I mainly write magazine pieces for Russian Life, and spend much of my time editing other writers’ work. Yet I also sometimes create longer works.

Books in Print

Lumbar journalism

Driving Down Russia’s Spine and The Spine of Russia (both 2016). In the fall of 2015, “The Spine of Russia” – a month-long, Kickstarter-financed journey – took myself and Russian journalist Mikhail Mordasov on a 6,000-kilometer road trip from the frigid shores of the Barents Sea to Sochi, Russia’s southernmost tip on the Black Sea.

The goal was to view Russia from the ground, to collect powerful images and honest human stories that offered a more subtle, complex picture of the United States’ resurgent global rival. The trip captured over 3,500 still images, 100 hours of interviews with Russians from all walks of life. This text-only book is the story of the trip, intertwining subject profiles with digressions into historical and cultural themes relevant to understanding modern Russia.

Driving Down Russia’s Spine is available in print and for e-readers.

The Spine of Russia is available in print only.

Reviews of Driving:

“Richardson… knows his Russian history and relies on it in presenting a unique perspective on this fascinating country. Encounters with colorful Russians of all stripes enliven his engaging read.”

– Ethan De Seife, Seven Days


What a delightful read! Knowing it is unlikely that I will ever be able to make this journey on my own, I am grateful to do it vicariously. A gem for Russiaphiles. Informative and charming. Surely it captures the heart of Russia and its people.

– Sally D.


This book is a wonderful intro to a gentler, quiet Russia. Not the Russia portrayed in the NYT or Washington Post. But a Russia populated by ordinary, decent folk trying to make a living. It is a Russia that we Americans need to get to know better. Spine of Russia shows the way.

Farooq Ahmed, Santa Barbara, CA


What an excellent view of Russia, the real Russia of today that we in the US seldom see. [Richardson’s] attention to the people of the country is enlightening, encouraging and sometimes heartbreaking. A real page turner.



Reviews of Spine:Spine of Russia

An absolutely amazing Book of a 6000-km road trip north to south across Russia from the White Sea to the Black Sea, where the author/photographer visit over 20 cities & towns and their local inhabitants that make up the backbone of the country. Richardson’s stories are chocked full of history, interviews and many colorful adventures experienced while driving their Volkswagen Polo, nicknamed Kukisvumchorr/Кукисвумчорр!… And Mordasov’s photographs are both exquisite and informative, capturing the reality of this compelling and extraordinary region.

– M. Nordbye {Amazon}

A cool idea beautifully executed.

– John M. Hancock {Amazon}

First rule: There are no rules.

First rule: There are no rules.

Russian Rules (2011) is the story of a hapless American who gets swept up in some nasty stuff, like dirty bombs. In Russia, of course. It is available in print and for the Kindle.

Some reviews:

Excellent mystery/thriller with a strong, compelling plot set in a realistic Russia with multi-dimensional and true to life characters. Highly recommend!

An enjoyable story, timely and well-informed enough to be at least a little scary.

A well written “Oops how the hell did I get involved in this kind of crap” first person experience of a character way in over his head… It flows well, a book you want to read when you don’t want to think too hard.

I thought the description of life in Moscow was well done. I was not happy to learn that the basis of the story was real. The ending was perfect. I like when stories end in a way I did not see coming. The story is a fast paced thriller with great characters.

The author… has a knack of describing the Russian environment and setting an exciting background. His use of Russian language adds a special taste of actually being in Russia… This is an interesting and suspenseful novel that I would recommend for everyone. You are enticed to venture through Russia with these three characters until the exciting climax.

Running is Flying

The average runner is airborne 70% of the time

Running is Flying (2011) is a collection of offbeat aphorisms and ideas about the running lifestyle. It was published by Rodale, publishers of Runners’ World. It is in print and available for the Kindle as well (not recommended, as the format does not do the illustrations or presentation justice).

Some reviews:

What a fun clever read – and a quick one! What’s not to like about a book that takes about 10 minutes to ‘fly’ through – but invites you to read and reread for a good chuckle anytime.

What a refreshing attitude! The author’s joy and enthusiasm shine through… Use it get back in touch with that inner kid who ran for the joy of the wind. Or take just a bit of starch out of that all too serious running spouse or partner. Great value for money.

The Wrong Trilogy is a two-book series of young adult fantasy and adventure novels I began noodling with back in 2002. Book 1 is The Wrong Door (2004 – avail in print and for Kindle) and is about a couple of kids who get sucked into an alternate universe that needs saving.

The Wrong Door

The Wrong Door

Some reviews:

This book was an adventure right from the first page. One of those books that you cannot move on with your day until you finish the next chapter. The story is about two friends, Alex and Jen. On their way home from school, they enter the wrong apartment complex. Leading them to a parallel universe while meeting very strange but interestingly fun characters! Alex and Jen, ordinary turned into extraordinary while they are told they shall carry out a task that only they as human’s can do! I really think young readers will enjoy this book as well as a great adventure for the older readers. {Simple Taste for Reading}


I thought this book was fun and well written. Good for a younger age group also. Fun Fantasy read without gore and nastiness. {Amazon review}

The Wrong Time

The Wrong Time

Book 2 is The Wrong Time (2008 – available in print and for Kindle) and it follows these same kids as they try to get home, only to find they have come up 500 years short.

Some reviews:

This book was totally different than I expected it to be- but good. It was neat to learn a little about Russian life way back then.