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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Read (or Listen to) This Book Today

I’ll Read When the Baby Goes to College
By Elaine Rooker Jack

The book: The Art of Racing in the Rain
The Author: Garth Stein
The publication date: 2008

What it’s about: Enzo, a dog who is Zen philosopher and expert on engineering, chronicles the ups and downs in the life of his race car driver master Denny. (The author attempts to explain this by suggesting that Enzo has evolved over several dog lifetimes to reach this level of enlightenment.) If I told you much more we’d be in spoiler territory; Denny has, as one reviewer said, a string of bad luck that strains believability. But if you can suspend your disbelief on all the above, this is a very entertaining and thought-provoking book. With a satisfying ending. (I had to quit listening in a critical part, and I thought of little else all weekend.) It would give your book club a lot to discuss.

Enzo lite: When I mentioned this book to a friend she wrinkled her nose and said she wasn’t interested in all that racing stuff. But she liked the dog parts. You can either read the racing stuff as the intended metaphor for life, take it as a chance to learn something you may know very little about, or skip to the dog parts. Or you might try the version – which I haven’t read - meant for 8-12 year olds, “Racing in the Rain: My Life as a Dog.” Or the absolutely darling picture book “Enzo Races in the Rain.”

My favorite parts: When Enzo delivers dog behaviors (you know what I mean), perfectly timed and executed.

What we can learn from the Bad Guys in this book: Basically decent people with good intentions can do a lot of damage when blindly pursuing “the best thing.” And a person who is different from you is not necessarily bad; in fact, he may be the Good Guy!

Quotes from the book, Enzo’s two favorite sayings: “Your car goes where your eyes go,” and “That which you manifest is before you.”

Tip for making reading happen in a busy life: I’d like to think that the fact that I’m listening to recorded books is the reason I’m one of the few drivers not flipping out when stopped for the Bridges Project or the LaGrange train. But it could be the decaf.

Read Elaine's review of The LacunaDogsong, and Woodsong.


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