Saturday, 5 October 2019


@chandlerisms: Outrageous similes



From Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep:



Decorative trees trimmed as carefully as poodle dogs



Meaty leaves like the newly washed fingers of dead men



He used his strength like a show-girl uses her last good pair of stockings



A smile as wide as Wilshire Boulevard



As empty of life as a scarecrow’s pockets



Blood began to move around in me like a prospective tenant looking over a house

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

BEST HISTORICAL NOVEL: THE INQUISITOR'S NIECE


Good news, friends. I was awarded the Colorado Publishers' annual award for "best historical novel". Above the certificate "suitable for framing"!

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

NATHAN RON'S NEW BOOK IS OUT!  ERASMUS AND THE OTHER

A FULL EXAMINATION OF ERASMUS' ATTITUDE TOWARD NON-CHRISTIANS





FROM THE PREFACE:
"THIS BOOK, I DARE SAY, IS THE FIRST FULL TREATMENT OF ERASMUS' VIEWS OF THE 'OTHER'. THE BOOK EXPORES HOW ERASMUS VIEWED NON-CHRISTIANS AND DIFFERENT RACES, INCLUDING MUSLIMS, JEWS,AMERINDIANS AND BLACK AFRICANS. IT DEALS ALSO WITH RELATED ISSUES SUCH AS WAGING A CRUSADE AGAINST THE TURKS, WAR AND PEACE IN GENERAL, AND THE WISHFUL THINKING OF CONVERTING THE TURKS AND JEWS TO CHRISTIANITY."

Monday, 15 July 2019


@amreading Carolyne Van Der Meer, Journeywoman


Here is a collection of poetry that reads like exquisite prose full of evocative imagery.

Think of the etymology of “journeyman”, which describes a stage in learning one’s craft. It’s derived from journée, a day’s work or travel. And these poems are about becoming a master of womanhood, but also about the journey itself – where does life take us? In Van Der Meer’s poetry we travel the whole distance, from the gritty to the sublime, from food and sex to the dental chair, from cancer to sainthood.

Here are some of her recipes for life:

Tapas in the Plaza Ana

…On the second day,

we visit the Prado

buy handmade Mallorcan tap shoes,

then sink into wicker chairs,

sip rioja and local Naturbier

order tapas-

liver paste,

oiled salmon, blue cheese,

chorizo and jamon

energized

despite sore feet

sweaty brows



I attempt poetry

jagged lines spiked emotions

inspiration from dead Spaniards



Homemade Pasta on New Year’s

The more you put into it, the better it tastes…

later when I roll them around my fork

with porcini mushrooms drenched in cream

I savour the harmony of tastes

remember the hardness

his arms



shudder, satiated, understand

the more you put into it

Monday, 8 July 2019


@amreading Rayanne Haines, Stained With The Colours of Sunday Morning.



Did you know that a family epic can be written in 60 poems? Rayanne Haines has managed this astonishing feat. In a slim book of poems she tells us the story of three generations of women – Georgia, Isabella, and Alina, whose Italian heritage lives on in Canada. All of life is contained in these verses: sex (my skin carries the spices/ of men I’ve made love to), marriage (don’t ask the wild women heart in me to bend), the mother-daughter relationship (my angry daughter, unreachable by me), even the Canadian weather: We wondered if the earth/was trying to finish herself off./ Each February was the same./Our bodies desperate/for the lush wine blood of the sea.



My personal favourite: Questioning Birds

in italy my grandmother

had two canaries

housed in separate cages

so they would sing to the other

…released only occasionally

from their shackles

for a brief taste of flight



i never understood

why they let themselves

be controlled  confined



why they did not rebel

               remain silent in protest.