10 books like Phoebe Clappsaddle and the Tumbleweed Gang

By Melanie Chrismer, Virginia Roeder (illustrator),

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Phoebe Clappsaddle and the Tumbleweed Gang. Shepherd is a community of 8,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Tad Lucas

By Laura Edge, Stephanie Ford (illustrator),

Book cover of Tad Lucas: Trick-Riding Rodeo Cowgirl

Doris Fisher Author Of Jackson Sundown: Native American Bronco Buster

From the list on cowboys and rodeos.

Who am I?

I grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma and have always been fascinated by the Wild West. Native Americans, cowboys, rodeos, settlers, farmers, and the great National Parks of the West. I’ve been fortunate to see Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, Glacier National Park, and many western national monuments. My first elementary school was Sequoyah, named for the great Cherokee who created the Cherokee alphabet. While researching early library methods of transportation, I came across books being delivered by stagecoach in the west. That eventually led me to discover the amazing life of Jackson Sundown. I hope these books on cowboys, buckaroos, and rodeos enchant you and your little ones like they have me.

Doris' book list on cowboys and rodeos

Discover why each book is one of Doris' favorite books.

Why did Doris love this book?

Tad Lucas was an amazing cowgirl! Born in Texas, she amazed crowds at rodeos all over the world for more than 40 years. She was known for trick riding, bronco riding, and steer riding. She is the only woman honored in the National Rodeo Hall of Fame. Her daring horse riding was astonishing in the rodeo world of men and cowboys.

Tad Lucas

By Laura Edge, Stephanie Ford (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Tad Lucas as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“A different take on women’s prowess and accomplishments that equine lovers will find appealing.” —Kirkus[green]

Texan Tad Lucas traveled the world dazzling rodeo crowds with her daring trick riding, bronc riding, and steer riding. She competed for more than 40 years and is the only woman honored by the National Rodeo Hall of Fame, the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame, and the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame. In her will, she established the Tad Lucas Memorial Award to honor women who excel in any field related to Western heritage. Illustrations from cowgirl and Western artist Stephanie Ford accompany the text…


B Is for Buckaroo

By Louise Doak Whitney, Gleaves Whitney, Susan Guy (illustrator)

Book cover of B Is for Buckaroo: A Cowboy Alphabet

Doris Fisher Author Of Jackson Sundown: Native American Bronco Buster

From the list on cowboys and rodeos.

Who am I?

I grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma and have always been fascinated by the Wild West. Native Americans, cowboys, rodeos, settlers, farmers, and the great National Parks of the West. I’ve been fortunate to see Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, Glacier National Park, and many western national monuments. My first elementary school was Sequoyah, named for the great Cherokee who created the Cherokee alphabet. While researching early library methods of transportation, I came across books being delivered by stagecoach in the west. That eventually led me to discover the amazing life of Jackson Sundown. I hope these books on cowboys, buckaroos, and rodeos enchant you and your little ones like they have me.

Doris' book list on cowboys and rodeos

Discover why each book is one of Doris' favorite books.

Why did Doris love this book?

What a terrific book to learn about the cowboy’s way of life! All things related to the western lifestyle are described. There is detailed information from A-to-Z, plus a short poem using each letter for younger readers and listeners. Examples are chuck wagon, lariat, and rodeo. I think this book is so informative with its focus on western culture and western history.  

B Is for Buckaroo

By Louise Doak Whitney, Gleaves Whitney, Susan Guy (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked B Is for Buckaroo as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"L is for lariat or lasso, a loop of rope coiled just so. Swing it wide or swing it low. Hook those horns and yell whoa!" Hold on to your hat and strap on your spurs! Cowpokes and buckaroos of all ages will enjoy this A-Z gallop through the facts, feats, and folks of the cowboy way of life. Even greenhorns are invited to ride this fun-filled range!


Cowboy Camp

By Tammi Sauer, Mike Reed (illustrator),

Book cover of Cowboy Camp

Doris Fisher Author Of Jackson Sundown: Native American Bronco Buster

From the list on cowboys and rodeos.

Who am I?

I grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma and have always been fascinated by the Wild West. Native Americans, cowboys, rodeos, settlers, farmers, and the great National Parks of the West. I’ve been fortunate to see Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, Glacier National Park, and many western national monuments. My first elementary school was Sequoyah, named for the great Cherokee who created the Cherokee alphabet. While researching early library methods of transportation, I came across books being delivered by stagecoach in the west. That eventually led me to discover the amazing life of Jackson Sundown. I hope these books on cowboys, buckaroos, and rodeos enchant you and your little ones like they have me.

Doris' book list on cowboys and rodeos

Discover why each book is one of Doris' favorite books.

