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This selection of wild westerns will scratch your literary itch for wide open spaces, struggles for justice, and classic outlaw antics.

The Ox-Bow Incident

by Walter Van

Tilburg Clark

A classic Western centered on the hanging of three innocent men, revealing truths about civilization, community, and the opposition of good and evil.

Lonesome Dove

by Larry McMurtry

The story of an epic journey through the American frontier, often praised as the best Western of all time.


by Anna North

Set in 1894, a 17-year-old newlywed runs away to join a gang of outlaws in order to escape being hanged as a witch for her infertility.

The Sisters Brothers

by Patrick DeWitt

Two brothers are tasked with finding and killing Hermann Kermit Warm, setting off on an adventure brimming with humor, grit, violence, introspection, and love.

Death & Texas

by William and J.A. Johnstone

The governor of Texas calls on Cullen McCabe, a former sheriff with a dark past, to take care of the wild and lawless state in a way that no one else can.

Little Big Man

by Thomas Berger

The fictional, picaresque memoir of 111-year-old Jack Crabb, detailing his many varied adventures on the Western Frontier.

How Much of These Hills is Gold

by C Pam Zhang

In a reimagining of the Western genre, two siblings, the children of immigrants and newly orphaned, set out to bury their father and leave their mining town behind.

Close Range: Wyoming Stories

by Annie Proulx

A collection of short stories all set in Wyoming, capturing landscapes, culture, love, lust, loneliness, longing, and — ultimately — life out west.


by Pete Dexter

In a real Wild West story filled with violence, gambling, liquor, and outlaws, two men are trying — and failing — to settle down in the town of Deadwood.

The Virginian

by Owen Wister

Considered the first Western novel, a man from Virginia heads out into the rough and unforgiving Wyoming territory, soon finding himself torn between the woman he loves and his own struggle for justice.


by Melissa Lenhardt

Two women become outlaws, forming the first women-only gang, and find themselves facing numerous challenges, including a rival male gang.

All the Pretty Horses

by Cormac McCarthy

After the loss of his grandfather and their ranch, a sixteen-year-old boy and his best friend journey to Mexico, where they are confronted with brutality, beauty, love, and transformation.