Printable versions of this booklist are available as .pdf's here.
- 1 About the Author
- 2 Works by Charles Portis
- 3 Guns for Hire and Hardscrabble Heroes: Adventures & Untamed Characters
- 4 Home on the Range: Tales from the Frontier
- 5 Classic and Not-so-Classic Westerns
- 6 Lawmen & White Hats: Featuring Texas Rangers and US Marshals
- 7 Gals with Gumption: More Tenacious Heroines
- 8 Nonfiction
- 9 Movies and Music
- 10 Books for Teens
- 11 Books for Youth
- 12 External Links
About the Author
- Read a New York Times profile about Charles Portis, which describes his eluding of public life and his writing's characteristic deadpan humor: "Mr. Portis evokes an eccentric, absurd world with a completely straight face. As a result there are not a lot of laugh-out-loud moments or explosive set pieces here. Instead of shooting off fireworks the books shimmer with a continuous comic glow."
- A profile in the Wall Street Journal.
- An article in The Believer.
- The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture entry on Charles Portis.
Works by Charles Portis
- Norwood (1966)
- True Grit (1968)
- The Dog of the South (1979)
- Masters of Atlantis (1985)
- Gringos (1991)
- Escape Velocity: a Charles Portis Miscellany
- Portis contributed stories and articles to The Saturday Evening post, the Atlantic Monthly, the Oxford American, and the New Yorker
Guns for Hire and Hardscrabble Heroes: Adventures & Untamed Characters
- The Thicket, by Joe Lansdale
- The Big Sky, by A. B. Guthrie
- When the Legends Die, by Hal Borland
- Far Bright Star, by Robert Olmstead
- Shavetail, by Thomas Cobb
- The Border Trilogy by Cormac McCarthy
- The Son, by Philipp Meyer
- Little Big Man, by Thomas Berger
- Desperadoes, by Ron Hansen
- The Outcasts, by Kathleen Kent
- Road to Reckoning, by Robert Lautner
Home on the Range: Tales from the Frontier
- Roughing It, by Mark Twain
- Death Comes for the Archbishop, by Willa Cather
- Little House on the Prairie, by Laura Ingalls Wilder
- Angle of Repose, by Wallace Stegner
- Doc, by Mary Doria Russell
- A Sudden Country, by Karen Fisher
- Butcher's Crossing, by John Williams
Classic and Not-so-Classic Westerns
- The Virginian, by Owen Wister
- Riders of the Purple Sage, by Zane Grey
- The Collected Short Stories of Louis L'Amour
- The Sisters Brothers, by Patrick DeWitt
- Spoon, Robert Greer
- Buffalo Girls, by Larry McMurtry
- Deadwood, by Pete Dexter
- Law of the Desert Born, a graphic novel based on story by Louis L'Amour', adapted by Charles Santino
- Six-Gun Tarot, by R. S. Belcher - if you like a little Weird in your West, try this thriller that combines supernatural elements with a classic Western atmosphere. If you like this one and are ready for more werewolves in your Western, try The Guns of Santa Sangre, by Eric Red
Lawmen & White Hats: Featuring Texas Rangers and US Marshals
- Lonesome Dove, by Larry McMurtry, and its prequels Comanche Moon and Dead Man's Walk
- Raylan, by Elmore Leonard
- Lone Star Ranger, by Zane Grey
- Elmer Kelton's Texas Rangers series - start with The Buckskin Line
- Jon Land's Caitlin Strong series - start with Strong Enough to Die
- Larry Sweazy's Josiah Wolfe, Texas Ranger series - start with The Rattlesnake Season
- A Tale Out of Luck, by Willie Nelson
Gals with Gumption: More Tenacious Heroines
- Winter's Bone, by Daniel Woodrell
- Crown of Dust, by Mary Volmer
- Salvage the Bones, by Jesmyn Ward
- Once Upon a River, by Bonnie Jo Campbell
- Bohemian Girl, by Terese Svoboda
- The Passage, by Justin Cronin
- In Calamity's Wake, by Natalee Caple
- Missy, by Chris Hannan
- The Whip, by Karen Kondazian
- The Daughter's Walk, by Jane Kirkpatrick
- Fearless: a novel of Sarah Bowman, by Lucia St. Clair Robson
- Biographies on Both Sides of the Law [US Marshals, Texas rangers, Outlaws]
- Rooster: the Life and Times of the real Rooster Cogburn, the Man who Inspired True Grit, by Brett Cogburn
- Wyatt Earp: a Vigilante Life, Andrew C. Isenberg
- Black Gun, Silver Star: The Life and Legend of Frontier Marshal Bass Reeves, by Art T. Burton
- Civil War Veterans in the West
- Native Americans in the 19th c.
