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Horse Crazy: The Story of a Woman and a World in Love with an Animal

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  525 ratings  ·  123 reviews
In the bestselling tradition of works by such authors as Susan Orlean and Mary Roach, a New York Times reporter and Pulitzer Prize finalist explores why so many people—including herself—are obsessed with horses.

It may surprise you to learn that there are over seven million horses in America—even more than when they were the only means of transportation—and nearly two milli
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published August 4th 2020 by Simon Schuster
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Average rating 4.10  · 
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Sarah Nir
Jun 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
I wrote it! I hope you love it.
Apr 20, 2021 rated it really liked it
There are many people, self included who love animals. Witness the obsession with animal videos on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. In another category are the people who love animals but find an overwhelming affection for a particular animal or breed of animal.
Horse Crazy is Sarah Maslin Nir's aptly named tale of her love of and obsession with horses. At a young age, Sarah fell in "love" with horses. Her need to be with horses led her to become an accomplished equestrian. Even as she grew into
Erin Clemence
Special thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for a free, electronic ARC of this novel received in exchange for an honest review.

Expected pub date: October 7, 2020

Sarah Maslin Nir writes for the New York Times, and has been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. She has traveled across the world reporting on everything from exploitive labour practices, to terrorism-sparked kidnappings and the damaging effects of earthquakes. Needless to say, she has seen her share of humanity’s darkest and seedi
Jul 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
"It was a moment I will never forget; when three frightened horses looked at me and called me tribe."

My seventy-something mother dearly loves horses -- still keeps two on her acreage. As a child I had my own pony, was obsessed with books like "Misty of Chincoteague" and Black Stallion books, drew horses incessantly (although I never got them quite right =(), and have loved reading about horses like Seabiscuit and Snowman. When I saw this ARC available, I was in. The cover is spectacular! The d
Sherwood Smith
This book is part memoir, part information, with some travel reminiscence, science, and history added in.

At first I found it difficult to get into, as more of the book appeared to be about the author and her family than about horses. She came off as a very privileged rich girl despite her self-deprecation, which I found off-putting, but I got drawn into the story via her anecdotes illustrating the complexity of her Holocaust-survivor father. I began to think that this was two books fighting for
Lyndy  Berryhill
Aug 07, 2020 rated it liked it
I can’t tell if I hated the book or if I was just in a really sour mood the entire time I was reading it.

On paper, I should love everything about this book. It’s nonfiction. About horses. By a New York Times Journalist. While it is charming and contains a mixture of light-hearted, childhood memories and adult struggles to keep you engaged as you flip through each page.

It’s part fun-facts and quick tales about a jet-setting reporter, but also part memoir--about a child, then adolescent, then youn
Jun 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ohhhh..... this book reached right into my chest and grabbed my heart....my 5 year old little girl heart, my 12 year old pre-teen heart and the junior- senior citizen heart that i now have! I'm the one who cut out pictures of this animal, to glue into a notebook. ( my bestie did the same for dogs !)
No, i never owned a horse. In fact, I've ridden just once. Sneakers, bareback, and simply walking.... i was proud as hell when the owner told my father i was a natural!
Did Sarah Nir write this memo
Erica Bumgardner
Oh, my horse girl heart! This book is the ultimate love letter to a life long love obsession with horses. Aptly named, Sarah Maslin Nir writes a beautiful book that tells the tale of her life and the horses that shaped it. She explores the magic of the human and horse connection while taking us through her various equine experiences.

I adored the fact that Nir named each chapter after a horse that had an impact on her life. This is a tribute to the horses that make up who we are as horse girls.
My review for Women's Review of Books: https://www.wcwonline.org/Women-s-Rev...

