Brian Nicholls is the author of four distinctive books.

Two memoirs. A novella. A novel. 

Scroll down and check them out...

Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592) based his judgement on books on the Roman poet Horace’s division of good authors who ‘simply delight’ us and the great ones who ‘mix the useful with the sweet’. This notion was so current in the Renaissance that great authors such as Rabelais and Ronsard were often called utiles-doux (‘useful-delightful’).

Useful and delightful. This is what I aim for.

More about Brian...


Tess is experienced and erotic.
Gretl wilful and illusive.
Vicky perverse, vulgar and wounded.
Julie a tantalising trickster...

A provocative and disarmingly honest memoir of a young Australian’s romantic misadventures in 1960s London at the beginning of the Permissive Age. A beguiling and powerful story of love, infatuation, folly, despair and guilt.


A Saucepan in the Sky

‘The most you can expect,’ Uncle Stan said, ‘is for things to almost make sense.’

A Saucepan in the Sky is the story of a boy who thinks anything can be explained if you have the right word − hence his quest for a really big dictionary. But through his family he gets an inkling that a thing called paradox plays a great part in the workings of the world.


A Suitcase in the Desert

Two lost children
A man in search of himself
An unforgiving land
An unlikely romance
A murder...

Matt Hudson is an emotionally damaged homicide detective who has dented his code of honour and lost a clear purpose in life.



A Journey Among Heroes in Search of Final Things.

On a plane bound for London George Brent reveals to a stranger-confidant a plan that is calculated and rational yet filled with poetic imagination. He becomes a knight-errant believing his death is the last remarkable thing that will happen to him.


What readers say

‘An absolutely delightful read from beginning to end. Funny, moving, insightful – and your authorial voice instantly appealed to me.’

K.P. St. Leonards, NSW.
A Saucepan in the Sky

A Saucepan in the Sky has a lot more going for it than just a great title. Nicholls gets the child’s voice just right, no mean feat without getting mawkish.'

Marrickville Heritage Society Newsletter
A Saucepan in the Sky

‘A wonderful story beautifully told.’

D. B. Campbelltown, NSW.
A Saucepan in the Sky

'Many of us have memories of our own innocence abroad.'

E.B. Roseville, NSW

‘Dry, witty, sad, funny and amazingly frank.’

E.M. Rozelle, NSW

‘Comic and loving…the reader is hooked from the beginning. You’ll want to raise your glass to Brian and his gang of relatives.'

Geelong Advertiser
A Saucepan in the Sky

‘Simple experiences imbued with charm… dilemmas presented clearly in a way that should strike chords of recognition…this is worth reading’

Canberra Times
A Saucepan in the Sky

‘Paints a vivid picture of a colourful extended family. A compelling tale.’

Sunday Age
A Saucepan in the Sky

'The world that Nicholls evokes is vivid, full of laughter, triumph and tears.’

Authortalk, Berkelouw Bookshop
A Saucepan in the Sky

‘I really did enjoy it and – the mark of a good book – I definitely did not want it to end.’

D.R. Melbourne.
A Saucepan in the Sky

‘I’m definitely going to be reading your book over and over because as well as the history behind it there are the constant stories of mischief and humour.’

G.P. Healesville, Vic.
A Saucepan in the Sky

‘Your book has helped me understand the men in my life so much more… and recognise the enormous value of parenting and mentoring the unique nature of boys.’

C.S. Pymble, NSW.
A Saucepan in the Sky

‘Your book is an affirmation of something or other that is probably too big to put a label on.’

P.J. Paddington, NSW.
A Saucepan in the Sky

'I enjoyed A Saucepan in the Sky immensely – it stirred filed-away memories and refreshed the affection held for early relationships.’

M. H. Tathra, NSW.
A Saucepan in the Sky

‘An utterly readable account of a memorable ‘ordinary’ environment. Uncle Vic is a ‘funny bugger’ with a Conradian outlook. ‘Uncle’ Stan is wonderfully disreputable. A charming book…as tender a maternal portrait as you will ever read.’

