February, 2010

In This Issue
Racing to the Top in 2009
Raven's Back
On the Road -- Figuratively
Oops...Caught Speeding
Community Reads
Garth as a Playwright
The Cloven
The Art of Cooking in the Rain
Enzo's Challenge

Events Calendar

Hope to see you there!  

February 2
Laguna Beach Books
Laguna Beach, CA
3 pm

February 2
Warwick's Books
La Jolla, CA
7:30 pm

February 3
Diesel Bookstore
Brentwood, CA
7:00 pm

February 19
Gods and Monsters!
Richard Hugo House
Seattle, WA
7:30 pm

March 9
West Kentucky Community College
Paducah, KY
7:00 pm

March 11
Batavia, NY
Genessee Community College
1:00 pm
Richmond Memorial Library
7:00 pm

March 12
Lee-Wheadon Memorial Library
Medina, NY
7:00 pm

Further event updates and information can be found on Garth's snazzy new website! 

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Readers' Two Cents


"I was just made aware of The Art of Racing in the Rain and read it immediately. It is, by far, the most amazing book I've ever read. I went out and bought 6 more copies to give to people I love... two of whom went out and bought 6 more each to give away. What wonderful messages and what a marvelous way you have of conveying such universal truths."

--Thanks, Shadi


"I do not like to read...The last book I read was Howard Stern's Private Parts and that was 5 yrs ago.  Here is how I found Enzo...Jake was 1/2 Golden Retriever and 1/2 German Shepherd.  He had spent 12 great years with me, through divorce and then raising my kids.  His health was failing and we were carrying him up and down the stairs.  One day my wife called me at work and said Jake was stuck in the mud in our back yard. I got home and we realized that he was walking off to die.  We talked about it and decided to put him down.  My wife, who does not like dogs, had the tears flowing as we went into the examination room.  The vet asked if we were sure and we said yes.  I was holding Jake and patting him on his head, and telling him what a good dog and friend he had been to me and my family.  As the vet stuck the needle in his paw, I leaned down and whispered in his ear 'come back and find me, Jake.'  It was only 3-4 days later I was telling a friend about Jake and she told me about The Art of Racing in The Rain.  She then sent the trailer on YouTube to me. I watched and was hooked from the beginning.  I ordered the book from Amazon and got it a few days later.  I then sat out on the front porch and read the book in about three hours.  TEARS JUST FLOWING !!!!!   My wife came out and laughed at me and called friends to tell them I was reading a book...and boo-hooing on the porch.  Enzo reminded me soooo much of Jake...and looked like him too.  And the part of coming back to find me left me speechless...

  So now I am a fan and tell all dog lovers and friends about the book and beg them to read it. 'It is the best book I have ever read,' I say.  But, those that know me smile and laugh because they don't believe I read a book.  I am hooked on the story and  I am waiting to run into Jake again one day...Thank You soooo much....

--Mike, Va.

My name is Vallie Collins and I was a passenger on the US Airways flight that landed in the Hudson River on January 15th of this year.  I'm writing to let you know that this summer I read The Art of Racing in the Rain and was moved by the story on multiple levels.  As I was going through my own battle of overcoming Post Traumatic Stress from the crash, Enzo's desire to be the best human possible really rang true.
As a result of the event, I now get asked to do religious, corporate, and civic public speaking events.  I end my talk with a challenge from page 160 of your book. ...'To live everyday as those it has been stolen from death, that is how I would like to live.  To feel the joy of life as Eve felt the joy of life.  To separate oneself from the burden, the angst, the anguish that we all encounter everyday.  To say I am alive, I am wonderful, I am. I am.  That is something to aspire to.  When I am a person, that is how I will live my life.'  

I don't think I have yet read that paragraph all the way through without tears.  Thank you for putting those words to paper because after sitting in a moment where I thought death was eminent, I truly "get" what it means to have stolen life from death.  

Everyday is a lucky day,
Vallie Collins 

Number Six on NYT!
The Art of Racing in the Rain holding strong on the NYT bestseller list, where it rests comfortably this week at number 6.

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Article Headline
Racing to the Top in 2009

Garth Stein NewsletterFor the second year in a row the heart-warming tale of a philosopher dog and his "family" held strong as one of America's favorite books. According to Nielsen Bookscan, The Art of Racing in the Rain was the tenth bestselling trade paperback book overall last year. Over at the New York Times bestseller list, The Art of Racing in the Rain is hanging on at #9. In addition, more than a dozen newspapers, blogs, and websites either chose The Art of Racing in the Rain as for their Top Ten best books lists. As fans continue to buy multiple copies to give to friends and family, and new readers discover the tale of Enzo, this loveable mutt and the storytelling style of Garth Stein are now appreciated by millions. Thanks for your support from all of who are part of Team Enzo, and Happy New Year!

