Best Westerns

Those books (fiction and nonfiction) that embody the spirit of the Old West, the heroism, drama, and excitement of this wonderful era of American history
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10

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3.83 avg rating — 90,757 ratings
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11

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4.04 avg rating — 10,114 ratings
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12

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3.94 avg rating — 536,523 ratings
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13

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4.38 avg rating — 447,364 ratings
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14

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4.08 avg rating — 88,905 ratings
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15

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4.25 avg rating — 7,152 ratings
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16

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3.90 avg rating — 7,926 ratings
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17

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3.95 avg rating — 31,900 ratings
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18

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4.14 avg rating — 31,422 ratings
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19

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3.97 avg rating — 13,742 ratings
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20

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3.98 avg rating — 7,236 ratings
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21

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4.14 avg rating — 14,512 ratings
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22

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4.22 avg rating — 56,514 ratings
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23

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3.80 avg rating — 123,625 ratings
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24

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3.96 avg rating — 12,975 ratings
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25

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3.85 avg rating — 5,278 ratings
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26

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4.10 avg rating — 20,948 ratings
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27

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4.02 avg rating — 4,462 ratings
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28

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4.06 avg rating — 12,336 ratings
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29

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3.94 avg rating — 4,482 ratings
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30

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3.97 avg rating — 2,676 ratings
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31

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4.16 avg rating — 56,081 ratings
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32

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3.88 avg rating — 2,042,393 ratings
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33

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3.87 avg rating — 46,832 ratings
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34

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3.92 avg rating — 30,693 ratings
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35

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3.82 avg rating — 52,616 ratings
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36

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4.19 avg rating — 6,174 ratings
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37

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4.19 avg rating — 264,674 ratings
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38

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4.20 avg rating — 2,822 ratings
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39

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4.24 avg rating — 39,841 ratings
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40

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4.22 avg rating — 25,041 ratings
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41

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3.95 avg rating — 5,093 ratings
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42

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3.92 avg rating — 6,295 ratings
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43

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4.22 avg rating — 13,001 ratings
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44

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4.07 avg rating — 56 ratings
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45

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3.98 avg rating — 3,421 ratings
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46

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4.23 avg rating — 1,526 ratings
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47

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3.96 avg rating — 15,450 ratings
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48

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4.09 avg rating — 3,468 ratings
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49

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4.09 avg rating — 2,461 ratings
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50

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4.01 avg rating — 31,512 ratings
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51

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4.04 avg rating — 20,498 ratings
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52

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4.47 avg rating — 993 ratings
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53

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3.89 avg rating — 8,186 ratings
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54

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3.91 avg rating — 2,781 ratings
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55

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4.27 avg rating — 2,783 ratings
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56

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4.15 avg rating — 9,940 ratings
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57

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3.99 avg rating — 15,098 ratings
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58

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4.28 avg rating — 408 ratings
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59

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4.38 avg rating — 5,411 ratings
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60

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4.18 avg rating — 22,855 ratings
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61

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4.27 avg rating — 48 ratings
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62

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4.31 avg rating — 698 ratings
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63

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3.98 avg rating — 4,301 ratings
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63

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4.58 avg rating — 38 ratings
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65

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3.96 avg rating — 11,422 ratings
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66

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4.01 avg rating — 67,159 ratings
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67

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3.81 avg rating — 5,956 ratings
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68

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4.28 avg rating — 5,136 ratings
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69

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3.95 avg rating — 2,282 ratings
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70

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3.62 avg rating — 363,070 ratings
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71

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4.20 avg rating — 93,562 ratings
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72

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4.13 avg rating — 1,985 ratings
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73

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4.16 avg rating — 71,886 ratings
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74

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3.94 avg rating — 41,476 ratings
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75

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4.48 avg rating — 218 ratings
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76

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4.19 avg rating — 7,435 ratings
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77

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4.26 avg rating — 490 ratings
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78

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 22,368 ratings
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79

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4.18 avg rating — 633 ratings
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80

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4.22 avg rating — 68 ratings
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81

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4.01 avg rating — 2,251 ratings
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82

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4.20 avg rating — 6,914 ratings
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83

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4.02 avg rating — 4,078 ratings
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84

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4.28 avg rating — 580 ratings
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85

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3.75 avg rating — 743 ratings
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86

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4.15 avg rating — 3,621 ratings
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87

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3.95 avg rating — 2,984 ratings
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88

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4.01 avg rating — 1,122 ratings
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89

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4.17 avg rating — 83,681 ratings
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90

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4.04 avg rating — 223 ratings
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91

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4.22 avg rating — 6,915 ratings
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92

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3.71 avg rating — 1,400 ratings
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93

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4.17 avg rating — 6,744 ratings
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94

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4.22 avg rating — 6,134 ratings
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95

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4.07 avg rating — 3,441 ratings
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96

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4.12 avg rating — 3,055 ratings
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97

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 5 ratings
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98

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3.72 avg rating — 211 ratings
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99

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4.07 avg rating — 2,583 ratings
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100

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3.69 avg rating — 2,619 ratings
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1,152 books · 1,348 voters · list created December 19th, 2008 by Ann Keller (votes) .
302 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Ann 6749 books
1625 friends
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads 3251 books
863 friends
Bettie 15620 books
124 friends
Tammy 196 books
1385 friends
Ed 1702 books
5001 friends
Robin 300 books
1008 friends
Arlisa 162 books
221 friends
Marc 477 books
369 friends

More voters…


Comments Showing 1-38 of 38 (38 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Nina (new)

Nina Of course I had to vote for "Unsinkable Molly Brown," as that was the name of our sailboat. nina


message 2: by Roger (new)

Roger Cottrell That's an ecclectic selection of westerns. Like a lot of people, my introduction to westerns has been through movies and this has shaped my taste. Of course, most of my novels and film scripts are in fact westerns, even if they're set in places like Birmingham, the Black Country and Yorkshire mining villages during the strike.


