June Book Sense Picks

You can start saying “Everyone Loves Enzo.” He’s the dog who narrates Garth Stein’s forthcoming novel, The Art of Racing in the Rain. We first heard the buzz at PLA, where Stein spoke and Harper’s Virginia Stanley presented it in the Buzz Panel. Then it became a Starbucks Pick. Now, it’s been selected by independent booksellers as the number one Book Sense Pick for June. Bookseller Deon Stonehouse of Sunriver Books, Sunriver, OR handsells it this way:

Sometimes, if you are very lucky, fate gives you a special friend. Denny’s friend Enzo will stand by him through some of the best and worst times of his life, his faith in Denny bone deep. Enzo is a dog, a dog with a very old soul. Denny is a race driver with natural talent, but sometimes life gets in the way of natural talent, and the road can have sharp bends. Suffused with humor, love, pain, and valor, this should be one of the year’s best books!

That’s a decent hand sell, but it doesn’t capture how touching the book is. Enzo is just what you want to imagine a dog to be; noble, philosophical, understanding and yet still a dog. He’s perplexed by many of the things humans do, which gives the book its humor, but he also understands life in a way his humans cannot (thus the “old soul” comment).

If you’ve read the galley, please help us figure out how to best present it. Send me what you plan to tell customers about it.

The Art of Racing in the Rain

Garth Stein

  • Hardcover: $23.95
  • Publisher: Harper (May 13, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0061537934
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061537936
  • Audio CD: $34.95
  • Publisher: HarperAudio; Unabridged edition (May 13, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0061565407
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061565403
    • Large Type: $23.95
    • Publisher: HarperLuxe (May 13, 2008)
    • ISBN-10: 0061562408
    • ISBN-13: 978-0061562402

    The other nineteen titles on the list are worth checking out — excellent R.A. material. This one sounds like it draws on a near-universal experience;

    Dear American Airlines: A Novel

    by Jonathan Miles

    “Jonathan Miles’ first novel presents an unknowing catharsis through angst, jealousy, and helplessness. While delayed at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, writer Bennie Ford begins his tirade thinking he deserves a refund for a canceled flight that would have taken him to his daughter’s wedding. However, this human rant develops into a backstory of his life. Witty, inspiring, and downright funny, Miles develops a novel with feeling and redemption.” —Carolyn Espe, Powell’s Books, Portland, OR

    • Hardcover: $22.00
    • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin,(April 29, 2008)
    • ISBN-10: 0547054017
    • ISBN-13: 978-0547054018
    • Audio CD: Unabridged, $24.95
    • Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks, (June 5, 2008)
    • ISBN-10: 1433214741
    • ISBN-13: 978-1433214745
    • Audio Cassette: Unabridged, $24.95
    • Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks, (June 5, 2008)
    • ISBN-10: 1433214733
    • ISBN-13: 978-1433214738

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