Bob’s Books

Here are the pages for all of my books. Each page has one or more extracts, a synopsis, a few reviews, and links to where you can buy the book.

Do note that if you send me proof of purchase of any of my books, in any format, you qualify for a second title in an electronic format, free. Sending me a review via email or my contact form qualifies as proof of purchase — unless you got a free review copy from me of course.
And I will be delighted to publish your review in the next monthly issue of my newsletter. So, email it to me, with a 50 word bio.


Hit and Run
Maraglindi: Guardian spirit
Ascending Spiral
Sleeper, Awake
Short story anthologies
Stories of the Ehvelen

Psychology self-help
From Depression to Contentment: A self-therapy guide
Lifting the Gloom: Antidepressant writings
Cancer: A personal challenge
Practical self-help


Hit and Run


My beta readers and fans have told me, this is my best novel to date.

14 year old Chuck hates everybody; would blow up Earth if he could. So, he steals a car and seeks someone, anyone, to kill. He drives over 6 children and the crossing supervisor, narrowly missing 84 year old Sylvia.

That night, there is a mysterious contact between them, which continues. Sylvia looks after Chuck’s little brother, Tommy. Her drawings help the police to arrest him, but at the memorial service for the victims, she says, “Hate begets hate, vengeance only leads to vengeance, violence feeds on itself. Only love can stop the endless cycle. Only love can turn hate into love.”

His very name is an abusive joke against him, so she insists on calling him Charlie. But can she steer him toward a good life?

Follow their journey together through many more crises, and good times too.

You can read the first chapter, and all the reviews.

The publisher, Writers Exchange e-Publishing, currently chooses to sell the book only via Amazon. Buying link is on their page for Hit And Run

In addition, if you are reviewing the book, please also post on its Goodreads page.

Maraglindi: Guardian spirit

1850, a small town in Australia: Glindi, an Aboriginal woman, gives birth to a daughter, the result of a rape by a white man. She names the child Maraglindi, meaning “Glindi’s sorrow.”
However, the girl proves to be a joy to all those around her. She has the gift of love.

During the fourteen years until she dies, she encounters everything that intolerant, cruel Victorian society can throw at people it considers to be animals. She surmounts all the savagery of the white invader by conquering hate with love.

A drunkard kills her in horrific circumstances, but even then, in a twist of the tale, she has the last word and promises him a chance at redemption.

And then, she returns a second time, with an ending that will touch your heart.

Why will you enjoy this book?

You will love Maraglindi. Her story will put tears in your eyes and a smile in your heart. When you have finished, you may well have a different view of the world.

The other characters are also vivid, real people.

As a boy, Gerald had been part of a prank that killed a little child. So now, he is devoting his life to the service of God.

Kirsten was outraged when a half-caste Abo girl was allowed into her school… until she had an encounter with a snake.

Alice MacCaffery was Margalindi’s mentor who paid her fees in an exclusive girls’ school, a young woman of principle and passion.

Meticulously researched, this book will take you into the world of the Victorian epoch. However, Maraglindi’s lessons are very relevant to our own troubled times.

Writer of Australian historical fiction Margaret Tanner wrote: “Bob, I loved the story, didn’t want to stop reading it.”

Where to buy, and where to review

Here is a list of outlets stocking this book. Some are international; others specific to a country. The last four don’t seem to have an option for leaving a review.

When you have enjoyed this book, I’ll be grateful for a review at Goodreads, and as many of the others as you have time and inclination for. Also, please email me the review.
And if you have bought this book in any format, anywhere, you qualify for a second title, free. Sending me a review is proof of purchase. You can contact me via my contacts page. (Guess why it is called that!)


The publisher: Sleepy Lion: any format

Please note that temporarily this book has been removed from Amazon because my amazing son is working on making it more visible there.

Walmart: paper

Barnes and Noble: Nook and paper

Kobo: epub

Waterstones (Britain): paper

Booktopia (Australia): paper

Blackwells (Britain): paper No review possible. (USA): paper An association of independent bookstores. No review possible.

Book Depository (international): paper No review possible.

Skylight Books (USA): paper No review possible.

Ascending Spiral


Bob’s 15th book, the novel Ascending Spiral, has a long list of 5 star reviews with a scattering of 4 stars. It is the journey of a person through many lifetimes, in order to make amends for an ancient crime: destroying all life on a planet like Earth.

Right now, this person is Pip, who knows he is here either to witness the destruction of humanity, or be an agent in saving us.

