My book group wants to explore a western theme genre for an upcoming meeting. Can you recommend any newer, great western reads?
Thanks for asking! I'm happy to suggest a few possibilities. If you'd like to explore some additional options, let me encourage you to take a look at the database Novelist Plus, which is included with your library membership. It's a great resource for searching out new reading opportunities by author / genre / keyword, and so forth.
I would strongly encourage your group to take a look at The Bones of Paradise, by Jonis Agee, which was chosen as this year's Omaha Reads title. It follows a multi-generational family saga in the Nebraska Sandhills, shaped by the aftermath of Wounded Knee. Paulette Jiles' News of the World explores a similar space and is well worth a read.
Andrew Hilleman has been getting a lot of buzz for World, Chase Me Down, which is a historical fiction novel based on a true crime case that begins in Omaha in 1900 - one of the first kidnappings for ransom - and follows the abductor on a long chase across the West and an early case of outlaw celebrity.
On a nonfiction track, you might try John Boessenecker's Texas Ranger, a biography of lawman Frank Hamer, who brought down Bonnie and Clyde. Or Paul Hutton's The Apache Wars, which follows the bloody conflicts of 1861-1890 through the lens of some fascinating historical figures.
And, last but not least, as a bit of a curveball you might enjoy Winfred Blevins' Hollywood-laced Western mystery series that begins with The Darkness Rolling.
Relatively few Western titles are included in our Book Club Kit collection, but you can find links to four decent options here.
Several of these recommendations came from the Western Writers of America's Spur Awards, which may offer fertile ground for further browsing. You can find a list of winners here.
Thanks again for asking, and thanks for using AskOPL!