51 books like Rodeo Road

By Vera McGinnis,

Here are 51 books that Rodeo Road fans have personally recommended if you like Rodeo Road. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Cowgirls

Tracey Hanshew Author Of Oklahoma Rodeo Women

From my list on cowgirls and ranching women.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up around ranch and rodeo life, having always been fascinated by it, attended several rodeos each year. Watching Jonnie Jonckowski ride bulls and Martha Josey break records wining barrel races—they were an inspiration. When an opportunity arose for me to build a career around researching and writing about cowgirls, rodeo, and cattlewomen, it was a dream come true.  Hope you enjoy the books about them that I’ve recommended.

Tracey's book list on cowgirls and ranching women

Tracey Hanshew Why did Tracey love this book?

Cowgirls evoke a variety of images: Wild West show shootist, rodeo athletes, working ranch women, and pin-ups. Many stories, dime novels, and a plethora of fiction about the cowgirl confuse her true history and are in many ways responsible for why we have so many interpretations of her. In The Cowgirls, Joyce Gibson Roach unravels the folklore to give us the history of the cowgirl, the good, and the “lady rustlers,” to explain her longevity as heroic cattlewomen who hold our attention and fascination even today. Roach’s narrative is as entertaining as it is informative and is a history any fan of the cowgirl should read.

By Joyce Gibson Roach,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An important chapter in the history and folklore of the West is how women on the cattle frontier took their place as equal partners with men. The cowboy may be our most authentic folk hero, but the cowgirl is right on his heels. This Spur Award winning book fills a void in the history of the cowgirl.

While Susan B. Anthony and her hoop-skirted friends were declaring that females too were created equal, Sally Skull was already riding and roping and marking cattle with her Circle S brand on the frontier of Texas. Wearing rawhide bloomers and riding astride, she…


Book cover of Texas Women on the Cattle Trails

Tracey Hanshew Author Of Oklahoma Rodeo Women

From my list on cowgirls and ranching women.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up around ranch and rodeo life, having always been fascinated by it, attended several rodeos each year. Watching Jonnie Jonckowski ride bulls and Martha Josey break records wining barrel races—they were an inspiration. When an opportunity arose for me to build a career around researching and writing about cowgirls, rodeo, and cattlewomen, it was a dream come true.  Hope you enjoy the books about them that I’ve recommended.

Tracey's book list on cowgirls and ranching women

Tracey Hanshew Why did Tracey love this book?

Cattle drives although a relatively brief episode in history largely contribute to tales of the cowboy that helped writers and Hollywood to later make him an American icon. Texas Women on the Cattle Trails provides a history of sixteen of the women who contributed to and participated in cattle drives originating from Texas. This edited collection offers individual stories of these women and based on their own accounts which give us an inside glimpse into how this era shaped their lives. Meet real cattlewomen who built ranching empires, who showed courage and spunk, and enjoyed a closeness with nature while viewing buffalo and gazing at the stars along their journeys.

By Sara R. Massey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Texas Women on the Cattle Trails as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Texas Women on the Cattle Trails tells the stories of sixteen women who drove cattle up the trail from Texas during the last half of the nineteenth century. Some were young; some were old (over thirty). Some took to the trails by choice; others, out of necessity. Some went along to look at the stars; others, to work the cattle. Some made money and built ranching empires, but others went broke and lived hard, even desperate lives. The courage of Margaret Borland and the spunk of Willie Matthews, the pure delight of Cornelia Adair viewing the buffalo, and the joy…


Book cover of The Life and Legacy of Annie Oakley

Cinda Gault Author Of This Godforsaken Place

From my list on tenacious women who won't be denied their adventures.

Why am I passionate about this?

Just because you’re told something is true doesn’t make it the case. I have never accepted received ideas before subjecting them first to my own personal sniff test. Non-fiction is a wonderful way of acquiring knowledge, and stories open a door to the human soul to make possible living through someone else’s sensibility. Life becomes more vibrant and meaningful. My Ph.D. in English taught me to analyze the ways writers tell their stories. Add in my own life experience, and something magical happens during the creative process. Whether writing historical, literary, or popular fiction, I can’t help but reshape limitation into independence and personal freedom.