Australian Book Review
A Saucepan in the Sky

'Philosophical but not academic. A good read. A tribute to women.'

S.A Glebe, NSW

‘So much of it seemed very familiar to my own struggles and wow moments.’

A. A. Devon, UK.
A Saucepan in the Sky

'Highly entertaining.'

R.I Paddington, NSW

‘An absolutely delightful read…fascinating.’

Sally Loane, ABC Radio
A Saucepan in the Sky

‘I laughed the whole afternoon as I read it. How delightful in this grim world to find such humour.’ 

P.W. Berwick, Vic.
A Saucepan in the Sky

‘Nostalgic as well as immediate… and thoroughly engrossing.’

A.T. Glebe, NSW.
A Saucepan in the Sky

‘I really liked the subtext as well as the story.’

K.S. Annandale, NSW

‘Brian Nicholls creates an array of memorable characters. A lack of sentimentality is a strength of both McCourt’s (Angela’s Ashes) and Nicholls' memoir, but the national humour and idioms of A Saucepan in the Sky stand out as unmistakably Australian.’

Independent Scholars Association of Australia Review
A Saucepan in the Sky

‘I liked the surprise of it, the feeling that anything could happen. There is a time in life when one enters any open door. I guess that’s how you grow up.’ 

R.W. Leura, NSW

‘Some of the book was comfortably close to home for me: some uncomfortably so.’

A Saucepan in the Sky

‘I reluctantly read the last page and immediately wished for more.’

J. D. Paddington, NSW.
A Saucepan in the Sky

'What a mixture! An awkward Aussie, a few screwball mates and four fascinating women. I don't think I've ever read a book before that so revealingly describes the influence a woman can have on a man - for better and for worse!'

J.P Murrumbeena, Vic

'The humour and the entertaining bits make one laugh out loud, but underlying this is the layer of pathos and longing. Hyperbole confronts understatement; sensitive and poetic passages of intense sympathy contrast with brutal reality.'

A.R. Applecross, WA

‘I particularly empathised with the days which for no reason at all become mood days and that thing about times where nothing “happens”.’

M.T. Glebe, NSW.
A Saucepan in the Sky

‘Thank you for your story and your style.’

J.A. Greenwich, NSW.
A Saucepan in the Sky

‘It has everything: humour, pathos, history, laughter, tears.’ 

C. McG. Perth, WA.
A Saucepan in the Sky

‘A classic. A lovely book.’ 

A.M. Canberra.
A Saucepan in the Sky

‘Details the mapping of a moral universe…a wry, humorous approach to living. ‘Uncle’ Stan is my all-time favourite character – a man with a unique worldview. I thoroughly recommend it.’

Sylvia Rosenblum, East Side Radio
A Saucepan in the Sky

‘This is the first time in my long life that I have felt IMPELLED to convey to a writer my opinion of his/her work. I began reading A Saucepan in the Sky at 6 am and finished it at 11.30 am. Couldn’t put it down. Haven’t been able to do anything else since then except think about it and read extracts to my husband over tea and lunch breaks.’

J.W. Tumbarumba, NSW.
A Saucepan in the Sky

‘Never a dull moment.’

50 something
A Saucepan in the Sky

‘Had me in fits of laughter in the train en route to work.’

R.H. Wavell Heights, Qld.
A Saucepan in the Sky

‘I absolutely enjoyed your book and couldn’t put it down. I had so many laughs along the way.’ 

J.J. Mt. Isa, Qld.
A Saucepan in the Sky

‘Wanderlust talks about things that people think but do not say.’

M.B. Coogee, NSW
clarriemay publishing

About ClarrieMay Publishing

The ClarrieMay Publishing photo-logo shows Brian’s father Clarence George Nicholls (1915-2004) and mother Eileen May Nicholls (nee Hudson) (1919-1989) on their honeymoon at Luna Park, Sydney in 1935.

They were married for over fifty years. They survived many set-backs and difficult years including the Great Depression of 1929-1933, and long separations during the Second World War.

They are major influences in Brian’s childhood memoir A Saucepan in the Sky.

ClarrieMay Publishing