The Art of Racing in the Rain

Pulled chicken is good, but to me, pulled pork is better. Truthfully, you can’t go wrong with either option, but when it comes to smothering meat in BBQ sauce, I’ll pick pork over chicken every time!

Tonight’s dinner featured BBQ pulled pork, which I prepared by following our favorite unbelievably easy crock pot recipe before covering the pulled meat in BBQ sauce and serving it alongside steamed broccoli seasoned with garlic salt.

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It was good! I also ate an AllieBar while prepping the broccoli. Those things are the jam!

The Art of Racing in the Rain

Early last week I finished reading The Art of Racing in the Rain. This was one of those books that I completely fell into every time I picked it up. I read the whole thing in just three sittings and the time spent reading ticked away quickly.

art of racing in the rain 007

For those of you unfamiliar with the book, The Art of Racing in the Rain is told from the perspective of Enzo, a golden retriever/terrier mix. The book is essentially a recount of Enzo’s life from the time his beloved owner Denny picks him up from the breeder. Enzo loves television and enjoys learning all he can about anything and everything. As a reader you cannot help but adore him and his intense love for Denny and, eventually, Denny’s wife and their young daughter, Zoe.

While I really enjoyed the book, I must say that it wasn’t what I expected. I thought the book would be more Marley and Me in nature… I figured the dog would be hysterical and off-the-walls like Marley (and Sadie!). I didn’t expect the dog to be wise and calm. I think it was hard for me to really feel like I was listening to a dog because Sadie is so unlike Enzo in my mind. She’s energetic, hyper and enthusiastic while Enzo is introspective, composed and astute.

sadie dog park 019

Though the book wasn’t as funny or uplifting as I thought, it made me think and kept me interested the entire time. I will caution readers that much of the book is spent in the middle of some grave situations. The Art of Racing in the Rain was much heavier than I anticipated, but I would still encourage anyone, especially dog owners, to read it if only for the thoughts it will inspire in your mind about the importance of loving wholly and enjoying the simple joys in life we so often take for granted.

And now it’s time for another book! I’m thinking a totally cheesy girly book awaits me next…

Just in case you’re interested, here are some past book reviews I’ve posted:

Question of the Evening

What was the last amazing book you read?


  1. Julia says

    Hi Julie! If you’re looking for another dog book, I HIGHLY suggest “A Dog’s Purpose”. it’s also told through the perspective of a dog. It’s extremely funny and reminded me of my own dog. I also read Art of Racing in the Rain and loved it, but enjoyed A Dog’s Purpose more… It’s the best book I’ve read 🙂


  2. Linda says

    I’ve heard The Art of Racing In The Rain is really sad so I haven’t picked it up yet. But maybe I will after reading what you thought about it.


    • says

      it was definitely sad, but for some reason i cried harder at marley and me. maybe b/c i really felt like marley was a lot more like sadie whereas i felt like enzo was almost more human than dog.


  3. Chaaron says

    If you’re looking for fun girly easy reads, I’d recommend anything by Cecelia Ahern (author of P.S. I Love You) or Sophie Kinsella (Shopaholic author). All of their books are perfect feel good light spring/summer reads.


  4. Brooke says

    My mom read that book a while ago, and I’ve been eyeing it on her bookshelf everytime I visit her. I’m thinking I’ll have to sneak it out this weekend when I see her! 😉

    The last book I loved (which I read in a single day…pathetic, I know) was Portia de Rossi’s “Unbearable Lightness”. It’s a little intense, but it was such an eye opener on so many levels! I am excited to see your future reviews! I’ve either read or excited to read the ones you’ve already done!


  5. Lauren says

    I loved Marley & Me, and I really wanna read this book because I have a golden retriever.
    I’m read The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest now, and the series is really good…but not really a girly, happy book.


  6. Kelly says

    I just finished the book One Amazing Thing by Chitra Divakaruni. It was really good and also made you think. Here’s the synopsis:

    When an earthquake rips through the afternoon lull, trapping nine wildly individual characters together, their focus first jolts to a collective struggle to survive. There’s little food. The office begins to flood. Then, at a moment when the psychological and emotional stress seems nearly too much for them to bear, the young graduate student suggests that each tell a personal tale, “one amazing thing” from their lives, which they have never told anyone before. As their surprising stories of romance, marriage, family, political upheaval, and self-discovery unfold against the urgency of their life-or-death circumstances, the novel proves the transcendent power of stories and the meaningfulness of human expression itself. One Amazing Thing is a passionate creation about survival—and about the reasons to survive.