Cinda's book list on tenacious women who won't be denied their adventures

Cinda Gault Why did Cinda love this book?

While researching Annie Oakley as a character in my novel, I was amazed by what an exceptional icon she was. This non-fiction book gives sumptuous detail about a singular woman and the life she led. Oakley met Frank at a shooting competition, where she beat him by only one shot. Rather than becoming defensive, he married her and became her agent. Clearly, she didn't need his help to do what she did better than anyone else in the world, but he helped showcase her skills for adoring crowds in a rough and tumble business. My protagonist Abigail was inspired by her, and frankly so am I.

By Glenda Riley,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Life and Legacy of Annie Oakley as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With a widowed mother and six siblings, Annie Oakley first became a trapper, hunter, and sharpshooter simply to put food on the table. Yet her genius with the gun eventually led to her stardom in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show during the latter half of the nineteenth century. The archetypal western woman, Annie Oakley urged women to take up shooting to procure food, protect themselves, and enjoy healthy exercise, yet she was also the proper Victorian lady, demurely dressed and skeptical about the value of women's suffrage. Glenda Riley presents the first interpretive biography of the complex woman who was…


Book cover of Cowgirls of the Rodeo: Pioneer Professional Athletes

Tracey Hanshew Author Of Oklahoma Rodeo Women

From my list on cowgirls and ranching women.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up around ranch and rodeo life, having always been fascinated by it, attended several rodeos each year. Watching Jonnie Jonckowski ride bulls and Martha Josey break records wining barrel races—they were an inspiration. When an opportunity arose for me to build a career around researching and writing about cowgirls, rodeo, and cattlewomen, it was a dream come true.  Hope you enjoy the books about them that I’ve recommended.

Tracey's book list on cowgirls and ranching women

Tracey Hanshew Why did Tracey love this book?

This book is a must-read for any fan of cowgirls, rodeo, or female athletes. LeCompte’s history of cowgirls whom she identifies as “America’s first successful professional women athletes” is one of excitiment equivalanet to live competition. Through the description of early rodeo when women competed with men, performed for presidents and royalty as well as for crowds in the thousands we learn of their athletic talent, their personal sacrifice, and determination to pursue their own careers. They became stars and sometimes won annual earnings that surpassed the men. This thoroughly researched history describes women in rodeo from the mid-1800s to 1992 when Charmayne James Rodman and Scamper set a new world record for earnings in a single event. This book is as exciting as any professional sport.

By Mary LeCompte,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Acclaimed as a foundational study of rodeo women, Cowgirls of the Rodeosurveys the early rodeo cowgirls' achievements as professional athletes. Mary Lou LeCompte follows the story through the near-demise of women's rodeo events during World War II and the phenomenal success of the Women's Professional Rodeo Association in regaining lost ground for rodeo cowgirls. Recalling an extraordinary chapter in women's history and the history of American sport, Cowgirls of the Rodeo deepens our understanding of the challenges facing women in the American West and in American sport.


Book cover of B Is for Buckaroo: A Cowboy Alphabet

Doris Fisher Author Of Jackson Sundown: Native American Bronco Buster

From my list on cowboys and rodeos.

Why am I passionate about this?

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

Doris Fisher 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.  

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. This book is for kids age 6, 7, 8, and 9.

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!


Book cover of The Rancher's Surprise Second Chance

Carmen Peone Author Of Captured Secrets

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

Why am I passionate about this?

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

Carmen Peone Why did Carmen love this book?

A ranch in Apple Valley, Washington, is filled with promise and second chances. Especially for a beautiful little boy with Down Syndrome, who is in need of a nanny. I loved this character! He’s spunky, and fun, and captured my heart from the moment I met him on the page. I also enjoyed his spunky secret half-sister. Stories with children helping couples in second-chance romances renew their relationship tug at my heartstrings. The Rancher’s Surprise proved to be a heartwarming romance that made me close the book and want more. This is definitely a “comfort” read. 

