Nice little collection of mostly well known London Legends. Not as detailed as some others, and seems to go for the most hair raising story variation....moreNice little collection of mostly well known London Legends. Not as detailed as some others, and seems to go for the most hair raising story variation. But not bad. (less)
Great book about the famous ponies. The book is designed for young children, but does not make things overly simple. For instance, stallion behavior i...moreGreat book about the famous ponies. The book is designed for young children, but does not make things overly simple. For instance, stallion behavior is detailed, at an apporiate level, but not glossed over. Adults will love the photos.(less)
Interesting book that profiles famous cowgirls both in real life and the movies. I did not know that women did bronc riding and that it was stopped be...moreInteresting book that profiles famous cowgirls both in real life and the movies. I did not know that women did bronc riding and that it was stopped because they were better at than men. That makes me happy and angry at the same time. The book is interesting, if mostly profiles.
However, the format on the kindle version (the version which I read) is horrible! It's great that the photos are kept, but the photos are in the strangest places and interrupt sentences. Additionally captions appear paragraphs (or two pages) before the photos in some cases. (less)
An wonderful children's book about the matched race between Seabiscuit and War Admiral. Shehata does a great jump of capturing the drama of the race w...moreAn wonderful children's book about the matched race between Seabiscuit and War Admiral. Shehata does a great jump of capturing the drama of the race without talking down to her readers. She also includes the original race call at the end of the book. Include for young readers is a glossery of terms. It should be noted that the kindle version I read did not have the illustrations.
A very good biography of Zenyatta, one of the most famous racing mares in American horse racing. Young not only traces Zenyatta's career, but also loo...moreA very good biography of Zenyatta, one of the most famous racing mares in American horse racing. Young not only traces Zenyatta's career, but also looks at issues relating to horse racing in general - in other words, drug use and breeding. I found the section about Zenyatta's age and its impact on her career to be very interesting, and Young seems to be on to something there.
While some people might think that there is too much infromation based on betting in this book, it doesn't detract from the story. Young's analysis of Zenyatta and how she would rate againist other horses, such as Rachel Alexandra. Enjoyed reading this.(less)
I have to admit I was pleasently surprised by this book which I picked up free for Kindle.
Jordan gives profiles of the eleven horses who have won the...moreI have to admit I was pleasently surprised by this book which I picked up free for Kindle.
Jordan gives profiles of the eleven horses who have won the American Triple Crown (Kentucky Derby, Peakness, and Belmont). In addition to providing infromation about the horse, there is also infromation about the trainer, owner, and jockey (and in one case another member of support staff) as well as brief biographies of the race tracks.
Jordan writes for a reader who has some knowledge of horse racing and while the profiles are spot on, they are not as complete, for obivious reasons, as the longer books. This book is, however, a good starting point for the topic and even has a brief bit about genetics. It isn't a children's book. There are also several pictures.
Overall, a good book. While I knew the infromation about the horse, Jordan had plenty of infromation about jockeys, trainers, and owners I did not know.(less)
I didn't like this as much as Mitchell's work The Fearless Mrs. Goodwin. The narrative felt a little more disjointed, and I wanted a little more somet...moreI didn't like this as much as Mitchell's work The Fearless Mrs. Goodwin. The narrative felt a little more disjointed, and I wanted a little more something from it. It almost jumped around too much. I wanted a little more about the training period for the eventing. Martin buys the horse, who dumps Martin's girlfriend, and then he's a great eventing horse.
However, the lack in detail is more than made up for by Mitchell's passion for the subject. It really comes though here. If you like eventing and/or horses, this is worth reading.(less)
So someone railed against the recent articles in the NY Times about horse racing, saying that author had some vendetta because of losing or something....moreSo someone railed against the recent articles in the NY Times about horse racing, saying that author had some vendetta because of losing or something. I found this strange because the NYT's article was written by four people and the complainer couldn't be bothered to name the person she was railing against.
It's why I hate discuss lists because you have people like that.
I think she was thinking of Jim Squires because he does seem to have an axe to grind here. Can't say I as I blame him. The racing industry does need an overhaul, more than the one that it is getting. Sadly this book is too personal (I really didn't need to hear about the kidney stones) and unlike Squires previous horse book, it doesn't work here. Still infromative and interesting. (less)
In 1986, I watched my first Kentucky Derby. What I knew about horse racing at that time was what was in the Black Stallion...moreI got an ARC from Netgalley.
