Posts Tagged ‘Book Carnival’

Beginnings (Not)


July 12th, 2020 Posted 8:34 am

On Sunday we usually do beginnings, taking a look at the start of a Peter Abrahams novel, including those written under the Spencer Quinn moniker. But today – something a little different. For the reading part of the events on the virtual tour for Of Mutts And Men, we’ve been throwing caution to the winds (what with life otherwise so cautious for so many these days) and opening the book at random! Here’s where we ended up last night at our fun visit to Book Carnival in Orange County, one of our faves.

We came to the street with all the self-storage places, one big garage-like building after another, all of them with many doors. Bernie parked in front of our door, pressed a button on his phone. The door slid up. Humans have lots of tricks like that. Does it make things more fun for them? I took a glance at him. He didn’t seem to be having fun. We went inside and did something we hadn’t done in a long time, namely check out our Hawaiian pants.

Racks of hanging Hawaiian pants. Shelves of folded Hawaiian pants. Boxes of boxed-up Hawaiian pants, stacked floor to ceiling. A beam of light came through a small high-up side window, a light beam full of swirling dust. We walked to the back where a stool stood against the wall, a single pair of Hawaiian pants draped on top, the legs slumping down to the floor. Bernie picked them up and held them against his body, like he was thinking of trying them on. Try them on, Bernie, try them on! They’ll look great!

But he did not. Instead he folded them very carefully and was about to put them back when he noticed an open pack of cigarettes lying on the stool.

“Hey,” he said, the first word he’d spoken in some time. Moments later, he was sitting on the stool, lighting up, taking that first drag, letting it out with a long, slow breath. “Pot of gold,” he said. Someone else had said that very thing and not long ago. I came very close to remembering who. Chet the Jet, on fire! Or at least heating up. Smoke rose into the light beam and mixed with the dust motes up in the golden air. There’s all kinds of beauty in life.

Bernie took another drag. “There’s what you can control and what you can’t,” he said. “Which everybody knows. There’s also what you think you can control but can’t, which some people know. But what about the things you think you can’t control but actually can? See where I’m heading with this?”

At first I did not but then from out of nowhere it came to me. We were going to burn our self-storage to the ground, let all the Hawaiian pants go up in smoke! Wow! What a brilliant idea! I did a fast trot to the door and back, just letting Bernie know I totally on board.


Virtual Tour Today – Orange County!


July 11th, 2020 Posted 8:35 am

Thanks everyone for yesterday’s fun event at the Avon Free Public Library. Tonight at 9 PM ET we’re in California at Book Carnival, one of our favorite stores in the land. Here’s the website event page:

And here’s an excerpt from a very nice review at

” … there’s one scene—it has only the most tangential tie to the plot—that will (or ought to) devastate you. I’m honestly not sure why Quinn included it, but I am so glad he did. You’ll know it when you read it, I’m not going to say anything else about it. Chet was still his goofy self, but even he came across differently in it. The book is worth the purchase price for it alone.”


Heart of Barkness Tour: The Golden State!


July 14th, 2019 Posted 6:05 am

Many thanks to Frugal Muse Books and the Hinsdale Humane Society for yesterday’s event. Today, 2PM we’re at Book Carnival – – in Orange, CA. We may discuss Russian formalism in the Chet and Bernie series. That’ll get the pulses going!


Tonight: Seattle


August 9th, 2014 Posted 10:02 am

Third Place Books, 7 PM, (17171 Bothell Way NE, Lake Forest Park WA).

“Fun crowd at Book Carnival in Orange CA last night,” Spence calls in. “Pics to come!”


The Books

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