Quote of The Week

“All sorts of allowances are made for the illusions of youth; and almost none for the disillusions of age.”

Robert Louis Stevenson



Our OLLI Classical Music Workshop has been scheduled for the Fall semester at Stony Brook. See “Music” page for more details.

Topics of the Week

The Featured Essay: In “Happy Hours at the Airport” DB recalls some happy hours at the airport, and hopes for the return of the passenger liner.

Writing Life: “Politics and the English Language” Reminds us how much we need to re-read George Orwell right now.

Yet another new book!

I quote without shame from a review by Sheila Deeth in Goodreads.

An Unexpected Life by David Bouchier presents a delightfully humorous and intensely readable memoir, all told in essay-like chapters that encompass life, the universe and everything. It’s a book you can pick up and put down at the end of each chapter, but you’re bound to pick it up again as soon as time allows. Each essay/chapter follows naturally from the last, each tied to a specific time and place, a particular period in the author’s own life, and a particular step in a quest for meaning and direction. But this really isn’t a book of essays; rather a book in essays, each passage drawing the reader inexorably into a real world with real history and real sociology, while real time passes, and ending on a question that leads to the next. The result is deeply fascinating and satisfying, like meeting someone and realizing you’ve actually got something in common, and the things you haven’t got in common won’t stop you from being great friends. ”

Two more recent books

Out of Thin Air is a collection of a hundred and thirty essays aired on public radio between 2011 and 2017. They cover just about every subject that you (or at least I) can imagine, from fake antiques to clownish politicians, nervous survivalists, wedding rehearsals, and our perennial love affair with prophecies of doom.

This impressive collection of wit and wisdom has just been published and is available at an astonishingly modest price from the usual places, and on Kindle. More details can be found on the Books and Audio page.

My non-memoir Lucky Man is still available from the same source. This book assembles various fragments of my life – mostly essays and miscellaneous non-fiction – which have been accumulating like Radon gas in the basement for many decades. These I have arranged into thematic sections on learning, teaching, working, travelling and so on, in a kind of biographical tapas that the curious reader can dip into at any point, according to taste.

More details at Amazon.com and on the Books and Audio page of this site.


All my broadcasts are now available as podcasts on iTunes and Google. Just enter my name in the Search box.