About Rob

Rob, a self-confessed bibliophile, is without any hope of rehabilitation. He gets unnaturally excited over anything book-shaped, and if book sniffing were a crime then he would have been locked up years ago (which wouldn't bother him in the slightest provided his cell was lined with books)

Chekhov Shorts: The Witch

Title: The Witch Date Read: 03 January 2017 Word Count: 4678 Briefly: A storm rages around the estate church, and sexton Savély Gykin is convinced that his wife is to blame, in an attempt to lure men to their hut. Afterthoughts: An interesting … [Read more...]

Chekhov Shorts: Art

Title: Art Date Read: 03 January 2017 Word Count: 2230 Briefly: Preparations for Epiphany celebrations are under way, and as usual the peasant Seryozhka is his short-tempered and angry self. Afterthoughts: I rather enjoyed this quick peak … [Read more...]

And so it resumes….

Well, it’s been quite some time since my words last graced the virtual pages of this website. But here words are, and with them comes the affirmation that RobAroundBooks is back in business. A lot of water may have passed under the bridge since I … [Read more...]

Windham Campbell Prizes: The Art of the Essay

Windham Campbell Prizes have kindly made available a recent 'Art of the Essay' panel discussion, recorded at their 2015 Festival, featuring three leading contemporary essayists (and two of my favourites). The discussion between Anne Fadiman, John … [Read more...]

‘Book Bites’ for Wednesday 4th March 2015

'Which Books Do You Read Over and Over Again?' - I'm a huge advocate for rereading (especially short stories), and so it's nice to stumble across a discussion on the New York Times website that covers this very topic. During the course of the article … [Read more...]

Bookshelf of the Week: Hospital book cart, 1928

With Bookshelf of the Week making its welcome return, I thought I'd hit you with something not only vintage but a little quirky too. I'm sure many of you will have already seen this image captured in 1928, but I think it's worth showing again if … [Read more...]

‘Book Bites’ for Tuesday 3rd March 2015

Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award shortlist revealed - Alas, I've not had the time or the focus to be able to get behind one of my favourite short story awards this year, but that doesn't stop me giving you the heads up on the freshly announced … [Read more...]

Constellation of Genius: March-ing on

You may remember I announced last month that I was picking up the reigns once more on my journey through Kevin Jackson’s Constellation of Genius (Hutchinson), taking in that which I had set up in March 2014 before personal circumstances forced me to … [Read more...]

Robservations addendum: Tesson adds strength to the notion of ‘overreading’

In a kind of addendum to my “Robservations” essay in which I suggest with the help of nineteenth-century German philosopher Schopenhauer and French philosopher and spiritual writer, Antonin-Gilbert Sertillanges that reading too many books is bad for … [Read more...]

Constellation of Genius: The Journey continues…

On this, the anniversary of James Joyce’s birthday (and indeed the publication of his most famous novel, Ulysses), it is perhaps most timely that I announce the recommencement of my ‘Journeying through the Constellation of Genius’ project, which you … [Read more...]