To do his work, he needed to recall a few of his many past lives, and the majority of the book covers exciting and even terrible times full of challenges, going round and round, but always learning and growing.

Would you like to join Pip in saving a future for our children, and their children and grandchildren in perpetuity?

You can read the first chapter, right here.

You can buy Ascending Spiral in many places, including those below. If you liked it, please post your review at as many of these pages as you have the time and inclination for, and also at its Goodreads page. And emailing me the review is proof of purchase, so you qualify for a free electronic copy of another title.

Amazon paperback
Amazon Kindle

Barnes & Noble paperback
Barnes & Noble Nook

Kobo services Canada, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region including Australia and New Zealand.

Google Play Books

Booktopia sells the book in Australia.

Sleeper, Awake


Retired film star Flora Fielding was diagnosed with cancer. Her solution: she had herself put into suspended animation, and invested her fortune in cancer research. She expected to return to life in five to ten years — but is awakened into an utterly different world, 1433 years later. She gradually learns the facts about the new society:

• There are only one million people on the planet.

• This gives material wealth to everyone.

• However, the right to reproduce is a valuable commodity. Men compete for women’s approval in every possible way, including risking their lives in deeds of daring.

• Everyone has an “implant:” a device that enables them to send and receive “images,” so that they are able to be with anyone else, anywhere.

• All the implants, and all the computerized machines on the planet, are linked to form a single intelligence: Artif, the “executive arm of humanity.”

Flora gradually learns that she was awakened for a purpose: she is the pawn in a political duel between Abel, President of Control, and Mirabelle, Deputy President. These two are opposed on every issue, including the way to raise twelve year old Tamás, their son. Kiril, a young man tortured by jealous love, commits the first violent crime in over a thousand years, and only Flora’s experience from pre-Cataclysmic times can sort out the resulting problems.

This book of the surprising yet plausible future has an ending that’ll wrench your heart, and then there is a final sting in the tail…

You can buy Sleeper, Awake at any of these places:

If you have enjoyed Sleeper, Awake (you will), please post a review at Goodreads, and as many of the above as you have time and inclination for. Only one Amazon page is needed.

Flora and I will both be grateful.

Anikó: The stranger who loved me


This is the life story of a woman who survived the unsurvivable, and achieved the impossible, more than once.

“All my life I’ve had the terrible handicap of being a woman. I have abilities. I can do things, but I have not been allowed to, simply because of my sex. I want to achieve. I want to shape my world, steer my own ship, build my own castle. I don’t want to be merely the loyal supporter, the little woman in the background, the loving helpmate.”

Anikó survived the hell of WW2, a Jewish woman in a Nazi-controlled country, through intelligence, determination and ruthlessness. Then she needed to survive the more subtle hell of a colony of the Soviet Union, managing to build a million-dollar export business behind the Iron Curtain. The man she loved tore her beloved son from her — then she had to support him for many years when his mind gave way, a kind of war wound. This story of an indomitable woman is told by her son.

This book has won several awards.

Kindle version.
Barnes and Noble Nook.
If you are reviewing this book, please also post on its Goodreads page.
Other buying options are on the book’s page
Anikó: The stranger who loved me, where you can also see its list of awards, read the award-winning opening page and the first chapter.


Bizarre Bipeds: What IS humanity’s place in the universe?


This is a novella, and three shorter stories.

Liberator is the novella, which takes you to a world where the peaceful life of the people is destroyed by invaders from outer space. These monsters enslave the people, and commit incredible cruelties, just so they can have free labor in their diamond mine. It takes a very special person to bring them to justice.

Dummies in Dimensional Drive is a light-hearted love story with a few twists. Environmental catastrophe has destroyed much of humanity, and the remainder live in savagery. The Galactic Council comes to offer help, and have terraformed Venus as the new home for some sixty million humans. Jim is one of those chosen, and he uses his quick wit to ensure that the sexy-looking girl who had been about to kill him will come too…

A Different Invasion shows that what you look like doesn’t matter. Trevor turns out to be a horrible-looking alien, but Luci ends up liking him anyway.

Cooked was written specifically for this book, although Bob has been carrying the idea around in his head for years. A person who normally lives in the center of the Galaxy blunders into our planetary system. It wants to go home, so needs to organize an enormous nuclear explosion. Some humans respond to this visitation with interest and friendship, but the official authorities take a more warlike stance. The visitor is very thankful for the human reaction, and shows its gratitude.

