The details for WomenAloud

Hello girls,

hope your are all well,

keeping warm,

keeping your bods,

and hearts safe.

I wanted to give,

you all,

the details,

of the podcast.

It will air tomorrow,

Wednesday (the 19 th)

my part is at 8 pm mtn,

which is 10 pm,

eastern time.

Shawn Marie Bryan and I discuss,

our love for 84 Charing cross road.

It was an absolute,


to do so.

Shawn Marie is a warm,




a nice woman,

she made feel at ease,

right off,

as if we had been,

chatting for years.

I really hope that is,

how it translates,


that those of you,

who listen in,

will enjoy,

recognize your joy,

in the book,

or run out and get,

a copy,


if you have read it,

or not.

It is internet radio,


the show is WomenAloud,

and will be rebroadcast,

the next day and later,

be available in the


hope you enjoy it.

Let me know.


I will review,

The Couch Sessions,


give details as to how,

you may purchase,

the book,

’til then.

Later girls,




Desert Island Books

What books would I want to have on a desert island?

I have always found that to be a interesting game to play with myself.

In a perfect world, fantasy world that is,

I would land on an island populated sparsely,

 with women.

I would wash on to the beach,

 closely followed by my giant steamer trunk,  

 filled with books.

The desert island game would then become,

 Fantasy Island.

No, but, seriously.

I have considered this game many times over the years,

played it with friends,

with customers.

To make it interesting I take five books,

 two are very small.

All would fit in an overnight bag.

Obviously, a Kindle or some such device would be great,

 because of storage capabilities but,

there is no electricity or power sources on a desert island,

and I’m no engineer.

Number one,

84 Charing Cross Road  because I love this book,

also it is tiny.

Number two, W. Somerset Maugham Collected Short Stories Volume 4

Again tiny,

 and it contains my all time favourite short story,

 The Book Bag.

I would bring my favourite novel by my favourite novelist.

The World According To Garp by John Irving.

Also I would bring Rat Bohemia by Sarah Schulman.

I see it as a work of staggering power and originality.

Schulman is one of the best writers I have ever read,

 and I wouldn’t mind spending the rest of my life rereading her.

So, that’s four.

I am very comfortable with these choices.

The fifth is tough.

The situation deserves analysis,

since I have recently been accused of over analysing,

I should figure this out.

I believe the fifth book should be a book I have never read,

just for the sheer discovery factor.

Also, it should be an acknowledged classic,

 great work of literature.

It should be a tough read,

 to keep me thinking, stimulated and prevent Alzheimer’s.

So upon analysis and reflection,

 I have narrowed it down to three,

Moby Dick, Ulysses or War and Peace.

I have read none of these,

all are considered great and,

 have been on my to be read at some point in my life, list.

All are one volume,

 and fit the requirement of the overnight bag size.

So it comes down to,

 do I want to spend the remainder of my days with,

a stoic New Englander, a weird Irishman or a Russian Count.

Do I want to read about obsession and the slaughter of Whales,

a drunken and poetic odyssey,

or the horror and heroism of war.

I think I would opt for Ulysses.

A hard and long read but, based on nothing but,

second hand info,

 a happier read.

If any of you,

 play or have ever played this game,

let me know your choices,

it would be fun.

Later girls


Books are my Solace

Whenever life gets me down or kicks me in the face, books are my solace.

The British writer Ruth Rendell once said      “Some say life’s the thing, I— prefer reading”

That statement although a slight exaggeration, has a lot of truth.

Books rarely let you down. Even if, for whatever reason, they don’t appeal to you, you can always find something

enjoyable about them. The cover, the smell—– whatever. A book is boring? You get another book. No feelings are

hurt– there are no misinterpretations.  Books never think you’re cold or cerebral , they set forth stories, ideas, theories—that you “buy” or not.

Over the years a few  books stand out  in the bringing of solace and pleasure.

Anything by John Irving, most especially The World According To Garp.

My top book for old sweater comfort by a roaring fire is,  84 Charing Cross Road.     

I first discovered this book in a way I often do,  through a really good movie.

84 Charing Cross Road,  was a intelligent feel good movie starring the great, and sorely missed, Anne Bancroft and the very touching Anthony Hopkins. I saw this movie, loved it, and went on living my life.

Years later, I came upon an article that delighted over the book   (which enjoys a small cult following)

and the same week a customer of mine, who has impeccable taste, mentioned it. I went out the next day and bought a copy.  I have read it at least twenty times since. The book is a correspondence between a New York writer, Helene Hanff and a London bookseller, Frank Doel. Frank works for Marks and Co. booksellers located at 84 Charing Cross Road. Their correspondence spans over 30 years, it is delightful, humorous and irresistible to the lover of books.

I have since read Hanff’s other books, I liked them, she’s funny and well-read, but, Charing Cross is to me unique in it’s warmth and succinctness. It’s a small book, novella length and thus can be read and re-read, it is not a massive undertaking. A couple of hours spent with an old “friend”. 

I can’t tell you how much it has helped me over the tough times over the years

Later girls


this post also appears at bookishinmtl