Friday, July 9, 2010

Book Review, Book Giveaway and Swag Giveaway: A little something extra while I'm away! THE ART of RACING IN THE RAIN by New York Times Bestselling Author Garth Stein

Now I know I'm a little late to this party, but better late than never right? I recently finished reading The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. It came out in hardcover in 2008 and the paperback version was released in 2009. I reviewed an earlier work of his, Raven Stole the Moon and I thought that was fantastic. The Art of Racing in the Rain clearly exemplifies his enormous talent as a writer.

The story is told from the perspective of the family dog, Enzo. He is the narrator and inside the body of this family pet, beats the heart and soul of an old and wise sage. He is near the end of his life and desires to be reincarnated as a man. He watches as life takes its toll on his once happy and seemingly perfect family. That family consists of his master Denny, Denny's wife Eve and their daughter Zoe.

Enzo knows so much and wants so badly to offer his advice and assistance, but as a dog without speech and an "opposable thumb" he is clearly limited in his ability to help, especially when he knows trouble abounds and he can't let his family know. In spite of his limitations, Enzo does his best to protect and encourage those he loves.

We watch as Enzo enters Denny's life as puppy when Denny was a single man, as life transitions through marriage, childbearing and parenting and then sadly premature death. This is often a sad and a tragic story, but also one that offers hope and resolution. For those who haven't read it I won't say more because it's something you should read and discover for yourself.

As an interesting aside, let me tell you this. When the author, Garth Stein, proposed this story to his agent, the agent was not interested in representing a story told from a dog's perspective. What did Stein do? He promptly got himself another agent! He believed in his story and he searched until he discovered someone who did as well. Let this be an inspiration to aspiring authors everywhere. If you believe in yourself and your abilities, in what you have written, forge ahead as much as you are able, to see it published.

Now to the giveaway. There will be the opportunity for one winner to receive the book as well as a nice little swag packet which consists of a cloth tote bag,  a notebook, lapel pin and bookmark. Become a follower if you're not already and leave a comment telling me about your favorite pet. If you don't have a pet, just say so, but you must mention something. Those who don't comment about a pet will not be considered for the giveaway. It's not fair to those who take the time to do it and comply with instructions. Thanks for your understanding. Please leave your email in the comment, so you can be contacted if you win. That is all.

The giveaway will end Saturday, July 17 and is open to residents of the US and Canada only. Winner will be chosen randomly using

Thanks to Sarah Daily of Terra Communications for making the book and swag packet available.



  1. Sounds a very good read. Dont count me in as I am overseas.

  2. It sounds like a great book. I have had many rescues over the years. The pair that sticks out most were 2 kittens that had been rejected by their mother at 2 weeks old. I bottle fed both of them.One of the two, angelica, helped my son learn to talk. The other,patty, is the smartest cat I have ever seen. If I ask her to do anything, she will do it. Angelica passed away almost 3 years ago, but patty is still around.

  3. I am a new follower! I love this giveaway question probably because I am an avid animal lover. My husband and I rescue cats, care for them and find them good homes or adopt them into ours. We have 9 cats! 3 months ago one of our newly adopted strays had a 4-kitten litter! It was fantastic and a very fun 3 months with the kittens. Last week we found terrific homes for 3 of the kittens. We decided to keep the runt of the litter, Lola, a female who is very attached to her mother, Betsy. They are very cute.
    My favorite rescue story involves my cat, Sadie. Sadie is almost 3 years old and is a small, chubby cat with long gray & white hair and a beautiful bushy tail! But when my husband found Sadie one night, 2 years ago, she was struggling to walk down the sidewalk, listing to one side as if drunk. He brought her into our home, we fed her and she drank water and went to sleep on our bed. The hair was missing from half of her body having been ravaged by flees we found out and she didn't look well at all. The following morning we planned to take her to the vet. When she woke up she ate some more and then had 2 seizures. We rushed her to the vet who discovered that there wasn't anything really serious wrong with her. She was dehydrated & exhausted, in need of sleep and TLC. The vet treated Sadie for the fleas, gave her antibiotics and sent her home with us wuth instructions on caring for her. For 9 months Sadie slept on our bed, getting up to eat, drink & use the bathroom. One day she woke up and started playing with cat toys! Today, you'd never know that she had rough beginning!