Electronic versions are available from the book’s page:

Bizarre Bipeds: What IS humanity’s place in the universe?

Striking Back from Down Under


A common theme runs though this otherwise very varied bouquet of short stories: a sympathy for the victim. Contemporary crime, science fiction, fantasy, historical adventure, all of them can be found here. A kaleidoscope of villains and heroes follow each other, waiting to entertain you.

Mrs. Jones leads her Takamaka Freedom Fighters to rescue thousands of prisoners from the “Happy Hen Poultry Farm;” an artist imprisoned in a twisted body finds a unique kind of revenge when the beautiful blonde treats him with scorn; and Cynthia saves the Earth from invasion by an organism that wants to give pleasure to every human being.

Bob Rich is an Australian, and many of his stories are colored by this unique and fascinating land. In another place, Cecil might manufacture bombs. Down Under, he lights a bushfire. Only in Australia could Tim O’Liam be punished in just the way described in Let the Punishment Fit the Crime. And Sarah and Andrew find out about their different world-views in the beautiful Australian bush.

Other stories could be set anyplace where one person preys upon another. The difference from the norm is that, in these stories, the victims show how to strike back, how the powerful and arrogant can be made to lose. Having been on the receiving end himself, Bob’s sympathies are always with the victim.

Buy links for Kobo, B&N, iTunes and Amazon are on the book’s page:

Striking Back from Down Under

Through Other Eyes


Look through the eyes of an experienced psychotherapist as he looks through the eyes of a collection of very different people.

Some will make you laugh, others shiver. Each of these 29 stories is from the point of view of someone completely different from you, or just like you in many ways. Each is entirely from the point of view of someone whose reality you are invited to explore. In fact, in Two women, aged 55, you can contrast two realities. I wonder which one will appeal to you more?

Jim was a brave fellow, but something scared him more than a tiger. Fortunately, his mate Donald came to the rescue. Peter was trapped in the hell of a hated job, but was his wife’s solution any better?

And two of these stories give you the secret of happiness.

Paypal buying link is on the book’s page:

Through Other Eyes

This is a series about the REAL little people. I want to revise the first two published, but the two others are great reads in their own right.

The Making of a Forest Fighter


The Doshi, warlike nomads, crossed the Great River, and attacked the Ehvelen, peaceful, tiny forest dwellers. Although these Little People had never killed another human before, they used their intelligence, creativity and remarkable physical skills to fool the Doshi into believing them to be magical.

The year of this first contact is told in the first two volumes of this series. The Making of a Forest Fighter is the sequel, but stands alone.

The thirty years of bitter fighting threw up heroes both among the Ehvelen and the Doshi. One of these was an intelligent, sensitive sixteen-year-old Doshi warrior who controlled his terror by always volunteering for the most dangerous missions. By the end of the three years during which the Ehvelen defeated the Doshi Sulet of the Gelders, Ribtol had become a renowned warrior, chosen to lead when stealth and intelligence were needed.

This book is an account of the three years of warfare, entirely seen through Ribtol’s eyes.

Paypal buying link is on the book’s page:

The Making of a Forest Fighter

The Travels of First Horse: a trilogy in one volume


One of a series set in 700 BC, this trilogy in one volume won an international award.
Though the size of a ten-year-old boy, Horse was stronger than most men, and agile enough to become part of the best troupe of entertainers in the Areg Empire. During his travels, he married the strongest woman in the world, was befriended by many men including mighty Kings, fought a tiger with only hand weapons, faced overwhelming dangers, and gathered knowledge for his beleaguered people.

1500 years later, he was one of the major heroes of his descendants, the Little People.

His story will make you see life in a new way.

Paypal buying link is on the book’s page:

The Travels of First Horse



From Depression to Contentment: A self-therapy guide

The Audiobook version is NOW AVAILABLE.

Audiobook Audible

(Audiobook version is also available at iTunes and Amazon.)

Paperback Amazon Australia or the main Amazon


Google Play Bookstore

Barnes and Noble Nook


Here is the Goodreads page. If you are reviewing this book, please post here as well.

You can read Chapter 1 here
All the reviews I could find

Depression is a galloping global epidemic. this not your fault, but the problem with living in toxic culture. however, there is a cure. Bob Rich has been himself. Drawing on his personal experience, and decades of work as psychotherapist, he gives you a manual for changing your life, whether you suffer depression or not.

