The literary event that draws hundreds of guests each year, the Southington Public Library’s “Southington Reads,” is back again for the 15th year. On March 18, author Spencer Quinn will be discussing his most recent novel, “Heart of Barkness,” at the Aqua Turf Club.
“’Heart of Barkness’ is the most recent Chet & Bernie novel, following a down-on-his-luck private investigator and his canine companion, who didn’t quite make it all the way through K-9 school,” said library officials in a press release. “Told from the perspective of this endearing pup, these novels are full of suspense, intrigue, and humor.”
In Heart of Barkness, Chet and Bernie take on a puzzle that takes them back in time in search of old-border town secrets, and into present-day danger. It is not necessary to read any of the earlier stories first, but copies of the series are available at the library.
“We wanted to choose an author that would have wide appeal,” said library director Kristi Sadowski. “I have seen his Chet and Bernie novels have great popularity in other book groups. I also loved the dog and pet tie in for additional programs and events.”
Southington Reads is the library’s largest event of the year, and seats for the event go quickly. Past authors include Julia Glass, Wally Lamb, Gregory Maguire, Anita Diamant, and Chris Bohjalian.
“Southington Reads always draws a huge crowd,” said Sadowski, “I don’t specifically know what makes it such a popular event, but I love that it is another way our community to comes together.”
Spencer Quinn, who is also known as Peter Abrahams has a wide catalog of titles with books for multiple age groups. Titles include “Lights Out,” “The Fan,” “Reality Check,” and “Down the Rabbit Hole.” He now lives on Cape Cod with his wife and dogs.
In honor of the 15th Southington Reads, a series of events for all ages are planned for the coming months.
“Shelley’s Evening Book Discussion” group will read the first book in the series, “Dog On It,” on Feb. 4 at 7 p.m. Registration begins Tuesday, Jan. 7 online or at the reference desk.
For teens, on Tuesday, Jan. 21 from 3 to 6 p.m., there will be a drop in do-it-yourself dog toy workshop in the teen zone. On Friday, Feb. 14 from 1 to 4 p.m., there will a drop in do-it-yourself dog blanket workshop held in the teen zone. Participants are able to make great items for their favorite pups or donate them to the Southington Animal Shelter.
Virginia Dare, CTP will visit the Library on Thursday, March 12 at 6 p.m. for a dog training presentation.
On Saturday, March 14, the Children’s Department will present “Escape Room: Gone to the Dogs” based on Spencer Quinn’s novel “Ruff vs. Fluff.” There will be six sessions running from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. that families or children can register for by contacting the Children’s Department at (860) 628-0947 x6506.
Copies of “Heart of Barkness,” “Ruff vs. Fluff” and other Spencer Quinn books are available at the Southington library for check-out.
For more information, or to register, visit the library website, southingtonlibrary.org and click on Calendar or contact the information desk at (860) 628-0947, ext. 5.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Sheridan Roy, email her at SRoy@SouthingtonObserver.com.