Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Give Me a Home...Where the Buffalo Roam.....

September slipped in quietly and Labor Day approaches. I am ready to toss some scraggly deck flowers, but DH says not yet. True, if weather cools, they might rebound, but in the meantime they look yellowed and wilted.

The local farmer’s market had a few more things today. I bought my first pumpkin, a small Cinderella one in deep orange that will make a pie someday, and some warty looking yellow squash. Soon many pumpkins will fill the market along with mums and asters in autumn colors.  A new vendor had some handmade tamales that were frozen. DH wrinkled his nose up at the idea, but I bought a few. I put them in the freezer for now and will slip them into a meal someday soon.

Lunch was some strange small squash that did not turn out well. Thankfully, there was a casserole of homemade mac and cheese and some brats too. Supper was a Stromboli bread with sliced tomatoes, sugar free cake and fresh peaches. Simple meals but even the simple take washing, slicing, dicing, cooking and a clean-up afterwards!

With some quite time in mid-afternoon, I finished Destiny, Texas by Brett Cogburn. Oh wow, what a read! Although labeled a western genre, this book was so much more. Either my chaotic summer or the books I chose left me with summer reading most unsatisfying. I even stopped dead middle of a Pulitzer Prize winner as I was bored stiff. I picked up Cogburn's book thinking I knew what I was getting; I got much more.

Starting with characters that left the Deep South after the Civil War, Cogburn leads his readers to an unsettled West and through the many changes that occurred to bring out the development of Texas.  Readers go through Comanche raids, the annihilation of buffalo herds, the development of long horned cattle for Eastern markets, the years of cowboys and trail drives to Kansas, the development of railroads and are pushed right up to oil gushers of the petroleum era. If a reader wants to relive those old TV settings of Rawhide, Gunsmoke, and Lonesome Dove, they can find the scenes in this book.

But the characters are so memorable too. Cogburn fleshes out his characters and makes them complex like real human beings. He moved them through realistic situations, historical moments, and plots a great story. The author is a great storyteller! I found myself ignited to read late at night after the house was quiet and first thing in the morning if possible. I wanted to be in the story.

I know vampires, paranormal, werewolves, super sexual thrillers are what the markets are made of right now. But for me, a good old western wrapped around a great story is still one of my favorite genres. For a few hours this week, I escaped a world that no longer seems to make much sense, and I relived the good old days where right and wrong could be seen as easily as  black and white hats.

Do you read Westerns? 


Patricia A. Laster said...

Don't read westerns unless I know the author personally; it's been a long time. I'd be interested to know which Pulitzer book you stopped in. I have a dense, full-of-buds bronze mum already planted for autumn and a re-bloom burst of yellow-orangy lantana makes one side of the bed wonderful. Plus zinnias. I'm ready for fall. Perhaps now that my book is nearly finished, I can work outside more. Love the little gourds and pumpkins out this time of year. I have many dried ones--some I painted with gold spray paint--but I always buy a few green and orange ones each season to add to my "basket." Great post--as usual.

Elephant's Child said...

I read most genres, but not many westerns have come my way.
Love that this one was so much more than you expected. Always a treat.

Sioux said...

I do not read westerns, but Claudia, you make this one sound like one I should consider.

Have you read "Freeman" by Leonard Pitts, Jr? It is historical fiction, an epic love story, and one of the best books I've ever read.

Linda O'Connell said...

Everything I have heard about Brett Cogburn and his work has been positive. This book sounds interesting.

I am deep into Wally Lamb's, We Are Water. This man knows character development.

Marylin Warner said...

I used to read Westerns, Claudia, but now I'm really into good mysteries and am thrilled with I find women writers who combine excellent writing with great plots and storytelling. Right now I'm reading a recently released mystery by Mary Kelly: THE BULLET. I started to read it yesterday, read late into the night, and I can't let myself pick it up until this evening because I know I won't put it down until it's finished.
Anytime you have a fall-back dinner plan of homemade mac'n cheese with brats, you'll make me wish I lived nearby and was invited to join you! I'd bring the salad and the chocolate pecan brownies for dessert!

Lynn said...

I have read very few Westerns, but this one sounds really good. I'll have to add it to my TO READ list. Thanks for sharing. Love the cowboy rack!