Do you like Westerns? John Larison’s Whiskey When We’re Dry is a riveting read that had me turning the pages, but I would have enjoyed it more if my waking life wasn’t so stressful!

As a result, the story made me feel anxious about what would happen next to Jessilynn Harney. I’d look at my Kindle with trepidation, and then before I knew it, it was past my bedtime.

The writing is amazing. John Larison captures the cowboy voice effortlessly. My friend Michi recommended it, saying it was about a young woman who dresses up as a boy and heads west in order to find her brother.

I read a similar storyline when I was 13 or 14. It was a Sunfire romance called Carolyn published by Scholastic. I adored this series, and made damn sure to collect them all when I was well into adulthood. But let’s just say, that’s where the similarity ends.

It’s an adult book dealing with hard truths, but it’s a fine novel that deserves all of the praise it has received. In 2019, Whiskey was named best book by seemingly everyone from O Magazine to Fodor’s Travel. Really not sure how I miss these things.


Like any good child of the 80s, I grew up on Clint Eastwood’s Spaghetti Westerns like Hang ‘Em High, The Outlaw of Josey Wales, and The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. I was enthralled, and despite the violence (which seems downright wholesome compared to today], and the dirty-looking characters, we’d gather around the television in reverence.

But don’t forget he was in Paint Your Wagon (1969)! Clint Eastwood sings!

So, I suppose when I saw Louis L’Amour’s paperbacks in the bookstore, as a teen discovering and devouring books, it wasn’t that much of a stretch. I read my fair share, too!

According to Wikipedia, “At the time of his death almost all of his 105 existing works (89 novels, 14 short-story collections, and two full-length works of nonfiction) were still in print, and he was “one of the world’s most popular writers”.

Have you read any Westerns?

10 replies on “May 2022 Reading Roundup

  1. I don’t think I’ve ever read a Louis L’Amour book. My dad used to read them all the time in the ’50s and ’60s and probably before that. Buy I saw my share of cowboy westerns on TV, all the way back to Roy Rogers and Jane Evans. Gunsmoke was a favorite for a number of years.

    I’m still reading Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache mysteries, although now I’m taking a break, reading The Magical Language of Others by E.J.Koh. A Korean mother-daughter story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wonder if I’d like Gunsmoke as I do adore older TV shows and movies — I appreciate them more than ever, especially these days, where so much content is dark, cynical, and violent.

      Mysteries are fun. You know how much I like my Agatha. I know of The Magical Language of Others as it’s one of the books I use as a comp for my memoir.

      Thanks, Nicki! Hope all is well. xo

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      1. I haven’t read any westerns, but I second Gunsmoke. Nana and I used to watch it daily (sometimes several times a day), and I got so into it. I mean, U.S. Marshal Matt Dillon (not the actor of the same name), hubba hubba.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Everytime I read book blogs, I discover a new genre. I honestly didn’t know that Westerns was a whole other genre. I haven’t read any yet. I’m not sure if I will since that world is so alien to me. But never say never.

    “As a result, the story made me feel anxious about what would happen next to Jessilynn Harney. I’d look at my Kindle with trepidation, and then before I knew it, it was past my bedtime.” – I love when books get you so hooked that you lose all track of time.

    Hope you’re doing well! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No, I don’t suppose you’d have had much exposure or interest in the American West. Def a subgenre, but it’s very American, the Japanese have actually done some interesting and creative things with it. And now that I think about it, the cowboy culture has captured the imagination of (at least older generations) in Thailand.

      Hope you are well, too! xo Cheers.

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  3. Mmmm, I can’t say that Westerns, either in movie or book form, entice me, Lani. I always marvel at the joy you seem to find in just about every genre out there, though. Is there any you don’t actually enjoy reading?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, thanks Jolandi. What a lovely thing to say. I probably won’t or haven’t read anything like True Crime — I know plenty of folks who enjoy getting behind the minds of master criminals, but it’s really not for me.

      What about you?

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      1. Interesting that there is one genre you wouldn’t read. True Crime is definitely also not my thing. It fills me with fear to be honest, which is most definitely not how I want to live my life.
        Although I love reading, I think it has always been very difficult for anyone to buy me a book that is spot on. I’m a very picky reader, and am even selective within genres. Although I enjoy a Dan Brown or Ken Follet book every once in a while which is story driven, my preference is for books that have beautiful language more than intricate stories. And although I do read and enjoy fiction, I more often than not read non-fiction, but again, although the topics can be all over the place, it is the use of language and in this case the writer’s voice that drive my choices. See, a very picky reader.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, it is interesting, isn’t it? I adore Agatha Christie, but the idea of reading something that was or could have been a long series in the news, doesn’t appeal to me. I understand the psychology is probably what folks are attracted to, but, ugh, not for me.

        Beautiful language is nice, but not necessary for me. I appreciate words and how they are used, but I’m envious that you know what you like so clearly — I don’t feel like I can put my finger on it exactly!

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