Does Your Dog Have What it Takes to Be Enzo?

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art-of-racing-lb-enzoA literary star who barks? It will happen to one lucky dog in January! In honor of the featured selection of Long Beach Reads One Book, The Art of Racing in the Rain, one local dog will win the contest and become the “Long Beach Enzo,” named after the narrator of Garth Stein’s best-selling book. “Book Week” officially takes place March 12-19, but entries for the contest are due by January 18.

“Enzo is no ordinary dog,” said Susan Redfield, Chair of Book Week. “He is a philosopher with a nearly human soul and an obsession with opposable thumbs.” The unusual dog has educated himself by watching television and listening to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming racecar driver.

Through Denny, Enzo has gained tremendous insight into the human condition, and he sees that life, like racing, is not simply about going fast. Racing techniques can, however, be used to safely navigate many of life’s trials. The book tells a story of family, love, loyalty, and hope that is beautifully crafted and provides a captivating look at the wonders and absurdities of human life, as only a dog could tell it. “So we’re looking for that loveable, curious, and wise dog who can carry the legacy of Enzo in our many Book Week activities,” said Mary E. Barton, Vice–Chair of Long Beach Reads One Book.

Author Garth Stein will highlight a week of dog-themed and racing-themed events when he appears March 19 at the Carpenter Center for Performing Arts. “Our other fun events will highlight our dog-friendly, Grand Prix-crazy city,” said Redfield. The overall sponsor is the Long Beach Public Library Foundation.

How to Enter Your Dog in the Long Beach Enzo Contest

Contestants must submit a photo of the dog and a 100-word essay in the “dog’s words” about why he or she should be chosen as Long Beach Enzo. All entries must be emailed to and must be received by January 18. Winners must be available for a photo shoot in late January in Long Beach and the owner must sign a photo release.

Long Beach Reads One Book is in its twelfth year, featuring books for both young and old with twin goals of promoting the joy of reading and community building. “We are one of the longest-running programs of its type in the country,” said Redfield, “and certainly one of the most popular.”

In addition to the author’s appearance, events throughout the city will include a major family-friendly dog celebration at a local park, an expert panel on the benefits of pet ownership, a racing history of the City, a multi-prize geocaching challenge, library programs, and more. Details will be posted as they are confirmed at, and on Facebook at Long Beach Reads One Book.

The Library Foundation gratefully acknowledges numerous sponsors of this annual literary festival, including Richard Neri and Kurt Schulzman; Michael Ozaki, M.D.; Signal Hill Petroleum; Greg Perrault, D.V.M.; Diane Jacobus; Jim Hankla; John W. Hancock Family Foundation; Naomi Rainey; Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe, Fourth District; and Mary Taylor.

The Long Beach Public Library Foundation supports the City’s 12 libraries by providing funding for book purchases, homework and other assistance for students and their families. A new program helps Veterans in their successful transition back to civilian life. More information can be found at


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