Tom Simard

Poetry, Music, and Prose

Archive for the category “Books”

The Best Books I Read This Year

If you’re interested in a great read, consider one of the following:

1. In the First Circle (Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn)
2. Rome: A Cultural, Visual and Personal History (Robert Hughes)
3. God and the New Physics (Paul Davies)
4. Angle of Repose (Wallace Stegner)
5. Mrs. Dalloway (Virginia Woolf)
6. Spirit Wars: Native North American Religions in the Age of Nation Building (Ronald Niezen)
7. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Mark Twain)
8. The Odyssey (Homer/Translator: Stanley Lombardo)



An Invitation to Read

If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho

Why not join us?  If you like, visit thedancingprofessor and express your interest.


A Baker’s Dozen

Interested in a good book? Here’s a baker’s dozen of the best books I read this year:

1.  The Iliad: A New Translation (Translator: Stephen Mitchell)
2.  Hospital of the Transfiguration (Stanislaw Lem)
3.  Slavery by Another Name (Douglas A. Blackmon)
4.  Johannes Brahms: A Biography (Jan Swafford)
5.  Rabbit Boss (Thomas Sanchez)
6.  Everything Flows (Vasily Grossman)
7.  The 42nd Parallel (John Dos Passos)
8.  The Heart of a Dog (Mikhail Bulgakov)
9.  Suleiman the Magnificent (Andre Clot)
10. Constantinople: The Last Great Siege 1453 (Roger Crowley)
11. Forty Days of Musa Dagh (Franz Werfel)
12. God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater (Kurt Vonnegut)
13. Off Side (Manuel Vazquez Montalban)

An Odyssey

Are you interested in the ultimate adventure? If so, why not join us as we begin the Odyssey?

Free Ebook (Watercolors)

Watercolors is free today through Friday.

I hope you’ll get it, read it, and if so inclined, review it.

Jean Desjardins Is Free Today


No, I’m not talking about someone being released from prison.

It’s the title of my novel, you see.

For those who do read it, and like it, a review would be greatly appreciated.

Reviews Wanted!

The statistics could be analyzed, but that would mean some sort of mathematical ability on my part and as I no doubt have mentioned along the way my last math class was 10th Grade Geometry, in which I was so bored that my mind had become one of those oddly named shapes, let’s say a concave polygon.

150px-Simple_polygon.svg(What Geometry Did to My Mind)

I won’t bore you with a lot of numbers just to say that although Jean Desjardins is in the possession of 175 people I have only 2 reviews. If you have read it, and liked it, I’d appreciate when you do have time if you’d review it and post it on Amazon and/or Goodreads. Thanks!

Review of Jean Desjardins

I appreciate Ms. Smith for taking the time to read and review my book.

Five Books to Consider Reading in 2013

Here are the 5 best books I read this year.

1. Life and Fate

2. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee

3. Regulating the Poor

4. The Diary of a Madman, The Government Inspector, and Selected Stories

5. The Buenos Aires Quintet

December 27, 2012 – Free Ebook

For those who are strapped for cash but would still like to read my novel, Jean Desjardins, this is your opportunity as it will be free today.

The Drive for Empty Space – December 27

As you can imagine, it’s difficult to find a picture of empty space so I have improvised accordingly.



My drive for a Bentley shall we say has crashed. Don’t get me started on that wonderful villa in Lugano that I set my heart upon.

Empty space, however? At present, it still appears to be free. My novel will be as well on December 27. I’m going to begin playing with the price from Monday so be forewarned. If you wonder why a $.99 novel is suddenly priced at $99, you’ll understand. By the way, what would you rather be in possession of an electric chain saw or a novel? Please, don’t answer.



Jean Desjardins is Available

For those of you who are interested, Jean Desjardins, is now available for purchase at $.99. With the great profits I plan to reap a whirlwind of hard cash that will allow me to quit my day job and live out the rest of my years in Lugano with a Bentley.

Pandora’s Box

I had made the final changes to the novel, still not perfect, but probably as good as it will ever be and was planning to look through it one more time and push the publish button today, when lo and behold, the buzzer doesn’t ring, and I find myself signing for my new computer or rather the three-month-old computer, which is now in possession of a new hard drive whose life I hope is longer than one of those nuclear materials that unfortunately haunt rather than illuminate desert areas.  At the time, I had to make a decision – carry on using the old computer, or open the box, and see what in the world I was in possession of.

Wand’rin’ Star

From this Wednesday until perhaps the End of Time, I’ll be posting excerpts from my novel, Jean Desjardins, which should, barring some weird alignment of the planets, be available on November 29.  If interested, click here.

For those of you like I, who were born on Thursday, and have far to go, take a listen to Lee Marvin crooning Wand’rin’ Star.


If you follow this blog, you may recall I said I was pricing my novel, Jean Desjardins, at $1.99. I did this wrongly assuming it would entitle me to to the 70% rather than the 35% royalty option. I take it my misunderstanding has to do with my inability/unwillingness to follow instructions. It’s a good thing the military turned me down all those years ago. If not, I might have found myself court-martialed.

What I’ve decided therefore is to price it lower at $.99 and perhaps at some point in the future, raise the price so I can take advantage of the 70% royalty option. I’m not planning on doing this any time soon, but if and when I do, I’ll be sure to give everyone fair warning.

Out of Commission

I know it sounds as if I’m a machine, but if in doubt I can only say that in the future scenario pitting robots against humanity I will not be on the side of the robots.

Tomorrow I’ll be posting Chapter One on my other blog. For the next few weeks while continually keeping that proverbial wolf from the door (I actually like wolves, and think they’ve been given a bum rap.) I’ll be trying to get the formatting done. As Ringo, the most loveable of the Beatles sang, It Don’t Come Easy.

In the meantime, take a look at the first chapter or look through some of the poems you haven’t yet read.

Truth is Subjectivity

Kierkegaard was right on this account.
The stars given to books read reflect the following sentiment:

5 = The Amazon?
4 = They still have plenty of trees.
3 = Things are still manageable.
2 = I think I’m beginning to be short of breath.
1 = I can’t breathe!

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