- Blood and Thunder: an Epic of the American West, by Hampton Sides
- Oh What a Slaughter: Massacres in the American West, 1846-1890, by Larry McMurtry
- Visual inspiration - Landscape Art
- Land Art in Town: Simple Inspiration Through the Seasons
- Landscape Photography: from Snapshots to Great Shots, by Rob Sheppard
- Mastering Landscape Photography: the Luminous-Landscape Essays, by Alain Briot
- Lens, Light, and Landscape, by Brian Bower
- Drawing and Painting the Landscape, by Adrian Bartlett.
- The American Landscape Tradition: a Study and Gallery of Paintings, by Joseph S. Czestochowski
- Landscape Painting in Watercolor, by Zoltan Szabo
- For more inspiration, try subject searches for landscape photography, landscape drawing, landscape painting, or landscape in art.
- Culinary inspiration - Cooking on the Range
- Cooking the Cowboy Way: Recipes Inspired by Campfires, Chuck Wagons, and Ranch Kitchens, by Grady Spears and June Naylor
- Little Cowpokes Cookbook, by Zac Williams
- Cowboy Cocktails: Boot-Scooting' Beverages and Tasty Vittles from the Wild West, by Grady Spears
- The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food From My Frontier, and others by Ree Drummond
- Urban homesteading - Be Self-Sufficient and Live Like a Pioneer
- Your Farm in the City: an Urban Dweller's Guide to Growing Food and Raising Livestock, by Lisa Taylor
- Made From Scratch: Discovering the Pleasures of a Handmade Life, by Jenna Woginrich
- Backyard Homesteading: a Back-to-Basics Guide to Self-Sufficiency, by David Toht
- The City Homesteader: Self-Sufficiency on any Square Footage, by Scott Meyer
- The Modern-Day Pioneer: Simple Living in the 21st Century, by Charlotte Denholtz
- Modern Pioneering: More Than 150 Recipes, Projects, and Skills for a Self-Sufficient Life, by Georgia Pellegrini
- Tracking and Survival Skills
- The Science and Art of Tracking, by Tom Brown, Jr.
- Outdoor Survival Skills, by Larry Dean Olsen
- Primitive Wilderness Living & Survival Skills, by John McPherson
- North American Indian Survival Skills, by Karen Liptak
- Wilderness Survival for Dummies, by John Hazlett
- The Complete Wilderness Training Book, by Hugh McManners
- Wilderness Survival Handbook: Primitive Skills for Short-term Survival and Long-Term Comfort, by Michael Pewtherer
Movies and Music
Music on CD
Film Adaptations of the Book and Sequels
- Cheyenne Autumn - John Ford's last Western, this 1964 epic portrays the Northern Cheyenne Exodus of 1878-9, and the mistreatment of Native Americans during that time.
- Dances with Wolves - Based on the 1988 novel by Michael Blake, this film garnered many awards in 1990 and revitalized the Western genre. Kevin Costner plays a Union soldier who becomes involved with the Lakota Sioux when he is stationed at a frontier outpost.
- Django Unchained - A recent take on the classic trope of revenge and adventure with Western flair, Quentin Tarantino directed this ultra-violent 2012 award winner.
- The Outlaw Josey Wales - Based on the novel Rebel Outlaw: Josey Wales (also published as 'Gone to Texas') by Forrest Carter, this 1976 film features Clint Eastwood as a Civil War veteran driven to avenge the murder of his wife and son.
- Open Range - Kevin Costner plays a Civil War veteran - turned cowboy fighting a corrupt Marshall in this 2003 Western romance based on the novel "The Open Range Men" by Lauran Paine.
- The Quick and the Dead - Sharon Stone plays a female gunslinger avenging her father in this modern Western.
- The Searchers - In this 1956 classic, John Wayne is an ex-Confederate soldier searching for his niece, who has been captured by Comanches.
- Shoot Out - Gregory Peck stars in this 1971 tale of an outlaw saddled with the responsibility of looking after a feisty orphan girl. Made by the same team that made the 1969 John Wayne version of True Grit, and features many of the same locations.