Why did Doris love this book?

Who doesn’t want to be a cowboy or cowgirl when they grow up? Avery certainly does. Cowboy Dan will help his campers become true rootin’ tootin’ cowboys. Although Avery tries to dress like a cowboy like the other campers, things aren’t quite right for him. He is allergic to grits and beans, he sneezes around horses, and develops rope burn when is tries his hand at twirling a lasso. But his problems come in real handy when Black Bart appears one night.

Cowboy Camp

By Tammi Sauer, Mike Reed (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Cowboy Camp as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Giddyup and gallop right over to read this rootin' tootin' tale of an unlikely cowboy. Avery's at camp, training hard with his horse and his lasso. But he's just not feeling up to the challenge. Then a bully threatens all the campers-and Avery proves his mettle in his own unique way. Kids will love the story's lively language and wildly playful pictures.


Armadillo Rodeo

By Jan Brett, Jan Brett (illustrator),

Book cover of Armadillo Rodeo

Doris Fisher Author Of Jackson Sundown: Native American Bronco Buster

From the list on cowboys and rodeos.

Who am I?

I grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma and have always been fascinated by the Wild West. Native Americans, cowboys, rodeos, settlers, farmers, and the great National Parks of the West. I’ve been fortunate to see Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, Glacier National Park, and many western national monuments. My first elementary school was Sequoyah, named for the great Cherokee who created the Cherokee alphabet. While researching early library methods of transportation, I came across books being delivered by stagecoach in the west. That eventually led me to discover the amazing life of Jackson Sundown. I hope these books on cowboys, buckaroos, and rodeos enchant you and your little ones like they have me.

Doris' book list on cowboys and rodeos

Discover why each book is one of Doris' favorite books.

Why did Doris love this book?

Just looking at the colorful illustrations in this book make me want to look at it again and again. When Bo, the armadillo, mistakes a red cowboy boot for an armadillo friend, chaos happens.
With his poor eyesight, Bo follows that ‘red armadillo’ to the Curly H ranch for some rodeo time shenanigans. He gets bucked off a horse, eats a fiery jalapeno pepper, is kicked up on the dance floor. After he discovers his red friend is not an armadillo, he heads back with his ma, knowing he can find more fun at the Curly H, whenever he gets bored!

Armadillo Rodeo

By Jan Brett, Jan Brett (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Armadillo Rodeo as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When Bo spots what he thinks is a "rip-roarin', rootin'-tootin', shiny red armadillo," he knows what he has to do. Follow that armadillo! Bo leaves his mother and three brothers behind and takes off for a two-stepping, bronco-bucking adventure. Jan Brett turns her considerable talents toward the Texas countryside in this amusing story of an armadillo on his own.


A Fiery Match

By Natalie Bright, Denise F McAllister,

Book cover of A Fiery Match: A Christian Western Romance Series

Carmen Peone Author Of Captured Secrets

From the list on romance that rope you into cowboys and love.

Who am I?

Because I have lived on an Indian reservation for more than three decades, own and train horses, have competed in horse shows and competitions, have worked with one of my sons on a cattle ranch, and I’ve been happily married for almost forty years, writing contemporary Western romance became the perfect fit. I love reading clean romance stories with strong female characters. My degree in Abnormal Psychology from Eastern Washington University has proved useful in my development of characters and their fears, the lies they believe, and how to overcome their struggles.  

Carmen's book list on romance that rope you into cowboys and love

Discover why each book is one of Carmen's favorite books.

Why did Carmen love this book?

These authors had me on the edge of my seat in A Fiery Match. What’s better than a Texas love story set on a ranch with exciting characters and danger? Not much. I admired Janie Olson’s feistiness and drive she obtained from her time in the Army. The way the authors polished Fire Chief Mack Griffitt's rough edges was organic and fun. Though the book is filled with tension, the matchmaking busybodies toss in a helping of humor, which made for a super balance of suspense and comedy I thoroughly enjoyed. 

A Fiery Match

By Natalie Bright, Denise F McAllister,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Fiery Match as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

She left as the ugly duckling and returned a beautiful swan—only she doesn’t know it.

The day Janie Olsen arrives back home, it’s to find major upheaval amidst a prairie fire on her family ranch. When she takes charge, thanks to her years in the Army, she does more than just ruffle the feathers of the town’s fire chief—she sparks an unsuspecting match.

Fire Chief Mack Griffitt is used to calling the shots. But when an upstart, feisty woman shows up out of nowhere and tries taking charge of his fire scene, he’s forced to put his large boot down.…


Splinters

By Thorny Sterling,

Book cover of Splinters

Barbara Elsborg Author Of Edge of Forever

From the list on gay cowboys.