The last sentence in Sarah Maslin Nir’s author biography states simply, directly: “She loves horses.” In this lifelong love, she is far from alone. As she writes in the introduction to her entertaining and erudite nonfiction debut Horse Crazy: The Story of a Woman and a World in Love with an Animal, “There are over 7 million horses in America, far more than even when they were our only way to get around. They are not
Mar 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For fans of THE EIGHTY DOLLAR CHAMPION, HALF-BROKE, SEABISCUIT. Books that are about horses but so much more.
Sarah Maslin Nir writes about her adventures in the horse world, adventures she seeks out on her travels as a journalist. Wherever she goes, she looks for the horses.
She paddles a kayak with the Chincoteague Ponies, rides a Marwari stallion at a full gallop in a quarry in India, she flies in the cargo hold with show horses, she chases truants through Central Park on the back of a massive
MaryAnn Benson
Sep 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Ms. Nir titles her chapters for each of the horses in her life that held special meaning. As the only child of a Holocaust survivor father and a social butterfly mother she used horses to dissipate her loneliness and search for a sense of inclusion from a very early age. Horses become her "herd" and her comfort with them, despite injuries and separations sustains her through awkward at best and emotionally crushing at worst social situations. In her book she takes us to varied corners of the hor ...more
Susan Grodsky
Feb 27, 2021 rated it liked it
Sixteen days to read fewer than 300 pages. I did not exactly gallop through this book.

The author’s bio in the inside back cover says “She loves horses.” But I don’t agree. I think she loves to ride horses. She loves the thrill of galloping and jumping. She loves to compete and collect ribbons that attest to her skill as a rider. Most of all, she loves to feel that she, a nice Jewish girl, has cracked the WASP enclave of equitation.

She has spent a lot of time with horses. Yet she doesn’t seem to
While I'm not a "horse person", I have known horse people, have been around horses at times, and even took a few riding lessons in my 20s. Horses are magnificent animals, but they do scare me to a point, with their height and their big teeth. (I'm afraid of heights and being bitten by an animal with big teeth.) Sarah Nir's book combines her life story with horse stories, since she has been riding for most of her life. For me, it was not enough of her life story, and I only found some of the hors ...more
Marianne K
This was an interesting look at the world of diehard horse lovers. The author goes into a variety of horse-related subjects that were quite fascinating such as 'horse shows' involving Breyer molded plastic horses for children but with adult participants. This is certainly not a dull read. I had a bit of a problem with the jumping back and forth with time lines, and the author's obvious political views, which had no place in this book, but I really enjoyed reading about her father and his life. I ...more
Nov 01, 2020 rated it liked it
I decided to read this book after watching a very interesting conversation of the author and interviewer, hosted by Atlanta History Center.

I found this book to be well-written and well-organized. Still a young woman, the author has led an eventful and unusual life. There are many Google-worthy names and subjects presented and discussed, so I'm going to get Googling.
Aug 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: about-a-horse, audio
First of all, the cover is so pretty!! And the author herself voiced the audio!!