In 1986, I watched my first Kentucky Derby. What I knew about horse racing at that time was what was in the Black Stallion novels and the true stories related in the magnificent book Champion Horses. I picked Ferdinand to win, not because I thought his odds were good (he was the long shot), but because I recognized his blood line. Ferdinand won. Years later, I still watch the Derby, even though I prefer eventing and show jumping. I like horse racing, though I view it with mixed emotions (why can’t we Americans use turf, can we please stop the inbreeding), yet I still get a thrill watching the horse go down the stretch, even the annoying coverage that exists today can’t ruin that. It’s not surprising, therefore, that I greatly enjoyed The Kentucky Derby by James C. Nicholson. After all, it’s about horses and racing, written by someone who admits in the beginning that he enjoys racing. Yet to simply say this book is about racing would do both the book and the author a huge disservice. The subtitle for this volume is “How the Run for the Roses Became America’s Premier Sporting Event” and even this does the book a slight disservice. In relating the history of America’s most famous race, Nicholson also relates how America could be seen in the race itself – not only in the horses and trainers that the public rooted for, but in how the Derby was marketed, who worked where, and who came to the race. It isn’t really surprising, either, but I never really thought about before reading this book, that the Run for the Roses also ties into how Americans view racial issues. In fact, those sections of the book, and there are quite few, tend to be the most interesting, even more engrossing than the descriptions of the horse racing itself. The connection goes beyond the shift from African America jockeys to white jockeys (a thoughtful analysis) but also in terms of the Civil Rights movement, including a protest where people ran onto the race track. I didn’t know about the connection of a Derby winner to Martin Luther King Jr, and Nicholson relates that story with a great amount of detail and pathos. This theme of horse race and racism runs though most of the book, for Nicholson connects it how Kentucky saw itself (and how other saw it) – a Union state that had slaves and that feels Southern. Though the horse race, Nicholson looks at racism in the country. It is a brilliant use of a micro chasm, especially when comparing how the white owners and African-American grooms saw the race. This isn’t to suggest that Nicholson focuses solely on race – he doesn’t. There is plenty here for the lover of horse racing. While I found the discussion of betting a bit uninteresting, Nicholson does an excellent of job of describing the race and looking at the background of some of the prominent players. He does this to tie the race to the American mind. Smarty Jones, Funny Cide, Affirmed, Secretariat were all popular for different reasons. The defeat of foreign horses takes on a degree of –isms after September the 11th. Nicholson also writes extremely well when relating how the race was marketed. He looks at the impact of radio and television. He discusses what changes caused War Admiral to be entered in the Derby when Man O’War (War Admiral’s sire) wasn’t. The great thing about this book, though, is the fact that even when he comes close to sounding like a he’s running off a list, Nicholson makes it interesting. Whether this is due to his passion for his subject (something that comes across) or because of his writing skill, I’m not sure. It most likely is a combination of the two. While there are many books about Derby, this is one that no one should miss. It is far more than biographies of the horses, trainers, and owners. It is more than a simple history of the race. Yet, it is accessible by the horse lover and the novice as well as the history student. This is a welcome addition to any library, and a must read for horse and history lovers. (less)
If you haven't been to the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C., you should go. The museum is currently the youngest Smithsonian....moreIf you haven't been to the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C., you should go. The museum is currently the youngest Smithsonian. While the Museum does not yet have the massive amount of stuff as the Natural History, National Gallery, or National History museum, this works to the benefit of the vistor because you actually learn something. Additionally, the building itself is stunning, it has the best food of any of the museum, and the gift shop actually presents intelligent things not just kiddie stuff and t-shirts.
This book is a companion book to the museum's collection of horse related items. It should be noted that the book is not a history of the horse in various Native American cultures; however, as an introduction to the museum's collection and to the place of horse in general, the book is well worth the price. The book is not busy, transmits infromation well, and relates some exciting stories/histories, including a story of counting coup in World War II. In addition to the essays and stories, there are traditional horse related songs and original poetry, including a work by Sherman Alexie as well as a beautiful poem written upon the birth of a daugther.(less)
I read this because a close friend said it was a good book (no, this close friend is not on Goodreads. He doesn't do social networking sites).
It is a...moreI read this because a close friend said it was a good book (no, this close friend is not on Goodreads. He doesn't do social networking sites).
It is a good book.
At times the comments are so British, the type that you can't see coming from anyone else but someone who is British.
One of the reviews here accuses Stewart of being insenative to the culture he visits. I'm not convinced that is the case. The book is more about the culture than about Stewart, and while Stewart does treat his dog as a Western would, he is also aware of what the other culture feels (in other words, he doesn't ask for meat for his dog). There is some cultural differences, but I never got the feeling that Stewart looked down on the culture he was seeing. He doesn't believe he should get the best food, and while his belief in getting shelter strikes Westerners as a bit strange, it was a tradition of the area and culture.
He does provide a picture of the country that feel people know, and without the saintly feeling that overwhelms Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace... One School at a Time. Stewart does seem focues on the historical aspects of his trip, and the historical importance of the area. This in some ways is equally important as education because of the view that media subltly enforces of that section of the world, the idea that is nothing there but dust and dirt. Stewart disproves this in a variety of ways, not just with history but also with the culture.(less)