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Pick of the Litter - 2nd Edition

Buck's most favorite recent book is Terry Wieland's A View From A Tall Hill. The story of Robert Ruark in Africa and Robert Ruark's Africa won't be told as well again. Wieland writes of the novelist with both a journalist's and impassioned fan's view, and has a distinguished "old hand" regard for the country. A View From A Tall Hill is truly, as others have noted, a "biography worthy of the man" and "a monumental achievement." The book is published by Thorn Tree Press, a fine independent press, atop a tall hill in Wisconsin (a tall hill in Wisconsin is anything taller than a Suburban full of short hunting dogs). The book is available in a veey fine signed trade edition and a very fine signed limited edition. Order from the publisher at 715-425-5194 or richard@tiffinhill.com. Tell 'em ol' Buck sent you.

Jon A. Jackson drops his Detective Sergeant "Fang" Mulheisen into the nerve center of the Detroit mob with his latest book, La Donna Detroit. A favorite rascal, Joe Service stokes up the crime scenes with Helen Sedlacek's skunkworks. Buy this book, light up your favorite La Smoke and when the smoke clears, tell the author at www.jonajackson.com how much you enjoyed the mayhem.

To eat fearlessly, you must first cook fearlessly and perhaps the most fearless chef is Jeff Blank, owner of the restaurant, Hudson's on the Bend, outside Austin, Texas. A major carnivore, Chef Blank has served many major and a few as important minor luminaries at tables groaning with game specialties. His cookbook, Cooking Fearlessly belongs in every serious eater's kitchen. Call 512-266-1369 to order and then stuff your elk backstrap with chorizo in a mango jalapeno sauce.

Buck's Special Food Tip. If you make proscuitto out of feral hog hind quarters, don't tell anyone outside your smallest inner circle when you plan to crack the hams. Just don't. Don't say you weren't warned.

Joe Bob Briggs is a master guide to the movies and other morasses du jour. He hails from a land and time of drive-in movies. His informed enthusiasm for B-movies can be trusted.

There is no better nature illustrator than Buck's old pal, J. Angus "Sourdough" McLean. In addition to all Buck's books, Sourdough's work has been featured in Field & Stream, on Leaning Tree cards and sporting apparel around the world. His work returns humor to the field and his understanding of animal behavior comes with a wink. Give him money for any reason, including custom artwork. Declare your interests on the Contact page.

The American Sportsman series of the new Millennium is Fishing With John, a too-short series of exotic, sometimes erotic field trips with William Dafoe (Maine), Dennis Hopper (Thailand), Matt Dillion (Costa Rica), Jim Jarmusch (Montauk) and Tom Waits (Jamaica). "John Lurie knows nothing about fishing but that doesn't stop him from taking you on an adventure of a lifetime." Find videos, DVDs, and the original music at Strange and Beautiful.com.

Buck's Special Sports Tip: If you give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day but if you teach him to flyfish, he'll become a woman.

The Literary Coalition to Protect the Great Pulpwood Forests, a collection of authors, editors and other hangers-on, has selected a single title, Bambi by Janet Shulman for their most recent "Books Not Worth The Paper They Were Printed On" award. The citation reads: "The gratuitous violence in this needless reprint leads a new reader to think that dying in a forest fire started by an unattended campfire is just desserts for someone who poked a hole in Bambi's mom. Everyone knows that poor campfire skills can be traced back to morally weakened Boy Scouts. The real crime, however, in the retelling of this forest fable is that the dead "man's' jacket looks like a L.L. Bean red and black checked cruiser. No author should waste such a fine jacket, especially when it could have gone to a needy person in another book." A cottonwood sapling has been planted on the north edge of Big Babe Lake to mark this announcement.

R.I.P. 2000: Screaming Jay Hawkins died in Paris at 70 after an operation for an obstructed bowel. All the more reason to eat less bran and more red meat. "I came into this world black, naked and ugly. And no matter how much I accumulate here, it’s a short journey. I will go out of this world black, naked and ugly. So I enjoy life". Hawkins put a spell on the audience on and especially off stage, the latter screaming for willful attention from dear departed dad.

Back in Print: By popular demand, the original recording of Buck's Ducks, Classic Christmas Songs is now available in CD format. Originally released in cassette only, this unique collection of seasonal favorites can be ordered from this Web site.

Jockey Full of Bourbon: Tom Waits, the troubadour of the dark warm narcotic American night and broken and mended hearts, recently received the prestigious Founders Award from the American Society of Composers' Authors and Publishers. What pushed the judges over the edge was quite likely for Fishing with John (see above). Let me fall out of the window with confetti in my hair, dealing with Jacks or better on a blanket by the stairs…

The largest bottle of Maker's Mark is not quite large enough for Buck's party purposes so he is petitioning the company to ship a single barrel directly to the deck outside the Valhalla Lounge. Don't be confused by all the nouveux Bobo bourbons. Maker's Mark was first and lasts. Visit Maker's Mark Website and tell 'em Buck sent you.

Buck has just reordered a pair of Chukka Boots from his favorite shoemaker Russell Moccasins. His last pair lasted 126,006 miles. Buy American. Buy Wisconsin. And then sell Wisconsin to Minnesota. For as much Maker's Mark as you can carry.

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