NYT Bestseller Update
Week 81: ARR at #4
Featured Furry Friend
Have you ever seen so many dogs looking THIS happy? The forest, a stream, a few pals--no wonder their tongues are all hanging out!
Is this your picture? If so, email us for a special gift!
Do you want to show off your dog? Share a pic on Facebook. You might be featured next!
|Readers' Two Cents
"My friend lost her dog not too long ago, so I suggested she read your book. She bought it, read it, wept profusely, and thanked me. The Art of Racing in the Rain is a powerful aphrodisiac for one's soul."
"I just finished reading The Art of Racing in the Rain and I am still crying. I guess only great writers can evoke such an emotional response. Enzo, well I guess some of us have been that lucky to have an Enzo in our lives. They choose us I think without us ever really knowing it. Thank you for sharing such a great story."
"ARR has so many issues to believe in and hope in. I lost my dog 3 years ago and it's changed my whole outlook. I knew my dog was different than other dogs as well, he had 'smarts behind his eye.' He was special and diffferent and I know I want to see that documentary on Mongolia."
Garth's Event Calendar
Battle Creek Reads
Community Reads Celebration
Battle Creek, MI
Boise Big Read & Beyond
Talk and Signing
ARR 10th bestselling fiction title in 2010
The Art of Racing in the Rain enjoys yet another year on the Nielsen BookScan Top 15 bestsellers of the year. Coming in at #10 for all Adult Fiction books in the year 2010, Enzo is still going strong almost three years after first being published. ARR is one of only four Adult Fiction titles to make the list that were not actually published in 2010.
Thanks to all of Garth's fans for helping to spread the word about Enzo! It is greatly due to your love of the characters and message that bring the story to more readers every year. Keep sharing!
For some more good news, check out this Book TV interview with Jenn Risko of Shelf Awareness. About 1 hr, 21 minutes in, she talks about ARR and its tremendous growth, even after more than 80 weeks on the NYT bestseller list.
Every dog deserves a decent dinner
Have you heard of Freekibble? If you're an animal lover, you should.
Started by an 11-year-old girl named Mimi, Freekibble provides healthy and nutritious food to dogs and cats in shelters across the country. Since its inception in 2008, Freekibble has donated more than 470 million pieces of kibble to shelter animals. What an amazing accomplishment for young Mimi!
Mimi was a guest on the Ellen show a few years back, and since she's a huge fan of ARR, she sent Ellen a copy of the book. That gift prompted Ellen to feature ARR as her new favorite book in 2008. See the review here.
Garth and Mimi are now teaming up for an ARR giveaway on Freekibble.com, in hopes of raising more awareness for Mimi's cause.
Be sure to visit Freekibble.com
towards the end of January for your chance to win a signed copy of ARR.
Great work, Mimi! You're an inspiration to all!
A different kind of book club
For those who love literature, books can change the world. For several book clubs across the country, books can change the life of someone without a home.
Homeless book clubs are sprouting up across the country, as devoted volunteers and church staff remind their members that a little imagination coupled with a great story and fiery discussion among friends can turn the streets warm, if just for a little while.
A few months ago, Garth had the pleasure of visiting with The Streets of Madison via Skype. Located in Madison, WI and run by Suzanne Alexander, The Streets of Madison brings together homeless citizens around a common reader. The meetings are warm, inviting and what comes out of them is nothing short of a miracle, says Alexander.
As one article in BU Today mentioned about another group in Boston, "For many in the club, time had reacquired meaning; it was being measured in stories, in back-and-forths across a table, in a new tribe bonding little by little."
And that's what reading is all about.
Garth was humbled and inspired by his experience with the Streets of Madison members, so much so that he is donating books and his time to more homeless book clubs across the country. As he visits with them, we'll bring you stories from their discussions of Enzo. And if you know of a homeless book club in your community, please email us with information.
Fantastic visit to Fort Collins
Garth traveled to Fort Collins, Colorado in early November for their community read celebration, Fort Collins Reads. It was a tremendously enjoyable whirlwind of a weekend and Garth was met with excitement from everyone he met, including iconic animal behaviorist, doctor, professor and bestselling author, Temple Grandin, who came to Garth's talk at Colorado State University's College of Veterinary Medicine.
