Can I Have a Cowboy for Christmas?

I am definitely a bibliophile. I will read anything I can get my hands on – book, magazine, newspaper, website, cereal box, even a store receipt in a pinch. Many times, I read a book, enjoy it thoroughly, and then put it on my bookshelves and then forget about it. I might even reread it years later, and not even remember what happens.

But every now and then, there’s a book that I read and never forget. I keep it not because I don’t generally throw books away, but because it was such a great book I want to read it again and again. The Pioneer Woman, Black Heels to Tractor Wheels , by Ree Drummond, is one of those books.

Released in February 2011, this novel is the true life story of her romance and first year of marriage with her husband, Ladd, whom she refers to as “Marlboro Man”. Ree has a website, The Pioneer Woman, on which she writes about daily life on the cattle ranch her family runs, posts recipes she’s created, photos she’s taken, and discusses her homeschooling adventures, among many other things. Witty, honest, and very, very real, her website has been one I’ve visited for years and thoroughly enjoyed. It doesn’t hurt that Ree and I share the same birthdate, although 10 years apart.

So when I heard she was releasing a book, I knew I’d want to read it. The book started out on her website, as she would make posts (that later became some of the chapters in the book) about the things that had happened. Though entertaining on her site, I’ve always been one that enjoys holding a book in my hand and reading it from start to finish as I have time to read.

I pre-ordered the book from Amazon, and waited anxiously for it’s release. When it finally arrived in my mailbox, I was thrilled. I was in the middle of a book, and it took every ounce of willpower I had not to set that book aside and dig into Ree’s book. But I resisted, and was richly rewarded for my strength when I did finally dig into her book.

She begins with a short introduction to explain how and why the book came about, which is not only interesting to read, but is also rather inspiring in a sense. The story itself begins with Ree planning a move from her hometown in Oklahoma to Chicago, and how a spontaneous trip to a local bar ended up changing her life forever.

Written like any fictional romance novel, Ree’s book will make you laugh and make you cry. It has moments that are funny, embarrassing, sad, and beautifully heartwarming. It’s also very relatable. Though I’ve never done more than take a hayride and walk through a hay maze on a farm, I could identify with Ree. I could feel her nervousness at the idea of meeting her future husband’s family, her confusion at how life on a ranch works. Reading about her labor and delivery with her first daughter reminded me of my labor and delivery with my first son.

The book gives you a sense of sitting down and having a good conversation with a good friend and a glass of wine. You don’t feel as though you’re reading a book written by a woman you’ve never met. You truly feel as though Ree is your friend and you are listening to her story before telling her yours.

Black Heels to Tractor Wheels is an amazingly well-written, emotion-filled book that will bring all your feelings out. It is definitely my favorite book among all that have been released this year.

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