#PenguinIcebreakers with Don Calame

As you may know, we’ve been doing #PenguinIcebreakers over on Instagram for the last year. Don Calame, the author of The Delusionist, decided to change things up by sending us his answers in written form – check them out below!

#PenguinIcebreakers with Don Calame

What’s the weirdest/most random book on your bookshelf?

Okay, then, let’s have a look. Lots of Stephen King, books on music, hockey, cooking, writing . . . and, wait, what is this? Where To Go and What To Do On Long Island: Third Revised Edition by SCOPE ( Suffolk County Organization for the Promotion of Education).  A book of such vast scope it took an organization called SCOPE to write it. If you were looking to visit the Flax Pond Marine Laboratory or the Huntington Arsenal, look no further.

What are you reading now? 

It’s a long and eclectic list. I seem to have a focus issue. I’m currently in the middle of: Chord Chemistry: For Guitar by Ted Greene; The Code Breaker by Walter Isaacson; The Believing Brain by Michael Shermer; Peak by Anders Ericsson; and Until the End of Time by Brian Greene (no relation to Ted the guitarist). Not a lot of fiction the last few months. I’ll have to correct that.

What is the one book you tell everyone to read?

Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates. The movie didn’t do the book justice at all. The novel is a masterpiece.

What’s a unique talent that you have?

I recently re-taught myself the guitar. I played in high school and then stopped for nearly 30 years. During the pandemic I felt like picking it up again and it’s been amazing. When I was learning in the 80’s there was no internet, of course. Now, whatever it is you want to learn, there is someone teaching it on YouTube.

I guess that’s not so unique, though. I suppose I’m a pretty talented sleeper, also.  I can do that pretty much anywhere, anytime. It’s the one talent my wife is jealous of.

If you could be quarantined anywhere in the world, where would you be?

Right here in my home. There’s a cliché that writers are introverted homebodies. I do not disappoint in that area.

Thanks, Don! Make sure to check out The Delusionist, in stores now!


The Delusionist
By Don Calame
304 Pages | Ages 14+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780763696894 | Candlewick
Fifteen-year-old Quinn Purcell wants only one thing: to win a coveted spot at the Masters of Magic Fantasy Camp. But the competition is stiff, including Dani Darling, an incredibly talented, and incredibly attractive, rival magician who prestidigitates her way into Quinn’s heart – unless that’s just another of her tricks. To make matters worse, Quinn and his best friend, Perry, have always performed their magic as a team, but the judges want solo acts, and a two-man audition might disqualify them. When Quinn meets his idol, the Dazzling Lazlo, at a diner, it seems like a sign. If he can convince Lazlo to spill the secrets to his greatest trick, then the spot at the camp is all but Quinn’s. But is the washed-up magician just using Quinn to run a few scams? When the chips are down, what will Quinn risk – his best friend, his new crush, or his career as a magician? Hilarious and fast-paced, Don Calame’s latest novel is full of complicated magic tricks and equally complicated friendships.