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Wild Horses of the Summer Sun: A Memoir of Iceland
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Wild Horses of the Summer Sun: A Memoir of Iceland

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  33 ratings  ·  14 reviews
A wondrous story of adventure and friendship featuring a group of women who ride Icelandic horses.

"Blame it or praise it, there is no denying the wild horse in us."--Virgina Woolf

Each June, Tory Bilski meets up with fellow women travelers in Reykjavik where they head to northern Iceland, near the Greenland Sea. They escape their ordinary lives to live an extraordinary one
Kindle Edition, 256 pages
Published May 7th 2019 by Pegasus Books
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4.06  · 
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 ·  33 ratings  ·  14 reviews

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Jenny (Reading Envy)
Tory Bilski travels to northwest Iceland with a group of women multiple years in a row to ride Icelandic horses. I think this is best for people who are super interested in horses (this is not me) or Iceland (this is me) and that otherwise the highlights would have made a shorter essay or article.

This came out June 7, and I had a copy from the publisher through Edelweiss.
Very interesting look at the modern Icelandic horse, what they're like to train, to ride, how there is a growing appreciation for them outside of Iceland. I kind of wish that Bilski had either gone full lecturer and just focused on Icelandic horses, or gone full self-help and focused on the spiritual nature of her trips, but I get a feeling that she realized that she is not knowledgeable enough about either thing. Twice during the book she relates awkward conversations she has with people in the ...more
Mar 01, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
I had hesitations about this book because it felt to me like it would probably be a fairly conventional white woman’s memoir. I gave it a chance because I, too, love Icelandic horses. On page 15, as a non-binary reader, I was alienated by a joke: “if we can live in an era where people can be gender fluid, I think we can be age fluid as well.” This joke is unnecessary and betrays a deep misunderstanding of trans identities, and now I know that this book was never meant for me. So disappointing.
Aviv Sheriff
Apr 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this memoir because my mom and her cousins went to Iceland and had a great experience. I wanted to learn more and maybe plan a trip. I'm really glad I picked up this book because I knew nothing about the country's horse culture but learned so much. The book was fast-paced and compelling and I laughed quite a bit. Will definitely be suggesting to my mother and her cousins as well.
Hannah Truman
Apr 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I sped through this book. The first 2/3 of it is both fun and funny (the descriptions of her friend group had me laughing out loud) while the ending had me in tears. As a horse rider, I also appreciated how much I learned about Icelandics--seemed really well-researched and piqued my interest in the bred/Iceland's horse history. Sincerely recommend.
Tom Odinak
Jun 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wild Horses of the Summer Sun is a journey of both body and soul. The Icelandic horse culture fascinated me beyond my expectations. The rugged Icelandic countryside provides a backdrop for some wild adventures. But beyond the account of these events, Tory Bilski's observations and introspective explorations tell a broader story of human experience. I could feel the irresistible pull of the pursuit of an inner passion, while anguishing over its reconciliation with the demands of everyday life. He ...more
May 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a self-proclaimed "horse girl", I am used to receiving horse-related birthday gifts. My sister recently gave this to me for my 30th and, per usual, I internally rolled my eyes and thought I'd end up sticking it on a shelf with the rest of "these" sort of books. Then, an unlikely thing happened. I was mid-flight on my way home from vising my sister when my headphones died and *gasp* I had nothing else to do but read this book. What I read moved me so much that I am taking the time now to write ...more
Jaimie Hall
Jun 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I wonder how many people put riding an Icelandic horse in Iceland on their bucket lists after reading this book? It's a wonderfully written account of a week spent in Iceland over many summers riding horses on a farm near the northern coast. It's also about girlfriends, time just being yourself and these marvelous animals. Over the years, Iceland has gone from a strange place to visit to packed with tourists. I've been to southern Iceland but I definitely want this experience! Unfortunately, it ...more
Alice Kamens
May 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had a hard time putting down this adventurous, honest, wondrous memoir. I’m not a rider and I’ve never been to Iceland, but I found myself entirely enthralled by the stories of these women and their annual gatherings. The author’s personality and voice feel clear and frank, and it’s easy to relate to her words and feel completely sucked in to the experience.
Heather K Veitch
Woven throughout this memoir is a story of a people, a place, and a mythology of a time when women rode horses to better understand themselves and their world. More than myth are the stories told of these women, from their initial meeting to their annual trips to Iceland to reconnect with the Icelandic horses and the stark beauty of the country itself.

Wild Horses of the Summer Sun is an enjoyable and easy read as we journey with Tory to Iceland to meet with fellow travellers and horse lovers Vi
Apr 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaway, non-fiction
What a lovely book which I thoroughly enjoyed. The author vividly recounted her Icelandic adventures from 2004 through 2015. The dialogue was well written with no awkwardness. She invited the readers into her home, her life, her thoughts and introduced us to her friends. While the premise of the book is the author's love of Icelandic horses, she took the time to include some information on Iceland's culture, geography and history.

Thank you Pegasus Books for randomly selecting me to receive a gi
Jun 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Tory Bilski's book weaves a story of rediscovering a childhood passion for horses in middle age and following it down a rabbit hole that leads to the world of Icelandic horses and to Iceland. She follows a trail that brings her new horse loving friends, new solo adventures that leave her "real life" behind, and the discovery of the magical landscape and people of Iceland. The writing is beautiful and there is philosophical musing throughout that pacts life lessons worth revisiting. Like any exce ...more
Nancy Day
Jun 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir
Gave me a good taste of what to expect traveling in Iceland.
China Jones
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Jun 19, 2019
Laura Haala
rated it it was ok
Jun 16, 2019
rated it really liked it
Jun 01, 2019
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Jun 05, 2019
Erin McNeaney
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May 31, 2019
rated it it was amazing
May 09, 2019
rated it it was amazing
May 09, 2019
Melissa Cheresnick
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Jun 03, 2019
Ivory Castle
May 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tory Bilski is known in her area as the woman who goes to Iceland to ride horses. Married with a family she has her heart set on an Icelandic horse. Instead she ends up travelling through Iceland in a van with a group of women. Each year she returns in an attempt to recreate the same pleasure.
For someone who doesn’t seem to make or have many friends the author seems to have a compulsion to befriend certain types of females. Its obvious Tory loves the country and the horses but I don’t think she
Linda Kemmerer
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May 18, 2019
Kathryn Gambill
rated it it was amazing
Jun 19, 2019
Debbie Harp
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Jun 09, 2019
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Feb 15, 2019
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Jun 19, 2019
Barb Jados
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Jun 17, 2019
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Jun 18, 2019
Barbara Newell
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Jun 14, 2019
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Mt. Lebanon Publi...: Wild Horses of the Summer Sun by Tory Bilski 1 1 Jun 11, 2019 04:43PM