Raven's Back

Raven Stole The MoonGarth's first novel, Raven Stole the Moon, is set for re-release on March 9, 2010.  A literary mystery that has been out-of-print for years will soon be available to Garth Stein fans.  In this story, Garth combines the legends of his Tlingit ancestors with the story of a mother searching for the true answers to her son's disappearance.  Based on the Native American myth in a story told to Garth by his grandmother, this new version of Raven Stole the Moon has been lightly edited and includes an Afterword from Garth.


To pre-order an autographed copy send us your name, address, and email address and we'll arrange for you to get a first edition of this book. Contact us here.


On The Road--Figuratively
Book club visits have officially gone virtual-most of Garth's talks with book clubs now happen over the phone or the Internet via video conferencing technologies such as iChat and Skype.  Here's the Stonegate Ladies' Book Club with some of their mugs and hats from The Enzo Store.

Stonegate Ladies Book Club

Garth also "visited" the Upper Edmonds Book and Cake Society:

"In a word, Garth's video chat with our club was fabulous!  We had a minor issue in getting the chat started, but resolved it quickly enough over the phone. The book club members thought I was doing something for my work when I was on the phone, so the surprise part worked out unbelievably well - they didn't realize what was going on until Garth's face appeared on the computer monitor!  He exceeded my expectations in terms of being engaging, educational, interesting, insightful and funny."

-Evy Dudey, Upper Edmonds Book and Cake Society

Want to have Garth talk to your book club?  Garth is now planning his schedule for the following year.  Because he's busy helping raise his three sons and finishing his next novel under a tight deadline, Garth will only be available to chat via phone, Skype, or iChat video networks through 2010, and not in person.  If your book club is planning to discuss The Art of Racing in the Rain (or if you read it last year and didn't get a chance to chat with Garth), please contact Garth's publicists here and allow at least two months lead time for us to arrange it.  Book club events need to have at least eight participants for us to arrange a virtual visit with Garth.  Also, let us know if you would like a special kit with decorations, bookmarks, and other fun items to spice up your book club events.

The Mazda RX-8

In a side note, Mazda is loaning Garth a super-cool RX-8 press car  for his road trip to the Los Angeles area this April.  Garth is more than a little excited at the idea of playing...um, driving it around.  Coincidentally, Patrick Dempsey, the actor who will star in the movie version of The Art of Racing in the Rain, also provided the voice for the Mazda zoom-zoom commercials.
Oops...Caught Speedingticle Headline
Garth and CometGarth recently talked with Preston Lerner of Automobile Magazine, for an interview with new trivia about Enzo.

Preston: Come on. A talking dog?  Named Enzo?

Garth: When I started writing the book, the dog's name was Juan Pablo.  We were about to have our third child.  If it was a boy, I wanted to name him Enzo.  And my wife said, "Absolutely not."  She told me, "You've got to name the dog Enzo."  Recently, I got an email from somebody who named his kid Enzo after Enzo the dog.

Preston: Enzo even gets a thrill ride around Thunderhill Raceway Park in a BMW.

Garth: I thought that scene pushed the boundaries of credibility.  But I got a call from Bob Bondurant, and he said, "Oh, I loved it when you had Enzo in the car!  I take my dog Rusty out all the time."

The rest of this interview can be found online here.

Community Reads
Did you love The Art of Racing in the Rain so much you wish to share it with your entire community?  Several communities have already done so.  The Art of Racing in the Rain was chosen for numerous Community Reads programs across the country, including such diverse places as Kokomo, IN; Winnetka, IL; Paducah, KY; Batavia, NY; Redmond, WA; Spokane, WA; and Prineville, OR.

The idea for Community Reads events began in Seattle, Washington, where promoting literacy and bringing people together were at the center of the program. The idea has since been replicated in cities across America, where achieving literacy and community goals have been successful. To begin, a selection committee is formed to spearhead the program and choose an appropriate book. They then set up related events - usually with the author's participation.

This year, Garth was able to visit several cities that chose The Art of Racing in the Rain for their community reading programs.  Apart from giving away bookmarks, bumper stickers, and other cool items, Garth had fun speaking to readers about dogs, humor, and life as a writer. This coming year, he has even more community read visits planned-check the event calendar on his website to see when he's in your area. To arrange a Community Reads program in your town contact Garth's publicist.
Garth as a Playwright
Yet another writing distraction...Garth wrote a play for his old high school, Shorewood High School (Class of '83-Go T-birds!), which will be performed this spring for the first time.  Apparently, the drama department needed an age-appropriate play and remembered that one of their alumni was a New York Times bestselling author with one award-winning play to his name (Brother Jones).  After the inaugural production of "No One Calls Me Mutt Anymore," the short play will be available online at Garth's website for anyone who wants to read or produce it.

