Wyoming Book Reviews

Jun 12, 2018

Along the Sylvan Trail
Julianne Couch
Jackson Hole : Sastrugi Press, [2017]

Along the Sylvan Trail is a journey. Not only do we get beautiful descriptions of the trail itself but of a multitude of characters that pass upon it. Julianne Couch’s character building is absolutely insightful. The relationships of the characters with each other and with nature is authentic and relatable. We get a glimpse of each character’s journey and the thoughts and emotions that led them to certain decisions. Like the trail, all these characters interconnect in some way but we get to learn their stories as if we were looking out on the landscape, sometimes looking at the most recent piece of geology, but often looking back across time. Couch does a great job weaving all these intriguing tales into a book that leaves you wanting, more than anything, to go and explore the natural beauty of the West. As a newcomer to the West, I greatly enjoyed her vivid landscape descriptions. This story is a journey worth taking and I highly recommend immersing yourself in this book.

Glory Taylor, Library Specialist
Emmett D. Chisum Special Collections, University of Wyoming Libraries

Rudy Mudra: Master Saddlemaker
By Kathy Muller Ogle
Cheyenne, Wyoming: Coyote Publishing, 2017

Rudy Mudra is well known among northeast Wyoming riders as well as other leatherworkers. This book chronicles his life starting with his parents who were Bohemian immigrants and his father was a harness and saddlemaker. Rudy started learning leatherwork as a child. As he grew up, he lived in Nebraska then moved to Montana then to Wyoming following the saddle work. He worked with saddleries such Miles City Saddlery, Otto F. Ernst Inc. Saddlery, and others. The book detailed the economic and transportation changes during this time as well as the changes to western saddle making during his life.

The book was well researched with great pictures. It included a history of who bought saddles made by Rudy, and other interesting details that helped me understand what life was like for the Mudra’s during this time period.

Anyone interested in local saddle making will find some interesting information in this book.

Krisene Watson, Administrative Services Manager
Campbell County Public Library – Gillette

If you have a question about this or any other article, please contact us at statelibrary@wyo.gov

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