65 books like Riding the White Horse Home

By Teresa Jordan,

Here are 65 books that Riding the White Horse Home fans have personally recommended if you like Riding the White Horse Home. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water

Laurie Marr Wasmund Author Of My Heart Lies Here

From my list on why the American West always will be the "Wild West”.

Why am I passionate about this?

Raised in the American West, I have watched the explosive growth in Colorado with dismay. In my lifetime, metro Denver has grown from a population of about 500,000 people to more than 5.5 million. The Colorado of large ranches and wide, open spaces is disappearing. I have named my publishing company “lost ranch books,” in honor of the ranch where I grew up, which was sold and developed with cookie-cutter houses. I’ve now set out to recapture historic Colorado by writing about it. My award-winning books center on Colorado’s and the American West’s history, for not only is it fascinating and, often, troubling, but it still resonates today.

Laurie's book list on why the American West always will be the "Wild West”

Laurie Marr Wasmund Why did Laurie love this book?

Water, water everywhere—but not in the American West. I first read Reisner’s book soon after its publication in 1986, when it presented a haunting, frightening future for the western United States that is being realized today. The book reveals the inadequacy of the management of water in the western states that began as soon as there was settlement, and it takes an especially hard look at the treaties surrounding the Colorado River, which has all but disappeared in the past few years, causing panic at the Hoover Dam and in Las Vegas, Arizona, and Mexico. Reisner amply demonstrates why major cities should not be built in semi-arid and arid climes—and still, the western states’ populations continue to explode. 

By Marc Reisner,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Cadillac Desert as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"The definitive work on the West's water crisis." --Newsweek

The story of the American West is the story of a relentless quest for a precious resource: water. It is a tale of rivers diverted and dammed, of political corruption and intrigue, of billion-dollar battles over water rights, of ecological and economic disaster. In his landmark book, Cadillac Desert, Marc Reisner writes of the earliest settlers, lured by the promise of paradise, and of the ruthless tactics employed by Los Angeles politicians and business interests to ensure the city's growth. He documents the bitter rivalry between two government giants, the Bureau…


Book cover of Buried Unsung: Louis Tikas and the Ludlow Massacre

Laurie Marr Wasmund Author Of My Heart Lies Here

From my list on why the American West always will be the "Wild West”.

Why am I passionate about this?

Raised in the American West, I have watched the explosive growth in Colorado with dismay. In my lifetime, metro Denver has grown from a population of about 500,000 people to more than 5.5 million. The Colorado of large ranches and wide, open spaces is disappearing. I have named my publishing company “lost ranch books,” in honor of the ranch where I grew up, which was sold and developed with cookie-cutter houses. I’ve now set out to recapture historic Colorado by writing about it. My award-winning books center on Colorado’s and the American West’s history, for not only is it fascinating and, often, troubling, but it still resonates today.

Laurie's book list on why the American West always will be the "Wild West”

Laurie Marr Wasmund Why did Laurie love this book?

The Ludlow Massacre in Trinidad, Colorado in 1914 is a shameful event in Colorado, U.S., and labor history. Zeese Papanikolas has created a portrait of the United Mine Workers of America’s battle for labor rights in the southern coalfields. Drawn from interviews and letters of survivors and witnesses, he captures the Greek immigrant experience in the United States. He also relates the story of the charismatic Greek organizer of the UMWA, Louis Tikas, who became a martyr in the battle for the union. Buried Unsung inspired me so much that I used it as a reference for my novel, in which I explore the bitterness of the strike and the tragedy of those whose lives were forever altered by the greed and cruelty of those in power.

By Zeese Papanikolas,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Louis Tikas was a union organizer killed in the battle between striking coal miners and state militia in Ludlow, Colorado, in 1914. In Buried Unsung he stands for a whole generation of immigrant workers who, in the years before World War I, found themselves caught between the realities of industrial America and their aspirations for a better life.


Book cover of Empire Express: Building the First Transcontinental Railroad

Laurie Marr Wasmund Author Of My Heart Lies Here

From my list on why the American West always will be the "Wild West”.

Why am I passionate about this?

Raised in the American West, I have watched the explosive growth in Colorado with dismay. In my lifetime, metro Denver has grown from a population of about 500,000 people to more than 5.5 million. The Colorado of large ranches and wide, open spaces is disappearing. I have named my publishing company “lost ranch books,” in honor of the ranch where I grew up, which was sold and developed with cookie-cutter houses. I’ve now set out to recapture historic Colorado by writing about it. My award-winning books center on Colorado’s and the American West’s history, for not only is it fascinating and, often, troubling, but it still resonates today.