The Cloven
An upcoming event has Garth particularly excited about 2010.  It's a combined reading at the Richard Hugo House with Linda Bierds, Terrance Hayes, and the death metal band BloodHag. The theme is "Gods and Monsters," and Garth will be sharing a new, never-before-published short story with the audience called "The Cloven." The event is February 19, in Seattle, and more information can be found at Garth's website and the website for the Richard Hugo House.
The Art of Cooking in the Rain
The new kitchen...but not a new Garth
Garth's been busy re-modeling his kitchen this past month.  His website now includes a page full of his favorite recipes.  For those of you anxiously awaiting the  "Crispy Salt and Pepper Chicken" that he Tweeted about last fall, Garth still needs to perfect the recipe before he unleashes it on the unsuspecting public. Until then, here is one of his specialties: Baby Back Ribs.

When we had a place on Long Island, I used to cook my baby back ribs in a Big Green Egg (a cooker/smoker based on ancient oriental Kamado cooker), which was great for extinguishing the flare-ups from the dripping fat, but made a huge amount of smoke.  After resettling in Seattle, I gave up the Egg because I didn't like to smoke-out my neighbors.  And grilling in the rain and the dark isn't so much fun anyway, so I started cooking my ribs in the oven.  Two-and-a-half hours is right for these.  You can go three, but since the meat will fall off the bone readily you'll need an especially sharp knife (or a serrated blade) to cut them apart with a delicate touch.
Baby back ribs (a.k.a. loin ribs, back ribs, or Canadian back ribs) are taken from the top of the rib cage between the spine and the spare ribs, below the loin muscle.  They have meat between the bones and on top of the bones, and are shorter, curved, and sometimes meatier than spare ribs. Figure a half-a-rack per eater, though with my three sons I always cook an extra rack.  Plus, we have a tradition in our house:  the night after rib night is called "Cribs Night".  On the way home from my office I'll stop by Mutual Fish, a fantastic seafood place on Rainier Ave in Seattle, and pick up a couple of cooked Dungeness crabs, which the guys clean and crack for me.  I reheat the leftover ribs for about 15 minutes in a 350 degree oven, melt some butter with a squeeze of lemon, toss together a fruit salad and we are in serious business in the Stein household!  Don't forget the napkins! 
Garth's Famous Slow-Cooked Baby Back Ribs
3-4 racks of baby back ribs
many sprigs of fresh rosemary, chopped
many cloves of chopped garlic (optional)
extensive freshly ground pepper
copious amounts of Diamond Kosher salt*
*The salt is hugely important!  You need to use Diamond or another coarse grained kosher salt.  Morton's Kosher is too fine and will make your ribs too salty.  Same with sea salt.  And don't even think of using regular old iodized salt or I will personally come to your house and berate you!
1.  Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
2.  Lay out ribs, concave side up, on wax paper.  Cut each rack in half, which will make them easier to handle.  Sprinkle belly of ribs liberally with kosher salt and coarse ground black pepper.
3.  Flip the ribs over, salt and pepper the tops, then sprinkle liberally with chopped rosemary and, if you like, garlic.  Press the rosemary and garlic in as best you can.
4.  Place ribs on two jelly roll pans with racks, herbed side up.  Ribs should definitely be on racks, and you absolutely have to have jelly roll pans or cookie sheets with sides, because lots of fat will come off of these. 
5.  Place ribs in oven.  After 30 minutes, switch top and bottom pans.  After another 30 minutes, flip the ribs over.  After another 30 minutes, switch top and bottom pans...You get the idea.  After two hours, they should have each had an hour rosemary-up, rosemary-down, top, and bottom.  Flip them one more time to get the herbs up and let them go another 30 minutes to get crispy and brown on the top.  Total cooking time should be 2.5 hours.
Serving suggestion:
You can just plop a half-rack on everyone's plate, if you like.  But if you want to serve them like I do, make up a nice, fresh salad using frisee or escarole, cherry tomatoes, and sliced cucumber.  Dress it with a tangy red wine vinegar and olive oil dressing, and then spread it out on a large serving platter.  Cut the ribs into one or two rib portions, and place them on top of the salad.  Serve it up!  The little bit of vinegar that flavors the ribs gives a whole added dimension.  Ribs and salad and a crunchy baguette and that's all you need for a great dinner. 
Enzo's Challenge
Congratulations to last month's winners: Marilyn Bechtol, Sara Henry, and John Tilford!

Marilyn and her dog, Casey  Fiyero, John's best friend
For this month, we'll be holding a random drawing for your choice of either a zebra mug, Enzoism T-shirt, or a GoEnzo hat.  Send in your name, along with the correct answer to the trivia question below, to this address by February 14th to be entered in the drawing.
Question: Which cemetery was Eve buried in, along with Bruce and Brandon Lee?

Garth Stein Newsletter

We would appreciate your feedback about this newsletter. Please feel free to contact us if you have any comments or suggestions! Thanks again for your support! We hope that Enzo's insightful words continue to inspire greatness in your life and love among your friends and family.

Garth Stein, Terra Communications, Inc., and the Go Enzo Team
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