- Unforgiven - In 1992, Clint Eastwood re-examined the romanticization of the Western film genre with this Academy Award Best Picture winner about an aging outlaw asked to kill again.
- Justified - based on stories and characters from Elmore Leonard, this series features US marshals in modern-day Kentucky.
- The Real West - This eight-part documentary series brings to life the most legendary cowboys and notorious outlaws of America's western frontier.
- Wild Horse, Wild Ride - This documentary tells the story of the Extreme Mustang Makeover Challenge, an annual contest that dares 100 people to each tame a totally wild mustang in order to get it adopted into a better life beyond federal corrals.
Books for Teens
- Shane, by Jack Schaefer
- The Legend of Bass Reeves, by Gary Paulsen
- Hattie Big Sky, by Kirby Larson, and its sequel Hattie Ever After
- The Ballad of Lucy Whipple, by Karen Cushman
- Black Storm Comin', by Diane Lee Wilson
- Ghetto Cowboy, by G. Neri
- The Adventurous Deeds of Deadwood Jones, by Jelen Hemphill
- Another Kind of Cowboy, by Susan Juby
- The Tucket adventure series by Gary Paulsen
- Venom, by Marilyn Singer
Books for Youth
Wild West - Fiction for Older Children
- Case of the Deadly Desperados, by Caroline Lawrence
- Alice Rose & Sam, by Kathryn Lasky
- Danger at the Wild West Show by Alison Hart (American Girl: History Mysteries series)
- Missing on Superstition Mountain by Elise Broach, and its sequel, Treasure on Superstition Mountain
- Call Me Oklahoma! by Miriam Glassman
- The Journal of Joshua Loper: Black Cowboy by Walter Dean Myers (My Name is America series)
- The Adventures of Midnight Son by Denise Lewis Patrick
- Rapunzel's Revenge and its sequel Calamity Jack, graphic novels by Shannon Hale
- Tall: Great American Folktales, the Comics Anthology, edited by Donald Lem
Wild West - Nonfiction for Older Children
- The Cowgirl Way: Hats Off to America's Women of the West, by Holly George-Warren
- Wild Women of the Wild West by Jonah Winter, illustrations by Susan Guevara
Wild West - Nonfiction Picturebooks
- Bill Pickett: Rodeo-Ridin’ Cowboy by Andrea D. Pinkney, illustrated by Brian Pinkney
- Boss of the Plains: The Hat That Won the West by Laurie Carlson, illustrated by Holly Meade - The story of John Stetson and how he came to create the most popular hat west of the Mississippi.
- Bad News for Outlaws: the Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U.S. Marshall, by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson
Cowboy Stories! - Picture Books
- Ten-Gallon Bart by Susan Stevens Crummel, illustrated by Dorothy Donohue
- Cowboy Kid by Max Eilenberg, illustrated by Sue Heap
- She’ll Be Coming ‘round the Mountain by Jonathan Emmett and Deborah Allwright
- Buster Goes to Cowboy Camp by Denise Fleming
- Cowboy Baby by Sue Heap - also in Spanish as: Pequeno Cowboy by Sue Heap
- The Adventures of Granny Clearwater & Little Critter by Kimberly Willis Holt, illustrated by Lara Huliska-Beith
- Levi Strauss Gets a Bright Idea: A Fairly Fabricated Story of a Pair of Pants by Tony Johnston, illustrated by Stacy Innerst
- Giddy up, Cowgirl by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
- Tex by Dorie McCullough Lawson
- Cowpoke Clyde and Dirty Dawg by Lori Mortensen, illustrated by Michael Allen Austin
- Are You a Horse? by Andy Rash
- Pirates vs. Cowboys by Aaron Reynolds, illustrated by David Barneda
- Saving Sweetness by Diane Stanley
- How I Spent My Summer Vacation by Mark Teague
- Let’s Sing a Lullaby with the Brave Cowboy by Jan Thomas
- Dirty Cowboy by Amy Timberlake
- Dust Devil by Anne Isaacs, illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky
- The Ghosts of Luckless Gulch by Anne Isaacs, illustrated by Dan Santat
- Black Cowboy Wild Horses: A True Story by Julius Lester, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney
- The NEA's Big Read website has a Reader's Guide and more information about the book and the author.