Review: In The Herd — by Jayne M. Silberman

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Cover image and summary from goodreads.com.

Title: In the Herd  : A Photographic Journey with the Chincoteague ponies and Assateague ponies

Author: Jayne M. Silberman

Rating:  ★★★★★ (5 of 5)

Genre/Pages: Photographic Documentary / 160

Summary: “The 140 unforgettable images that make up this unique photographic journey are the result of the long-term, unprecedented access the author/photographer was granted to one of this country’s wildest and most beautiful places. Every July, some 40,000 people converge on the barrier islands off the Virginia-Maryland coast to observe the annual Chincoteague Pony Swim, a trip that takes the herds only seven minutes to complete (with the assistance of the famous Salt Water Cowboys), but is critical to their preservation. This is the element of herd life best known to the world. But there is so much more to see and know about the wild herds. With the support and cooperation she has received from the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company and National Park Service, noted wildlife photographer Jayne M. Silberman has devoted years to visiting the area and getting to know the animals firsthand and in every season—their relationships, rituals, behaviors, habits, family life, and intimate moments.  The result is this moving and beautiful array of gallery-quality photos, accompanied by an informative 8,000-word essay presenting the history of the herds and many fascinating details about their environment and way of life. A foreword by Diana XX, queen of XX, completes this enduring, one-of-a-kind volume that will be heralded by lovers of the natural world and fine-art photography, as well as the thousands of devotees of the wild horses themselves.”

Cover Review: This cover is absolutely gorgeous. There’s nothing bad I can say about it –  It’s a beautiful hardcover coffee table-sized book, and it’s perfect.

My Review: As a baby, my first word was “horse”. As a toddler, I had an endless supply of horse toys and stuffed animals. When I was 5, I saw an ad on the tv for horseback riding lessons starting with 6 year olds, and when I turned 6 I convinced my mom to let me start taking riding lessons. When I was 11, my dad took me on a week-long trip to Chincoteague and Assateague islands during the annual Pony Swim (popularized by the Misty of Chincoteague books), and I immediately fell in love with these beautiful wild horses.  At 19 years old, I still stay up to date on the movements and activities of the herds (and I’m still taking riding lessons, in addition to teaching riding lessons, and training horses).

So, when my dad bought me this book for Christmas last year, I immediately fell in love with it. It’s your classic fine art coffee table book, you pick it up and flip through it, marveling at the beautiful pictures, and reading through the wonderful insights and information about these specific horses, then you close it and flip through it another time. It’s not the kind of book you read all the way through in one sitting, but it is the kind of book you love coming back to time and time again.

To Sum It Up: The photography is breathtaking, and the story of these horses is beautifully told. This photographic journey is the perfect gift for the horse lover in your life.

Attention: This is a scheduled, pre-written, post. I am serving a full-time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Jan. 2017 through Jul. 2018, and will not be checking my blog email, or updating my blog during that time. (I may have some already written posts scheduled go live during that time, but I will not be active on my blog, and these posts are completely my own opinion and are not representative of the opinions or stances of the church). For more information about Mormon missionaries, go to: lds.org or mormon.org.

Any book requests or other communication received in that time will not be responded to until after July 2018.

TBR Spotlight: Faults — by Tudor Robins

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Cover image and summary from goodreads.com.

Title: Faults (Island Series, #4)

Author: Tudor Robins

Genre/Pages: Equestrian Fiction / 260

Summary: “Giving up her pony didn’t make Austen’s sister better. Sacrificing her social life hasn’t done it either. But with her sister’s life at stake, Austen’s never good at saying no. So, when their mom decides a move to the island is just what Eliot needs, Austen says good-bye to her perfect summer plans.

Rand’s not on the island by choice, either. After drinking, driving, and crashing his neighbour’s car, he’s been sent to live with his uncle until a spot opens up for him at boarding school.

If too-nice Austen, and too-much-trouble Rand are opposites maybe that’s why they’re so attracted to each other.

New characters mix with familiar faces – not to mention plenty of horses and dogs – in this fourth book of the much-loved Island Series.”

Cover Review: Say what??? I can’t make heads or tails out of this cover… Cuz there aren’t any on it. It’s just weird… I mean, I’ve given baths to hundreds of horses, and I like to take artsy photos… But I would never take this shot and think “this should be on the cover of a book”. It doesn’t work. At all. 

Why I put it on my TBR list: I love this series. Like, a lot. It’s my happy series. It’s what I read when I’m sad. It’s like the Heartland TV series, except books… and completely different stories. But still. I love Tudor Robins, and I love her writing! I am so so SO excited to read this one when I get back from my mission and I cannot wait to see what more Tudor has in store for us!

Tudor restored my faith in equestrian fiction when I thought that there could be no more good ones. Then I found these books and they are so beyond perfect I can’t even. 

Are you a fan of the Island Series? Do you love horses? Make sure to go buy your copy of Faults!

Attention: This is a scheduled, pre-written, post. I am serving a full-time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Jan. 2017 through Jul. 2018, and will not be checking my blog email, or updating my blog during that time. (I may have some already written posts scheduled go live during that time, but I will not be active on my blog, and these posts are completely my own opinion and are not representative of the opinions or stances of the church). For more information about Mormon missionaries, go to: lds.org or mormon.org.

Any book requests or other communication received in that time will not be responded to until after July 2018.

Book Release! Wednesday Riders (Island Trilogy, #2) – By Tudor Robins

You may recall back in August when I was gushing about Appaloosa Summer in my review. Tudor Robins truly restored my faith in equestrian fiction and contemporary romance in one fell swoop — and I fell madly in love with Appaloosa Summer, hardly able to wait for the sequel. Well, today, I am INSANELY EXCITED to announce that the sequel is available for purchase on Amazon.com. Do you love horses? Romance? A fun, light, novel? Appaloosa Summer became my “Happy book”. I just started Wednesday Riders, and I expect it to be the same. I am SO SO EXCITED. I’m sure this book is going to be just as (if not more) amazing than Appaloosa Summer! And if ALL of that isn’t enough… check out the GORGEOUS cover! It’s to die for!

Cover image from author, summary from goodreads.com. Image links to Goodreads book page.
Cover image from author, summary from goodreads.com. Image links to Goodreads book page.

Summary: The island.
Meg can’t wait to get back. She’s excited to see her new mare kick up her heels in Salem’s old paddock. She’s impatient to run on country roads between breeze-blown hayfields.
Mostly, Meg longs to be back with Jared again.
It’s going to be the perfect summer.
But can real life live up to Meg’s huge expectations?

When Jared makes a heart-wrenching confession, Meg has to re-evaluate everything. If perfection’s not possible, can Meg find a way to build happiness for herself?
Fans of Appaloosa Summer will welcome the return to familiar places and characters, with the chance to be captivated by more of the beauty, romance, and dreaminess of Meg’s summer island life.

In addition to that, Tudor has an announcement to make:

“To show how much I appreciate my readers’ feedback, any reviews of Wednesday Riders posted on Amazon or Goodreads until March 15, 2015 will make the review-writer eligible to win print copies of Appaloosa Summer and Wednesday Riders, as well as my first book, Objects in Mirror.”

Now that’s an offer too great to pass up!

Make sure to buy your copy here! You won’t regret it!