  7. Heather says

    Elin Hilderbrand’s “The Island” was a really good one. Also, Emily Giffin’s “Something Borrowed” which they are making into a movie!!


  8. Shelby says

    “My Name is Memory” by Ann Brashares
    I LOVE loved this book. It is supposed to be a trilogy but only the first book is out. I Highly recommend it.


  9. says

    I absolutely loved Stones Into Schools — it was educational as well as uplifting and really motivated me to put more time and money toward helping people in the developing world build a self-sustaining life for themselves


  10. Jenni says

    I don’t remember who it’s by, but it’s called The Blessings of the Animals–so GOOD. I also read Red Riding Hood because I’m really excited to see the movie 🙂


  11. Jordan says

    Have you considered joining Goodreads? It’s a great site for book lovers!

    I’ve recently enjoyed “Star Island” by Carl Hiaasen, “Last Night at Chateau Marmont” by Lauren Weisburger and “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett.

    “Something Borrowed” by Emily Giffin is a great book that will be released in theaters on May 6th.

    “City of Bones” (The Mortal Instruments series) by Cassandra Clare – awesome YA series.

    “The Host” by Stephenie Meyer (author of Twilight)…

    I could go on and on 🙂


  12. Dione says

    I read “Secret Daughter” a few weeks ago in a weekend…I got totally sucked in. The only reason it took that long is cause I made myself take a break every once in a while so I wasn’t sitting all day! Right now I’m reading “The Pillars of the Earth” and about halfway through. It’s really as good as everyone says. Very long but an easy read with a lot of action. I think that would be a good one for you and your husband to read together.


  13. says

    i have a suggestion, although i think it would be more for you to read alone than aloud with ryan…as it’s a love story…

    my friend let me borrow this book and i loved it. it’s a historical fiction about the taj mahal:

    “beneath a marble sky” by john shor


  14. Kaella says

    THE BRIDE QUARTET– Nora Roberts! A four part cheesy girl series about four girlfriends who run a wedding business. I have read ALL the sophie kinsella books and these are very similar!! 🙂 They are easy reads and have a little romance for the romantics (like me!)

    (Have you read “The Wedding Girl” Sophie Kinsella as Madeline Wickham? Also really good!!)

    I’m planning a wedding right now…so I’m really into the wedding-themed books, but you’ll love them as well!! Promise!

    P.S. I’m about to start the Hunger Games 🙂


  15. says

    Great reviews, thanks for sharing! I’m in need of a new book on my kindle, and The Art of Racing in the Rain sounds perfect!

    Also…YUM that bbq pork looks amazing. I had pulled pork like that at my wedding, and now I’m drooling. 🙂


  16. says

    Hmmmm, last AMAZING book? Probably Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist. It’s essentially her memoirs of being a wife and mother, and I loved every page of it. She’s so relatable and I love her perspective.

    HIGHLY recommend it, too :D.


  17. Carrisa says

    I loved “Eat, Pray, Love!” I read it three times, the first time I didn’t fully appreciate it until similar things happened in my life and then it all just related so well I read it twice! People tend to either love it or hate it. I also loved “Born to Run!” So inspirational, it makes you want to go out and just run and run and run…


  18. Caitlin says

    i just finished The Art of Racing in the Rain last night and I loved that book, definetly not what I thought it was going to be, but really good. My next on the list is the hunger games, I am picking it up tomorrow. I cant wait 🙂


  19. says

    Some of my friends had to read that in high school but I wasn’t in the class. They loved it!!

    I’m looking to start a new book too – I may read “Good to Great” as it is sort of the theme book of my workplace. I just finished The China Study though!


  20. Holly says

    Not my favorite, but if you are looking for a good girly book how about Something Borrowed and Something Blue? The movie is coming out this spring 🙂


  21. Christina says

    I saw that book at the bookstore and almost picked it up. Thanks for the review! The Hunger Games is soooo addicting, definitely couldn’t put it down. Did you happen to hear that they’re making a movie out of it? I wonder if it’ll be any good..


