Recent Reads

What pages O/B is turning.

Try as we may, we can't always be outside. But who doesn't love curling up on the couch to a good book at the end of the day? Especially this time of year. Here's a few reads worth checking out.

Albert Einstein said, “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” If this resonates with anyone, it is southwest Montana’s own Carolyn Hopper in her most recent book, Poems From a Wild Heart (Carolyn Keith Hopper, $13). Hopper’s 130-page collection is divided into 11 sections, including one dedicated to memories with her father, whom the book is dedicated to. Filled with words and stanzas that tell stories as much as they demonstrate Hopper’s affection for the wild outdoors, Poems From a Wild Heart evokes both nostalgia and reverence. As a reader, you may feel like you’re sitting on the bank of a meandering river or out in a field at sunset as a flock of geese flies over, both of which would be great locations to enjoy this book. If you have a deep admiration for nature and are looking for some prose to put it into words, pick up a copy of Poems From a Wild Heart. Who knows, you may just want to write a verse or two as well. —Corey Hockett


Murder & Mayhem in Gallatin County Montana (Arcadia Publishing, $22) is Kelly Suzanne Hartman’s latest book in a recent string centered on local and regional history. Hartman, curator of the Gallatin History Museum, focuses Murder & Mayhem on killings performed in the first half of the 20th century. Hartman demonstrates her skill as a researcher using archival newspapers and court documents from around the state to paint complete pictures of crimes and their aftermath, often prompting the reader to question the guilt of the convicted or the justice of their sentence. These deeds, which Hartman relates in a flat scientific tone, range from crimes of passion to premeditated evil. Impossible to miss is the startling regularity with which these crimes happened 100 years ago and the thanks we should give our own comparably civilized existence in cosmopolitan Bozeman. Although not a book with a wide audience, Murder and Mayhem deserves a spot on the shelf for any and all local history buffs. —Erik Lillquist 


More than just a camp cookbook, Camping Cravings (Montana Outdoor Science School, $40) is chock-full of knowledge from MOSS staff, local families, and long-time Bozeman outdoors folk. You'll find recipes from simple cinnamon rolls and baked potatoes to extravagant strip steaks and shrimp scampi, each with a blurb and photo from the recipe's contributor. For some light reading around the campfire, enjoy the infographics on southwest Montana's ecology, pointers for backcountry safety, an outdoor-themed crossword puzzle, and even a game of wildlife bingo. It's a great book for kids and adults alike, and one you'll want to take on every camping trip. —Jack Taylor