Hillbilly Press

The Literary Branch of Hillbilly Farms


Book Reviews and Recommendations

Mr. Sponge's Sporting Tour
by Robert Smith Surtees
Brilliant satire. Foxhunting in England in the 1800's. It is out of copyright, so freely available electronically. Other great titles by Robert Smith Surtees: Jorrocks Jaunts and Jollities, Handley Cross, and Mr Facey Romford's Hounds.

Some Experiences of an Irish RM
by Edith Somerville and Martin Ross
Don't judge a book by its title. This is a very funny book, full of stories about hunting in Ireland in the late 1800's. It is out of copyright, so freely available electronically. There is also an excellent, FREE audiobook produced by Librivox and read by Andy Minter. And the great stories continue in Further Experiences of an Irish RM and In Mr Knox's Country.

The Brogue
by Saki
This amusing short story was written over 100 years ago, yet the horse in question seems all too familiar to riders here at Hillbilly Farms.

The Horse Who Wouldn't Die: The Biography of a Useless Horse
by H. B. Farmer
This is the true story of a horse who defied the odds and inspired a nation...wait, wait...that's the wrong story, the wrong horse. This is the story of a different kind of horse. This is the story of a failed showjumper, turned failed show hunter, turned failed school horse, who eventually found his calling as a pasture ornament.

A Horse's Tale
by Mark Twain
The first chapter is told from the point of view of Buffalo Bill's horse, who has an unusual grasp of the english language. Hilarious. After that the story gets sappy and finally ends on a real downer.

Unrelenting: The Real Story: Horses, Bright Lights and My Pursuit of Excellence
by George Morris
This is George Morris's autobiography! Definitely worth buying, even if only to look at the pictures. Check out our full review of Unrelenting.

The Big George Morris Clinic
by H. B. Farmer
While you wait for George Morris to return to teaching clinics, read this fabulous Choose Your Own Misadventure book about him. Reviewers have hailed The Big George Morris Clinic as a masterpiece.

by Jilly Cooper
As one reviewer succinctly put it 'Sex and horses: who could ask for more?' The exploits of Rupert Campbell-Black and friends continue in Rivals and Polo.

by Jilly Cooper
In Jump!, Jilly Cooper enters the world of jump racing. Unfortunately, she spends the first half of the book trying (unsuccessfully) to convince us that old women who like gardening can still be sexy (my apologies to all the gardeners out there). But in the last half of the book, Jilly Cooper shows that she's still got it (even if she is an old woman who, presumably, likes gardening).

French Relations and Well Groomed
by Fiona Walker
Not as good as Jilly Cooper, but still fun reads.

Horse Heaven
by Jane Smiley
I laughed, I cried, I wanted to take Justa Bob home with me.

Don't Trample the Dogs
by Michael Sinclair-Smith
Humorous book about modern foxhunting in Ireland. This book is light on text and heavy on illustrations, but it still took some of us over a year to finish.

The A Circuit
by Georgina Bloomberg
The main character is the daughter of a billionaire who worries that people think she coasts through life on her father's money. So she comes up with a business plan to show people she can make it in the Hunter/Jumper world on her own by training a project horse and selling it for a profit. Step 1: Convince her father to buy the project horse for her. Despite the ridiculous plots (or maybe because of them), we look forward to every new installment in this series. It is a great escape from the world of three and four figure horses.

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