, and the mysterious Judge, the gang raids there way along the US-Mexico border.

McCarthy paints vivid, haunting pictures of the stark wilderness landscapes, and writes beautiful prose about horrific events. If you are a fan of McCarthy’s more well known works, such as The Road, or No Country For Old Men, then Blood Meridian is worth checking out.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#7 National Geographic The Old West by Stephen G. Hyslop

National Geographic The Old West by Stephen G. Hyslop
Who recommended this book?
This was recommended by Abe Navas from Emily’s Maids.

National Geographic is a household name for a reason, this book illustrates perfectly how it was back in the day. It has the complete info that anyone could want about the strange time that was the wild west.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#8 Weird Wild West by Keven McQueen

Weird Wild West by Keven McQueen
Who recommended this book?
This was recommended by Abe Navas from Emily’s Maids.

We often think of cowboys and outlaws when we think about the wild west, but it was also a weird and strange place from time to time, imagine a place with no law for most of the time, now this is a compilation on the weirdest stories that you can’t come up to.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#9 True Tales and Amazing Legends of the Old West by Editors of True West

True Tales and Amazing Legends of the Old West by Editors of True West
Who recommended this book?
This was recommended by Abe Navas from Emily’s Maids.

This is the best compilation of the incredible tales that the west left behind, the myths and legends that go around and you just couldn’t believe.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

Contributors to this article
Mia Clarke from InvertPro

ACC Publishing

Jonita Mullins from okieheritage

Shannon Serpette from Mom Loves Best

Rebecca Graham from Best Company

Timothy Carlson from Hike the Planet!

Abe Navas from Emily’s Maids

Written by Zak Parker

Journalist, writer, musician, professional procrastinator. I'll add more here later.

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