The Greatest "Montana" Books of All Time

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This list represents a comprehensive and trusted collection of the greatest books. Developed through a specialized algorithm, it brings together 305 'best of' book lists to form a definitive guide to the world's most acclaimed books. For those interested in how these books are chosen, additional details can be found on the rankings page.

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  1. 1. The Horse Whisperer by Nicholas Evans

    A devastating horse riding accident leaves a young girl, Grace, and her horse, Pilgrim, physically and emotionally traumatized. In a desperate attempt to heal them both, Grace's mother seeks out a man with a unique gift for communicating with horses. As he works to heal Pilgrim, the horse whisperer also helps Grace and her mother confront their own pain and begin to rebuild their shattered lives.

    The 1418th Greatest Book of All Time
  2. 2. Legends of The Fall by Jim Harrison

    "Legends of the Fall" is a collection of three novellas, each exploring themes of love, war, and betrayal against the backdrop of the American wilderness. The titular novella follows the lives of three brothers and their father living in the remote wilderness of Montana in the early 1900s. The three brothers, each vastly different in character, find their bond tested when they all fall in love with the same woman. Their individual and collective decisions lead to a series of tragic events that shape their destiny. The other two novellas also deal with complex relationships and moral dilemmas, set against the harsh and unforgiving landscapes of America.

    The 1625th Greatest Book of All Time
  3. 3. Winter Wheat by Mildred Walker

    Set against the backdrop of the harsh Montana landscape, the novel follows the coming-of-age story of a young woman raised on a wheat farm. As she transitions from adolescence to adulthood, she grapples with the complexities of her identity, her relationship with her parents, and her connection to the land. Through the changing seasons and the cycle of sowing and harvesting wheat, she learns about resilience, love, and the intricate patterns of human life, mirroring the ebb and flow of the natural world around her.

    The 3481st Greatest Book of All Time
  4. 4. Winter In The Blood by James Welch

    This novel delves into the life of a young Native American man living on a Montana reservation, grappling with a sense of alienation from both his cultural heritage and the wider American society. Through a series of fragmented memories and encounters, he embarks on a poignant journey of self-discovery, confronting his painful past, including the loss of his brother and father, and his troubled relationship with his family and community. Set against the stark, unforgiving landscape of the American West, the narrative weaves a haunting tale of loss, despair, and the quest for identity and belonging, capturing the protagonist's internal struggle with a raw and powerful intensity.

    The 4942nd Greatest Book of All Time
  5. 5. All But The Waltz by Mary Clearman Blew

    "All But The Waltz" is a poignant memoir that weaves together personal narrative and the history of the American West. Through a series of essays, the author reflects on her family's past and the hardships they endured, including loss, isolation, and the struggle to maintain a ranch in the harsh Montana landscape. The book delves into themes of memory, identity, and the changing face of the West, as the author grapples with her own place in a lineage of strong but troubled ancestors. It is a meditation on the complexities of family legacy and the bittersweet dance of embracing one's heritage while stepping into the future.

    The 5203rd Greatest Book of All Time
  6. 6. Grizzly Years by Doug Peacock

    "Grizzly Years" is a memoir of a Vietnam War veteran who finds solace in the wilderness of the American West, specifically in observing grizzly bears. The book chronicles his years of tracking these majestic creatures across the Rockies and Yellowstone, and his efforts to protect them from human threats. The narrative intertwines the author's personal journey of healing from war trauma with his passionate advocacy for grizzly bear conservation.

    The 5491st Greatest Book of All Time
  7. 7. Young Men and Fire by Norman Maclean

    The book tells the tragic story of 13 smokejumpers who lost their lives in the 1949 Mann Gulch fire in Montana. The author examines the circumstances leading up to the disaster, the fire's aftermath, and its lasting impact. The narrative combines elements of reportage, biography, and nature writing, and it serves as a meditation on writing, grief, and the human character.

    The 5842nd Greatest Book of All Time
  8. 8. The Trumpet Of The Swan by E. B. White

    This children's novel tells the story of Louis, a trumpeter swan born without a voice, which makes him unable to communicate and feel out of place among his kind. Determined to overcome this challenge, Louis embarks on a remarkable journey that leads him to human interactions, learning to read and write, and eventually acquiring a trumpet to express his voice musically. Along the way, he falls in love, faces various obstacles, and seeks to repay a debt, showcasing themes of perseverance, the importance of finding one's own voice, and the power of love and friendship. Through his adventures, Louis not only finds his place in the world but also brings joy and music to those around him.

    The 5961st Greatest Book of All Time
  9. 9. Bad Land: An American Romance by Jonathan Raban

    This book is a historical exploration of the American West, specifically the region of Eastern Montana. The author delves into the experiences of the British and Scandinavian settlers who were lured to this area in the early 20th century by railroad advertisements promising fertile farmland. Through a combination of historical research, personal narratives, and travelogue-style observations, the author paints a vivid picture of the harsh realities these settlers faced, including drought, isolation, and economic hardship. The book also reflects on the lasting impact of these experiences on the region's culture and identity.

