Quote of The Week

“The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it”

George Orwell


Out of Order: More Irregular Essays from Public Radio

These entertaining and thoughtful essays first heard on stations of the WSHU Public Radio Network in Long Island and Connecticut where Bouchier’s ironic wit has made him one of the best-known public radio personalities in the region. He is also host of the podcast “A Few Well Chosen Words.”

Out of Order is the latest collection of his radio commentaries, covering the past four extraordinary years. He brings a fresh approach to everything, including the insanity of politics in an election year, and the COVID19 hysteria. Other essays take on the wild world of the social media, the problem of people who speak foreign languages, DNA testing and ancestor worship, magical thinking, and unreliable advice columns. They all find a place in this latest compendium of astute observations and whimsical opinions.

Available now from Amazon.com

Paperback: $14.95
Kindle: $5.99

A Journal of the Eightieth Year : The Five Seasons

A thoughtful and entertaining journal of the eightieth year in the life of writer and teacher David Bouchier. He begins with an affectionate memory of his father, who died just before achieving the same age. He determines to make the most of the year his father never had.

His mini-memoir takes us from birthday to birthday, from winter to winter, each season stimulating memories from the past. Always accompanied by his beloved wife Diane (who claims that he is only six) Bouchier does his best to carry on as if old age is not happening.

Determined to stay alive and stay active he deals with all the usual annoyances of old age, including increasing deafness, and struggles with his own uncertainty about what full retirement would mean, and whether he is qualified to do it. The journal ends with his ironic reflections on age and death as he heads into uncharted territory.

The book is partly a philosophical and nostalgic ramble through the past, and partly a present-day travelogue of happy journeys in Britain and France. But it is grounded in the realities of life on the edge of old age as the hours and days irrevocably tick away, the future shrinks, and the present moment becomes doubly precious. Bouchier never takes himself or anyone else too seriously. He is all-too aware of the irony of his situation, the failures of memory and the elaborate joke that life plays on all of us.

For the connoisseur of the concentrated short memoir, Journal of the Eightieth Year falls somewhere between The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen Aged 83 1/4 and P.D.James’s Time to Be in Earnest. It is as poignantly funny as the first, and as reflective as the second.

This is an honest, lighthearted, and revealing memoir, from a writer with a reputation for what he himself calls “serious humor.” It makes you smile even while it makes you think.

Available now from Amazon.com

Dark Matters: Delusions, Illusions, Lost Causes and Absurdities in Modern America

This collection of personal essays articles, talks and unclassifiable fragments of analysis and opinion reveals that I couldn’t resist the temptation to write down, not without irony, some of the darker thoughts that have been plaguing me over the years. With due modesty, I would describe it as a kind of festschrift by myself and for myself, my valedictory contribution to the literature of skepticism, based on a lifetime of following my mother’s wise advice: “Don’t believe everything people tell you.”

One reviewer has this to say:

“Bouchier has composed a series of essays that occupy the cerebral space between cognition and sophisticated correspondence, both accessible and meditatively thoughtful. The topics he covers are wide-ranging: education, sexual identity, consumer culture, and the necessary conditions of civilization…For all its playfulness this book radiates gravity, a profound concern with the fate of man.”

Kirkus Reviews

New and available from Amazon or B & N at $12.50 and on Kindle or Nook at $8.99.

An Unexpected Life – a Memoir

David Bouchier. An Unexpected Life. Permanent Press April 2018. 272p. ISBN 9781579625191. $29.95.

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. ”

From Library Journal

“This memoir is quite compelling, especially considering that it is more of a just-the-facts account of writer (Not Quite a Stranger: Essays on Life in France; The Accidental Immigrant: America Observed) and radio host (WSHU Public Radio) Bouchier’s life, rather than an exploration of one aspect of it. In a Zen-like fashion, the author approaches life with great openness, allowing opportunities to come to him and seizing them when they do. How else do you explain how someone goes from high school dropout to college professor, radio host, and writing teacher; from Britain to America, with many interludes in Europe, specifically France? VERDICT Bouchier is a warm and welcome guide; his life is filled with enough variety to interest just about anyone.”

Available now from Amazon.com or, if you are lucky enough to have one, from your local bookstore.