  22. Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter says

    The Art of Racing in the Rain was very intense I thought as well. It was sad the entire time, but I completely agree that I also got very caught up every time I read it.


  23. says

    First off your pulled pork looks amazing! I love going to red hot and blue and getting the pulled pork sandwich!! The last book I read was Girl who Kicked the Hornets Nest… I loved the whole series!! I also love all of Nicholas Sparks books, and another good author is Jodi Picoult. She wrote my sisters keeper and a whole bunch of others!


  24. Sarah says

    I second The Guernsey Potato Peel Literary Society, its a great girly read. I just finished The Help which was also fantastic. The Girl with the Dragon tattoo series is amazing as well, if you’re looking for something more adventurous.


  25. Rachel says

    One Day by David Nicholls is a more recent girly read, easy to finish in a weekend! Also myt fave Emily Giffin is Baby Proof, but Love the One You’re With ir Heart of the Matter are both good too.


  26. Catherine Goode says

    The Girl Who Played With Fire (second in the series after The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo). Loved it! Highly suggest you read these. They just suck you in…


  27. Kim says

    Anything by Jane Green is super girly, fun and more like chatting with a friend over coffee than it is “reading.” I’ve read everything she has out currently and am hoping for something new soon! It’s the perfect chick-lit 🙂


  28. Ruth B says

    The Art of Racing in the Rain is actually one of my favorite books. Very touching. I think that is the last great book I read. The Jen Lancaster series is pretty good if you want and light and funny read.


  29. says

    I read Eat Love Pray. It was a really good book. Not really EXTRA girlie.
    The Help was also really good, not girlie but good.
    If you are looking for REALLY girlie let me know, Ill see what I can find, try to read as much as I can!


  30. says

    I just finished jodi pocult house rules, it was good but each chapter is different characters point of view. Im not sure if that is my ideal way to read and follow the book. But it had a good story.
    I already bought the art of racing in the rain and can’t wait to start it!


  31. Austin says

    Valley of The Dolls by Jacqueline Susann, 60’s glamour, betrayal, parties, models, discos, So much fun!
    Anything by Jodi Picoult is a good, quick, girly read…loved The Pact, Salem Falls, and My Sisters Keeper
    The Help is what my book club is reading but have yet to get into it.
    Finally, my favorite book ever, She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb. Its an oldie but a goodie.


  32. rebecca says

    The Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood. Beautiful writing & compelling story. Or, her seminal work, The Handmaids Tale.

    I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb. Such a page turner with unforgettable characters.

    Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris. So funny. So sympathetic. The humanity!

    The World According to Garp or, my favorite book, A Prayer for Owen Meant, by John Irving.


  33. Heather says

    The last book that I read that I couldn’t put down was called Left Neglected by Lisa Genvoa, about a woman who sustains a traumatic brain injury in a car accident, and has a condition called “left neglect” where the whole left side of her world doesn’t exist anymore because her brain no longer perceives it. I used to work with people who had had strokes, and I would see people with this condition – soo fascinating, and definitely so frustrating for the individual who has it. Such a great book, I really recommend that one, as well as Still Alice by the same author.


  34. says

    I am currently reading “An Unquiet Mind”, which is a very insightful look into the mind of someone with Bipolar disorder, who is actually a Psychiatrist. It really sheds light on understanding mental illness.


  35. says

    The last great book I read was Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon. It’s older (1992, I think?), but my best friend was disappearing for weeks at a time, and when I asked her about it, she confessed it was because she was having an affair with the Outlander series! It’s a little intimidating since the first book is 600-something pages long with smaller type, and the first few chapters are slowish, but it picks up to an insane pace and if you’re anything like me and have a penchant for falling in love with completely made-up men, Jamie (the male protagonist) is right up there with Mr. Darcy with respect to Epic Literary Dreamboats! I’m halfway through the second book, Dragonfly in Amber, and it’s just as good!

    Another good one is The Guernsey Literary and Potato-Peel Pie Society… can you tell I’ve been on a historical fiction bender lately? 😉


  36. Anonymous says

    Have you ever read anything by Jen Lancaster? She writes Bitter is the New Black, My Fair Lazy, etc. Her books are easy reads and she is hilarious. I think you would like her books.


  37. says

    I still recommend The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. Though it is not a girlie book, it is amazing. I could re-read it a million times, and that is unlike me.

