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In the library of... Kévin STAUT (2/2)

18 April 2020

Kévin Staut continues to unveil his favorite books from his library in this period of containment. He now offers us three new books to read: a novel, a book on personal development, and one on breaking-in horses.

The novel

"Yesterday I was talking to you (Editor's note: first part to be found HERE) about Joël Dicker's book, “The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair”, which is one of my favorite novels. In reading this fascinating book, it led me to his other two books, “The Disappearance of Stephanie Mailer” and “The Baltimore Boys”. There is no continuation between these three stories that are by the same author, but there are a few reminders of the characters and I cannot recommend one without the other. The three books are superb, and I promise you that reading your first Dicker book will plunge you into another one straight away!

But since I only have to choose one, let's talk about “The Baltimore Boys”. It’s a great family saga: one part of this family is wealthy and the other is working class, showing us two sides of the United States. One is the America of success first, the America of money and power, and the other is of the modest and hardworking America, which is not necessarily the side that the media shows us. The plot is deep, there aren’t fifteen pages of landscape descriptions. Everything is very direct, with the aim of questioning things.

That's what I look for when I read a novel. I need, when I start reading, for the backdrop of the story to be pleasant beyond what is being told; to get to know the location and to know how long the story is going to last. And this book really does take us on a journey across the United States."

Find the summary and price on lalibrairie.com

The book on personal development

For this second recommendation I wish to present to you a book with an exotic name. It’s the opposite of “Unlimited Power”, which I recommended to you yesterday. “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck”, by Mark Manson, corresponds to my way of being. To sum it up, what this book wants to do is to lead us toward letting go, knowing how to move on when a problem arises, even if it is good to deal with it, analyze it and lay out the consequences. It explains that the more we search for something, the less likely we are to get it. Having a dream can be positive at first, but it's even harder when you realize it's not possible. My personal dream is to be World No. 1, to be Individual Olympic Champion and to win it all, but the reality is that right now I have to tell myself that I’m not at that level; I don't have the horses and I have to accept that. It's really not a lack of ambition, just taking a step back from your situation at any given moment.

Where NLP, which I approached yesterday through another book, is going to push you to repeat day and night that you will be World No. 1, Mark Manson's book shows you that it’s useless because it may happen in ten years, and for ten years you will suffer because you won't reach that dream right away. You have to be realistic."

Find the summary and price on lalibrairie.com

The book on horses

"Le Débourrage" (Translator’s note: breaking-in) by Nicolas Blondeau is great. In this book, it is as much about the breaking-in of the rider, the horseman, and the young horse itself. He brings up to date methods that have been around for a very long time and that allow there to be less difference between the rider and the person who is on foot next to the horse. It really gives the rider a good reminder on the importance of knowing how to control a horse on the ground first. I'm not ashamed to say it: nowadays, riders only think about riding all the time, but they don't take much care of the horse when they’re next to them. This book puts this central element back in the spotlight.

I got to know Nicolas, who showed me this method and helped me on several points, especially with a horse that wouldn’t load onto the truck. He breaks in horses in three hours and shows you how all the work you're going to do on foot with them will simplify the work you'll do when you're on them. The most obvious example is the connection between the rider's hand and the horse's mouth, which he re-creates through a historical knowledge of the horse, remembering that it is a prey animal and not a predator.

I read it at a time when, in French horsemanship, we were more in the process of banishing the use of the hand, claiming that we shouldn’t talk about the hand so that riders wouldn’t have a bad hand. Except that the rider is, no matter what, obliged, at some point, to intervene with the hand. Nicolas Blondeau downplays this way of thinking and, on the contrary, he keeps talking about this connection between the rider's hand and the horse's mouth. He also taught me that a horse takes itself towards something that it’s afraid of, and shouldn’t need to be frightened towards it."

Find the summary and price on l’Atelier K

Livres Kévin STAUT

Thanks to Kévin Staut for his availability, we hope that these books will make your containment better in the coming weeks.

(The links to the books refer to the Website lalibrairie.com, an online bookstore that bring together two thousand five hundred booksellers and defends independent booksellers, and thus a local book economy.) Featured photo: Sportfot.com