Out of Thin Air: More Irregular Essays from Public Radio

David Bouchier brings humor and insight to the quirks and perplexities of everyday life. These entertaining commentaries were first broadcast on stations of the WSHU Public Radio Network in Long Island and Connecticut where Bouchier’s ironic wit has made him one of the best-known public radio personalities in the region. He is also host of the podcast “A Few Well Chosen Words.”

Out of Thin Air is the fifth collection of his radio commentaries, broadcast over the past five years. He brings a fresh approach to everything from vanishing memories to the increasing insanity of politics, the ambiguous pleasures of foreign travel, and the many annoyances of modern electronic life. Fake antiques, gifted children, TV murder mysteries, amateur plumbers, and the federal tax system all find a place in this latest collection of astute observations and whimsical opinions.

Available now from Amazon.com – $14.99 Also as Kindle

Lucky Man : A Life in Essays


Born in London just too late to join in the Secord World War, David Bouchier considers himself a lucky man. He enjoyed a rich and varied life in writing, bookselling, and college teaching without ever being spoiled by wealth or success. In America he learned the secrets of suburban life by settling in Long Island, New York, and achieved a kind of celebrity as an essayist and classical music host on his local National Public Radio stations.

An unreliable memory discouraged David from embarking on a memoir, until he realized that he had written one already in the form of more than a thousand personal essays. This book is a selection of those essays arranged by themes: learning, teaching, reading, writing, work, and travel. It is an engaging life seen obliquely through the prism of the humorous speculations, commentaries and passing observations that have been accumulating like radon gas in his basement all these years. It’s all here, from unsuccessful French classes to reflections on science fiction and advice on how not to write a novel. The reader can pick and choose according to whim, but there is always something strange, surprising, or outrageous to discover.

$14.95 from Amazon.com – also available on Kindle

Not Quite a Stranger

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David Bouchier began rambling around France on his motorcycle in the 1960s, and he’s still rambling. Not a tourist, resident, or climate refugee (like the wave of snowbirds who temporarily invade Florida every winter), Bouchier has found himself living among the French whenever he’s had the chance for more than fifty years.

In these engaging personal essays, he offers his unique perspective—as a lapsed sociologist, recovering educator, and NPR commentator—on France, the French, and his often-hilarious struggles with the language, culture, food, history, and various four-legged home invaders in the land of la liberté.

First focusing on his youthful attempt at the Bohemian intellectual life in Paris before turning to the sunny, romantic South of France, which he and his wife, Diane, have explored for many years, this collection of delightful essays looks at daily life in France from a variety of wonderfully revealing angles.

$13.60 from Amazon.com – also on Kindle.

Peripheral Vision: Irregular Essays from Public Radio

Peripheral Vision (2011) is the fourth collection of David Bouchier’s public radio commentaries on his life as an immigrant in America. Readers will relish his fresh approach to the rituals that carry us through the year, our obsession with health and fitness, the horrors of travel, and the many annoyances of modern life.

Nothing is too small or too vast to attract his attention: wine labels, yard sales, forgotten passwords, antique cars, distressed ducks, and the federal tax system all find a place in this very funny collection of astute observations and whimsical opinions.

$14.99 Also available on Kindle

Peripheral Vision

The Cats and the Water Bottles

The Cats and the Water Bottles – and other Mysteries of French Village Life

Thirty six entertaining essays, plus twelve line drawings by Diane Bouchier tell the story of a year in a small village in the south of France – encounters with village characters and village cats, language problems, local politics, and adventures in French culture. Originally broadcast on National Public Radio Stations WSHU and WSUF.

$12.95 plus $2.00 s&h Now available on Amazon Kindle

From bookstores, Amazon.com Barnesandnoble.com and iUniverse.com

The Cats and The Water Bottles

The Accidental Immigrant

New Edition

The Accidental Immigrant was originally published in 1996 and has now been reissued. This  is vintage Bouchier, in every sense of the word, full of vignettes from American life, from lawn care to teenage sex. 323 pages, soft cover.

$23.95; hard cover $33.95. Also available on Kindle.

From bookstores, Amazon.com Barnesandnoble.com and iUniverse.com

The Accidental Immigrant