Monday, February 2, 2009

WWADY Featured Books - So Brave, Young, and Handsome

It's February, which means it's time to start reading WWADY's first featured book, So Brave, Young, and Handsome by Leif Enger. We'll be posting about this book all through the month of February, sharing favorite quotes, occasional insights, and general observations. We hope you'll feel comfortable chiming in.

Also, if you haven't secured a copy yet, it's not too late. You can still get your book and join in the discussion.

And now, a bit about this book.

Those who have read Peace Like a River will know what we can expect from Enger this month -- playful stock characters who push the limits of cliche; gritty, western prose that's tough to stop reading; and a witty narrator who's human, likable, and interestingly flawed. Publishers Weekly writes of the book:

"An inviting voice guides readers through this expansive saga of redemption in the early 20th-century West and gives a teeming vitality to a period often represented with stock phrases and stock characters. Novelist Monte Becket isn't a terribly distinguished figure; his first and only published work hit five years before the story's start and he is about to reclaim his job at a smalltown Minnesota post office when he meets Glendon Hale, a former outlaw who is traveling to Mexico to find his estranged wife. He persuades Becket to join him, and the two set off on a long journey peopled with sharply carved characters (among them a Pinkerton thug tracking down Glendon) and splendid surprises. As Monte's narration continues, the tale veers away from Monte's artistic struggle and becomes an adventure story. The progress has its listless moments, but Enger crafts scenes so rich you can smell the spilled whiskey and feel the grit."

It sounds like we're in for a good ride.

Finally, for those who struggle to finish books once they start, consider this. So Brave, Young, and Handsome is 285 pages. There are 28 days in February, so if you read just 10 pages a day, you'll finish right on time.


Cristina said...

I just found you through the WWFMW link that someone put up. This is a very nice idea. I may just join in. I'm not mentally prepared for February but if you annouce the March book early enough I may join you for that one.
I used to belong to a book club but it fell a part for various reasons. So, this sounds like it could work. I just need time to get the book which I usually do 2nd hand, ordering online. Great idea. Good luck to you!

Professor Josh said...

Cristina - I'm glad you stumbled upon my blog. FYI, I'll usually announce each month's featured book at least two weeks in advance so people have time to get it. For March, I'm leaning toward Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri (a collection of short stories), but you might want to check back in a few weeks in case I change my mind (which is a bad habit I have).

brandt said...

Professor Josh

Per my wife's insistence, I am officially at your blog, and I think I might join in on the book discussion. It'll help broaden my black-and-white business mind.

And that is totally a teacher's perspective - "Only 10 pages a day" - way to go! Hilarious!

Professor Josh said...

Brandt - Thanks for stopping by, even if it was at your wife's insistence. Clearly, she's a very smart woman.

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