“I teach his work, I love his work – his humor, his observations, his compassion, the rhythm and timing of his prose…”
Rick Bailey is a master storyteller. In his latest book, Tumbling Up, he takes the reader back to a simpler time. You become immersed in his adventures and feel like one of his friends going along for the ride.
Seamlessly (sometimes surprisingly, sometimes magically) weaving together his own experiences with odd bits of fact and research, his prose style in The Enjoy Agenda makes it all real, warm, poignant, and often funny.
“This is everything you could ask for in a book of essays. Bailey’s voice in The Enjoy Agenda is wise, warm, and always engaging as he turns his keen intellect and wonderful way with words toward subjects both mundane and lofty.”
“If Seinfeld was the show about nothing, Get Thee to a Bakery might be the book about everything.”
“His new book, Get Thee to a Bakery, is a delightful blend of memoir, travelogue and creative nonfiction.”
“In American English, Italian Chocolate, Rick Bailey’s brilliant essays on life’s messiness, humor, awkwardness and delectability leap, spin and dazzle. He writes with eloquence about kissing, about the horror of house flies, the joys of microfiber underwear, the psychological egoism of donating blood, the ringworm infection which happily kept him from attending Boy Scout camp.
“Imagine an older, less sullen Holden Caulfield, observing the world around him with mild, avuncular snark coupled with bountiful amusement. . .. Bailey’s tone of sweet bemusement, even at life’s minor inconveniences, helps these pieces go down like scoops of creamy Italian gelato.”
“Bailey tackles truly mundane subjects like haircuts, routine dentist visits, egg yolks, Kindles, cold pizza, flooded basements, leaf-stuffed rain gutters, dog turds in the yard, sun hats, and the infuriating folks who continue to add two spaces after a period. He writes about all of this and makes a reader laugh and care.”
“In ‘Alien Pleasures,’ he admits to enjoying the odd hotdog left on the counter overnight. In ‘You’re Not Going to Eat That, Are You?,’ he considers eating the squirrels invading his bird feeder. His writing is sharp, ironic, and humorously honest, but his character is contemplative, thoughtful, even sweet, his affection for his wife seemingly unwavering.”
“In each essay and throughout the collection, he revisits seasons, conflicts, and motifs in such a way that I sometimes felt I was reading an epic poem. I am mesmerized by his ability to weave together disparate ideas.”
“Bailey is continually asking questions about the world he perceives, some of which his readers may have asked themselves. Take rating wine, for example. Bailey writes, “Suppose the wine you’re tasting is a 92. I wonder: What would make it a 91? A little less pliability?”
“Rick Bailey’s latest collection of essays utilizes personal anecdotes to weave together a myriad of themes and subjects. Life writing at its finest, this is a warm, funny and relatable read, perfect for the part-time foodie amongst us.”
“His warm humour and wit allow him to segue from wine-tasting, to university grading, to the temporality of art, and back again. His writing is intelligent while remaining simple and colloquial – it feels like coming home.