In her advance review, Theresa Hortley has said, “All of Bob’s novels I’ve read are full of therapeutic lessons. Here is a book designed as a set of therapeutic lessons that is as enjoyable to read as any novel.”


chapter 1: You have to be crazy to stay sane in a crazy world
This is a User’s Guide
Chapter 2: Basic First Aid
Healthy Eating
Satisfying Sleep
Regular Physical Exercise
Regular Fun
Social Connectedness
Chapter 3: Relaxation and Meditation
Muscular Relaxation
Mindfulness Meditation
Guided Imagery
Chapter 4: Know Your Enemy
The Conventional View
Sources of Sadness
The Causes of Human Suffering
The Development of Resilience
Chapter 5: Controlling Depression
Fixing the thinking
Rewriting your story
Act The Way You Want To Be
Chapter 6: The Cure for Depression
The Destination
Don’t Like Your World? Change it
Processing Trauma
Loving the Inner Monster
You Get What You Send
The Resilient Mindset
Moving Hedonic Adaptation
Chapter 7: Spiritual Care
My Greatest Teacher
Chapter 8: Depression in the Family
Caring for the Carer
Inducing change and growth
Chapter 9: Dealing with Relapse
About the Author

Lifting the Gloom: Antidepressant writings

A companion volume to the author’s popular From Depression to Contentment: A self-therapy guide, this little book is a collection of short stories and essays, each with a brief discussion that reveals a path to a good life. If you like a clearly laid out map to contentment, regardless of your circumstances, it’s in From Depression to Contentment. If a ramble with surprising twists and turns is more your thing, that’s Lifting the Gloom. And actually, the two go together like main course and dessert.

As with From Depression to Contentment, you will benefit from reading this book even if you don’t suffer from depression or its twin, anxiety.

Climbing out of the miseries can be fun. In fact, laughter is the best antidepressant, as the first chapter demonstrates. Hidden within the stories and essays of this collection are most of the standard tools of positive psychology. You can experience the magic of a little green statue showing you the path to happiness, turn yourself from an onion into a pearl, and solve a little puzzle regarding the Seven Magic Bullets.

Another gain to your understanding of the world is to dispel several mirages. You will discover that wealth can cost more than it is worth, explore the problems of regained youth, and find how a girl with a not-all-that pretty face is beautiful while the most beautiful girl on earth is miserable.

You get all this and more while being entertained. Bob Rich’s writing may be challenging, thought-provoking, even outrageous, but never boring. Advance reviewer Theresa Hortley has written: “I wish I could write fiction. I wish I could write fiction like Bob Rich. This little book is full of gems, ranging from quite a few exactly-100-word stories to engrossing tales of perhaps 8000 words. How can you bring a character, a situation, to life in 100 words? How can you change the reader’s understanding of the world in a short story? Bob does both. My favourite is Forgiveness, in which a social worker ends up caring for the murderer of his beloved wife and daughter. Reading this story alone has made me into a better person.”

Where you can get a copy

You can request a FREE copy right here. Just use my contacts page.
If you have read this book, please review it. Please email the review to me for inclusion in a Bobbing Around, and listing here. You can send a 50 word bio with it, including a link.

Then please post it at the Amazon page for where you live, at Goodreads, Barnes and Noble, and Google Play Books. The links are below:


Google Play Books

Amazon Australia

Amazon USA

Amazon UK

Amazon Canada

Amazon India

Barnes & Noble

A sample or…

At the top of this page, I said each book will have a sample chapter. Proving myself a liar, you are NOT going to find one from Lifting the Gloom here. Instead, many of the stories and essays are freely available as posts, items in my newsletter, Bobbing Around and as free short stories.

But then, I am a terrible businessman. In fact, you can grab a copy of this book absolutely free by sending me a message via my contacts page.

If instead you choose to buy a copy for the princely sum of $0.99, you have earned yourself a free copy of any of my books of fiction, listed on this page. (Links to locations where you can make this magnificent investment are still to come.)