    The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Nighttime by Mark Haddon is pretty fab also. It’s about a boy with autism, and an inspirational read for sure!


  38. Megan says

    “Manhunt”–all about the 12 days it took to capture John Wilkes Booth and his accomplices after they assasinated Lincoln and attempted to assasinate members of his cabinet. I didn’t think I’d like it that much–my Dad had sent it to me. But I couldn’t put it down. It was a like a soap opera (except really good!)


  39. Molly says

    The Time Travelers Wife is a great book. The movie is sweet and they did a pretty good job with the adaptation I think but the book just has so much more in it and it makes you fall in love with the characters. I would for sure recommend this one. Its a great love story with a bit of sci-fi (he’s a time traveler after all)!


    • Laura says

      i 2nd this! The book was fantastic! The movie .. meh. i get how they had to edit the book to create the movie, but they left so much out!
      Great book tho


  40. Rachelle says

    I loved Pat Conroy’s “South of Broad”. I read it for book club and after the first 100 pages I couldn’t put it down. It’s about a group of childhood friends that come have come together to help save one of their friends and bring him back home to Charleston.

    I’ve also read “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, which I loved. It was full of suspense and kept you on your toes.


  41. Hallie says

    Most unique book series ever by Jasper Fforde (British) – starts with The Eyre Affair. It’s sort of a mystery series ABOUT books. Wall Street Journal called it a mix of Monty Python, Harry Potter, Stephen Hawking and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. They’re awesome.


  42. says

    I am in the middle of a good girlie book if you are looking for suggestions. Falling Home by Karen White.
    It is very Sweet Home Alabama meets Hope Floats. I think any girl would like it and it is very much a book where you get into it very quickly every time you pick it up. 🙂


  43. says

    This is awesome. I just read through all these recommendations and wrote them all down! I am always searching for the next good book to read!
    A couple of my favorites that I would consider light and/or girly:
    “The Girl’s Guide to Hunting and Fishing” by Melissa Banks
    “Chocolat” by Joanne Harris
    And a couple not so light reads:
    “The Fifth Sacred Thing” by Starhawk
    “The Mists of Avalon” by Marion Zimmer Bradley

    I wish I could think of more off the top of my head. When I moved in with my boyfriend, I had to put most of my books in storage because there wasn’t enough room for them! I miss having my “library!” 🙂


  44. says

    I’m in the middle of “The Glass Castle” by Jeanette Walls right now and its amazing. I don’t get much time to read but when I do get a chance this book totally sucks me in! I can’t wait to see how it ends…the story throughout it is unbelievable. The fact that people lived like this and children grew up in a family/household like in the book is amazing…


  45. Christa says

    ROOM by Emma Donoghue. It is the story of a young woman who is kidnapped as a teenager and held captive in a small secret room for seven years. The story is narrated by her four year old son who is completely unaware of the actuality of the situation. It a deep dark one but I felt this overwhelming sense of appreciation for life after finishing it. VERY moving.


  46. Jackie says

    I really loved “Something Borrowed” and the 2nd book “Something Blue” by Emily Giffin. Funny, fun, easy read girl books.


  47. Amanda says

    I definitely agree with The Time Traveler’s Wife…although, if you’re in the mood for light and girly, I would save it for later.

    I read A Total Waste of Makeup a few years ago and remember it being a fun, girly read. I don’t rememeber a lot about it, but it would be worth googling.


  48. Amanda says

    Oh, and The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake is great, too, although not necessarily in the girly category. Very different.
    And Trail of Crumbs was good, too. It’s the memoirs of a food editor for a magazine where I worked and her story was wonderful. She also included recipes at the end of some chapters.
    Still not really in that girly category, but great books. Ok, that’s it for now. 🙂


  49. Erica @ A Healthy Habit says

    Bought this book 2 months ago and i haven’t picked it up to read yet because i just have not had the time. After reading your review….I will be starting it this weekend! Thanks for sharing and your pulled pork for the slow cooker looks delicious! A must try!


  50. LoriV. says

    The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons. This is my all time favorite book! It’s the first of three. #2 is a must read and #3 is optional. The first one the best of the three!!


  51. Katie says

    I’m currently reading The Friday Night Knitting Club and am really enjoying it. It’s about these women who come together to knit every Friday (hence the name of the book) but it also starts to involve the reader in each of the women’s lives.



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