Laurie's book list on why the American West always will be the "Wild West”

Laurie Marr Wasmund Why did Laurie love this book?

This is a big book, more than 700 pages, but it is worth every word. Bain focuses not on the workers who built the railroads, but the machinations, corruption, and political hijinks of those who dreamed up, financed, and managed the companies of the Central Pacific and the Union Pacific. It’s hard to tell the good guys from the bad guys—or even if there are any good guys. Bain manages to make the multiple historical figures in his book memorable and easily identifiable, which not all historians achieve. He also infuses his telling with a sly humor that catches the reader off-guard and, at times, made me laugh aloud.

By David Haward Bain,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

After the Civil War, the building of the transcontinental railroad was the nineteenth century's most transformative event. Beginning in 1842 with a visionary's dream to span the continent with twin bands of iron, Empire Express captures three dramatic decades in which the United States effectively doubled in size, fought three wars, and began to discover a new national identity. From self--made entrepreneurs such as the Union Pacific's Thomas Durant and era--defining figures such as President Lincoln to the thousands of laborers whose backbreaking work made the railroad possible, this extraordinary narrative summons an astonishing array of voices to give new…


Book cover of Fire and Brimstone: The North Butte Mining Disaster of 1917

Laurie Marr Wasmund Author Of My Heart Lies Here

From my list on why the American West always will be the "Wild West”.

Why am I passionate about this?

Raised in the American West, I have watched the explosive growth in Colorado with dismay. In my lifetime, metro Denver has grown from a population of about 500,000 people to more than 5.5 million. The Colorado of large ranches and wide, open spaces is disappearing. I have named my publishing company “lost ranch books,” in honor of the ranch where I grew up, which was sold and developed with cookie-cutter houses. I’ve now set out to recapture historic Colorado by writing about it. My award-winning books center on Colorado’s and the American West’s history, for not only is it fascinating and, often, troubling, but it still resonates today.

Laurie's book list on why the American West always will be the "Wild West”

Laurie Marr Wasmund Why did Laurie love this book?

Punke’s book chronicles a story of heroism and company greed that isn’t that far in the past of America’s labor battles. It tells of a fire that spread through the underground tunnels of the copper mines belonging to J.D. Rockefeller’s Anaconda company and others. The book centers on the men trapped underground who exhaust every possible option in a dire bid to survive, including some ingenious methods and some which hasten their demise. Punke touches as well on political, labor, and business wranglings that put the workers at risk. He also follows Butte’s history to present day, demonstrating that the Montana city has never quite recovered from its past as a copper city.

By Michael Punke,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The author of the #1 New York Times bestseller, The Revenant -- basis for the award-winning motion picture starring Leonardo DiCaprio -- tells the remarkable story of the worst hard-rock mining disaster in American history.

A half-hour before midnight on June 8, 1917, a fire broke out in the North Butte Mining Company's Granite Mountain shaft. Sparked more than two thousand feet below ground, the fire spewed flames, smoke, and poisonous gas through a labyrinth of underground tunnels. Within an hour, more than four hundred men would be locked in a battle to survive. Within three days, one hundred and…


Book cover of Close Range: Wyoming Stories

Alyson Hagy Author Of Boleto

From my list on the West that twist the myth.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a writer fascinated by landscape and history—and the American West is my magnet. I’ve set three books in the West. I can’t get enough of the place. An entire national myth is enshrined “where the deer and the antelope play.” Independence. Freedom from the past. Land we can supposedly call our own. The West is so beautiful and also so scarred. I love to read books that deepen my experience of the deserts, mountains, and rivers. I also love to learn about the people who were here before me, those who have hung on, and those who hope to heal the scars. These books are great stories about a bewitching place.

Alyson's book list on the West that twist the myth

Alyson Hagy Why did Alyson love this book?

Annie Proulx is a genius with character, and she’s obsessed with how hard humans work to uphold their myths of identity and achievement even when the odds are stacked against them. Close Range is the best of her three very good story collections about the West. It’s famous, and rightly so, for the trail-blazing tale of cowboy queerness "Brokeback Mountain". But each story is taut with observation and image. “The Mud Below,” “The Half-Skinned Steer”—there’s more than one American classic in this book. Some Westerners aren’t fans of Proulx, but I am. She doesn’t pull her punches about what it’s really like to ranch, rodeo, fantasize about retirement, or care for family in a place with no safety net, extreme weather, and no neighbors around the corner.

