Not so new addiction XVII

Orwell’s Roses by Rebecca Solnit

The Possessed by Elif Batuman

Letters of note: Fathers by Shaun Usher

Smoke by Ivan Turgenev  (second reading)

To Be a Man (short stories) by Nicole Krauss

Medusa’s Ankles (short stories) by A. S. Byatt

English Literature (study guide) by Benjamin W. Griffin, Ph.D.

All that Man is (stories) by David Szaley

Putting the Rabbit Back in the Hat by Brian Cox

The Body by Bill Bryson

Rogue’s Gallery by Philip Hook

The Amur River: Between Russia and China by Colin Thubron

The Body by Bill Bryson

The Coloring Book by Colin Quinn

Hot, Cold, Heavy, Light, 100 Art Writings 1988-2018 (essays) by Peter Schjeldahl

The Living Hand (essays) by Edmund Morris

Welcome Home (short essays) by Lucia Berlin

Evenings in Paradise (short stories) by Lucia Berlin

Unaccustomed Earth (short stories) by Jhumpa lahiri

Aftershocks (memoir) by Nadia Owusu

Handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh

Not so new addiction XVI

Bliss and Other Stories (short stories) by Katherine Mansfield

The Magician by Colm Tóibín

Elsewhere Home (short stories) by Leila Aboulela

Passage to India by E.M. Forster

A Swim in a Pond of Rain (on Chekhov stories) by  George Saunders

Why Read Moby-Dick? (on Moby-Dick) by Nathaniel Philbrick

The Novel of the Century (on Les Misérables) by David Bellos

Radical Wordsworth: the poet that changed the world by Jonathan Bate

Houdini: the illusive American by Adam Begley

The Red and the Black by Stendhal

Rememberings by Sinéad O’Connor

Essential Anaïs Nin (excerpts from) The Diary of Anaïs Nin by Anaïs Nin

Letters to Comondo by Edmund de Waal

Around the World in 80 Books by David Damrosch

The Lost Notebook of Édouard Manet by Maureen Gibbon

In the Country (short stories) by Mia Alvar

The Clergyman’s Daughter by George Orwell

All About Me! by Mel Brooks

The Idiot by Elif Batuman

Not so new addiction XV

Chanel’s Riviera by Anne De Courcy

Plain Tales from the Hills by Rudyard Kipling

Pianos and Flowers (short stories) by Alexander McCall Smith

Istanbul, Memories and the City by Orhan Pamuk

Trains and Lovers (interlocking stories) by Alexander McCall Smith

The Black Monk and other stories (short stories) by Anton Chekhov

Real Estate by Deborah Levy

The Complete stories of Anton Chekhov Vol 1 – 1882-1885 by Anton Chekhov


A Sportsman’s Notebook (stories) by Ivan Turgenev

Bel Ami by Guy de Maupassant

Sleep No More (short stories) by P.D. James

First Love by Ivan Turgenev

After the Fireworks (three novellas) by Aldous Huxley

About Love (stories) by Anton Chekhov

The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy

Poor Clare by Elizabeth Gaskell

Lives of the artists by Kathleen Krull

Lives of the Writers by Kathleen Krull

Lives of Extraordinary Women by Kathleen Krull

The Danube by Nick Thorpe





Not so new addiction XIV

Sybille Bedford: A Life by Selina Hastings

A Visit to Don Otavio: A Mexican Journey by Sybille Bedford

Fifty-two Stories (short stories) by Anton Chekhov

Other People’s Love Affairs (short stories) by D. Wystan Owen

Reminiscences of Anton Chekhov by Maxim Gorky, Alexander Kuprin, I.A. Bunin

Reading Chekhov by Janet Malcolm

Ernest Hemingway: The Short Stories Volume I by Ernest Hemingway

In the Ravine and other Stories (stories by) Anton Chekhov

Homeless Bird by Gloria Whelan

Notebook of Anton Chekhov by Anton Chekhov

The Quiet American by Graham Greene

We Begin our Ascent by Joe Mungo Reed

Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher

