Thursday, December 8, 2011

Author Signing: Garth Stein

In October, I had the opportunity to attend a Garth Stein reading/signing event at the Tattered Cover.

Stein was going to read from Racing in the Rain: My Life as a Dog, the middle grade adaptation of The Art of Racing in the Rain, which I love, love, LOVE! However, being at the end of his tour, he wanted to do something different. So instead, he read one of his short stories about 2 kids surviving a catastrophic earthquake in Seattle where they escape with the help of hundreds of birds. I wish I could remember the title! The story was packed with action, adventure, and family. I was sad when it came to an end, but he did mention that he was considering developing it into a MG/YA novel.
Garth Stein reading us his short story.

I was really excited to attend this event since I had finished listening to The Art of Racing in the Rain audiobook a few weeks beforehand. It's seriously one of my favorite reads of 2011 and I've been telling ALL my friends and family to read it :). I loved hearing him talk about what inspired the story/Enzo. Also, it was great hearing about how he fired his agent that didn't believe in his story because it was told from a dog's perspective. He knew that he had written something special, and believed whole-heartedly in his novel. I'm so thankful that he was so persistant with getting it published!  

A blurry picture of me with Garth.

If you're a dog lover, I highly recommend The Art of Racing in the Rain. This book is for everyone (men and women), and with the middle grade adaptation, it's for all ages too! I've had friends tell me that they weren't sure they could read it because it's a sad book about a dog... that it would upset them. Yes, it's a little sad in parts, but for reference, it's not nearly as sad as Marley and Me! I promise it's not too sad. It's an inspiring and humorous story about family, loyalty, and navigating life. Please read it, you can thank me later!

Below is the synopsis from goodreads. The cover pictures for both the adult and middle grade adaptation are Amazon links.

Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively, and by listening very closely to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver. Through Denny, Enzo has gained tremendous insight into the human condition, and he sees that life, like racing, isn't simply about going fast. Using the techniques needed on the race track, one can successfully navigate all of life's ordeals.

On the eve of his death, Enzo takes stock of his life, recalling all that he and his family have been through. In the end, despite what he sees as his own limitations, Enzo comes through heroically to preserve the Swift family, holding in his heart the dream that Denny will become a racing champion with Zoƫ at his side.

A heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story of family, love, loyalty, and hope, The Art of Racing in the Rain is a beautifully crafted and captivating look at the wonders and absurdities of human only a dog could tell it. (Goodreads)

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