Book Reviews

Schooling Your Horse (book review, rated 5/5 *****)

by Captain Vladimir S. Littauer, Arco Publishing 1956

DeNemethy, Museler, Podhajsky certainly hit the high points of the classics. The one thing I’d add in that vein would be Harry Chamberlin’s “Training Hunters Jumpers and Hacks” and everything by Gordon Wright.  Next was would be Captain Vladimir S. Littauer’s  Commonsense Horsemanship and Schooling Your Horse.  Then, everything by George Morris and perhaps, the three-volume 1935 Cavalry Manual–Horsemanship and Horsemastership.

Simply put, Schooling Your Horse, is a classic and if you could learn everything in this easy to read book, you would be a master showjumper or field hunter.  There are chapters on Hunters, and he doesn’t mean show hunters, which is a tribute to the fact the book was written in 1956.   It is as relevant today as it was then.  Simple, informative and a no-nonsense method which works.

By |May 30th, 2011|Book Reviews, Foxhunting|Comments Off on Schooling Your Horse (book review, rated 5/5 *****)

Hunting with Hounds in North America (book review rated 1/5 *)

By Andreas F. von Recum, Pelican publishing company, 2002

I was initially excited to receive this book in the mail, which is out-of-print and collectible, but after reading it, I cannot figure out who the intended reader might be.  The mention of foxhounds is given 2 pages and all of the other hounds from sight hounds to deer hounds are summaries, at best.  I would have liked to see a more in-depth coverage of these great hounds which have been imported and bred in North America.  This is more like a school report on the subject of hounds and their quarry, although the one interest chart, aside from some of the photos which were pleasant from old art to modern hounds, showed that:

Coyotes travel at 40 mph, weigh 20-50 lbs, and are 32-37 inches in length

Red fox travel at 30 mph, weigh 10-15 lbs, and are 22-25 inches in length

Gray fox travel at 28 mph, weight 7-13 lbs, and are 21-29 inches in length

Most Thoroughbred horses have been clocked at just under 40 mph on the track and weigh 1100-1200 lbs and the English Foxhound, while it may reach 65 lbs, is also said to travel at around 40 mph.

By |May 30th, 2011|Book Reviews, Foxhunting|Comments Off on Hunting with Hounds in North America (book review rated 1/5 *)

Fool’s Paradise (book review, rated 2/5 **)

By John Gierach, Simon & Schuster, 2008

I confess I am not really a John Gierach fan, yet I have met him a few times and have read all of his books.  I even had an a date one time to fish with Gierach and A.K. Best, but then our calendars didn’t align at the last minute, due a book tour.  I haven’t attempted to reschedule yet, but should, but maybe he wouldn’t if he read this review.   This one was just typical Gierach for me, a bit bland, although I did like the chapters entitled “Nebraska” and “Umpqua.”  And, I made a few notes from the “Rods” chapter, as I enjoyed the comments on so-called production bamboo rods that  were once bargains and his forte, and have now become very collectible, such as Heddon, Granger and Phillipson.  He writes there are a few bargains left, such as, “I can tell you from experience that, for instance, a model 208 Payne and a 9050 Wright & McGill Grangers—both versatile 9-foot, 5/6-weights—are virtually identical except for the huge discrepancy in price.”  Gierach writes, “Most date that resurgence to the publication of A Master’s Guide to Building a Bamboo Fly Rod…” which was co-written by fellow Fario Club member, Hoagy Carmichael in 1977,

I began to wonder if he broke up his bro-mance with A.K. Best and Mike Clark, but then A.K. appeared in a chapter or two, but Mike Clark and his rods were absent.  Mike was also absent in the 2011 book.  His rods weren’t my favorite either, although he had two very special rods at his shop over the years that were to my unique liking […]

By |May 30th, 2011|Book Reviews, Fishing|Comments Off on Fool’s Paradise (book review, rated 2/5 **)

No Shortage of Good Days (book review, rated 3/5 ***)

By John Gierach, Simon & Schuster, 2011

I confess I am not really a John Gierach fan, yet I have read all of his books.  I enjoy his style of writing well enough, I just can’t get into all of his stories.  I guess that is his strategy, it’s like Reader’s Digest for bathroom reading for all those who fish, you aren’t supposed to read it cover to cover and there is always something for everyone.  But, I enjoyed this book more than most of his others and a few of the chapters were very good, including, “Third-Rate Trout Streams,”“Deckers,” and “Cheating.”  I laughed out loud upon reading the comment from a guide at a private stretch with well-stocked fat fish who told him something to the effect that, “Catching fish here is like getting laid in a whore-house.”  I have had the same feeling which is why I stick to wild, public waters.

By |May 30th, 2011|Book Reviews, Fishing|Comments Off on No Shortage of Good Days (book review, rated 3/5 ***)