Garth Stein masthead
July 2012
Meet Luigi Chinetti
Adapting The Art of Racing in the Rain
On The Road
A Change of Pace
Raining: Suite in C
Enzo: The Rescue Dog That Came To Stay
Enzo's Challenge and TiVo List
Connect with Garth on:



YouTube Link
Garth's Event Calendar 

A Conversation
with Garth Stein and Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Third Place Books
July 11, 2012
7:00 pm

All Sammamish Reads
Sammamish, WA
September 11, 2012
6:30 pm

For more information on upcoming events, visit
Garth's website.
The Face Behind The Name   


If you meet Garth, you may (accidentally) end up in one of his books.


Fans sometimes ask authors where they find their ideas. Much to Garth's amusement, he was recently contacted by the inspiration for the Judge Van Tighem, the character who presides over Denny's court case: an arts and entertainment reporter named Gregory Van Tighem . The real Van Tighem interviewed Garth more than a decade ago, during a research trip Garth took to Fort Walla Walla.  


Road To Le Mans

Patrick Dempsey, the star of the proposed Art of Racing in the Rain movie, has another racing project to tide him over until filming start. He will produce Road to Le Mans, a documentary on his racing team's preparation for the famous French endurance race. The race took place on June 16-17, 2012, and the documentary is scheduled to air in mid-2013.
Trendsetter in Madison

Madison Book Club for the Homeless.

Garth started a trend at the Madison Book Club for the Homeless. After Garth visited the club via Skype in June 2010, he has been followed (in person and on Skype) by such authors as Alberto Urrea, David Oliver Relin, and Michael Sallah.

Best (or Worst) Graduation Advice

Garth Stein


Garth joined Ross Reynolds to talk about graduation advice on The Conversation, KUOW, 94.9 FM Seattle. Catch it here.  


Garth also visited the virtual radio Water Cooler to discuss the current Seattle buzz topics.  


Winnetka Book Club Friends


Shortly before the Winnetka Book Club hosted Garth for a Skype, one of their members lost her beloved friend, Tucker. Despite being diagnosed with mast cell cancer at age 3, he hung on and persevered through intense chemo and 3 more years of life.
Going To The Dogs

The Art of Racing in the Rain

The Regina Humane Society in Sasketchewan, Canada, has hit on a new way to socialize their rescue dogs. Volunteers visit dogs to walk, play, and now read to dogs waiting for adoption. One of the first volunteers, reporter Craig Lederhouse, kicked off the program by sharing The Art of Racing in the Rain to Dandy, a young German Shepherd cross.
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Books on the Bus: Hotel Angeline 
Hotel Angeline


The daily commute for Seattleites just got a little more fun. Books on the Bus, a community read for transit riders, will debut this summer. Each quarterly selection will provide commuters with common ground for starting conversations with their fellow transit riders, as well as a good read to pass the time.


The first selection, fittingly, is Hotel Angeline: A Novel in 36 Voices. One of the first truly collaborative novels, Hotel Angeline was written in a six-day, marathon event for charity in October 2010. Thirty-six Pacific Northwest authors emerged from their usual seclusion to write onstage, before a live audience (and occasionally with audience participation).


"Conversation and dialogue are central to our society," Garth told reporters for the Ballard News-Tribune. "The act of writing a book - which necessitates that the book be read to be valid - is the epitome of conversation, and so stands at the center of our communities."  


Books on the Bus is hosted by Seattle's Transportation Choices Coalition.  


Meet Luigi Chinetti 


Chinetti (r) and a friend, Tom Frasca, circa 1983 

"The race for the true racer is the enduro," Enzo says, and Luigi Chinetti (1901-1994) was one of the best. Born in Milan in 1901, Chinetti raced in every Le Mans motorsport race between 1932 and 1953.


A long-time friend of Enzo Ferrari (and the one who convinced him to build cars, not machine parts, after World War II), Chinetti later became Ferrari's first dealer in America. Chinetti gained a reputation for being a gentleman, as well as a tough driver. In contrast to Ferrari, a brash and attention-loving man, Chinetti was thoughtful, soft-spoken, and notoriously private. This difference in temperament often created conflict in their friendship. 

According to a friend, Tom Frasca, Chinetti once arrived angry at a birthday dinner with friends. The cause? Enzo Ferrari had sent him an autographed picture of himself (Ferrari) as a birthday gift. Understandably, Chinetti had no patience for it. What kind of man sends an autographed self-portrait to a long-time friend?  


Still, racing requires all kinds of temperaments, even if they clash. On the track, it's the skills and persistence that matter-and Chinetti had both in abundance.  

Adapting The Art of Racing In The Rain
Enzo shares in Zoe's birthday festivities.


Adapting Enzo's story for the stage was a difficult, yet rewarding project. Myra Platt, the scriptwriter for Book-It's recent production of The Art of Racing in the Rain, shared some thoughts about the process she went through:


"I so loved working on adapting Garth's novel for the stage. The biggest joy was in watching it take shape in the rehearsal hall. Watching how Enzo's point of view shaped each scene and the overall arc of the storytelling. What the audience doesn't realize, is how many lines and scenes the cast rehearsed that never made it to the final stage. And the number of lines and scenes that were added late in the process.