    The 6259th Greatest Book of All Time
  10. 10. The Indian Lawyer by James Welch

    The book tells the story of a Native American man who, after a successful career as a lawyer, returns to his reservation in Montana to defend a childhood friend accused of murder. Despite his accomplishments, he grapples with feelings of alienation from both the white world he's found success in and his own tribal community. As he delves into the case, he uncovers a conspiracy involving a powerful mining company, forcing him to confront his own identity and purpose.

    The 6865th Greatest Book of All Time
  11. 11. Perma Red by Debra Magpie Earling

    This novel unfolds on the Flathead Indian Reservation in Montana during the 1940s, centering around Louise White Elk, a young Native American woman of fierce spirit and beauty, who dreams of escaping the confines of her oppressive environment. As she navigates the complexities of love, identity, and cultural survival, Louise becomes entangled with three men: a white rodeo cowboy, a Native American former soldier, and a law enforcement officer. These relationships expose the harsh realities and challenges faced by Indigenous people, particularly women, against a backdrop of systemic racism and cultural erasure. Through its vivid storytelling and richly drawn characters, the narrative explores themes of resilience, autonomy, and the quest for freedom within the constraints of a colonized landscape.

    The 7096th Greatest Book of All Time
  12. 12. Hyperbole And A Half by Allie Brosh

    "Hyperbole And A Half" is a humorous and deeply personal memoir that combines witty anecdotes and colorful illustrations to explore the author's experiences with mental health, childhood, and adulthood. Through a series of hilarious and relatable stories, the book offers a unique perspective on life's challenges and the power of humor in navigating them.

    The 7102nd Greatest Book of All Time
  13. 13. Both Ways Is The Only Way I Want It by Maile Meloy

    "Both Ways Is The Only Way I Want It" is a collection of short stories by Maile Meloy that explore the complexities of human relationships and the struggles of everyday life. From a man struggling to keep his family together in rural Montana to a woman navigating her way through a complicated love triangle in Los Angeles, each story presents a unique and nuanced perspective on the challenges of modern life. With a keen eye for detail and a deep understanding of human nature, Meloy crafts a collection of stories that are both poignant and thought-provoking.

    The 7944th Greatest Book of All Time
  14. 14. Collapse by Jared Diamond

    "Collapse" is an exploration of why certain societies throughout history have thrived while others have deteriorated and collapsed. The book delves into environmental problems, climate change, rapid population growth, and unwise political decisions as factors that contribute to the downfall of a civilization. The author uses examples from history such as the Mayans, the Vikings in Greenland, and modern examples like Rwanda and Haiti, to illustrate his points. It serves as both a historical analysis and a warning for modern societies to learn from the past in order to avoid a similar fate.

    The 8223rd Greatest Book of All Time
  15. 15. This House Of Sky by Ivan Doig

    "This House of Sky" is a memoir that vividly captures the rugged beauty and stark realities of growing up in rural Montana. The narrative centers around the author's life with his father and grandmother, following the death of his mother. Through evocative prose, the book explores themes of resilience, family bonds, and the enduring impact of landscape on identity. The author reflects on his experiences and the characters who shaped his early life, painting a poignant portrait of love, loss, and the hardships of ranching life under the vast Montana sky.

    The 9097th Greatest Book of All Time
  16. 16. Son Of The Morning Star by Evan S. Connell

    "Son of the Morning Star" is a richly detailed historical account that explores the complex figure of General George Armstrong Custer, from his heroic exploits to his infamous demise at the Battle of Little Bighorn. The book delves into the broader context of the American Indian Wars, providing a multifaceted perspective that includes the viewpoints of Native Americans and other military figures. Through meticulous research and engaging narrative, the book paints a vivid picture of the late 19th-century American frontier, the cultural conflicts between the U.S. Army and Native American tribes, and the personal and political dynamics that led to one of America's most legendary battles.

    The 9359th Greatest Book of All Time
  17. 17. The Way West by A. B. Guthrie, Jr

    "The Way West" is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel that chronicles the journey of a group of pioneers traveling westward on the Oregon Trail in the 1840s. The story focuses on the diverse group of travelers, each with their own motivations and backgrounds, as they face the hardships and challenges of the trail. The novel explores themes of survival, the American dream, and the harsh realities of westward expansion.

    The 10157th Greatest Book of All Time
  18. 18. Custer's Trials by T. J. Stiles

    "Custer's Trials" is a biography that delves into the life and character of George Armstrong Custer, a United States Army officer and cavalry commander in the American Civil War and the American Indian Wars. The book provides a detailed account of Custer's life, from his childhood to his military career, and his ultimate demise at the Battle of Little Bighorn. It also explores his personal life, including his marriage to Libbie Bacon and his controversial relationships with Native American women. The book offers a nuanced view of Custer, portraying him as a complex, often contradictory figure who was both a product of his time and a man who defied societal norms.

    The 11316th Greatest Book of All Time

Reading Statistics

Click the button below to see how many of these books you've read!


If you're interested in downloading this list as a CSV file for use in a spreadsheet application, you can easily do so by clicking the button below. Please note that to ensure a manageable file size and faster download, the CSV will include details for only the first 500 books.