Garth Stein masthead
Summer 2013
Rejections At A Book Launch
On The Road - With Mazda
Book Club Brunch Is Back
Return To The Stafford Creek Corrections Center
East To West...And Back Again
A Symphonic Art
Farewell to Ruby
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Garth's Event Calendar 

Chuckanut Writers Conference
Bellingham, WA
June 21, 2013

Book Club Brunch
Seattle, WA
July 14, 2013

For more information on upcoming events, visit
Garth's website.
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Racing in the Rain
Horrifies Readers With Prejudice

Not all members of the Everett, WA community were pleased with this year's selection. Charges the novel was  too pro-dog and biased against cats were taken to the librarians for serious consideration.
Gypsy Awards

photo courtesy of Myra Platt

David Hogan, the actor who played Enzo in the Book-it Repertory Theater's stage adaptation of The Art of Racing in the Rain has won the Gypsy Rose Lee Award for best actor. Congratulations, David!
Vet's Generosity Helps Schools

The Art of Racing in the Rain
Veterinarian Dr. Greg Perrault donated 167 books to local high schools and a middle school for Long Beach Reads, when budget cuts made it difficult for the school libraries to buy "optional" books. Find out  more
Rejections At A Book Launch
The Rejections at Elliot Bay Book Co.


No, it's not a brush-off. Garth Stein and his friends from Seattle7Writers (and spouses) attended Jennie Shortridge's book launch on April 10, 2013 with their band, The Rejections.


The Rejections (and Trailing Spouses), a band made up of authors and significant others (Jennie Shortridge, Garth Stein, Stephanie Kallos, Paul Mariz, Matt Gani, and Ben Bauermeister), has been rocking book events of late. They played for the launch of Erica Bauermeister's novel, The Art of Mixing, as well as the launch of Jennie Shortridge's novel, Love Water Memory.


Next up will be a gig to kick off the Chuckanut Writers Conference (June 20, Bellingham) where both Garth and Jennie will be teaching, and First Friday Art Walk on Bainbridge Island (the band will be in front of Eagle Harbor Books), on August 2. If you want to hear a tune or two, check out Jennie's website: And be sure to follow them on Facebook!


Practice time   

On The Road - With Mazda 
Garth's ride - a one-off MX-5 Mazda


Garth visited Southern California this March for Long Beach Reads One Book and the Malibu Library's first-ever Speaker Series. Not only did Garth escape the Northwest's winter weather for a few days, he also test drove a specialized Mazda.


Whenever Garth visits SoCal, the folks at Mazda hook him up with a nice ride. This time, he was given a one-off MX-5 Mazda that was specially built by their Research and Development team for the 2012 SEMA car show. "One-off" is car talk for "one of a kind," and Garth had great fun speeding up the PCH to get in some beach action between events.


Book Club Brunch Is Back
Garth meets with readers

Seattle-area literary die-hards, take note. The Seattle7Writers Third Annual Book Club Brunch will take place on July 14 at The Upper Crust in Greenwood. The keynote speaker will be Elizabeth George, and our host, the always ebullient Garth Stein. Come join them for brunch and mimosas. You'll be able to book personal or Skype visits with any of the dozen or so authors who will be in attendance! For more information, stop by  


Return To The Stafford Creek Corrections Center
Garth speaks at t the Stafford Creek Corrections Center.


"If I went to someone for therapy, I wouldn't be a writer...I would just be well adjusted." - Garth Stein


The Stafford Creek Corrections Center hadn't seen the last of Garth when he visited its Freedom Tails program last September. Garth returned to the Aberdeen institution this February for its first-ever book club author visit.


Hosting this book club was the Washington State Library Book Discussion Group. The Correction Center hopes to host more authors in the SCCC Read program, which is based on the community reads programs popular in many Washington cities. Other Washington libraries donated copies of The Art of Racing in the Rain and other books to the center's library after using them for their own common reads.


Questions tackled car racing, death, a dog's view of life, and why Garth chose particular topics or personality quirks. One offender spoke up about how a friend with terminal cancer had enjoyed and recommended The Art of Racing in the Rain to him, and how the discussion with Garth and other offenders had helped him understand why the book had been so important to his friend.