Who am I?

I’m fascinated by men, the way they think and behave, the problems they have in their relationships. The very first gay romance I wrote was a cowboy story – Cowboys Downand who doesn’t love cowboys? They’re enigmatic, strong, rugged, ultra-masculine. But what if they were also gay? I think it’s that challenge, to show another side of a role that has so predominantly been drawn in one particular way in western books and films. I think gay men must have to work even harder to be accepted as a cowboy than in many other industries and exploring that is enthralling.

Barbara's book list on gay cowboys

Discover why each book is one of Barbara's favorite books.

Why did Barbara love this book?

I love the start of this. An actor (again!) wakes to find himself naked and bound to a plank in the middle of the Texas range. Fortunately, along comes his saviour in the form of Duke, his knight in shining armour, or in this case, a cowboy. It’s a debut novel and it’s very good. Romantic and sweet with a bit of a mystery and I loved the touches of humour. Humour always brings a book alive for me. Sadly I think that’s the only book Thorny has written and it’s shame. 

Splinters

By Thorny Sterling,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Splinters as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Waking up in a strange place isn't a first for model and actor Allan Seville, but discovering himself alone and bound to a rough plank in the middle of an open Texas range certainly is. With no memory of who did this to him or why, panic sets in, until rescue comes riding up on a big, brown horse. There's more to Duke Walters than a handsome face and sexy drawl. In the arms of this rugged cowboy, Al discovers a peace and safety he never knew he needed, and now doesn't want to be without. But someone wants Al…


Cryin' for Daylight

By Louise S. O'Connor,

Book cover of Cryin' for Daylight: A Ranching Culture in the Texas Coastal Bend (Texas Coastal Bend Series, No. 1)

Sarah Bird Author Of Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen

From the list on capturing a 19th century American voice.

Who am I?

Growing up, I dreamed of being Margaret Mead. When I realized that Margaret already had that job, I turned my anthropologist’s eye for the defining details of language, dress, and customs to fiction. I love to tell the untold tales--especially about women--who are thrust into difficult, sometimes impossible, circumstances and triumph with the help of humor, friends, perseverance, and their own inspiring ingenuity. I have been able to do this well enough that, in 2021, was honored with the Paul Re Peace Award for Cultural Advocacy for promoting empathy through my work. I’m a bestselling novelist and essayist living in Austin, Texas with my husband, son, and terminally cute Corgi.

Sarah's book list on capturing a 19th century American voice

Discover why each book is one of Sarah's favorite books.

Why did Sarah love this book?

Louise S. O'Connor, a fifth-generation descendant of an early settler of Texas has always loved the stories of the "old timers,” the cowboys and hands who worked the ranch where she grew up. O’Connor spent seventeen years collecting oral histories about ranch life on the Coastal Bend and compiled those stories into Cryin' for Daylight. Though published in 1989, the language of O’Connor’s isolated, rural, mostly elderly subjects rings with 19th Century authenticity.

I treasure O’Connor’s labor of love for its emphasis on the tragically neglected black cowboys. One such cowboy supplied the title by swearing, “We loved to work cattle so much, we’d just be sittin’ around cryin’ for daylight to come.”

Cryin' for Daylight

By Louise S. O'Connor,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Cryin' for Daylight as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Cryin for Daylight contains the memories of people deeply involved in a ranching culture transformed by technology, urbanization, mechanization, and other economic and political interventions of modern life. These are real people speaking: men and women, bosses and workers, black and white, Catholic and Protestant, cooks and helicopter pilots... diverse individuals tied together by the land and their labor on it.


Smonk

By Tom Franklin,

Book cover of Smonk: Or Widow Town

Alden Bell Author Of The Reapers Are the Angels

From the list on in the tradition of William Faulkner.

Who am I?

As a writer, I’ve been deeply influenced by Southern literature—especially the work of William Faulkner and Flannery O’Connor. Even though I’m not from the South myself, I am drawn to Southern writers’ immodesty. I believe much of contemporary literature is too timid. It is about the mundane, the everyday.  It does not elevate; instead, it diminishes.  Much of the literature of the South is biblical in its sensibilities.  It is unafraid to deal with the big universal issues with language that is equally big and universal.  It does not pander to modesty or postmodern selfconsciousness. It is audacious. It’s the kind of writing that made me want to write.

Alden's book list on in the tradition of William Faulkner

Discover why each book is one of Alden's favorite books.

Why did Alden love this book?