By Annie Proulx,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Close Range as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the Pulitzer Prize–winning and bestselling author of The Shipping News and Accordion Crimes comes one of the most celebrated short story collections of our time.

Annie Proulx's masterful language and fierce love of Wyoming are evident in this collection of stories about loneliness, quick violence, and wrong kinds of love. In "The Mud Below," a rodeo rider's obsession marks the deepening fissures between his family life and self-imposed isolation. In "The Half-Skinned Steer," an elderly fool drives west to the ranch he grew up on for his brother's funeral, and dies a mile from home. In "Brokeback Mountain," the…


Book cover of Letters of a Woman Homesteader

Rachel Kovaciny Author Of One Bad Apple

From my list on women in the wild west.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve loved learning about the Old West for as long as I can remember. Is this because I was born a few miles from the spot where Jesse James robbed his first train? Or is it because my family watched so many classic western movies and TV shows when I was a kid? Either way, writing books set in the Old West is a natural fit for me. I love researching the real history of that era just as much as I love making up stories set there. In fact, I write a column about the real history of the Wild West for a Colorado-based newspaper, The Prairie Times.

Rachel's book list on women in the wild west

Rachel Kovaciny Why did Rachel love this book?

This book delights me. It makes me laugh, it inspires me, and it makes me wish I could have met Elinore Pruitt Stewart. Even though her life certainly wasn't easy, she never lost her hope, her joy, her faith, or her sense of humor.

Stewart wrote these letters to a friend, detailing her successes and failures as a woman homesteader, and hoping to encourage other women to try forging their own lives on the frontier. Wanting to build a better life for herself and her daughter, this widow headed off into the plains of Wyoming, where she took a job keeping house for a rancher while also claiming her own homestead. Her accounts of her new life are funny, moving, and encouraging by turn.

By Elinore Pruitt Stewart, N. C. Wyeth (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Letters of a Woman Homesteader as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As a young widow with a small child, Elinore Pruitt left Denver in 1909 and set out for Wyoming, where she hoped to buy a ranch. Determined to prove that a lone woman could survive the hardships of homesteading, she initially worked as a housekeeper and hired hand for a neighbor—a kind but taciturn Scottish bachelor whom she eventually married.
Spring and summers were hard, she concedes, and were taken up with branding, farming, doctoring cattle, and other chores. But with the arrival of fall, Pruitt found time to take her young daughter on camping trips and serve her neighbors…


Book cover of You Shouldn't Have Come Here

Jennifer Vido Author Of Serendipity by the Sea

From my list on reads for the beach for moms.

Why am I passionate about this?

When our two sons were younger, I ran a book club for moms. We met at the local library branch once a month—an excuse to get out of the house for some adult conversation. I frequently offer book suggestions to friends and family because I keep my finger on the pulse of what books moms want to read, especially in the summertime at the beach. Typically, I read three to four beach reads on vacation, and I like a variety of genres. I gravitate towards stories with some element of romance, fitting since I’m a sweet romance writer who loves a good book.   

Jennifer's book list on reads for the beach for moms

Jennifer Vido Why did Jennifer love this book?

This book is an irresistible thriller about Grace Evans, an overworked New Yorker who rents an Airbnb on a ranch in the middle of Wyoming for some rest and relaxation and stumbles upon an intriguing rancher and townsfolk with secrets to keep.

The sexual attraction between Grace and Calvin Wells, the handsome rancher, kept me turning the pages. I never saw the shocking twist coming at the end. It made me think twice about booking a vacation rental in a remote area without cell service!

I devoured this novel in a few days, making it a good choice for a quick beach read.   

Book cover of Paint the Wind (Scholastic Gold)

Troon Harrison Author Of Cold Freedom

From my list on brave kids and horses.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was four years old when I was given a pony. The freedom of roaming the countryside with her was amazing, and I was hooked! All horse breeds have supported humans; their strength and speed have enabled farming, war, travel, and settlement. Horses feature in the art, religion, and sports of diverse cultures. My Historical Horse series contains three books—each one is a completely different story about a specific breed of horse, and a fictional girl who loved it and depended on it, even to stay alive. Writing the books was like time-traveling with horses!

