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Sportsman's Library: 100 Essential, Engaging, Offbeat, And Occasionally Odd Fishing And Hunting Books For The Adventurous Reader Paperback – April 2, 2013


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Lyons Press (April 2, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0762780258
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762780259
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #657,561 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Writing history is gut-wrenching stuff. You're always worried if you're abusing your power by prioritizing importance. I've read enough of these classics to say, 'Yep, Steve, no one could have chosen a better selection, or made the ones I Haven't read sound so appealing.'" –Yvon Chouinard, climber, fly-fisherman, environmental activist and founder of Patagonia"Patrick O'Brian wrote sporting tales? Who knew? Well, who but Steve Bodio, of course. We who fuss with our own libraries—buying, trading, culling, reading, and lusting after—are beholden to Bodio for this compilation of essentials. First I noted (with satisfaction) the books I already have. And then I started filling in the gaps, because no one has a better grasp of what's worth reading in this field. His only mistake? Steve has left out his own books!" –Silvio Calabi, director of the Anglo American Sporting Agency and author of Hemingway's Guns"I've read enough of these classics to say, 'Yep, Steve, no one could have chosen a better selection, or made the ones I Haven't read sound so appealing.'" "…More than anything else, this book will make you hunger for reading… " --Jameson Parker, actor and outdoor writer, from foreword"Steve Bodio is not only our finest 'sporting' and 'nature' writers, he is one of our finest American writers. Period. I've read all his published books and I am not, at root, a hunter or fisherman. I'm a songwriting-painter who appreciates well-writ literature. Bodio's work has opened doors I may never have knocked on. His work should appeal to anyone interested in fine writing. And now: 'A Sportsmans' Library.' Essential, is the word which comes to mind. What a grand collection!" --Tom Russell, writer, songwriter"Nobody who loves traditional blood sport wants its long literary line totally obfuscated by the faux-gonzo Wang-dang Nugents and gear-hawking carny barkers of cartoonish hunting shows. Steve Bodio brings his formidable powers as both reader and writer to the cause, gifting us with a guide to the greats as varied, as magical, and yes, as essential as the works he champions." --Malcolm Brooks, author of Painted Horses

About the Author

Stephen J. Bodio is a former book reviewer for Gray's Sporting Journal and the author of several books, among them A Rage for Falcons, Querencia, and Aloft: A Meditation on Pigeons and Pigeon-Flying. He is a longtime resident of Magdalena, New Mexico.

More About the Author

Stephen Bodio was born in Boston in 1950. He studied Biology and English literature for years at both Universities of Massachusetts without ever quite managing to get his degree. He has lived in a remote rural village in New Mexico for over thirty years, and has traveled extensively in Europe, Africa, and especially Asia.

He has published nine books, and has been editor and anthologist of more, as well as a frequent contributor to magazines. He has been on the masthead of publications as various as the scholarly English Literary Renaissance and the upscale outdoor magazine Gray's Sporting Journal, where he wrote a book column for eleven years. He has reviewed everything from novels to natural history for many papers, including the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the (London) Times Literary Supplement. His articles, essays, and stories have appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, Smithsonian, Sports Illustrated, and the LA Times Magazine, and in literary quarterlies. He is now a contributing editor and book columnist for the magazine Living Bird.

He was recruited by Annie Proulx to be the first resident faculty member at Sterling College's Wildbranch Writers Workshop in Vermont, where he taught for nine years. His 2003 book Eagle Dreams, was about his adventures with the Kazakh horsemen of Mongolia. An excerpt, published in the Atlantic, was included in Frances Mayes' anthology Best American Travel Writing.

He has a lifelong interest in birds, their behavior, and their relations with humans, as reflected in his books on falcons and pigeons. He has hunted with falcons for almost fifty years, kept rare pigeon breeds, and has bred and trained saluki dogs and their Asian relatives for thirty. He recently assisted retired Russian scientist and dog expert Vladimir Beregovoy with his translation of a 19th Century Siberian hunter's memoir. He has also contributed text and introductions to works about and by wildlife artists, including Thomas Quinn, Vadim Gorbatov, and Thomas Aquinas Daly.

Bodio's "book of books", A Sportsman's Library, subtitled "100 Essential, Engaging, Offbeat, and Occasionally Odd Fishing and Hunting Books For the Adventurous Reader", is out now. It contains a chapter on a falconry manual by a Medieval emperor and one on a trout fishing comic book, as well as pieces on Karen Blixen, Hemingway, Jack O'Connor, and T H White. Bodio claims he could find at least 100 more.

A book about the mysterious extinction of the Passenger pigeon, one on the ancient dogs of Central Asia, and a collaboration with his photographer stepson on western travelers in the Szechuan- Tibetan border country are all in the pipeline, as is a memoir. Meanwhile he still lives in Magdalena, a former cattle drive town in the mountains of southern New Mexico, with his wife, Elizabeth (Libby) Adam Frishman, a second- generation mountaineer, archaeologist, and former Outward Bound trekking guide.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 9 customer reviews
A brilliant work, and a wealth of information.
Aimee Sandoval
I was familiar with Mr. Bodio's work from his excellent book on shotguns and obviously his work at Gray's put's this book in a unique category.
B. Hessling
C37 A good choice as an illustration text combo.
Shedder

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Shedder on June 29, 2013
Format: Paperback
There may be no one more qualified to write this book than Steve Bodio. I am very familiar with sporting literature, have read about 40% of the selected works and even made some suggestions to SB he didn't know about but the depth and breadth of Steve's reviews were a surprise and a delight. I have to wonder how many books SB has read. It would seem most of them are not even sporting since his reviews tie into the larger world of letters as much as sport. His Amazon wish list, which I sometimes poach, also shows recent reading tastes far beyond sporting titles. As Tom McGuane says "He reads like a son-of-a-bitch".

