Hertfordshire Songs E-Book Available Now

Hertfordshire Songs CoverI moved to the English countryside from London just over five years ago, and haven’t looked back.

As you can imagine, the quirks of suburban and pastoral England have inspired quite a few poems, including a long poem sequence in the style of the heroic crown of sonnets, reminiscent of Sir John Betjeman’s Metro-Land.

Because these poems feel like their own entity, I have decided to make them available as an e-book. They are available on my website to download for just £0.99 (about $1.31).

These poems whisk you along from raves to roundabouts, weirs to war memorials — a kind of poetic tour, if you like, of what I find most curious and endearing about the place I now call home.

Click here to order your copy or learn more.

The Knowledge E-book Now Available

The Knowledge by Robert PeakeNine Arches Press in collaboration with Leeds Ebooks has done an excellent job bringing The Knowledge into an all-digital format. If you got a Kindle, iPad or tablet for Christmas, or have been holding off reading The Knowledge due to international shipping costs, now is your chance to get it for a song.

The e-book is on special offer for less than three quid (five bucks) throughout the twelve days of Christmas.

If you have a Kindle, you can download it directly from the Kindle Store. Even if you don’t have a Kindle, you can still read it on the Kindle app for your iPad or Android tablet.

I have a long list of e-book pet peeves, but this version has been expertly done. The table of contents is hyperlinked, font sizes can be adjusted to taste, and — best of all — it wraps long lines of poetry correctly with hanging indents. Apart from the formatting, you might also enjoy the contents.

Let it snow ones and zeroes!

Download The Knowledge e-book (US)
Download The Knowledge e-book (UK)

Kindling Controversy

E-books are harder to burn...

I asked for an Amazon Kindle for my birthday. Like Ebenezer Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol,” I have been haunted ever since. In my dreams, I visit the destitute families of the former owners of small, independent book stores. The youngest, a cripple, gives thanks before a paltry meal, declaring, “God bless us, every one — even that mean old Mr. Peake, the last person on Earth we thought would betray the printed book!” I wake in a sweat.

And yet, it is precisely because I love literature that I decided to try buying it digitally. None of the typical reasons for e-books really tipped me over the edge. Nor did the counter-arguments counteract the most compelling reason I have to take the plunge. Our small cottage is lined with book shelves. We moved five times in five years during the U.S. housing boom, when landlord after landlord decided to sell at the end of our one-year lease. That meant schlepping dozens of bankers boxes full of books — heavy books! — from one home to the next.

As a teenager, I watched “Brother Sun, Sister Moon” repeatedly. This 1970s Zeffirelli bio pic of St. Francis, complete with a soundtrack by Donovan, features the overacting of Graham Faulkner as the crusader-turned-saint. The scene that stayed with me is the moment of Francis’ enlightenment, when he strips naked and begins flinging his worldly possessions — and those of his rich father — out the window, into the arms of a receptive crowd of peasants below. That’s pretty much how I left college (though I kept my clothes.) And, while I miss my record collection (and my parents could have used the futon), the idea of simplifying my possessions — if not to enlighten myself, at least to lighten my stance — remains compelling.
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