San Diego Hat Co. Sloane Felt Cowboy Hat, $58, at freepeople.comHenry Holt Co., Free People
Caitlin Miller, Senior Associate Editor:
The Ploughmen by Kim Zupan.
The Ploughmen by Kim Zupan ($26, out September 30 from Henry Holt and Co.)
The friendship formed in The Ploughmen can only be explained by one word: unusual. The book tells the story of the unlikely friendship between John Gload, a 77-year-old hired gunman, and Valentine Millimaki, bottom man at the county sheriff's department.
When Gload is finally arrested for his crimes, Millimaki just happens to be working the overnight shift, and thus their friendship begins. The two find themselves bonding, sharing stories and realizing that as different as they are, perhaps their lives are more parallel than they thought. With the Montana landscape haunting the story's background, I can vividly picture Gload and Millimaki wandering the countryside and forming a relationship both with the land and each other. Since I'm such a fan of American literature of the west (I might have been the only high schooler who thoroughly enjoyed A River Runs Through It), I immediately imagined the rugged lives these men might have had. That's why I couldn't think of a better product to pair this reading with than a cowboy hat. This wool one from San Diego Hat Co. ($58) is classic enough for any cowgirl at heart but fashionable for any city slicker.
Cowboy hat, via freepeople.com