A Year at the Races: Reflections on Horses, Humans, Love, Money, and Luck

A Year at the Races Reflections on Horses Humans Love Money and Luck are Book At times this book had me on the seat of my pants and at others I needed toothpicks to keep my eyes ope

A Year at the Races: Reflections on Horses, Humans, Love, Money, and Luck are Book At times this book had me on the seat of my pants and at others I needed toothpicks to keep my eyes open as a glazed over rehashed info. And now that I've finished, I still don't know what to make of it. It can easily be said that there are two sets of readers - those familiar and those unfamiliar with horses. Count me on the unfamiliar side. I remember childhood neighbors I played with as a child who had a horse. They were responsible for its care. I soooo wanted to ride it, but was never able to. Now I understand why! I also remember two girls in my grade (I know at least one of them had a horse) who loved horses in a way I could not relate to. I also get that now. But, this animal communication thing - Smiley consults with a woman who can hold silent conversations with the horses. Only a skilled writer could include this in a nonfiction book and make it halfway believable. Or, at least, allow it to seem possible. She acknowledges the skepticism and holds a degree of it herself. I was also impressed with the respect, caring and empathy Smiley held toward her horses. She comes off as a very smart owner, albeit low-budget, who obtains trainers who approach the horses knowledgeably and always observant of the horses personalities and needs. She clearly educates the reader on the world of thoroughbred horses. What happens behind the scenes? What is a gelding? What is a maiden? How important is it to pay attention to a racing horse's feet? How much of the race is up to the jockey or to the horse? What is the difference between various race tracks and circuits? I loved all this information. I learned so much. And her telling of the races, and these were real, was spellbinding. I picked up her novel "Horse Heaven" at the same time as this book and will hopefully read it soon. I thought this might provide a bit of info to set me up. She didn't let me down in that area. My criticism is that the book read more like essays written separately and put together without a careful editing eye. The first two or three chapters had some glaring editorial errors (consecutive repetition of words???? How bad is that?) I only dock stars for poor editing and when it impinges on the quality of the book, as it does here. I'm going from 4 to 3 stars. Sorry, Jane. . Every horse story is a love story, writes Jane Smiley, who has loved horses for most of her life and owned and bred them for a good part of it To love something is to observe it with than usual attention, and that is precisely what Smiley does in this irresistibly smart, witty, and engaging chronicle of her obsession.In particular she follows a sexy filly named Wat Every horse story is a love story, writes Jane Smiley, who has loved horses for most of her life and owned and bred them for a good part of it To love something is to observe it with than usual attention, and that is precisely what Smiley does in this irresistibly smart, witty, and engaging chronicle of her obsession.In particular she follows a sexy filly named Waterwheel and a grey named Wowie he tells a horse communicator that he wants it changed from Hornblower as they begin careers at the racetrack Filled with humor and suspense, and with discourses on equine intelligence, affection, and character, A Year at the Races is a winner.. A viral Book A Year at the Races: Reflections on Horses, Humans, Love, Money, and Luck I enjoyed this book very much. Reading it was like having conversations with an educated and respected friend. I particularly liked the references to other readings that added to my understanding now only of how the equine mind works but also my own mind. Included in the bibliography and refered to often are "Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences" by Howard Gardner and "A General Theory of Love" by Thomas Lewis, MD, Fari Amini, MD & Richard Lannon, MD. There are other excellent books in the bibliography, some I have read and others I hope to read. Quotes that I recognized from my own truths: "Someday we would have boyfriends, husbands, children, careers - that's what the horses are a substitute for, according to adult theorists. But what truly horsey girls discover in the end is that boyfriends, husbands, children and careers are the substitute - for horses." also this one:"Fascination with horses predated every other single thing I knew. Before I was a mother, before I was a writer, before I knew the facts of life, before I was a schoolgirl, before I learned to read, I wanted a horse."
Year For this calendar, a common year is days hours, minutes or seconds , and a leap year is days hours, minutes or seconds The year cycle of the Gregorian calendar has days and hence exactly weeks Greater astronomical years Equinoctial cycle Year Definition of Year by Merriam Webster Year definition is the period of about solar days required for one revolution of the earth around the sun How to use year in a sentence. Year Definition of Year at Dictionary Year definition, a period of or days, in the Gregorian calendar, divided into calendar months, now reckoned as beginning Jan and ending Dec calendar year, or civil year See . In, At, On Time or Date in month or year In March, In on date with the year or without it or day of the week On April , On March , , On Saturday at clock time, midnight, noon At p.m prepositions In vs On followed by a year English With a year, you must use in Martha Oct at add a comment Answer Active Oldest Votes Any time you are being less specific than the day itself, use in to indicate that the event Calendar for Year United States Time and Date Disable moonphases Some holidays and dates are color coded Red Federal Holidays and Sundays Gray Typical Non working Days Black Other Days Local holidays are not listed The year is a leap year, with days in total Calendar type Gregorian calendar