Walk with me
The Underlord
The best antidepressant of all (that’s laughter)
You meet the nicest people in the oddest places
Ancient Wisdom
HIG: the new energy source
A catch
Expert Assessment
Defeating the Blood-red Dragon (the legacy of childhood trauma)
Let’s learn from Jim
Armor-coating our kids (role models)
How true is Dani’s story?
One of my angels
A Lucky Break (how to cope with anything)
Gabi can be your teacher, too
Labels (us and them)
Another label, in 100 words
What about differences?
Plant something beautiful. Feed it with sunshine. Water it with love. (we all deserve it)
Sue has explained it all, hasn’t she?
Human nature being what it is…
On loving the same sex
On trans
Buddhist equanimity is USEFUL
Um… what’s equanimity again?
The lesson (grow from suffering)
Who is Jarro?
The onion and the pearl
What can Matt and Mike teach us?
Tyrone joins Bill’s team
The more you give, the more you grow
Don’t you love her?
A random act of kindness
Two views of a park (the searchlight of attention)
Who would you rather be?
The Philanthropist (attention is a fertilizer)
Martin Matheson: from monster to marvel
The magic path (to happiness)
On having a good life
Wog’s revenge
The seven magic bullets
The glow
Preparing for The Bump
From the bottom, the only way is UP
Housework, in 200 words
The grumpy old man
Running on empty
The Professional Grandfather
The face
Happily ever after?
Oh to be young again!
What’s going on?
The distance runner
The chess player
Happiness vs. contentment
Eulogy for Paul
Why did Paul get cancer?
And the destination

Anger and Anxiety: Be in charge of your emotions and control phobias


We live in a crazy world, so much so that you have to be crazy to stay sane! Most people feel frequently overwhelmed by stress. Some of us have the inner resources and support, and so can cope reasonably well, most of the time.

Others are not so lucky. For months or even years at a time, people suffer. Many react with depression, a life-sapping, draining, self-destructive mood that poisons everything. Others suffer anxiety focused on a variety of issues, and there are those who respond by hitting out at the world, and often at the people they love, the ones they least want to hurt. Of course, most sufferers of one of these reactions frequently feel one or both of the others, in an endless destructive cycle.

Help is available. This little book summarizes a great deal of scientific investigation, carried out all over the world, and the author’s own extensive clinical experience.

Copies are available from the book’s page:

Anger and Anxiety: Be in charge of your emotions and control phobias

Cancer: A personal challenge


This book is for you if you want to reduce your chances of developing cancer; it is for you if you care for someone who is battling cancer; and above all, it is for you if your body is the battleground.

CANCER is a dreaded word, to many people synonymous with death.

And indeed, statistics show that the lifetime risks of dying from cancer are 24% for men, and 20% for women. And, frighteningly, 44% of men and 39% of women can expect to develop cancer in their lifetimes.

But there is hope. Read this book to find out how other people have lived and coped with cancer, how they have survived and even thrived.

Get to understand the enemy, how it is caused, what you can personally do to protect yourself — and how we must change the world in order to protect ourselves and everyone else from this mostly man-created disease.

Contributors include professionals with many years of experience in working with cancer, and survivors with inspiring stories: guides in how to cope and what to do.

This book could save your life, whether you have cancer or not.

Available on Amazon, and other buying options are listed on the book’s page:

Cancer: A personal challenge

Personally Speaking: Single session email therapy with Dr Bob Rich


Come and look over Bob’s shoulder while he does therapy. Face to face, on the phone or by email, he uses exactly the same techniques, and even turns of phrase, to form an alliance with his clients against the problems that distress them. In this book, you will see pretty well every way people can make themselves or each other miserable. If you have ever been overwhelmed by life, you will probably find someone here who is facing a similar issue. And so, Bob’s response to them may speak to you as well.

Personally Speaking: Single session email therapy with Dr Bob Rich


Woodworking for Idiots Like Me


His brother-in-law told Bob that he was the most impractical person on earth — and Bob believed him. The justification was there. But that was a long time ago. Since then, Bob has built his own house (see the pictures) and been involved in the building of many others. He taught owner-building for fifteen years, and his Earth Garden Building Book has sold hundreds of thousands of copies.

Woodworking For Idiots Like Me is the story of his transformation. If he could do it, you can too.

But the book is not merely a collection of entertaining stories. It is a self-help manual on doing woodcraft as well. You will learn from it even if you know a lot about working with wood. This is not because Bob is a master craftsman — he isn’t — but because he has learnt from many woodworkers who were. He passes on their wisdom, more than his own. Also, like all of Bob’s writing, the book is an environmental call to arms. If you want a future for your children, you need to read about the choices Bob has made.

Because of the hundreds of diagrams, this book is not suited to modern e-formats, so it’s a giant webpage.

You can inspect and buy it at:

Woodworking for Idiots Like Me

The Earth Garden Building Book: Design and build your own house

After 32 years and 4 editions, this book is out of print.
You are likely to find a copy in a public or university library. Occasionally, one is offered for sale on ebay.