By Dalyn Weller,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Rancher's Surprise Second Chance as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Eight years ago, Cody McClure came home from the summer rodeo circuit with a surprise pregnant wife even though he’d promised to marry his high school sweetheart. Now he’s the single father of a special needs son in desperate need of a nanny while he runs the Three M Ranch.

Molly Halverson left home with a broken heart and a secret. Now she’s back in Apple Valley, a single mom in need of a job. But the only job available in her small hometown is for the man who trampled her heart and has no idea he fathered her child.…


Book cover of A Doctor for the Cowboy

Susan Cochran Author Of The Interview

From my list on books that capture the feeling of love and romance.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been reading romance novels since I was a teenager. Love is a universal feeling, and there is no better emotion in the world than falling in love. While I read a variety of novels in different genres, I always come back to read romance. I write romance as I believe we all deal with different things in our daily lives, but an emotional connection and love bring us all together and make the world a better place to live in.

Susan's book list on books that capture the feeling of love and romance

Susan Cochran Why did Susan love this book?

What a fun read about a doctor and a rodeo cowboy who find love on the side of the road when she gets a flat tire. Of course, life is never simple. She’s older than him and has reservations about getting involved with a younger man.

Love me an age-gap romance! I love this author’s writing and will read anything of hers. The steam factor is off the charts in this spicy love story. The characters are likable and engaging, and they have great chemistry. I would recommend this novel to those who love humor and steamy romance.

By Amy Andrews,

Why should I read it?

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


Book cover of Cowboy Camp

Doris Fisher Author Of Jackson Sundown: Native American Bronco Buster

From my list on cowboys and rodeos.

Why am I passionate about this?

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

Doris Fisher 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.

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.


Book cover of The Rounders

Rod Miller Author Of Rawhide Robinson Rides the Range

From my list on cowboys who are actually cowboys.

Why am I passionate about this?

Cows and horses were part of daily life in my family. For many years of my youth, my father was a working cowboy, running the cattle ranch on a large agricultural operation. We also had our own herd and trained horses as well. While we watched the popular TV Westerns of the time, we were always aware that they had no connection to the reality of cowboy life, and that “cowboy” was a term misused and abused on the screen and in the pages of shoot-’em-up Western novels. Authenticity and a sense of the reality of cowboy life are important to me, and have been since boyhood. 

Rod's book list on cowboys who are actually cowboys

Rod Miller Why did Rod love this book?

Max Evans knows cowboy life and he writes about it authentically. In The Rounders, we laugh along with Dusty and Wrangler as they do battle with one of literature’s best horses, “Old Fooler.” The boys break horses, hunt for cows in rough country, rodeo, drink, and chase the girls—and it’s all in good fun. 

By Max Evans,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The bawdy and moving story of two contemporary bronco busters, The Rounders, originally published in 1960, was Max Evans's first novel and is still his best known work, thanks largely to the success of the 1965 movie version starring Henry Fonda and Glenn Ford. Acclaimed for its realistic depiction of modern cowboying and for its humor, it is also a very serious work, described by the author as a tragicomedy.


Book cover of Phoebe Clappsaddle and the Tumbleweed Gang

Doris Fisher Author Of Jackson Sundown: Native American Bronco Buster

From my list on cowboys and rodeos.

Why am I passionate about this?

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

Doris Fisher Why did Doris love this book?

Phoebe Clapsaddle was a southern belle who lived on a ranch. This fiction book involves the Tumbleweed Gang who made an acquaintance with Phoebe after they visited her town. Appalled by their lack of manners and impolite speech, Phoebe decides they need her southern charm and culture. Phoebe teaches them lessons in riding, roping, and good manners. There are more Tumbleweed Gang adventures in other books, too. I know the author personally. Phoebe Clapsaddle’s name is in her family tree. Though she didn’t know if Phoebe was a southern belle cowgirl, the author loved her name so much, she wanted to write a book about her as a main character.

By Melanie Chrismer, Virginia Roeder (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Phoebe Clappsaddle and the Tumbleweed Gang as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Long ago in south Texas lived a Southwestern belle named Phoebe Clappsaddle. When the good-for-nothing Tumbleweed Gang blew into town, it was time for Phoebe to teach them a lesson in riding, roping, and good manners.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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