    I'm sorry that my entry is so long but I love my cats and could talk about them forever!
    Thank you!

    ~ Amy
    Aimala127 AT yahoo DOT com

  4. I've never had a pet except gold fishes but I've always wanted to have a dog, preferably one thats small and never grows.


  5. I follow via GFC.

    I lost two fur babies within the past year. Cats have been an integral part of my life since early childhood. Being without at the moment, I feel the need to once again visit the animal shelter to adopt an older cat.

    I can't stress this enough: If you are looking for an animal companion, please don't patronize pet stores and breeders; ALWAYS ADOPT!


  6. Would really love to read this book, have been so long. I saw in the library but whenever I read a book about dogs, I want to keep it!


  7. Already publicly following Writing is a Blessing with Google Friend Connect [Cheryl F. {The Lucky Ladybug}] -- My favorite pet(s) are our two small dogs -- we love and cherish them equally :) Pepper is a salt and pepper, 15 pounds, three-year-old female miniature schnauzer. Mitzi is a black and tan, 7 pounds, two-and-a-half-year-old female dorkie (dachshund/yorkie designer hybrid). *Thanks* for the giveaway!

  8. Great contest, and I'm a follower of this blog.

    One of my cats is a miracle baby to me. I found him outside when he was 3-4 weeks old. He was skinny, weak, and dehydrated. I took him to the vet on the first and second day I had him because I was so worried that he'd pass away. He was never hungry, so I force fed him with a bottle. He vomited everything he ate, but surprisingly he gained weight and started to eat on his own. I made sure he slept with a heating pad for the first two weeks since the vet told me warmth would stimulate his hunger. Now he's a normal, healthy four-year-old.


  9. I would love to win this prize pack! It sounds great! I am a follower! :)

    My favorite pet is my sweet dog Abby (whom we have now). She is a 2 year old salt and pepper colored Miniature Schnauzer. I love her SOOOO much!! She is definitely a "Momma's Girl". She sleeps with me every night and sits with me in my recliner while I am watching TV. She is loveable and funny and I am beyond blessed to have her in my life!!

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

  10. Thanks for hosting! I have many pets, but my dogs are my favorites (don't tell the cats!). Spencer (Aussie) and Finnegan (cross breed). They are awesome - they keep me honest!
    Please enter me. I am a follower.

  11. I have been a 'dog' person all my life. I currently have a nine year old black poodle named Peppi. Out of all the dogs I have had in my lifetime, which is quite a few, Peppi is the smartest. My husband and I have to spell in front of him because he understands everything. I taught him how to whisper when he was just a puppy and when I did it I yanked my head backwards...well, so does he. I also told my husband and Mom that I could teach him how to High 5 when he was about five years old...they told me they didn't think I could do it. Well, it only took Peppi and I about 4 minutes and now it's his favorite trick. HE GIVES HiGH 4's!!! He is very much a Daddy's boy, but I must say, when he gets an upset tummy or his allergies are bothering him, he becomes a Mommy's boy and won't leave my side. He is asleep at my feet right now having a dream as all four feet are 'running'.

    Thank you for letting me share about my bundle of love and thank you for the giveaway!

    Cindy W.


  12. Though I love both cats and dogs, at the time we only have one cat. His name is Rudy and he weighs in at about 20lbs. No he is not fat; he is just a very large cat. He has a beautiful cream colored coat and has rings around his tail. His eyes are a beautiful light blue. He has the cutest little black freckles on his nose. We've had him for about 8 years and he is 10yrs old now. He loves to drink out of the toilet and can do it standing flat footed on the floor. Rudy loves to sit on the back of the couch and stare out the living room window to watch the trucks at the gas station across the street early in the mornings. His favorite place to sleep is in, or on, a box.

    I'm a follower.


  13. This book sounds like a wonderful read! It would be tough to decide my favorite dog. Every one I have ever had has been my favorite but for different reasons. Right now my fav is a 5 year old Border Collie named Magic. Border collies are exceptionally intelligent and Magic is even more so. there is nothing she cannot do and not only is she very obedient but also a wonderful companion and enjoys everything!


I enjoy reading what you have to say. Seriously!