How good is his book? I feel it should be in every public and private library as a foundation book on sport.

I hope there is enough demand that SB will do another review book. 100 titles is a start but there are many more that need exposure.

I would like to make comments about most of his selections here as a further guide to collectors or enthusiasts but time may be a factor. Perhaps I can make it a review in progress so if you are interested you may want to check back sometime. It would nice if this page acted as a discussion forum for sporting lit readers. I assume there are some of us out there.

BTW for those in the know the book is a Capstick free zone.

C denotes the chapter. See Amazon's preview for which book that is.
AR denotes SB's Also Read chapter footers where he mentions secondary, or related, picks.

C10 There are many editions of the Haig-Brown books illustrated by Louis Darling. I suggest those. Darling's scratchboard's(?) are wonderful. He did ARNS and all the Season books, except for Fisherman's Fall, which is not illustrated and deserved it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jameson Parker on October 20, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had one of those inexplicable brain farts recently. Stephen Bodio asked me to write the forward for his latest book, A Sportsman's Library (Lyons Press). I was delighted to be asked and delighted to do it, but when the book came out, for some reason I thought it would be inappropriate for me to review a book which has my name on the cover. I pulled my copy down the other day to look up something and it suddenly struck me: Dummy, this ain't your book. Go ahead and review the sucker.

A Sportsman's Library is subtitled, 100 Essential, Engaging, Offbeat, and Occasionally Odd Fishing and Hunting Books for the Adventurous Reader, which pretty much sums it up, with two notable omissions. Each of the selections is a unique, well-written book in its own right, but what the title doesn't tell you or even hint at is the extraordinary range of this volume. Only Steve Bodio could have written a book that encompasses the best books on hunting and fishing--and sometimes cooking what you have hunted and fished for--from Emperor Frederick II's De Arte Venandi cum Avibus (which I'm sure you all immediately recognize as translating to The Art of Hunting with Birds, more commonly translated and known as The Art of Falconry) written sometime before the Emperor's death in 1250, to Brian Plummer's very funny late-twentieth century Tales of a Rat-Hunting Man. Think about it for a moment: that's over seven centuries worth of literature. Who else, other than Steve Bodio, could possibly have the knowledge to be able to write intelligently about seven centuries worth of sporting literature? God knows I couldn't.

The other item the title doesn't hint at is Steve's own writing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Peter Hill on April 2, 2013
Format: Paperback
It is still winter here so a great time to read this book. Bodio writes a short piece on his 100 books and sugests other titles by the authors. I expect most readers will do three things:
1. See if their favourite titles are included.
2.See if there are authors they have not read and now want to rush out and explore;and
3. Debate what authors they would have included.

On point one, many of my favourite writers are incled (TH White, Luke Jennings, Ionides, Plummer)..... the mini essays on all the authors are excellent and illustrations of the dust jackets give a flavour of the volumes..On point two, there are several titles that I now HAVE to go and find. On point three, I would have included "To everything there is a season ' by E Donnall Thomas as it cover so many field sports and is so well written Also some may take exception that turkey hunting in not included; perhaps the "Twelth Legion " by Tom Kelly?.

Readers of all sorts will have fun exploring the diverse and wonderful list list of books........top rate.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Aimee Sandoval on May 18, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A brilliant work, and a wealth of information. I considered myself well read in the area of sporting literature, it turns out I had only read five of Bodio's titles. Because of this list, I've since read Charles Fergus' "A Rough-Shooting Dog," a wonderful book I might never have come across. "A Sportman's Library" is a resource that gives the reader a guide to a collection of books that will provide years of learning and enjoyment.
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Format: Paperback
I not only blurbed this book with the gloves off, I wrote the following review for the online journal MINDING NATURE. I stand by both!

Wide World of Blood Sports
By Malcolm Brooks

Review of A Sportsman’s Library: 100 Essential, Engaging, Offbeat, and Occasionally Odd Fishing and Hunting Books for the Adventurous Reader, by Stephen J. Bodio

“Elizabeth Thomas went to live among the Bushmen of the Kalahari in 1948 when she was still a young girl, and lived an enviable double life in two of the best human realms: that of the Neolithic hunter-gatherer, the Old Way, and that of a civilized Western intellectual. She went on to write a remarkable number of good books…”

So begins one of the hundred brilliant little essays inside A Sportsman’s Library, Stephen Bodio’s own remarkable excursion down the rich Silk Road of outdoor literature. As a tour guide he possesses qualifications not so unlike those of Elizabeth Thomas—on the one hand a lifelong falconer, fly-fisher, bird dog man and game gourmand, on the other a ravenous bibliophile who like his friend Tom McGuane, plows through books “like a son-of-a-bitch.”

To the cognoscenti Bodio will always be known as the originator of the modern outdoor book review, in much the way McGuane “invented” the modern outdoor essay. By his own reckoning, “Bodio’s Review” in the early, pre-corporate Gray’s Sporting Journal still threatens to eclipse his own actual body of work, books ranging from falcons to Mongolian adventure travel to wrenching, elegiac memoir.

It’s understandable, in a way. His schizoid tastes elevated those Gray’s musings to something more of a piece with Harper’s than Outdoor Life.
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