Though most everyone who cares knows perfectly well that Daniel Handler is Lemony Snicket, the prolific author of the popular A Series of Unfortunate Events books for kids, he still tries to pretend that he and Snicket aren't one and the same. But no matter how bad a face he puts on it, children are too smart for all that. And with the release of The Penultimate Peril: Book the Twelfth, they want answers.
To that end, Handler admitted this much about the book in a reluctant interview: "It's ten pages longer than the eleventh. The kind of person who rips the Band-Aid off will probably prefer the shorter book. But the person who takes the Band-Aid off slowly will like the longer book. Either way, they'll be very distressed."
But it's really Book the Thirteenth, the last installment, that will have everyone in a tizzy. Asked to elaborate on the series' possible denouement, Handler says little. When pressed, he adds: "Book thirteen marks the return of a reptile previously gone missing."
Whatever. Find out as much as he'll tell tonight at A Big Unfortunate Event, a discussion and book signing hosted by the Tattered Cover Book Store. Handler appears at 6 p.m. at the Temple Events Center, 1595 Pearl Street; admission is $13 for book-signing tickets (a copy of the book is included) and $5 for companion tickets, at the door. -- Susan Froyd
Finish Your Chores
Sometimes cutting a check and thinking good thoughts just aren't enough for community arts programs; sometimes they need your labor, too. In an attempt to put its infant years behind and grow into its new building, The Other Side Arts is putting out the call for volunteers to get out of bed and spend their Saturday sloppin' paint and shovelin' mulch. Volunteers are welcome every Saturday morning at 9 a.m. until the building at 1400 Dallas Street in Aurora is finished. Today, however, helpers who show up will be pitching in as part of the sixth annual Denver Day of Impact. Every year, volunteers from across the city collectively give their sweat and tears to good causes. Willing participants can register to help TOSA -- or other organizations -- at www.metrovolunteers.com. For more information about TOSA and its chore list, visit www.theothersidearts.com or call 303-561-3000. -- Drew Bixby
Give your pooch a macymacy makeover.
It used to be that dogs had nothing better to do on Halloween than howl at the moon. But nowadays, pups doll up right alongside their masters. Luckily for our masquerading mutts, Denver dogwear maven Macy Matarazzo tuned right into the trend. Through October, she's featuring a trunk full of dog costumes at her Uptown pet boutique, macymacy, 1612 East 17th Avenue. On her shelves this month, you'll find cute, commercially made witch and jester suits, devil horns and boas; but it's Matarazzo's own creations that will break your heart, from her wigs -- including tiny 'fros and mullets and a mass of hair done up in plastic curlers -- to her superhero getups and hats emblazoned with bones.
And what to do once your dog's been outfitted? Bring 'em back to macymacy on October 30 for a 3 p.m. pet parade along 17th Avenue, followed by a reception with a professional pet photographer, who'll snap doggie keepsakes for proud parents, Matarazzo among them. Her own Chihuahuas, Murray and Meatball, will be dressed as a lunchroom lady and Frida Kahlo (complete with the monkey on the shoulder).
For more information, call 303-320-1161 or go to www.macymacy.com. -- Susan Froyd
Literature is a woman's world.
"When did all women get so hard?" wonders Belly O'Leary, the hard-drinking, bad-tempered protagonist of Lisa Selin Davis's debut novel, Belly. An old bookie and bar owner, Belly spent four years in prison without experiencing so much as a flicker of femininity. But 48 hours into his release, he's suddenly adrift in a sea of women -- from his adult daughters and his parole officer to old flames and doe-eyed waitresses -- and his primary reaction is to oscillate between outright befuddlement and the impulse to screw everything in sight. Who says a female author can't realistically capture the male disposition?
The Denver stop of the seven-city First Fiction Author Tour 2005 promises to be a display of this type of literary cross-dressing. When the Tattered Cover-sponsored event first came through town last year, it overflowed the back room of the Wynkoop Brewing Co.
Tonight's serving of first-time novelists is shaping up to be just as lively, featuring readings by three young women writers who penned their inaugural books from the male perspective. But this "anti-chick lit" is less tired ruminations on masculinity (or, ugh, relationships) than it is stories about complex and conflicted characters. Along with Davis, the lineup consists of Texas writer Karen Olsson (author of Waterloo), and Victoria Vinton with her debut, The Jungle Law.
Readings begin at 7 p.m. at the Wynkoop, 1634 18th Street; the event is free. Call the Tattered Cover at 303-322-1965, ext. 7446, or visit www.tatteredcover.com for details. -- Jared Jacang Maher