Thursday, April 05, 2012

E is for Enger

Reading: E thought the letter E should be for him.  After all, he likes food, cooks some pretty tasty dishes, helps with the gardening and supports my creative pursuits.  But he already gets so many mentions in the blog, that today E is for Enger. 

Leif Enger is a Minnesota author of the national bestseller Peace Like a River.  We read that book for book club (Sunday night book club) and then a few years later read his next novel So Brave, Young, and Handsome.  I loved them both.  Beautiful writing, terrific storytelling, characters you know and love - both novels have it all. 

Peace Like a River is told by Reuben, an 11 year old asthmatic living in Minnesota in the early 60s's.  His brother is on the lam after being controversially charged with murder.  Reuben, his father and his precocious (in an entirely lovable way) sister set out to find him.  The story is part adventure, part tragedy, part love story (in the familial sense).  There are elements of spirituality, legend and myth, poetry and history.  It is one of those amazing books that you can read on so many different levels.

The night we discussed So Brave, Young, and Handsome, I hosted book club.  It was our annual potluck so there was a lot of food, laughter and conversation, in addition to the book discussion.  I had made a playlist inspired by the book - songs about cowboys, trains, and outlaws.  This is another sort of adventure story, this time involving an old train robber and the writer who decides to travel with him in the early 1900s. Now I am not a person who loves westerns, or really is into cowboys.  Indeed I do not like horses in the least.  But the storytelling is so satisfying, the writing so delightful, it made me want to take my pony out on the range, or to hop a freight train to Kansas City, or go to a rodeo.

There you have it.  E is for Enger.  And for E.  He does make the best crispy chicken tacos and the yummiest steak with bourbon thyme sauce.  Leif Enger has never cooked for me.

Until we read and eat again,


Ann said...

I love Leif Enger and his books. I seem to remember that you picked "Peace like a River" so thanks for introducing him to me. He lives in MN, so maybe he will cook for you some day.

Adena (aka cre82learn) said...

awesome, I am also looking for new books and new recipes! enjoy the rest of the challenge.

Lynn Proctor said...

peace like a river sounds good but probably too sad for me

Kern Windwraith said...

I've never heard of Leif Enger--love the synopsis of Peace Like a River that you've given. I'll check that out. And, oh my goodness, that stake with bourbon thyme sauce sounds yummy. Thanks for including E in the E's!

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