Monday, January 02, 2017

Instant reviews

With my inability to type getting to the point where I have to hire a stenographer to do my next two books, don't expect blogging to be too regular or too long.

Nevertheless, I still keep getting good books from my friends and friendly publishers and I must notice them. This is especially true when they are among the best books that their writer has ever written, or the only one of their kind.

Tommy McIntyre's August in Africa is such a book. I'm confident when I say it is his best book. Despite my love for that little Asian gem, A Snow Leopard's Tale, it is one of the two or three best books written about Africa by an American. Maybe in time, its autumnal tone will make it the best. If you have any interest in Africa at all, try this book and read his prologue. If you don't like that, I'll give you your money back.

John Barsness and Eileen Clarke, are our foremost practical hunting and writing team, and they write well too. That John was a poet before he was a professional shooting writer, and Eileen was a vegetarian grad student from New York, may or may not be relevant. For thirty-odd years, they have not only made a good living from outdoor writing, they've eaten virtually nothing but game. John's most recent book is The Big Book of Gun Gack: The Hunter's Guide to Handloading Smokeless Rifle Cartridges. Suffice it to say that my local friend John Besse, the best gunsmith that I know and a lifelong handloader, told it me it was the only readable book on handloading he had ever read in his life.

Eileen's is Tenderize the Wild: Marinades, Brines, and Rubs for Wild Game. Eileen's books are the only absoilutely essential wild cookbooks I know. She is still the only person that puts enough fat in game sausage. I love Hank Shaw and the west coast foodie hunting writers,but there is something a little nuevo about them. I recently referred to rare, wild duck as "Russell Chatham duck" in honor of Russell's famous "The Great Duck Misunderstanding." Hank said "You mean "Hank Shaw Duck". Turns out he had never heard of Russell, never mind the story. Back then, Eileen was already acting out her crawl after pronghorn, complete with toughing out cactus spines crawling across our living room floor. I've only had this book a week and have already used it. Both are available from their site "Rifles and Recipes".

Also, check out Brave and Loyal, Cat Urbigkit's book about flock protection dogs. I've written about it here, but it's a good one to visit again.

And don't expect photos for a while. My camera was stolen.

8 comments:

R said...

Sorry to hear that typing has become difficult. Please take a look at the various speech to text programs, they were good five years ago and have presumably improved.

Federico said...

Your camera was stolen? in Magdalena?

Steve Bodio said...

Do not hire Navajo speed freaks to clean your yard because you feel sorry for their father ... and if you do, don't go out and leave your doors unlocked.

Meth is the curse of the impoverished west.

Stephen Kudro said...

Meth is a horrible curse in every rural area I've been in in the last few years.

The R. Chatham reference made me smile--the "recipe" from the Great Duck Misunderstanding is the only way I cook duck!

I've modified it only slightly for woodcock--the legs are cooked in the pan first, the fileted off breast next for a very short time, the same pan sauce made. Wonderful!

Gil said...

I don't have to dwell on the topic long to state the conclusion that the Great Duck Misunderstanding is my favorite hook and bullet short story. Years ago it inspired me to look for a duck press; a search which ended in the realization that a good double could be bought for about what a duck press would cost me. Gil

Dantaz Zaatara said...

Hello ,
I saw a post you did , not sure of date - you wrote of the Spanish bulls !
Robert Vavra was a dear friend . Delighted indeed to read of someone passionate about these fantastic , noble animals.
Curro , & several black & white photo books were given to me by Robert long ago .

I would love for you to have them , if you'd like - as all my belongings are in storage & few have ever glanced at those books .
Dersu Uzala is one of my favorites , too.
Be well !

Margarite d'Arsinoƫ
( Zaatara )

Steve Bodio said...

Dear Zaatara (Margarite): I knew Robert through Valerie Hemingway in Bozeman, Montana, where he showed me videos of, among other things, his temporarily tame fighting bull.

I would be delighted to get those photo books if it is not too much trouble. My postal address is POB 709, Magdalena NM 87825.

There is a new translation of Arsenyev about the "Dersu" country called
Ussuri Kray. It is well worth getting, a translation by an American scientist, available on Amazon and reasonable as a paperback if a bit expensive hardbound.,.

dantes zaatara said...

Thank you !