Horse Books: Not Just for Kids!

We’ve noticed that horse books are making a comeback – at least, we’re getting asked for them more often than we have in years! While we usually get asked for these books from the children’s section, there’s no reason a love of horses can’t follow you to adulthood. Check out these novels that capture the beauty of horses within captivating plots.

The Mare by Mary Gaitskill
On our shelves and online now*: $8.99, paperback

Misunderstood youth meets misunderstood horse.

Velvet is an eleven-year-old Fresh Air Fund kid from Brooklyn who stays with a host family in upstate New York for several summers. Ginger, her host mother, encourages her to take horseback riding lesson at a nearby stable. What follows is complicated tangle of relationships between Velvet and her mother, her host family, her horse trainer, a charming older boy, and a horse called Fugly Girl. It’s a story about a girl and a horse, but it also confronts issues of race and class.

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
On our shelves and online now*: $7.99 hardcover, plus more editions available!

I recently re-read this classic, and boy does it hold up! Told from the perspective of a horse, the story takes us from Black Beauty’s blissful days as a young colt through the many hardships he endured as he traded hands and owners. Some owners were kind, others were cruel and narrow-minded. Part story, part treatise on animal welfare, this novel was way ahead of its time. Be prepared to fall in love all over again with this infamous horse.

All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy
On our shelves & online now: $8.99 paperback

The first book in McCarthy’s Border Trilogy, All the Pretty Horses is the tale of John Grady Cole, a sixteen-year-old whose ranching dreams have been cut short. He decides to set out with a friend on a journey to Mexico. In true McCarthy style the story is both beautifully written and disturbingly violent. Part western and part wandering travel log, there’s plenty of equine details to satisfy horse lovers.



*We’re a used bookstore too! Prices listed here reflect our stock at the time of this article’s posting. These used copies may sell, or even more might become available! If used copies run out, new copies can also be purchased online at