Wyoming Book Reviews

May 2, 2017

Blood, Water, Wind, and Stone: An Anthology of Wyoming Writers
Edited by Lori Howe
Jackson, WY: Sastrugi Press, 2016

In the introduction to Blood, Water, Wind, and Stone, Lori Howe describes Wyoming as “…a place of luminous beauty, fearless nature, and perhaps a bit of magic.” The anthology’s poems, essays, and stories — many of which were written by contributors who live or have spent significant time in Wyoming — address what it means to live in a place that looks, feels, and sounds as though it could be the setting of a John Prine song. Whether examining the natural world or approaching abstraction, the work within Blood, Water, Wind and Stone offers readers numerous ways to enter and engage with the writing. As anthologies lend themselves to reading around (no need to follow a linear progression), readers will enjoy being able to return to the writing as they please: a poem or two here, an essay there, a story to round out the evening. Blood, Water, Wind, and Stone is recommended for anyone interested in contemporary writing about, or influenced by, Wyoming.

Shannon Tharp, Collection Development Librarian
University of Wyoming Libraries

An Obvious Fact
By Craig Johnson
New York: Viking, [2016]

An Obvious Fact, the twelfth novel in the Longmire series, kicks off at the start of the Sturgis motorcycle rally with Walt and Vic investigating a motorcycle accident.  That is the tip of the iceberg and there is no lack of action. Admittedly my Longmire knowledge is based on the Netflix series rather than the books, but it was easy to follow characters and backstories and pick through the differences. While familiarity with prior volumes would be beneficial, the book can easily be read on its own.  There are enough references to past storylines that interested readers will want to start at the beginning, myself included. The book’s appeal isn’t just limited to those who enjoy westerns and mysteries and is an essential purchase for collections, especially when highlighting Wyoming’s best resources (our residents). A new dose of Walt and crew is always a welcome prospect to Longmire fans.

Jennifer Beckstead, Teen Librarian
Natrona County Library 

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

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