Shockaholic by Carrie Fisher

Classic Poe (short stories) by Edgar Allan Poe

At Night All Blood is Black by David Diop

Winner Take Nothing (short stories) by Ernest Hemingway

The Secret Pilgrim by John Le Carré

Cakes and Ale by W. Somerset Maughm

Figures in a Landscape by Paul Theroux

The Destructors and Other Stories (short stories) by Graham Greene

Not so new addiction XIII

The Graybar Hotel (short stories) by Curtis Dawkins

Crossing Mandelbaum Gate by Kai Bird

Flights (fragments) by Olga Tokarczuk

Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy

The Diamond Dog (poems) by Diane Wakowski

Bowie’s Bookshelf: a Hundred Books that Changed David Bowie’s Life by John O’Connell

Realms of Gold: The Letters and Poems of John Keats selected by Penny Keelyside

Last Stories (short stories) by William Trevor

Too Much Happiness (short stories) by Alice Munro

Don’t Save Anything (essays, articles, profiles) by James Salter

Say You’d Be One of Them (stories) by Uwem Akpan

The Trip to Echo Springs: On writing and drinking by Olivia Laing

Love from Boy; Roald Dahl’s Letters to his Mother by Donald Sturrock

The Boys of my Youth (stories) by Jo Ann Beard

Stone’s Fall by Ian Pears

Unfinished Business: Notes of a chronic re-reader by Vivian Gornick

Mother’s and Sons by Colm Toibin

Florida (short stories) by Lauren Groff

An Unrestored Woman (stories) by Shobha Rao

Born on a Blue Day by Daniel Tammet

The Short Stories of D.H. Lawrence

Antiquities by Cynthia Ozick


Not so new addiction XII

An Elderly Lady is Up to No Good (stories) by Helene Tursten

How to Pronounce Knife (stories) by Souvankham Thammavongsa

Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner

Thirteen Ways of looking (stories) by Colum McCann

Sorry for your trouble (stories) by Richard Ford

The Beach by Lena Lencek and Gideon Bosker

Your Duck is My Duck (stories) by Deborah Eisenberg

Smut: Two Unseemly Stories (stories) by Alan Bennett

Trajectory (stories) by Richard Russo

Footsteps: Literary Pilgrimages Around the World essays from The New York Times

Franz Kafka’s Short Stories read by Lotte Lenya

If You See Me, Don’t Say Hi (stories) by Neel Patel

Classic Ghost Stories (stories) by Bram  Stoker, Sheridan le Fanu, Vincent O’Sullivan, etc.

Suspended Sentences: Three Novellas by Patrick Modiano

Collected Fictions by Jorge Luis Borges

A possible Life (stories) by Sebastian Faulks

The Professor by Charlotte Bronte (read by James Wilby)

You think it, I’ll say it (short stories) by Curtis Sittenfeld

Everything In This Country Must (short stories and a novella) by Colum McCann

Grand Union (short stories) by Zadie Smith

Sweet Filthy Morning After (short story) by Christina Lauren


Not so new addiction XI

The Small House in Allington by Anthony Trollope

Agent Running in the Field by John le Carré

Lemon Red by Cralan Kelder

Sometimes you have to Lie: The Life and Times of Louise Fitzhugh by Leslie Brody

Call for the Dead by John le Carre

Department of Speculation by Jenny Offill

Troubles by J.G.Farrell


Short Stories of J.G. Chesterton by J.G. Chesterton

Three Men in a Boat by Jerome k. Jerome

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving

Sex Death Enlightenment by Mark Matousek

Wandering Jew: The Search for Joseph Roth by Dennis Marks

Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters

A Life of Adventure and Delight by Akhil Sharma

The End of the Century by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala



Tale of two emails: Second email

Second email:

