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Read and Discuss: So Brave, Young, and Handsome

[Editor’s note: Leif Enger’s So Brave, Young, and Handsome is such an incredibly readable book (chapters are rarely more than 3 or 4 pages) that we thought it would be a great idea to read through it as a community in the months before Hutchmoot. I’ve asked a good friend, Julie Silander, to set things up and lead the discussion and I look forward to the conversations to come. You can click here to read my original review of the book, but whether you think it sounds like your kind of story or not, I challenge you to give it a shot; you won’t be sorry. The discussion won’t start for a couple of weeks so you’ve still got time to pick it up from your local library (or support the Rabbit Room by picking it up from the Rabbit Room store). Please welcome Julie to the Rabbit Room and give her a big welcome.]

You are cordially invited to join the Rabbit Room community as we read So Brave, Young, and Handsome by Leif Enger. For those who will be attending Hutchmoot in October, this is an opportunity to become more familiar with Enger’s work. If you won’t be making the trip to Nashville, the reading group offers a great way to participate from afar. It’s an invitation to experience truth and beauty not only through story, but also through each other as we read and discuss.

The book is divided into easily digestible parts and beginning on April 22nd, we’ll cover one of those parts each week. A few questions will be posted in order to prompt conversation, but we’ll all share in the heavy lifting as we work through the book. Consider it a virtual mini-moot that extends for weeks.

The Rabbit Room is a relatively new discovery for me. Two years ago, I learned of open spots for Hutchmoot only after the waiting list had been exhausted. I had three days to arrange travel and get my ducks in a row. Although familiar with a few names, when I arrived I had no real connection to anyone other than my roommate. There wasn’t time to pour over the schedule. There wasn’t time to think through and consider which seminars I wanted to attend. There wasn’t time to do the suggested reading.

But for three days in Nashville, my soul was well fed. I returned home with a grateful heart and a yearning for more. In an effort to catch up on missed reading, a small group of us committed to trekking through Dorothy Sayers’ Mind of the Maker together. It’s a dense book, the kind that evokes good intentions—intentions that wane in direct proportion to the number of esoteric references by the author.

I had never been a part of a reading group and didn’t know what to expect. We started our time together as casual acquaintances, at best. Diverse in age, geography, and literary experience, this new community seemed to have little in common. Yet through the following weeks, strangers became friends. Folks posed questions, made observations, and shared personal experiences. As a result, we all worked harder and our reading was much richer than it would have been alone. And as an unanticipated byproduct, we received the greater gift of getting to know one another.

Please consider joining us as we read Leif Enger’s So Brave, Young, and Handsome. The schedule is as follows:

Week of 4/22 A Thousand a Day Week of 4/29 The Old Desperate Week of 5/6 Jack Waits Week of 5/13 The Hundred and One Week of 5/20 The Fiery Siringo Week of 5/27 The Rarotongans

“In each of my friends there is something that only some other friend can fully bring out. By myself I am not large enough to call the whole man into activity; I want other lights than my own to show all his facets.” C. S. Lewis


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