Michael

28 articles written by Michael

Research and preparation are everything, and by the time Lisa Manterfield rolls up onto the terrace in Laguna Beach, there is an iced gin and tonic already waiting for her. When I ask Lisa if she had any trouble finding the terrace bar, she tells me it was pretty straightforward: just follow the smell of the sea and the magnetic pull of cocktails. It’s hard to argue with logic like that.

Read more →

Ffirst the boring bit: I was given the opportunity to review Lisa Manterfield’s new novel, The Smallest Thing, prior to its release. I received a complimentary early review copy from the publisher for review purposes. No other compensation has been received or implied for this review, nor was I given guidance about review content. All the opinions expressed here are my own.

Now the fun bit: Lisa Manterfield’s second novel is a winner. The Smallest Thing is the engaging and wonderfully written story of Emmott Syddall, a seventeen-year-old English girl whose bucolic Derbyshire village is afflicted with a mysterious, deadly pandemic.

Continue Reading →

If it's naive to want peace instead of war, let 'em make sure they say I'm naive. Because I want peace instead of war. If they tell me they want war instead of peace, I don't say they're naive, I say they're stupid. Stupid to an incredible degree to send young people out to kill other young people they don't even know, who never did anybody any harm, never harmed them. That is the current system. I am naive? That's insane.

Ben Ferencz, prosecutor at the Nuremberg Nazi war crimes trials

The quality of life is in proportion to the capacity for delight. The capacity for delight is the gift of paying attention.

Julia Cameron, The Artist's Way

If you can’t fly, then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Ii was given the opportunity to review Lisa Manterfield’s new novel, A Strange Companion, prior to its release. Before I get to the review, I want to say that I received a complimentary early review copy from the publisher for review purposes. No other compensation has been received or implied for this review, nor was I given guidance about review content. All the opinions expressed here are my own.

Having said all that, A Strange Companion comes out April 4th. Friends, you want this one.

Continue Reading →

Iin 1991 I met Ronald de Kaper in Pamplona, and I’ve been blessed with his friendship ever since.

Ronald invited me to go back to Holland with him to do this thing he called the “beach walk.” I went, and, sure
enough, it was indeed a beach walk. Six days of walking on the sand and through the seaside towns of the Netherlands from Hoek van Holland to Den Helder, camping along the way. Ronald walked with a group of friends, all Dutch – everyone on the walk was Dutch as far as I knew, except me – and over the course of the six days Ronald’s friends became my friends, too: Stefan, Rico, Egon, Janneke, Joris, Johan…

Continue Reading →

God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December.

J. M. Barrie, Courage, from the rectorial address given to the Red Gowns of St. Andrews University

Even at sea Katya had followed him, like the stars, invisible by daylight, at night everywhere.

Stewart O'Nan, City of Secrets