  1. Jane Smiley is a Pulitzer Prize winning American novelist.Born in Los Angeles, California, Smiley grew up in Webster Groves, Missouri, a suburb of St Louis, and graduated from John Burroughs School She obtained a A.B at Vassar College, then earned a M.F.A and Ph.D from the University of Iowa While working towards her doctorate, she also spent a year studying in Iceland as a Fulbright Scholar From 1981 to 1996, she taught at Iowa State University Smiley published her first novel, Barn Blind, in 1980, and won a 1985 O Henry Award for her short story Lily , which was published in The Atlantic Monthly Her best selling A Thousand Acres, a story based on William Shakespeare s King Lear, received the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1992 It was adapted into a film of the same title in 1997 In 1995 she wrote her sole television script produced, for an episode of Homicide Life on the Street Her novella The Age of Grief was made into the 2002 film The Secret Lives of Dentists.Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Novel 2005 , is a non fiction meditation on the history and the nature of the novel, somewhat in the tradition of E M Forster s seminal Aspects of the Novel, that roams from eleventh century Japan s Murasaki Shikibu s The Tale of Genji to twenty first century Americans chick lit.In 2001, Smiley was elected a member of The American Academy of Arts and Letters.

306 Reply to “A Year at the Races: Reflections on Horses, Humans, Love, Money, and Luck”

  1. At times this book had me on the seat of my pants and at others I needed toothpicks to keep my eyes open as a glazed over rehashed info And now that I ve finished, I still don t know what to make of it It can easily be said that there are two sets of readers those familiar and those unfamiliar with horses Count me on the unfamiliar side I remember childhood neighbors I played with as a child who had a horse They were responsible for its care I soooo wanted to ride it, but was never able to Now I [...]


  2. I enjoyed this book very much Reading it was like having conversations with an educated and respected friend I particularly liked the references to other readings that added to my understanding now only of how the equine mind works but also my own mind Included in the bibliography and refered to often are Frames of Mind The Theory of Multiple Intelligences by Howard Gardner and A General Theory of Love by Thomas Lewis, MD, Fari Amini, MD Richard Lannon, MD There are other excellent books in the [...]


  3. Much of what happened during Jane Smiley s A Year at the Races Reflections on Horses, Humans, Love, Money, and Luck remains hidden from the reader What s missing Smiley describes betting on her own horses in small amounts a couple of times Did she really spend a year at the races and never bet another horse Did she really never lose a bet Wish she would have told us She describes herself as the mother of children, but we don t hear what happened to their father s or of their opinions of her invo [...]


  4. I haven t read any of Smiley s fiction books but after this one I m not running out to get one A Year at the Races is somewhat misleading Although we do follow a few of Smiley s homebred losers at the track, that s only a small part of the book In between, I was subjected to endless philosophical and psychological drivel about horses It s not that I believe it s hogwash but it wasn t what I wanted to read from a book called A Year at the Races Okay, some of it I rolled my eyes at her horse commu [...]


  5. I first started reading this book last fall, but since it is often difficult for me to read books of essays straight through, I did not finish it Then in late July Robin and I went on a road trip and we ended up reading the entire thing out loud in the car.Smiley is a wonderful writer, and I think even non horse people might enjoy this book, but due to its subject, I did not give it a higher rating What makes this book great for horse people is that it is not a book on training, or breeding, or [...]


  6. I wish of this had been about racing and less of it about poorly researched and anecdotal horse philosophy Also, real bummer that Jane Smiley apparently believes in astrology, numerology, and horse psychics.


  7. Interesting but a bit strange Chapters alternate between author s experience as a thoroughbred owner the parts that interested me most and her reflections on the nature of horses, communication, and the problems of learning to get the most out of them.


  8. Uneven for a marginally knowledgeble horse person While instructive, often too esoteric, at times unbelievable, but always about the love of horses.


  9. This is a book that touches on the sport of kings with all the compelling action and drama off and on the racetrack and about those sunning athletic althletes of the horse world the Thoroughbred It was such an insightful informative read that one can only experiance through a very experianced and knowlegeable person who has worked within the specific industry for some time and it was certainly aparent that Jane Smiley knew what she was talking about discussing down to the very small detail Any f [...]


  10. Jane Smiley reveals her personal side in this almost a memoir book on everything she knows and has learned about horses She says it is a love story her love for her horses, which began as a child but became nearly a full time commitment when she acquired her first horse in 1993 and entered the rarefied world of horse breeding and racing Smiley is one of my favorite authors, but I prefer her fiction over this book She always does her research and in this one she offered about the history, traini [...]


  11. Picked this one up at the library after being impressed with a review I had read somewhere This book is a memoir about a year in the life of the author with her thoroughbred horses It was interesting and did a great job chronicling the whole psychology of thoroughbred horses Interesting thoughts and ideas about the training of the breed, what makes them champions, the frequency or infrequency of injury, their physical peculiarities, etc I find all those subjects to be pretty interesting, as I fi [...]


  12. I really like Jane Smiley so I had a good feeling about this book when I found it on the paperback shelf at the library And I was not disappointed It s a book about a year in her life with her Thoroughbred horses I like her frankness as she reveals her own ignorance about her learning curve, her excitement at the races, and her love for her individual horses But what really appealed to me was her discussion about the psychology of the animals, referring extensively to many books I ve read in my [...]


