Quote of The Week

“The difference between a politician and a statesman is that a politician thinks about the next election, while the statesman thinks about the next generation.”

Theologian James Freeman Clarke



Happy New Year to both my frozen readers! The good news for 2018 is that our OLLI Classical Music workshop is scheduled to run again, and you can find preliminary details on the Music page.

Topics of the Week

The Featured Essay: “The Plague” offers some reflections on the common cold, based on personal experience.

Writing Life: “Commonplaces” suggests an old-fashioned style of book for writers who don’t know what to write..

Another New Book

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.

Forthcoming from Permanent Press in March 2018: another and different memoir, An Unexpected Life.

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.