The Art of Racing in the Rain

enzoOctober's book club selection was FANTASTIC. Christa chose The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein, and our group could not say enough good things about this pick. A synopsis courtesy of GoodReads:

Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively, and by listening very closely to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver.

On the eve of his death, Enzo takes stock of his life, recalling all that he and his family have been through. In the end, despite what he sees as his own limitations, Enzo comes through heroically to preserve the Swift family, holding in his heart the dream that Denny will become a racing champion with Zoë at his side.

First, you should note that this book is written from a dog's perspective. Yes, I know that sounds kind of weird, but I recommend you get over that quickly because (1) this dog is incredibly funny, and (2) this book is so good. Second, even if you don't fancy yourself an emotional person (or a dog person), have some tissues handy. Book club member Jenny started crying after the first paragraph, but most of us saved our tears for the ending (excluding MR, a well-known crier, who sobbed throughout). Even though it's clear from the first chapter - and the synopsis above - how the book will end, the last 20 or so pages are still bittersweet. But the overall theme of the book really isn't one of sadness, I swear. The majority of the book is heartwarming and hilarious; Joe remarked that he'd never heard me laugh so much while reading. According to IMDB, the movie version of The Art of Racing in the Rain is in development, and if anyone other than Patrick Dempsey is cast as Denny Swift, our book club will be shocked.

Christa was a superb hostess this month who embraced the fall season by serving turkey chili and homemade cornbread, and we indulged on fresh apple crisp, pumpkin cheesecake and mini apple crostatas for dessert. Jenny is slated to host our November meeting, and she has introduced a book club first which we'll reveal next month. Quick preview: it's awesome.