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

I was very surprised not to see more Elmer Kelton!!!!!


message 4: by Roger (new)

Roger Cottrell I agree
ROGER


message 5: by Robert (new)

Robert Pampel What about Angle of Repose?


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

deleted user wrote: "I was very surprised not to see more Elmer Kelton!!!!!"

I agree, its amazing!


Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) Both "Angle of Repose" and a few books by Elmer Kelton are now on the list! :)


message 8: by Seth (new)

Seth Packham Surprised to not see more Cormac McCarthy, especially the Border Trilogy: All the Pretty Horses, The Crossing, and Cities of the Plain. Glad to see Blood Meridian is high on the list. McCarthy is the greatest Western writer, in my opinion.


Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) "All the Pretty Horses" is on the list, too ... (currently #57).


message 10: by Manray9 (last edited Jul 01, 2016 08:37AM) (new)

Manray9 I had to add Elmer Kelton's Hewey Calloway trilogy and Monte Walsh.


Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) On the Road? The Grapes of Wrath? I can see where there's a case to be made to include Wallace Stegner and Tony Hillerman. But those two books ... and "spirit of the Old West?" Seriously??


message 12: by Martin (new)

Martin Gibbs This list needs more Zane Grey, too :)


Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) Martin wrote: "This list needs more Zane Grey, too :)"

Everyone can add books -- there's a tab up top next to "all votes."


message 14: by MomToKippy (new)

MomToKippy Cold Mountain is not Western!! It is Appalachia - mid atlantic. Please fix.


message 15: by Robert (new)

Robert Madison Here are some good Westerns Novels.
Site : http://myfivekids.hubpages.com/hub/be...


message 16: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Robinson What about "The Collected Stories of Wallace Stegner"? Many of them are connected and one is a novella.


message 17: by John (new)

John Bishop mountain man needs re-filming; jeremiah johnson didn't do it justice!(john)


message 18: by Brian (new)

Brian Maybe I have misunderstood the purpose of this list, but just because a novel takes place in the west doesn't make it a western.


message 19: by MomToKippy (new)

MomToKippy True, the list is well defined at the top under the title. The owner of the list or a librarian can delete books that don't fit.


message 20: by Brian (new)

Brian Don't get me wrong. I love On the Road, but maybe it doesn't belong in this particular list.


message 21: by Jeff (new)

Jeff Brian wrote: "Don't get me wrong. I love On the Road, but maybe it doesn't belong in this particular list."

I have to agree with you here.


message 22: by Raymond (new)

Raymond White Martin wrote: "This list needs more Zane Grey, too :)"

I agree completely.


message 23: by Energizeddiva (new)

Energizeddiva I am glad to see Westerns making a comeback. There are some really good new authors.


message 24: by Valerie (last edited Jul 01, 2016 08:26AM) (new)


message 25: by Manray9 (new)

Manray9 Valerie wrote: "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West is a "Western?""

I consider the term "Western" to mean fiction -- although the list maker didn't specify such. That certainly doesn't apply to Dee Brown's book.


message 26: by Richard (new)

Richard True Grit is entered more than once.


message 27: by MomToKippy (new)

MomToKippy fixed


message 28: by Nina (new)

Nina How about "Plain Song," by Wright Morris?


message 29: by MomToKippy (new)

MomToKippy Nina wrote: "How about "Plain Song," by Wright Morris?" You should add it if you think it fits the list Nina.


message 30: by Richard (new)

Richard MomToKippy wrote: "fixed"

thank you!


message 31: by Lobstergirl (last edited Jul 23, 2017 06:45PM) (new)

Lobstergirl Should Into the Wild be on the list? It's set in Alaska.

On p. 4.


message 32: by Lobstergirl (last edited Jul 23, 2017 06:50PM) (new)

Lobstergirl Earth Abides is sci-fi. Should it be on here?

On p. 6.


message 33: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl One of Ours is set in Nebraska and France. Does that count as a western? On p. 8.


message 34: by Jon (new)

Jon Bergquist Lobstergirl wrote: "Earth Abides is sci-fi. Should it be on here?

On p. 6."


Removed.


message 35: by Shane (new)

Shane Harrison Thanks, I really enjoyed this list. I like the fact that the definition of western is kept broad, so that modern tales with spirit akin to the 'Wild West' are included. I'm still wondering about Steinbeck, though. Into the Wild, for sure; even todays Alaska is in the wild west!


message 36: by Elyse (new)

Elyse I removed #134 Last of the Mohicans. It is an "Eastern", not a "Western". It took place in New York State and thereabouts.


message 37: by Shane (new)

Shane Harrison Yes, but it was 'the West' then. And it ticks the right boxes. The Native and the frontiersmen, the clash, and sometimes harmony, of different civilisations, power exercised by remote eastern rulers, the potential and fragility of the wilderness, good versus evil and so on. Set in the times before the push for American independence, this book forms something of a template for subsequent Westerns. It might be too geographically literal to remove it, though I suppose some criterion of location must apply.


message 38: by Mark (new)

Mark Staples Cooper's Leatherstocking Tales is a set of five novels (available together in a two vol Library of America set) that follows the adventures of the hero, Natty Bumppo, from his youth in the Eastern forests to his final years in '"The Prairie" (published 1827) where he is dealing with Indians on the Central Plains (in his 80s!) and would be a good match for this list geograpically.


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