Tuesday, February 17, 2009

What I'm Reading . . . So Brave, Young, and Handsome, by Leif Enger

I finished So Brave, Young, and Handsome, by Leif Enger last week, and although I didn't love it like Peace Like a River, it was a good read.

The tale follows a washed-up, one-hit writer on a journey to Mexico with an elderly bandit who hopes to obtain forgiveness from the senorita he abandoned years before.

The unlikely pair travel by rail, then river, then car, in an effort to shake a lawman who has picked up their trail. (It's a Western; can you tell?) My absolute favorite piece of dialogue is when the writer rebuffs his newly repentant friend's request to baptize him in a river: " Please, no. The Almighty's a mystery to me. I daydream in church, when I even go. Doubt is my usual condition! I'm not qualified for this."

I love that.

My head is absolutely spinning with all the fiction I've read lately, and although I've started the highly recommended The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, I need to allow the fiction haze to clear. Plus, it's really unfair to read anything so soon after The Road; nothing compares.

Of course, a self-imposed hiatus from fiction won't deter me from continuing to listen with Miss M and Boy Wonder to the audio version of The Tale of Desperaux, a truly odd fairy tale winningly told by Graeme Malcome. If you haven't yet heard it, you must. It's so good, in fact, that we may spend some time enjoying it in our parked car this evening.


Katie said...

Do you use the library or are you buying all these books?

500Jerk said...

Both, I guess. So Brave, Young, and Handsome and The Story of Edgar Sawtelle I borrowed from the Knox County library. I love that you can reserve books online!I actually have The Elegance of the Hedgehog waiting for me at the downtown branch right now. Others I've found at McKay's at reasonable prices (e.g., America, America and The Lace Reader--$2 each!). Some, like The Road, are loaned by friends (my running partner is a huge reader, too, so we exchange books all the time). Still others I buy from Carpe Librum in Bearden at full price because: (1) It is a fantastic little bookstore run by women who read what I love; and (2) I like to support certain authors. E.g., as to this last, I just bought Inman Major's new book, The Millionares, at Carpe Librum. That's the one about Knoxville and the Butcher Brothers. (I'm reading it right now, BTW, and enjoying it.)

I'm constantly reading, and I read quickly, so keeping me in books is an expensive proposition. I try to be moderate, but I love to accumulate and loan and talk about books; hence, the gigantic rat's nest that is my bedside table.

I want to start dosing myself with some edifying nonfiction. Want to start a nonfiction book club? Wine could definitely be a part of it.