Author: Simon Hertnon

A young woman in front of a painting in a gallery

Where are we?

Where are we? Thankfully, we’re at a publishing crossroads. The article below was first published by New Zealand Book Month in August 2008, the month after Endangered Words was first published (with the title From Afterwit to...

New Zealand pohutukawa trees on the coast

Good health

It’s the festive season—a time to gather with friends and family to celebrate the year passed, a time to toast one another’s good health. Health. Such a deceptively dull word and yet the word...

From the movie: Ruth, Kathy and Tommy on a windswept beach

Book review: Never Let Me Go

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro 2010 Faber and Faber (UK paperback) ISBN: 9780571272129 282 pagesFirst published 2005 This delicate story has recently been made into a movie (which I haven’t seen), resulting...

Clear thinking requires courage rather than intelligence, Thomas Szasz

Inspiring quotations

We quote others because their words resonate and reveal, often capturing a liberating truth or ‘bringing light to bear on the dark corners where troubles fester’ (Sydney Harris). At times quotations shock or provoke us,...

Jimmy Carter addressing the nation via an old TV

Jimmy Carter said it in 1979

I was only 10 when Jimmy Carter delivered his ‘Crisis of Confidence’ televised speech to the American people. So his words were new to me when, earlier this year, I heard parts of the...

Tube map of the London Underground subway lines

Book review: A Week in December

A Week in December by Sebastian Faulks A Sunday Telegraph endorsement on the back cover of this novel simply reads: ‘Perfectly constructed . . . a pleasure to read’, and I concur. I loved this...

Marathon runners pounding the pavement

Book review: Born to Run

Born to Run: The Hidden Tribe, the Ultra-Runners, and the Greatest Race the World has Never Seen  by Christopher McDougall 2009 Profile Books Ltd (UK) ISBN: 9781861978233 (UK) 282 pages plus acknowledgementsFirst published 2009 by...

A levitating book

Fictional dreams (updated)

I mentioned in my last post that, despite having written three non-fiction books, my first love is fiction. The very first piece of advice I received about writing fiction was that I needed to read...

A running track start line

And the Word Olympics winners are…

I am a firm believer that all words are not equal. Just as some athletes are able to out-perform others, some words majestically out-perform other words and I think it is both helpful and...