Books


In my first three books I bring together moments from the past and present. The gelato I’m eating at Nuovo Fiore in Rimini, Italy, reminds me of the Baskin-Robbins ice cream I ate in Ypsilanti, Michigan, when I was in college, which reminds me of the ice cream I ate at Mooney’s in Saginaw, Michigan, when I was a kid. It’s a pleasure to connect the dots, thinking about where I am and where I came from. In Tumbling Up I focus on the Freeland years, in the small town where I grew up. The stories I tell in this book are about formative years, coming of age in the seductive mayhem of the 60’s. Shop at Amazon. Signed copies here.


In Get Thee to a Bakery Rick Bailey returns to familiar subjects: home, family, food, health, travel, technology, finding humor in the minute details of everyday life. Whose idea was pumpkin pie? How do you get rid of ear worm? Why do Americans smile so much? Is that a velociraptor’s footprint? Are we in the midst of a great bug die-off?  In small nibbles, these essays will entertain as you read sitting pool- or beach-side, enjoying your morning coffee, relaxing in bed before drifting off to sleep.  Shop at Amazon.  Signed copies here.


In The Enjoy Agenda, Rick Bailey recreates for us what Virginia Woolf calls moments of being,” writes Eileen Pollack, author of The Only Woman in the Room, “those bright bursts of beauty, loss, communion, and bewilderment that constitute a life.” In these essays he finds humor in a variety of subjects: his half-hearted attempt to lower his blood pressure, the prospect of an iSmell app and the scent of outer space (burnt steak, hot metal, welding fumes), the pros and cons of milk substitutes, going full chopstick in Shanghai, the limits of his spoken Italian. Shop at Amazon. Signed copies here.


“The essays in American English, Italian Chocolate read like the best of short stories: their significance extends beyond what is on the page. Bailey demonstrates a genius for locating a telling detail and employing it sparingly to evoke a setting or character trait, keeping the writing concise and the pace swift.” Publishers Weekly.  He travels all night from Michigan to New Jersey to attend the funeral of a college friend dead of AIDS. He staggers in flipflops across the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. In a trattoria above the Adriatic he ruminates on the history and glories of beans. Shop at Amazon. Signed copies here.