Garth also met four very lucky middle school students who won the program's city-wide essay writing contest. Two of the students are pictured here. Read their winning answers to the question, "What I have learned from my dog/pet."
The local independent bookseller, Old Firehouse Books, actually ran out of copies of ARR during Garth's events, something that's never happened in eight years of selling books at the community reads event.
"We were blown away by Garth's showmanship and professionalism! We had brought enough books to sell three times the amount that we sold for the event last year, but underestimated the great, far-ranging appeal of the book to the community," said Old Firehouse Books.
Thank you for the warm welcome, Fort Collins!
When the season gets nasty, turn to Enzo
The gluttony fest is over--the food, the family, the celebrations, and dare we say, the stress. Christie Blatchford of The Globe and Mail recently recommended The Art of Racing in the Rain as one of three titles that will help cure these "seasonal nasties."
We tend to agree. Curl up on the couch. Reread Enzo. Forget the pomp and circumstance. Remember what our little lives are really all about.
Read the entire Globe and Mail article here.
On the Road
Other than a trip to Colorado for Fort Collins Reads, Garth has enjoyed some time close to home with a few events in and around the Seattle area. Sometimes a writer needs to stay put and well, write!
A sold-out crowd of more than 300 joined Garth one early November morning for the Mukilteo Schools Foundation annual fundraising breakfast
in Mukilteo, WA. This is the first year the fundraiser has sold out--it was a tremendous success for the foundation!
Garth also gave a keynote speech at the annual conference of the Community College
|Garth signs books at Mercer Island Arts Council event.|
in Seattle, and took part in Mercer Island Arts Council "Meet the Author" program
Inspiring even the most reluctant reader
Garth recently Skyped with Lori Snyder's contemporary fiction class at Options High School in Littleton, Colorado. Options is an alternative school that helps students make up credits in order to graduate.
Lori's class jumped into ARR whole-heartedly, even some students who normally balk at the opportunity to read.
"One of my 'reluctant readers' took The Art of Racing in the Rain home and devoured it," said Lori. "Today he came in especially to tell me that five members of his family had read it as well. This is not normal behavior for my kids! Bravo to Garth for telling such a catch-fire story that captures the imagination of so many varied readers."
The Art of Cooking in the Rain
Torta di Fichi e Pesche, or Fig and Peach Cake
A recipe from the Piedmont region in Italy, contributed by Jennie Shortridge, a friend of Garth's and author of "When She Flew."
Use one of those cans of peaches you so lovingly preserved this summer and transport yourself to a land drenched in Italian sun. The perfect cure to the winter doldrums.
12 fresh figs
6 large peaches
1/2 cup butter
2 T. sugar
5 egg yolks and 4 whites
A shot of rum
8 palmiers (French pastry cookies) or 16 ladyfingers, crumbled
6 Amaretti cookies, ground
Pinch of salt
Butter and flour for prepping baking dish
Preheat oven to 275 F.
Butter and flour a fairly deep 9 or 10-inch baking dish.
Trim stems from figs and cut into halves. Peel and slice peaches.
Sauté figs in butter and drain them on absorbent paper. Hold aside. Dust peach slices with sugar and sauté them briefly, too.
Next, whip the eggs in a large bowl, then fold in peach slices and all other ingredients except figs. Pour the batter into the pan and push figs into it, cut side up. Bake for two or so hours, until set. Serve cake warm or room temperature with crème Anglaise.
2 cups whipping cream
1 cup sugar
2 T. all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter
1 T. vanilla extract
Stir first 3 ingredients together in a saucepan. Add butter and stir constantly over medium heat until butter is melted. When mixture begins to boil, cook for 3 more minutes , stirring constantly, until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
Have you ever taken your pet to meet Santa? We know adoring Enzo fans love their pups enough to meet the big jolly guy, just like Gil and his dog Evie, pictured here.
If you have a pet photo with Santa, share it on Garth's Facebook page. The first five to do so will win a very special prize!
And, Gil, if you're reading this, email us to claim your gift. Thanks for sharing your picture!