Viewed on the morning of 11/24/2020. Have not mentioned its content to a living soul. Not only due to the warning therein, but because a) chances are it’s a ruse, b) I don’t want to worry anyone. (If it’s the end, its the end.) Have, however, contacted the FBI online in which a copy of of the eerie email has been included, requesting guidance. None has been received. As yet …

Text of email:




Mon, Nov 23, 2020 12:37 pm
Jack Smith diallosafiya0@___.___
Someone paid me to kill you, If you want me to spare you.
I’ll give you seven days to pay me USD$3500.
If you inform the police or anybody, you will die. I am monitoring you.
Two more days until Jack Smith’s deadline.
An actual ‘Jack Smith’ (the senders name) is remembered as the founder of American underground cinema best known for “Flaming Creatures” from 1963. In his film the actors are drag artists, intersex folks; scenes include an earthquake, an orgy, a lipstick commercial. The film runs for 42 minutes, it’s budget was $300. Jack Smith went on to make many more films. Also: ‘Jacksmith’ is the name of a computer game – part of – used to craft ‘awesome’ weapons and armor ...’

Tale of two emails: First email



Two emails were received in the space of five days in the ninth month of pandemic:

First email:


Tue, Nov 17, 2020 4:51 pm
C____ (
hello Alison,
i was watching a movie recently about a girl living on her own in a camper van
– and she was reading found & lost* which I ordered and am now enjoying so much!
do you happen to know my friend L____ L___ L___who has also been coming
here to Amsterdam for many years, from New York?
best from Amsterdam
C___  K____
I wrote to the sender, asked: a) what movie? b) do I know you? and replied c) No, I don’t know L____ L___ L_____
Received a reply to my reply. In it a) a still photo in which a young girl holds my book “Found and Lost” in her fist And, further, discovered that the still  photo is from the following film
How grand is that?
Have now watched the beguiling film with pleasure and respect. Have a look at its trailer – “The Short History of the Long Road” ** The lost girl (played oh so sweetly by Sabrina Carpenter) in the photo is traveling alone in a van across the American southwest, against its mesmerizing landscape. On the journey she reads, among other books, my memoir, Found and Lost. I’d like to think the book’s travails help the innocent girl on her way to self-discovery. The film was written and directed by young, mega-talent Ani Simon-Kennedy.
Answer to second question, b) “You don’t know me” *** Which is true. (Have a listen.)
The unknown sender of the email, I’ve now discovered, is a talented male poet/writer living is Amsterdam. I’ve now read some of his work and wait for more to be revealed. He’s a jewel of a poet. (I’ll ask if I might reveal his name. If he says yes, I’ll insert.)
**[“The Short History of the Long Road” is directed by Ani Simon-Kennedy ;
the film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2019 ]
*[Found and Lost by Alison Leslie Gold – Nottinghill Editions, UK, 2017; NYRB, USA, 2018]
***[  “You don’t know me” by Willie Nelson written by Cindy Walker and Eddy Arnold. Have a listen.]

Not so new addiction X

In the Ravine and Other Stories by Anton Chekhov

A Delicate Truth by John le Carre

The Kiss and the Duel by Anton Chekhov

A Way in the World by V.S. Naipaul

In a Free State by V.S. Naipaul

The Enigma of Arrival by V.S. Naipaul

Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham

Plain Tales from the Hills by Rudyard Kipling

Ganges by Sudipta Sen

Rain and Other Stories by W. Somerset Maugham

The Short Stories by John Galsworthy by John Galsworthy

Wessex Tales by Thomas Hardy

Without ever Reaching the Summit by Paolo Cognetti

Berlin Alexanderplatz by Alfred Doblin

The Black Nile by Dan Morrison

Travels in Siberia by Ian Frazier

Last Man in the Tower by Aravind Adiga

Between the Assassinations by Aravind Adiga

Don Quixote by Miguel De Cervantes

Journey to Armenia by Osip Mandelstam

Questions of Travel: William Morris in Iceland by Lavinia Greenlaw