Franklin’s book is one of the key inspirations for my book, The Reapers Are the Angels. Combining a frontier western sensibility with Faulkner’s wicked gothic brutality, Franklin tells an engrossing tale of a young prostitute who finds herself mired in a world of outlaws, perverts, dandies, and murderers. Frantically running back and forth between high comedy and guttered grotesquerie, this story feels like it’s just barely clinging to its own rails—and that sense of dangerous tipping is what feels so thrilling about it. What Franklin inherits from Faulkner is a wide-eyed beguilement with degeneracy—or what Conrad would call a “fascination of the abomination.”

Smonk

By Tom Franklin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Smonk as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It's 1911 and the townsfolk of Old Texas, Alabama, have had enough. Every Saturday night for a year, E. O. Smonk has been destroying property, killing livestock, seducing women, cheating and beating men, all from behind the twin barrels of his Winchester 45-70 caliber over-and-under rifle. Syphilitic, consumptive, gouty, and goitered—an expert with explosives and knives—Smonk hates horses, goats, and the Irish, and it's high time he was stopped. But capturing old Smonk won't be easy—and putting him on trial could have shocking and disastrous consequences, considering the terrible secret the citizens of Old Texas are hiding.


Undeniably Yours

By Becky Wade,

Book cover of Undeniably Yours

Carmen Peone Author Of Captured Secrets

From the list on romance that rope you into cowboys and love.

Who am I?

Because I have lived on an Indian reservation for more than three decades, own and train horses, have competed in horse shows and competitions, have worked with one of my sons on a cattle ranch, and I’ve been happily married for almost forty years, writing contemporary Western romance became the perfect fit. I love reading clean romance stories with strong female characters. My degree in Abnormal Psychology from Eastern Washington University has proved useful in my development of characters and their fears, the lies they believe, and how to overcome their struggles.  

Carmen's book list on romance that rope you into cowboys and love

Discover why each book is one of Carmen's favorite books.

Why did Carmen love this book?

Whispering Creek Ranch, in Texas, is the kind of ranch I’d love to own. It’s filled with Thoroughbred horses, cowboys, and hope. I enjoyed how Meg Cole deals with her father’s massive empire after he unexpectedly passes away. The handsome cowboy who fights to keep the horse part of the place as he falls for his boss is my favorite character. He’s firm and dedicated to a vision she can’t see. He’s also the anchor for his siblings – one of them being a rebellious younger sister. This story is filled with grief, humor, and healing.   

Undeniably Yours

By Becky Wade,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Undeniably Yours as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

2014 Carol Award Winner for Romance
2014 Inspirational Reader's Choice Award Winner for Long Contemporary

When Meg Cole's father dies unexpectedly, she's forced to return home to Texas and to Whispering Creek Ranch to take up the reins of his empire. The last thing she has the patience or the sanity to deal with? Her father's Thoroughbred racehorse farm. She gives its manager, Bo Porter, six months to close the place down.

Bo knows he ought to resent the woman who's determined to take from him the only job he ever wanted. But instead of anger, Meg evokes within him…


In the Valley of the Sun

By Andy Davidson,

Book cover of In the Valley of the Sun: A Novel

Robert Desiderio Author Of The Occurrence: A Political Thriller

From the list on inspiring thought in the creation of fiction.

Who am I?

My first memory of storytelling was as a kid reading Jules Verne’s, The Mysterious Island in the basement of my house in The Bronx where I grew up. It transported me to a  world of magic and mystery. The effect of that experience wouldn’t seriously take hold for decades when I realized the acting career I’d pursued for twenty years wasn’t where I was meant to be. Fascinated with mysteries and metaphysics and studying the world of past lives and reincarnation led me to incorporate this vast realm into what I write. The Occurrence, my first novel, took these ideas and thread them through a story of politics and spirituality. 

Robert's book list on inspiring thought in the creation of fiction

Discover why each book is one of Robert's favorite books.

Why did Robert love this book?

My intrigue with the cost of transformation, mortality, and morality led me to the vampire genre. In my search for books, I discovered an amazing author, Andy Davidson. I was captivated by his book, In the Valley of the Sun. I searched him out to let him know he elevated the vampire genre for me, and his southern gothic setting was extraordinary.

I can’t think of a better recommendation if you’re connected to the world of vampires. 

In the Valley of the Sun

By Andy Davidson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked In the Valley of the Sun as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One night in 1980, a man becomes a monster.

Haunted by his past, Travis Stillwell spends his nights searching out women in West Texas honky-tonks. What he does with them doesn't make him proud, just quiets the demons for a little while. But after Travis crosses paths one night with a mysterious pale-skinned girl, he wakes weak and bloodied in his cabover camper the next morning-with no sign of a girl, no memory of the night before.

When motel-owner Annabelle Gaskin offers the cowboy a few odd jobs to pay his board, he takes her up on the offer. By…


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