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The Rustic Glam of the Yellowstone Life

By Ashly Moore Sheldon • January 22, 2023

From the style to the ethos to the adventure, Taylor Sheridan's Yellowstone franchise has captivated the attention of millions of viewers. The original series centers on the Dutton family, owners of the largest contiguous ranch in Montana. Patriarch John Dutton (Kevin Costner) is beset by threats to his land and his way of life. A resolute figure, he is willing to do anything to protect his family and his legacy. Last year's 1883, starring Sam Elliott, Tim McGraw, and Faith Hill) traces the path of the Dutton homesteaders who established the ranch. And 1923, the newest spinoff, continues that trajectory with stars Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren. If you've got a hankering for more of Yellowstone, either in your lifestyle or entertainment, we've got some recommendations for you.

The look

If you've been guilty of coveting the Yellowstone environs—both interior and exterior—you're not alone. From the luxe ranch decor of their living spaces to the Rocky Mountain grandeur of their views, we want to be there. To bring a little of that rustic glam into your own home, consider some of these decorating books:

For the stunning views, you may have to settle for a gorgeous coffee table book like The National Parks: America's Best Idea by Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan.

The lifestyle

The principles behind the frontier life include industrious self reliance and an enterprising spirit. The Duttons didn't get where they are by sitting back and letting others take the reins (so to speak). Learn more about the history behind this lifestyle in reads like Cattle Kingdom: The Hidden History of the Cowboy or Kings of Texas: The 150-Year Saga of an American Ranching Empire.

For a snapshot of modern ranch life, consider Frontier Follies, Ree Drummond's memoir about her life married to a rancher, or Life on a Montana Ranch: Living Off the Land by Stephen Hardiman.

The flavors

Running a ranch is hungry work so to complete the picture of life on the range, we must consider the menu. Here are some cookbooks perfectly suited for homestyle family feasts.

The stories

Of course, maybe all you really want is just more Western-style entertainment. If you're looking for great books and shows featuring cowboys, ranchers, rebels, and homesteaders, here are some of our top recommendations:

  • Montana Sky by Nora Roberts—When a ranching scion dies, his three daughters, each born of a different mother, learn that in order to inherit, they must live together on the ranch for one year.
  • The Walt Longmire Series by Craig Johnson—This series of mysteries featuring a contemporary Wyoming sheriff inspired the hit show, Longmire.
  • Highway of Tears by Jessica McDiarmid—Yellowstone has prompted discussion about the media's representation of Native Americans. This true crime bestseller explores the ongoing epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women.
  • Where the Lost Wander by Amy Harmon—An epic haunting love story set on the Oregon Trail in 1853.
  • Deadwood—This hit HBO show charts the growth of a lawless town in 1870s South Dakota.
  • Justified—Based on Elmore Leonard's Raylan Givens novels, this series centers on a tough deputy U. S. Marshall enforcing his own brand of justice in Appalachia.
  • Mayor of Kingstown—This Taylor Sheridan project follows the McLusky family, power brokers in Kingstown, Michigan where the business of incarceration is the only thriving industry.
  • Sons of Anarchy—An action crime drama following the lives of a close-knit outlaw motorcycle club operating in Charming, a fictional town in California's Central Valley.

As always, we love hearing from you. So let us know if you have any suggestions for Yellowstone fans. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for daily book recommendations, literary tidbits, and more.

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