So I got the audio and I loved every second of it.
Everyone knows I am a horse girl. And I’m pretty sure, at the very core all horse girls and boys are the same. But, I am a german horse girl. My backround, my growing up and my „horse education“ where quite different. This glimps into the same, yet so different world was simply beautifil, very entertaining and interesting. Sarah (i hope i may call you that!) is a ver
I thoroughly enjoyed this memoir and I thought this was a very creative way for the author to tell her story, through her love of horses and the identity, and friendships that they gave her.
The author pretty much grew up from the age of two, depending on Horses to be her companions, to whom she could confide in, and give her love.
Her parents were intellectuals, who had busy lives and not as much time to give to her as she needed, but getting to know the horse world and the people in it, gave he
Christie Bane
Nov 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved every word of this book. I was a horse-crazy child (even though it evolved into dog-craziness), and I still read a lot about horses and dream about the day when I can have my own. Sarah Nir is just a REALLY GOOD writer, and when a REALLY GOOD writer writes about a subject that I love, well, how could it not be a 5-star book? She explores a lot of different aspects of horsemanship and different kinds of human-horse bonds, everything from the old stable near Central Park in NYC to the role ...more
Dec 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Admittingly I fell in love with the cover of this book! What horse lover wouldn't? But, this book was so much better than what I had expected! It not only had many stories of the author's experiences with horses, but it was also the story of her personal struggles of continuously feeling like an outsider and how her refuge in horses comforted, encouraged, nurtured and helped her mature to become a more confident woman. I learned lots about the history of various breeds and even some terms specif ...more
Kary H.
Aug 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to NetGalley for an e-arc of this book. Although I was never as fortunate as Sarah Maslin Nir to own a horse, I could relate to her obsession that creates the book’s framework. Through the wide variety of horses in her life, Nir lets us in to her life, but also into the lives of her parents, particularly her father, and to an amazingly wide variety of topics. This book is eminently readable and would intrigue non-horse lovers as well. For me, though, it was a wonderful reminder of why I l ...more
Kassy Dumke
Aug 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely adored this book. I was thrust into an internal battle, not wanting to put it down but also hoping it would never end. It is the kind of story that is beautiful in plot but also language. As a horse girl myself, I saw Sarah in me and some of the horses that have woven themselves within the chapters of my own life. I could hear the leather saddles creak, smell the horses sweat, and feel the ocean on the tip of my toes from the back of a Marwari mare. I only wish the ride had never en ...more
Apr 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-read-2020
A book about a girl and her love of horses. I wanted to read this book because like the author I adore horses. It wasn’t quite what I was expecting but I did enjoy the book. Some of her stories were more interesting than others. Horse lovers will definitely love this book. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the early copy
Sep 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
A fascinating look into the author's life through the lenses of horses and her family life as well as a detailed and wonderful exploration of horses--their history, behavior, and the personalities of specific horses Nir has known. A must read for teen and adult "horse people" as well as anyone who enjoys quality narrative nonfiction. ...more
Sara Zimmers
Feb 03, 2022 rated it really liked it
The author is a kindred spirit. She grew up much like me- playing with Breyer horses, riding, showing, and basically obsessed with all types of horses. Her book is a memoir and a tribute to her heritage and the horses in her life. The writing fits with her profession- a reporter. A light read.
Aug 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Because horses. What a life the author has had so far.
Nov 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
I was looking for something light and entertaining to read and this book fit the bill. I found the author's writing and audio narration delightful. I learned a lot about horses and Sarah Maskin Nir's personal history in an engaging manner. Although I consider the book light reading, there were also elements of race, ethnicity, and class that gave me food for thought. I'll be recommending this book to friendy who are horse lovers and those who are not. ...more
Aug 21, 2020 rated it really liked it

As a horse-crazy girl myself, this is an entertaining and nicely written memoir that combines various topics together with life experience.
Julie Christiano
I thank my mother for finding me this wonderful book and knowing how much I would love it! Thanks, Mom, and thanks Dad for the horse book mark I used while reading! It was a great read for a horse crazy person. I hope others who read it will "get" the love we have for horses!
Jena Henry
Jul 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am crazy about this book. Esteemed journalist Sarah Maslin Nir shares her passion for horses, which began when she was two years old. This book gives us the opportunity to peer into her world.

Each chapter focuses on a particular horse she has known. We also get to know the humans who are involved with the horses, and we visit many different parts of the world where horses live. By sharing these stories, the author also shares herself and her family. The best part is when we get to gallop or s
Enchanted Prose
Sep 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
The unique relationship between people and horses (Manhattan and East Hampton, Long Island, and elsewhere in the US and other countries; late 70s to present-day): ​“Horses are the perfect foil, partner, and complement to humankind,” says Sarah Maslin Nir, an award-winning investigative journalist for ​The New York Times. ​“Horses are freedom,” she explains intimately, describing the magnitude of why horses have meant so much to her. At the heart and soul of her being ​horse crazy.

“After I file e
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Sarah Maslin Nir is a staff reporter for The New York Times. Nir was a Finalist for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for “Unvarnished,” her more than yearlong investigation into New York City’s nail salon industry that documented the exploitative labor practices and health issues manicurists face. Before becoming a staff reporter, Nir freelanced for eleven sections of the paper, traveling to the Alaskan wi ...more

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“One things leads to another in a passion, one story leads to another, one horse ends to another, one loves leads to another, and so on and so forth”.” 0 likes
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