The list author says: "Listed here are writers whose books represent the real west rather than the imagined west of Zane Grey, Louis L'Amour, and all their imitators. Hardly any high-noon duels on Main Street, gunfights, or riding off into the sunset. The heroes of these stories are ordinary men who get themselves into believable situations with often unexpected but inevitable results. Some are set in the Old West; some are set in the world of shopping malls and rock and roll; some are in between. A few, like Larry McMurtry, are well known. Most are not. All of them are worth reading."
"Made later into a movie with Robert Redford, Morgan Freeman and Jennifer Lopez, this book reads very much like a screenplay, but it's not without its pleasures, as two old cowboys portray a somewhat crusty but deep friendship and the appearance of a granddaughter has an unexpected emotional impact."
"Fine collection of short stories about cowboys and ranch life. Best of the bunch: "Brokeback Mountain," about the friendship between two cowboys, later made into a movie with a screenplay by Larry McMurtry, which won him an Academy Award."
"Fact-based novel set in 1883 on the Texas plains. Protesting working conditions on the ranches of the open ranges, cowboys strike for higher wages, precipitating a long conflict with big ranch owners."
"Set in 1880s Wyoming, this book's cowboy hero is another early version of WisterÂs Virginian, who came along just a few years later, and has the same boyish charm and natural nobility. HeÂs a son of the plains, a man of homespun character, mostly unschooled, but both fiercely egalitarian and gallant. An excellent horseman, good with a gun, handsome and loved by all."
"A fine, wonderfully written, well controled narrative about a teenager growing up in a man's world of cowboying in New Mexico and Arizona of the early 20th century. Based on the story of a real-life cowboy known by the author."
"This early novel by prolific western writer Dane Coolidge (1873-1940) was first published in 1913. Having grown up in California, Coolidge knew the West and ranch life, and his novels describe the business of working cattle, living conditions on a ranch, and the ins and outs of cowboy culture."