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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Community is reading book narrated by dog

The 2009 “Spokane Is Reading” selection has been announced: “The Art of Racing in the Rain,” by Garth Stein.

This is a well-regarded literary book that should make dog-lovers and auto-racing fans happy. It’s the story of a race-car driver named Denny Swift, narrated by his wise and lovable dog Enzo.

That’s right, the dog is the narrator. The Oregonian compared it to “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” and “Life of Pi.”

It was the top BookSense selection last June and has been a staple on The New York Times best-seller list.

“Spokane Is Reading” is the communitywide program in which one book is selected each year as a communal read during October. Previous years’ authors have included Sherman Alexie and Jess Walter.

The program is sponsored by the Spokane Public Library, Spokane County Library District and Auntie’s Bookstore.

Stein, a documentary filmmaker-turned-author, was born in Los Angeles and raised in Seattle. He went on to earn an MFA in film from Columbia University and he lived in New York for 18 years. He now lives in Seattle with his wife, three sons and (yes) his dog.

He will be giving two free presentations in Spokane on Oct. 29. Details will be announced later.

An NIC history book

Fran Bahr, North Idaho College English instructor, will sign copies of her book, “The Gathering Place: A History of North Idaho College,” at Hastings, 101 E. Best Ave. in Coeur d’Alene, today from 1 to 4 p.m.

The book chronicles the story of the school from its opening in 1933 with 55 students. The cost is $39.95, and a portion of each sale will benefit student scholarships at NIC.

‘Borne on Air’

A collection of essays by Idaho writers, “Borne on Air,” edited by Mary Clearman Blew and Phil Druker, was published this week by the Eastern Washington University Press.

This is the third in a series of essays by Idaho writers, following “Forged in Fire” and “Written on Water.” All of the essays in this new collection deal in some way with air.

“Air: the holy element, which inflicts pain and illness, bestows health, strikes fear, and inspires hope,” writes Blew in her preface.

Contributors include Kim Barnes, Claire Davis, Robert Wrigley, William Johnson, Buddy Levy and William Studebaker.

“Borne on Air” retails for $15.95 in paperback.

‘Ghost Dance’

Gale and Kandis Palmanteer will sign copies of their novel “Ghost Dance,” the story of a tribe in the Okanogan-Pasayten region whose world is changed by visitors, on Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m. at Auntie’s Bookstore, 402 W. Main. The novel deals with the hypothetical origins of the ghost dance.

Gale is a retired biologist with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife and a descendant of the Colville Confederated Tribe. Kandis is a descendant of the Lakota Sioux tribe. They live on acreage near the Kettle Crest.

Jim Kershner can be reached at (509) 459-5493 or by e-mail at
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