Sunday Book Reviews

The Sunday Book Review is a Retired Racehorse Blog feature highlighting great reads for equestrians. I’ll be exploring different genres, current and backlist titles, and perhaps even antiques that you can add to your used bookstore wish-list.

Current Titles

The Eighty-Dollar Champion, by Elizabeth Letts

The runaway best-seller tells the true tale of a rescued plow horse and a down-on-his-luck horse trainer.

The Girl Who Remembered Horses, by Linda Benson

In a desolate Earth of the future, could humans have lost their bond with horses forever?

Keeping Secrets, by Maggie Dana

Book One of Timber Ridge Riders is a smart, funny, and moving new take on the pony novel.

Raja: Story of a Racehorse, by Anne Hambleton

This autobiography of a Thoroughbred is the classic Black Beauty story for the modern world.

Bubba Goes National, by Jennifer Walker

A pony book about Saddle-seat Arabs! Definitely a niche topic.

Hannah’s Home, by MaryAnn Myers

You’ll want to move to the country and eat pies at country diners.

Blood Horses, by John Jeremiah Sullivan

Possibly the most haunting, beautiful, sensitive horse book ever written. I’m not exaggerating.

Renegade Champion: The Unlikely Rise of Fitzrada, by Richard Rust

Guest reviewer Jennifer Montfort finds this amazing tale of a very bad OTTB and a very courageous young woman who makes him a star.

Racing Into Trouble, by Maggie Dana

The second Timber Ridge Riders book, complete with nemesis horse-sabotage, is wonderful.

A Year at the Races, by Jane Smiley

The Pulitzer Prize winning novelist explores horse racing and her own unorthodox attempts to enter the winner’s circle, including a lot of fun with animal communicators.

The Black Stallion (series) by Walter Farley

An ode to the king of them all.

Riding for the Stars, by Maggie Dana

Book the third of Timber Ridge Riders has the zombie/vampire/romance you’ve all been waiting for. With a clever twist.

Falling for Eli, by Nancy Shulins

The sort of OTTB memoir I wish we had more of.

Wish Upon a Horse, by Maggie Dana

Timber Ridge Riders Book Five has plenty of tips on how a kid can bamboozle her parents into getting her a horse. Also: it’s wonderful and sweet.


Want more horse books? I also write author profiles and book lists at Dappled Grey, the Equestrian Style Guide!

Best Sellers and Blue Ribbons: Jane Smiley Talks Horses: My interview with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jane Smiley about Horse Heaven, Thoroughbreds, and her own herd!

Dick Francis: Behind the Beloved Brit Author’s Brand: Taking a look inside the racing world of Dick Francis, mystery author.

Equestrian Summer Reading List 2012These reads are great in any season!

Equestrian Bookshelf — 2012 Holiday Gift Guide: The books you’ve loved, the titles you have to have. Page 40.

Of Sentimentality, Smut, and… Riders: Oh, that naughty Jilly Cooper. A review of everyone’s favorite trashy horse show novel.






Click here for excerpt and reviews of Natalie Keller Reinert’s “The Head and Not The Heart.”


Suggestions and submissions:

I love suggestions. If the book is available at the library, we’re off to the races. Adult selections are particularly nice. If you’ve read something amazing that you think should be reviewed here, let me know.

Guest reviewers are always nice. If you have a review you want to share, email me to discuss.

And hey authors! If you’d like to add your book to the calendar, please send me an email at with a brief synopsis. I do accept self-published work.

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