Oh, doggone it!

Dogs can completely change the way we feel—for the better. They are funny, loving, and intelligent. Canine companions live in an estimated 63 million U.S. homes, so it’s no wonder stories, movies, and videos featuring dogs have always been big hits. Let’s not forget our own local legend, the public-transit-riding dog, Eclipse, who rides the bus throughout Seattle (except during quarantine, of course). Today, we are going to look at three dog-related titles that highlight the amazing lives of dogs and those who live with, rely on, and love them.

The Art of Racing in the Rain book cover imageThe Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

This is one of those stories, told through the eyes (and voice) of a dog, that simply works. Enzo is a dog who sees the world for what it is and would love to speak his mind directly to those around him, but cannot. However, we are lucky enough to get an inside look at his joys and frustrations surrounding the life of his human family. Publisher’s Weekly notes: “Stein’s tale of family, loss, redemption, and fast cars—recounted entirely from the perspective of a retriever-terrier mix named Enzo—ups the ante on the recent trend of high-concept anthropomorphism in popular fictions.” Continue reading “Oh, doggone it!”

Nightstand Reading: Author Garth Stein and a special guest

When we asked Garth Stein to share his nightstand reading, the Seattle author of The Art of Racing in the Rain sent us a photo of a rather intriguing tower of books in his to-read pile. Here are his comments on the next four books he’ll be reading:

Bonk by Mary Roach
It’s got a great title. I heard Mary Roach on NPR and she sounded fascinating.

Flight of the Goose by Lesley Thomas
This is a book I’ve been meaning to read for a long time because of my Alaskan roots. I hope to get to it before the end of the summer!

Fast Guys, Rich Guys, and Idiots: A Racing Odyssey on the Border of Obsession by Sam Moses
I am looking forward to reading this classic racing memoir. Now that I know Sam, I hope I can keep a straight face while hearing his stories!

Angels in America by Tony Kushner
I have an idea for a story and I think there may be something relevant in here. I’ve seen the play, seen the TV movie, now I want to read the play to catch all of Kushner’s writing style….

Editor’s interruption: Okay, it might be corny, but since this fabulous author was being so helpful and sent us a photo and everything, we asked him what Enzo, the canine narrator of The Art of Racing in the Rain, would be reading:

Enzo’s stack (recently read):

Hate That Cat by Sharon Creech
I loved Love That Dog, also by Creech. Hate That Cat continues with the goodness!

Animal Farm by George Orwell
A true classic. Everyone knows that pigs glorify themselves. Perhaps Orwell was, himself, part pig.

The Social Contract by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Rousseau’s thesis that we must all sacrifice certain of our liberties for the greater good is very relevant in today’s society.

Song of the Crow by Layne Maheu
A beautiful story told, unfortunately, by a crow. Still, even I can put aside my personal prejudices when needed; this is a special book!

You can catch Garth Stein reading from The Art of Racing in the Rain this fall at the Ballard Branch: Thursday, September 25, 6:30 p.m.