Homeless in Vancouver: An awful good read

Today I found this awesome book just sitting on the lid of a Container blue bin in a Fairview back alley—a thriller called Henry’s Awful Mistake by one Robert Quackenbush, author of something like 110 books but none of them more famous than this gripping story of a duck named Henry and the ant who was his undoing.

I recommend the book to anyone who loves true-to-life stories from the animal kingdom: the thrill of the hunt, the price of failure—it’s all here, beautifully illustrated.

The back alleys are a kind of bookworm’s paradise

Henry’s goose is about to be cooked even though he’s a duck.
Stanley Q. Woodvine

Fairview’s back alleys are full of books but often you need to dig around a bit to find them.

You know what a borrowing library is right? Fairview’s back alleys are more of a burrowing library. And Fairview Dumpsters can go one better than that old bookstore smell.

Lucky for me, someone made it easy today, leaving the book right where anyone could find it on top of a Container bin.

I came for the bottles and I stayed to read the book.

I read it straight through. I couldn’t put it down—good action throughout and a neat ending. The story even had a strong moral.

The surprise ending was still reverberating in my head when a 30-something resident came along to put out his recycling. We chatted and I wholeheartedly recommended the book to him.

He picked it up, flipped through it and declared:

“I’ll give it to my nephew. He’ll love it. He’s only four.”

I suggested to the guy he give the book a read himself. He gave me such a look.

I took him for someone more inclined to wait for the movie version. 

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