"My goal was always to preserve Garth's original intent, no matter what changes we made. It is a delicate process of translation from page to stage. A lot of 'let's try it' and 'we're missing something here' and 'that is not necessary information, we have to cut it.' There were moments we loved that we had to admit in the end didn't quite work and/or were not crucial enough to forward the dramatic action. For instance, there was the little go-kart scene where Zoe races and beats her father. It was a fun scene, where the actors scooted around on these auto garage dollies, and Zoe's elation at winning the race was precious. But the problem was, a) we needed to cut time off the play, and b) dramatically, the scene took place right when we needed Denny to be fully separated from his daughter, and so this fun little scene truly undercut the agony Denny was going through in missing out on the opportunity to be with his daughter.


"The other GREAT joy was in watching the effect on the community who came to see the play because they so love the book, from dog lovers to the racing community. We are still getting reactions from folks about how much they enjoyed the experience of seeing the story come to life."


Denny stares down The Twins. 

Enzo Store Mug Sale
GoEnzo Coffee MugTake time this summer to sip a cup of tea and watch the flowers bloom, while you manifest your dreams.

Now through August 31, receive 40% off on a Dancing Zebra Mug when you purchase any item from the Enzo Store.

Click here to go to the Enzo Store.


On The Road
Garth attends the KCLS Author Salon.
The King County Library System Foundation hosted Garth for an Author's Salon. Dozens of lucky guests visited with Garth for several hours of food, wine, and good conversation. The event benefited reading programs at the KCLS libraries.


A Change of Pace
Racing in the Rain


For an author, interviews can sometimes grow routine: the same questions, the same subjects, and sometimes the same reporters you spoke to last year. This May, though, Garth answered some questions for a reporter who stands a little out of the ordinary. Rachel Ayres is a 12-year-old Kid Reporter for TIME for Kids, a juvenile version of TIME magazine written for--and sometimes by--kids.  Rachel's interview was published this June. In it, Garth talks about his ideas, why he decided to create a middle-grade edition, and advice for young fiction writers. 

Raining: Suite in C
Jordan Solano-Reed


High School graduate and composer Jordan Solano-Reed never read The Art of Racing in the Rain all of the way through (his mother let slip the sad ending too early), but found inspiration in his family's reactions to the story. His Raining: Suite in C was performed and recorded by the Symphonic Band at Divine Child High School (Dearborn, MI).


"Initially, I was simply writing some basic music phrases. I overheard my parents and sister frequently; they had all just finished reading the book, The Art of Racing in the Rain. It was all they talked about for days. They kept describing the immense power it contained and how much of impact it had on them...But something about it was enough to set me writing this piece of music."

Jordan has just graduated from Divine Child High School, where he played first trumpet and served as Band President for his school's six bands. He plans to attend the University of Michigan this fall. A recording of his composition can be found here.  


Enzo: The Rescue Dog That Came To Stay
Enzo's ready to join the pet therapy team.


"On May 22, 2012 we took in a golden foster boy that was a stray from one of our local shelters. He came to our home as a foster dog the day he was neutered. We had no intention of adding a 4th golden to our family; as we thought the "Inn was full". Enzo had other ideas about that however...


"Since he was a shelter dog and without a name, the rescue gave him the name of "Yogi" - but that name just didn't seem to fit him. One of our all-time favorite books is of course The Art of Racing in the Rain, and we always thought that Enzo would be a great name for a future golden of ours. We tried out the name on him and it just works! Enzo has now been here for 2 weeks and we have become "foster failures", meaning we have decided to adopt him. We didn't mean to fall head over heels in love with this boy - but we did... and so he joins our Golden Menagerie!"


Yanna & Rick and our Golden Menagerie:

Austin, Jake, Ciara & Enzo


Enzo's Challenge and TiVo List


The winner of last newsletter's drawing is Angi Bettag. Her dog, Wally, shares his living space with five cats, whom he tolerates patiently.


Thanks to John Fossett, at the Kitsap Regional Library, here's the list of every movie and TV series Enzo refers to in The Art of Racing in the Rain:



Le Mans (1971) Steve McQueen

Bobby Deerfield (1977) Al Pacino

Winning (1969) Paul Newman

Bullitt (1968) Steve McQueen

Grand Prix (1966) James Garner

The Stunt Man (1980) Peter O'Toole

The Graduate (1967) Dustin Hoffman

The Verdict (1982) Paul Newman

12 Angry Men (1957) Henry Fonda

Dog Day Afternoon (1975) Al Pacino

The Man With the Golden Gun (1974) Roger Moore

Scarface (1983) Al Pacino

Godfather (1972) Al Pacino



Columbo (1971-2003) Peter Falk

Law & Order: Trial by Jury (1994) Armand Assante
Law & Order: Special Victim Unit (1999-present)

Law & Order: Criminal Intent (2001-2011)

Rockford Files (1974-1980) James Garner


Happy Manifesting!