The Amazon # 1 best-seller, this is a collection of short stories, travel-writing, reviews, excerpts and articles.
In 'The Book' a woman on a station platform has her life changed by the gift of a strangely powerful book.
'Baseball for Beginners' attempts to understand the subtleties of this nuanced game.
In 'Many Rooms' three strangers who inhabit an inner city square find they have more in common than they think.
'Grave Secrets' explores the buried lives, hopes and dreams of the dead.
In 'Open Day' the pinkest, fluffiest, most innocuous old lady at the old folks' home surprises everyone, including the Mayor.
'The Peach Side of Apricot' recalls a conversation overheard on a bus.
There was something about the girl. She was illuminated in a way that had nothing to do with the wintery sun. She glowed with a radiance that seemed to come from an inner source, to light her up, almost to elevate her. She appeared hardly to be sitting on the bench at all, but to be floating just above it, so energised, so buoyed was her whole demeanour. Although she remained perfectly still on the seat it was as though she exuded waves of glee so palpable that they seemed physical. She was rapt. Transported. Her face declared it. A smile played constantly around her lips and sometimes broke out, and the even teeth she pressed from time to time onto her bottom lip failed to subdue it one iota. Her eyes sparkled. They were wide with a kind of surprised awe, and full of laughter. I believed I could hear the occasional gasp or murmur of amazement but perhaps I conjectured these as the logical and irrepressible expression of her air.
I felt drawn to her, attracted by the powerful pull of her mien; intrigued, and envious of her youth and hopefulness and of this other non-specific but tangible current of secret gladness that emanated in appealing waves. At the same time I felt almost angry, resentful. Why, I wondered, should she have such evident cause for optimism, and I none at all?
In her hands she held a book and as the minutes passed by it seemed to me more and more apparent that the book was in some way the font of her happiness.