Okay, so when I say “Books”, I actually mean “Book”. This one:

It’s available here from 22 February 2012, or from any good bookstore still in existence in Australia and New Zealand.

I’m currently working on a second book. It’s about China.

30 thoughts on “Books

  1. Hi Shamus!

    Well done on getting published in Australia. I have seen your book in prime position in a few bookshops in Brisbane. I wish you great success!

    Looking forward to reading your book, especially as I am intrigued with Sicily and hope to travel there soon. I am wondering if there is a way you can sign a copy for me that I would purchase.

    Hello to all the family…


    • Hi Jane,

      Nice to hear from you! I’m in Singapore at the moment, so signing a copy could be tricky. But you could check with Avid Reader in West End – they asked me to sign some copies for them at my launch there.

      Hope you get the chance to go to Sicily. Incredible place, even if I do give it a bit harsh treatment in my book…

      G’day to all the Trappes. It was great to catch up with Penny last year in Byron.


  2. I’m half way through your book. I needed to google you and tell you how much I love it. I can relate to so many of your experiences in Sicily.

  3. Hi Shanmus, remeber me? Coaught up with Gary Bowerman in KL and he was telling me about your book and praising it…I shall look forward to reading it.

    PS; I recently published a book as well; ‘Diplomats & Doormats; A Hoteliers Odyssey”

    • Hi Peter,

      Nice to hear from you. Yep, of course I remember you from my Shanghai time. I have some great memories from The Westin in those years – interviews, parties, and plenty of wining and dining!

      Congrats on your book – I’ll definitely look it up. Hope you get your hands on a copy of mine. It’s available internationally on Amazon in couple of weeks.


    • Hi Michael,

      Thanks so much for getting in touch – and for the very generous review on your site. I’m glad the book rang some bells. You’re pretty much spot on about my feelings regarding Catania, too; while it was kind of hard work for us, and it has its problems, it’s still a fascinating city and one that makes for a richer Sicily experience in the end. I can’t wait to go back, to be honest.

      Best of luck with getting your 2014 Italy travel plans together. I’m jealous!


  4. Reading your book for the second time, Still laugh out loud. Did you know its unavailable on Book Depository? Hope you are working hard on the next one.

  5. Hey Shamus almost finished reading your book. Its bringing me many laughs. Sounds like you had blast in Sicily. Both my wife Tina and I are very envious of you and Gill, as I’m of Tuscan descent and Tina from Sicily. Close to Catania actually. A town by the name of Franco Fonte. We’re hoping to get over and do a similar living abroad experience. However I must admit that with three kids it proving to be a bit difficult!! Anyway just wanted to thank you for a great read and an honest approach to how beautiful Italy is and unfortunately how corrupt it can equally be!

    Cheers Andy…

    • Hi Andy,

      Thanks for this – glad you’re enjoying it! From the map, it looks like we went very close to Francofonte on our day trip to Vizzini. Very nice part of the island – supremely laid back. I bet they do a mean ricotta, too.

      Yes, the addition of kids definitely sets the cat among the pigeons travel-wise, as Gill and I have discovered since Sicily. Still, you never know what might happen; here’s hoping that the five of you find yourself over there at some point. We’d love to go back too, regardless of our mixed bag of experiences first time around. It’s an amazing place.


  6. Hi Shamus

    Tina (the Sicilian wife) 😉 of Andy. Andy has been recalling your experiences in Sicily to me and has brought me many smiles……… Oh yes the RICOTTA!………It is the best.Especially when all the locals swarm out for it.However, not sure if you tried any granita? Sicily has the best granita and fresh warm brioche in the world!………Flavours like, lemon, pistachio, almond, chocolate. yummmmmmmmy. Be sure to try it next time,in sicily only though.

    Look forward to you Asia read. Keep enjoying life!
    Ciao Tina

    • Hi Tina,

      Yes! Amazing granita. And I love how it’s a perfectly acceptable breakfast food – who needs muesli when you can have granita and a brioche? 🙂


  7. Hi, Shamus, just wanted to drop you a note saying how much I enjoyed your book about Sicily. I happened to read it while on vacation to Sicily. We flew into and out of Catania, and stayed in the Southeast outside of Siracusa. I left a positive review of your books on the Powell’s books website. Hope to read more of you soon. cheers, or whatever Aussies say

    Peter in New York

    • Hi Peter,

      Glad you enjoyed the book – and thanks so much for the very generous review on the Powell’s website. (It even included a Spinal Tap reference, which I think should be mandatory in book reviews!) The southeast was probably my favourite part of Sicily, including Siracusa, of course, but there were also a few towns that I visited that didn’t make the final cut of the book; Marzamemi on the coast is a wonderful town, and Pachino with its legendary cherry tomatoes. I hope you manage to return and explore the other side of the island too.

      Thanks for getting in touch.


      • I love to read, and when I really enjoy a book, I slow down to savor it. I read yours slower and slower near the end, unlike, say, The Five People You Meet In Heaven, which I read like an Alfa Romeo driver in the left lane of the Autostrada, since I hated it so much. I hope you write more books. Loved some of your Australian expressions, especially the more profane ones. Ciao

      • Now, I am rereading the book, and I can’t find those cute Australianisms… darn it. Might have just been my imagination. Wait, here’s one…”determinedly having one off the wrist..”
        Could have sworn there was another about the landlord in Catania metaphorically “taking the hard piss.” Oh well, I’ll find them. swear.

        • Ha, yes, sorry for all the “Strine”. Actually, I just flicked through the book myself and I also can’t find as many Aussie-isms as I thought it had. I was sure I used “flat out like a lizard drinking” somewhere. Bugger it!

  8. Bravo Shamus. io sono un italiano di Catania qui in Australia, sto leggendo il tuo libro ed è veramente bello… bravo davvero. io vado in sicilia diverse volte l’anno e Cataniaè sempre Catania… bella… brutta… pòazza… scattiata… calda… e soprattutto fantastica. ciao da Agostino.

    • Grazie mille, Agostino! (Io rispondo in inglese, perché il mio italiano è brutto…) Glad you’re enjoying the book. Yes, Catania – and Sicily for that matter – is a fascinating conundrum. There was so much I loved about the place, even when it was throwing a few obstacles in my path. Hope you enjoy your next trip to Catania, and hope all is well down under.


    • Hi Peter,

      Happy Sant’Agata Day to you, too. Hope you found (or baked) some traditional breast-shaped pastries to mark the occasion!!


  9. Presently in Taormina and travelling on to Noto then Palermo for our first time visit to Sicily. Loving your book so much. Laughing and laughing.

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