COWBOYS ARE MY WEAKNESS by Pam Houston (is my Boyfriend)


So while the crazy-huge vast majority of my book blogging friends are in New York celebrating BEA (I’m NOT JEALOUS, I’m TOTALLY JEALOUS), I am having a completely normal and boring-times week at home. But my book boyfriend for today is not boring-times at all. Leave it to books to make a normal week blessedly less normal.

So I read Pam Houston’s novel-that-is-basically-a-memoir Contents May Have Shifted a few months back. It was a great read. Girl can spin a story and construct a sentence. Now I’m back with Cowboys are my Weakness, her 199 collection of short stories about men behaving badly and the women who are okay with (well, not okay, but weirdly accept) them behaving badly.

I got the recommendation from some of my favorite book blogging friends Book Lady and Dead White Guys, and bought a remaindered copy (we will talk about why this book being remaindered is a crime later in the post) when I was visiting the girls in Richmond at Fountain Bookstore. It was also a cheap little buy, as the book has been remaindered. Okay, we can talk about the book being remaindered being a crime right now. Why is this book no longer being published and why is Fifty Shades of Fanfiction this monster runaway success? This is SUCH a better book about men being assholes and women being doormats. Everyone will make fun of you if you get caught reading Fifty Shades of Handcuffs and Sex or Whatever. If you read Cowboys Are My Weakness you will be just as turned on by men being dicks to the women who love them and you will get fifty smart person points from me. Don’t try to get them from someone else, I’m the only licensed and registered person on the planet allowed to give smart person points.

So let’s talk content. Every story follows a different woman in the no-longer-wild-wild-but-still-a-little-bit-wild modern-day west. In each story, as mentioned, a different female character wrestles with the overwhelming compulsion to love a man who cannot be tamed. I say a different female character, but as the stories progress it starts to feel like different facets of the same essential woman. There is an arc to this collection, I don’t want to give too much away about it for fear of ruining the experience for my blog readers WHOM I LIKE SO WELL, but I will say that every story pushes the main female character in question closer and closer to what she’s looking for until in the last story… NO I’M NOT GOING TO SPOIL IT, YOU CAN’T TRICK ME, I LIKE MY BLOG READERS!

The book is 171 pages, it is the teensy prima ballerina and fat-free runway model of books. It was exactly what a girl like me needed this past week- a really intelligent, absorbing, impactful read that I could actually finish with the limited time I had in said week.

(chants) Do it, do it, do it!

He eats jerky from animals that he has killed himself and afterward chews tobacco like mouth cancer is going out of style. He owns one horse and fifty plaid shirts. He plays gee-tar under the full moon and is really mean to me. Yay boyfriends.


We are hanging out in an overgrown garden that is about as wild as Pasadena gets.

I kiss him knowing he’s going to go out tonight and kiss three barmaids and a hooker. And not feel bad. Not even any bad.


6 Comments on “COWBOYS ARE MY WEAKNESS by Pam Houston (is my Boyfriend)”

  1. Nikki says:

    I just read Contents May Have Shifted as well and absolutely fell in love with it. Cowboys are My Weakness is so on the TBR list, especially now, that it isn’t even funny.

    About the Gray…. umm just found out that my sister-in-law recommended 50 Shades to my mother-in-law. What? Excuse me. This is not a recommendable book. For shame, telling your mother to read such crap.

    Anywhoo, jealous of BEA over here in Phoenix as well. Sigh. Wanna have a virtual pity party? I’ll bring the queso.

  2. persnicketysnit says:

    Love it! Going on vacation soon. Sounds like the perfect book for me! Thanks, Kit!

  3. I too am very very jealous of all the BEA shenanigans I’m hearing about. England’s lovely, but it’s a long long way away from BEA funtimes. Also, I love this review. I see the titles of these books and think “Hmmm, probably not for me”, then I read your reviews and SUDDENLY THEY ARE ON MY SHELF. I suspect witchcraft.

    I think lots of unattainable cowboys are exactly what this summer vacation needs, and I’ll feel ever so naughty reading them on the shop counter and ignoring all the customers because I’ve got to a Good Bit. Excellent.

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