When discussing his choices about what to write and what to focus on, Garth said, "I'm interested in the interaction between characters, and that's what I write about. I don't write about the needles on the tree outside the house."


Garth also shared sneak peeks of his next novel, which is set in western Washington, while still holding back some details. Not everything is meant to be explained, whether it's the zebra or the importance of learning to drive in the rain. That, perhaps, is why we read books: the stories help us understand the confusing parts of life from an emotional perspective, without needing to define things with a dictionary's clarity.


Garth with Lauren Sherbo (program manager) and Jeannie Remillard (SCCC librarian).
Garth with Lauren Sherbo (program manager) and Jeannie Remillard (SCCC librarian).  Photos and quotes courtesy of Karen Diehm.

East To West...And Back Again
Garth visits with students at Hastings Reads.
Garth's recent travels have taken him to all four corners of America. After some events in his home state of Washington, Garth hopped on a plane to Hastings, Minnesota, where he took part in this year's Hastings Reads. Between visits to the high school and middle-school writing club, Garth took the time to check out the local cuisine. Not only did his bed and breakfast give him close access to the town's independent restaurant scene, but organizers provided themed cookies at one of his events.



Next stop: the American southwest. The One Book Yuma celebrations hosted Garth for a mid-winter trip to sunny Arizona, where Garth finally found a use for some of the foreign language editions he has. A Korean-American attendee hadn't been able to find a Korean-language copy of The Art of Racing in the Rain. Fortunately, Garth had one and promised to send it.


One Book Yuma aims to inspire community discussions on current issues and themes important to Yuma residents. This year, that meant animal adoptions. Garth joined the local Humane Society and a guide dog group to raise awareness for shelter animals and programs raising puppies to assist the blind and disabled. Here's Garth with a group of those honorary "Enzos:"working dogs whose companionship and talents improve the lives of those around them. 


Garth and guide dogs take a picture break.  

March brought along a trip to Florida for several school visits. Garth was the guest of honor at the St. Petersburg College One Book, One College celebration. He then visited the Tampa Preparatory School and the Benjamin School nearby. 


Garth at the St. Petersburg College.In April, Garth made his way to New England, for stops in Schenectady, NY, for their One County One Book Program; Bradford, PA, for their One Book Bradford community read; and a memorable stop in Syracuse, NY, for the Onondaga County Public Library. Not only was the sound system awesome, but over six hundred people packed into the auditorium to see him.


A Symphonic Art


Long Beach Reads One Book went all-out for this year's book, The Art of Racing in the Rain. In addition to dozens of community events, such as a contest for an Enzo look-alike, the Reads program commissioned an original symphonic piece from local composer Sean O'Loughlin, and inspired by the book.  


The Long Beach Polytechnic High School Orchestra and conductor Andy Osman performed it during Garth's visit. For those of us who couldn't visit Long Beach for the event, California Media filmed the performance and posted it online. Check it out! 

The Long Beach Polytechnic High School Orchestra
Farewell to Ruby
Ruby visits the Long Beach VA Medical Center (Spinal Injury Unit) in 2012.

Last year we introduced you to Ruby, a certified therapy dog who assisted disabled veterans. Despite coming to this vocation late in life, she was a natural at lifting spirits. This month, we learned that she has passed on.  


"I have never met a more kind-hearted person in my life than my dog, Ruby." says handler, Michae Weinberg. After a career change from Guide Dogs for the Blind, Ruby continued to devote her time to helping others for her remaining eight years, of which the final three were spent working almost exclusively at the Long Beach Veterans Medical Center. She was trained to become a certified therapy dog as a part of Therapy Dog International (TDI), a volunteer organization that provides pet therapy to those in need.  


Over the course of Ruby's service, her visits included assisting living and Alzheimer's centers, YMCA ARK (service for foster care children), and hospitals. Ruby lived to be almost 16 years old, providing therapy service until almost a month before she passed away.


Ruby's pastimes included sniffing the pantry, daydreaming, and fetch...She was a one-of-a-kind dog that will always be remembered for her love for life.


~ Michael Weinberg, Certified Therapy Dog Handler


Happy Manifesting!