  13. An entertaining tale of Jane Smiley s love of horses, re discovered when she was in her forties She talks about the return to horses and her rapid embracing of the horse world acquiring horses, trainers, gear and eventually race horses The book is at its most interesting when she s talking about her experiences with her horses and at the racetrack Smiley also attempts to riff on horse psychology, jumping off others work and throwing her own suppositions out there, which ends up being a distracti [...]


  14. I ve always had a passing interest in everything horses while still living in reality that Mom and Dad could never buy me a pony but I could wish there was one out in the yard anyway , so this works as a decent horse introduction, especially if you don t have the pleasure of being around horses every day and finding out all things horses on your own This was consistently interesting I feel like I ve learned a ton about horses Knowing about horses will also make it easier to read Smiley s other [...]


  15. This book was lent to me by a friend from the barn where I take English riding lessons I did not ask to borrow it, she just gave it to me because she assumed I would enjoy it I am not a follower of Thoroughbred racing so I did not expect to relate to it much Boy, was I wrong Jane Smiley was very careful not to assume that the reader would be a huge race fan so she introduced the ins and outs of racing in a way that even I could relate to The book was about the heart of the realtionship between [...]


  16. A delicious encore to Horse Heaven Smiley talks about her experiences in one year of owning racing Thoroughbreds Her nonfiction musings are just as engaging as her novels Her stories and characterizations are delightful and thought provoking And it turns out Mr T was a real horse A very fun book, especially for Jane Smiley fans, horse crazy girls, or women who were once horse crazy girls.


  17. My greatest take away from A Year at the Races was a deeper understanding of the equine mind Smiley has studied human psychology and the nature of love and affection much deeper than I have ever had any inclination to, and she has been able to turn this inquisitive nature into a fresh and fascinating exploration of How Horses Think.Full review retiredracehorseblog 2


  18. This is essentially a memoirish book about a specific time in Jane Smiley s life She s an avid horse woman and is dabbling in racing I ve read just about everything she s written and love her After reading this I love her even Such a normal, down to earth lady She lives in Monterey, CA and when we were living there she was sitting at the table next to us at dinner one night I was awestruck and couldn t speak to her I recognized her from her book jackets


  19. Jane could well be the best non fiction writer out there Most of this book was very engaging and a page turner Some of this book fell into the T.M.I category for me, but overall very interesting and insightful Too bad all racehorse trainers and owners don t take Jane s lead She is out of the box and lives exactly where the other should The health and safety of the horse is a moral obligation, too often left on the back burner by the status quo.


  20. Well The idea is great but I found this book to ramble on about things about the author that I could reall care less about Memories from spending money on horses and at the track would be great but all the want to be psych and far fetched rattle on emotional stuff is a bit wrong Write a book about my emotions and maybe my horse and not lead readers on, readers who actually want to read a book about horses .


  21. mdc for someone who won a pulitzer, this lady is really dippy a year at the races is all about her horses and horses in general, which i thought would be interesting, but it is actually a lot about what her animal communicator tells her her racehorse is thinking and shit she also proposes a myers briggs type personality test for horses anthropomorphization like whoa.


  22. Every horse story is a love story, writes Jane Smiley This book explores Jane s obsession with thoroughbred horses For me, it was over long, jumbled, and confusing I love horses, and owned a numer of them in the past, but her rememberances of horse ownership expensive, dangerous, and sometimes heart wrenching made me glad I no longer saddle up.


  23. As someone who secretly wanted to be a horse racing jockey, but really knew nothing about it and someone who also loves horses for the amazing creatures they are, this book was fascinating It s a great book for those who want an inside look at horse racing One of my favorite non fiction books ever.


  24. This was so much better than I was expecting While it does follow Smiley s year as a racing hobbyist and contains some animal communicator silliness, it is also filled with thoroughly researched and thought provoking questions about the nature of horses and their place in our lives It s also nice to read a horse book by a literary writer.


  25. Jane Smiley is a terrific writer I enjoyed reading about her hobby of owning racehorses and her special affinity to her horses She shares her vulnerabilities in so many ways, which lends appeal to the book.


  26. Really, this should be 3 1 2 stars Smiley is an engaging narrator and a good guide through parts of the racing world with which I am totally unfamiliar Sometimes things veered into the New Age world, which was strange, but overall an enjoying read.


  27. Smiley relates her experiences racing horses in California I can see where she got a lot of the source material for Horse Heaven, a book I love Her reliance on horoscopes for the horses is a bit odd, but she offers many reflections on the relationship between horses and humans.


  28. The ups and downs of breeding, training and racing your own thoroughbreds Now I know why I sometimes find horse racing a very irritating sport I would just hope that all trainers and breeders would treat their throw away racehorses the same way that Jane Smiley does.


  29. I really liked this book Since she actually has race horses, it was a good account of the races and the backside I definitely agree with her when she says some of us just love horses, we never grow out of it.


  30. This is a book that every perspective horse owner as well as veterans of the industry should read Smiley has a way with words that puts the reader at ease and makes them think they are on the track, in the stable or on the horse.


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