Troon's book list on brave kids and horses

Troon Harrison Why did Troon love this book?

This book contains two stories that intertwine: that of a girl who has lost her mother, and a mustang mare struggling to keep her foal safe. I like how the mare is portrayed as intelligent and brave, just as the girl is. Both living beings are important characters in the plot, which is wonderful. The prose is skillful and beautiful, and suits competent, older middle-grade readers who will be transported into the wild landscape. 

By Pam Muñoz Ryan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Paint the Wind (Scholastic Gold) as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Maya lives like a captive. At Grandmother's house in California, everything is forbidden: friends, fun, even memories. And her life is built on lies: lies Grandmother tells her about her dead mother, lies Maya tells to impress or manipulate. But then she moves to the vast Wyoming wilderness where her mother's family awaits - kind, rugged people who have no tolerance for lies. They challenge Maya to confront the truth about who she is. And a mysterious mustang called Artemisia waits, too. She holds the key to Maya's freedom. But to find it, Maya will have to risk everything, including…


Book cover of Brokeback Mountain

Barbara Elsborg Author Of Edge of Forever

From my list on gay cowboys.

Why am I passionate about this?

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

Barbara Elsborg Why did Barbara love this book?

I’m pretty sure this was the first story about gay guys that I ever read. I had a book of Annie Proulx’s short stories I’d been meaning to read and stumbled across this particular one by accident. I only saw the film a long time later and that bowled me over too. The story is beautifully written, though find it so sad to read (and watch). Individuals struggling to come to terms with the way they feel is the essence of so many romances and this opened the door to all those that followed. She’s a brilliant writer.

By Annie Proulx,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The inspiration behind 'Life of Pi' director Ang Lee's 'Brokeback Mountain' is one of the short stories to be found in this haunting collection of Wyoming tales.

'Brokeback Mountain' is set in the beautiful, wild landscape of Wyoming where cowboys live as they have done for generations. Hard, lonely lives in unforgiving country. Jack Twist and Ennis del Mar are two ranch hands, glad to have found each other's company where none had been expected. But companionship becomes something else on Brokeback Mountain, something not looked for - an intimacy neither can forget.

'Brokeback Mountain' was made into an Academy…


Book cover of Lime Creek

Tim Slover Author Of The Christmas Chronicles: The Legend of Santa Claus

From my list on Christmas stories to read at a fireside.

Why am I passionate about this?

When our two boys hit their difficult years around age seven or eight and the other kids at school were starting to doubt Santa Claus, they began to ask questions about how he operated. Luckily I had answers, which became, eventually, The Christmas Chronicles. Now that I was outed as a Santa supporter, I started doing Christmas readings here and there, including every year on a radio holiday show for Access Utah, a PBS affiliate. That’s given me the delightful task of seeking out all kinds of Yuletide literature. These are a few of my favorites. 

Tim's book list on Christmas stories to read at a fireside

Tim Slover Why did Tim love this book?

Henry is a poet, lyricist, novelist, and rancher from Woody Creek, Colorado. His whole memoir/novel, Lime Creek, is a miniature masterpiece, but I want to draw your attention to the part of it about Christmas. He and John Denver—Denver called Henry his brother—created Christmas gatherings in a barn for several years. In this excerpt set in Wyoming, he imagines one of those gatherings through the eyes of a young boy, Luke. Luke is there with his younger brother, Whitney, his older brother, Lonny, and his mother and father, Elizabeth and Spencer. And the two younger brothers are inspired to try an experiment from an old, old tradition, that on Christmas Eve, animals are given the gift of speech. 

By Joe Henry,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Lime Creek as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this wonderful work of fiction, Joe Henry explores the complex relationship between a father and his sons, whose deep connections to one another, to the land, and to the creatures that inhabit it give meaning to their lives.

Spencer Davis, his wife, Elizabeth, and their sons, Luke, Whitney, and Lonny, work with horses and with their hands. They spend long relentless days cutting summer hay and feeding it to their cattle through fierce Wyoming winters. The family bears witness to the cycle of life, bringing foals into the world and deciding when to let a favored mare pass on…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Wyoming, ranches, and the American West?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Wyoming, ranches, and the American West.

Wyoming Explore 42 books about Wyoming
Ranches Explore 53 books about ranches
The American West Explore 126 books about the American West