Dick Handscombe has had 23 books published over the past forty years, 16 of them since retiring to the mountain village of Barx, near Gandia, in 1994, where he has lived an extremely active and varied lifestyle.


His retirement activities include the development of an enviable garden, becoming self-sufficient in the production of home grown ecological produce, Spanish cooking, mountain walking including a 52 day 950 kilometre trek along the Pyrenees from the Bay of Biscay to the Mediterranean, Spanish cooking, fishing for trout, carp and catfish now that little remains in the Mediterranean, painting if he has time, coaching senior executives in business English and improvement in management/business techniques; plus of course writing.

As well as writing books he has also written over a thousand articles and in each case the writing is focused on helping expatriates and Spaniards to better enjoy their life in Spain and other Mediterranean situations, and for those still working to improve the effectiveness of the organisations they lead or work for.

Also many of the books could be useful texts for Spaniards trying to improve their English language and other life skills.

He himself was fortunate to have worked in many industries (40 in fact), and a variety of government organisations as an executive and consultant in over thirty countries.

During this working life he also wrote seven major management books and made chapter contributions to several others.

In spite of a busy life he managed to fit in a number of socially responsible part-time activities such as Chairman of the British Business Association in Holland, Industrial Fellow of the European Business School, Assessor of University Faculties, and was the last Chairman of the European MBO Society before its activities merged into the Strategic Management Society.

Dick retired and moved full time to Spain in 1994 immediately after two cancer operations, and claims that writing continues as a major hobby at the age 78 in order to maintain the active brain necessary to avoid Alzheimer’s.

He had his first garden when five years old on a West London bomb site and has recently been toying with the idea of a book reminiscing about his 75 years of hobby gardening or of a novel to celebrate his 80th birthday.

His books to date are listed below and are most conveniently and economically obtained via Amazon Books and many other internet book shops.

An author search on Amazon Books for ‘Dick Handscombe’ or Richard Handscombe should bring up many of the books available in one go. The books are listed in the following sequence.


All the books include valuable information and advice pertaining to relevant strategic issues, day to day routines, problem solving and dealing with crises.

Some are translated into Spanish and more are planned.


‘OUR 52 DAY RETIREMENT ADVENTURE ALONG THE SPANISH PYRENEES’ (2013) describes a 945 kilometre trek from the rocky shores of the Bay of Biscay to the soft sandy beaches of the Med through the Spanish Pyrenees. During the trek they met only one other long distant walker and climbed up and down 31,000 metres. It was a lifetime odyssey and proved that he had recovered from two cancer operations, strengthened two wonky knees and found a great new walking partner in Clodagh a friend who later became his wife.

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‘LIVING WELL FROM OUR GARDEN – Mediterranean style’ ( 2011 ) is an interesting and inspiring book that can help you live well in terms of spiritual and mental health, sustained physical health, daily gastronomic satisfaction and economic well-being.


‘AUTHENTIC VALENCIAN PAELLAS’ (2013) describes the history of the famous Valencian Paella made with chicken and rabbit meat, what ingredients are needed, whether home grown or bought, the process of preparing the ingredients and then the paella, and then how to eat it; common problems and solutions which are all described. A recipe for a tasty Vegetable Paella is also given.


‘Your practical guide to HAVING A GREAT RETIREMENT’ (2013) was written to help those with a passion for life to plan for and enjoy their later years to the full. Originally this was written as an appropriate gift at the retirement dinner for an important pre-retirement client. This book is now being updated and extended for republication in the autumn.

‘AUDITING AND IMPROVING COMPANY CULTURES’ (2014) was written at the suggestion of a number of old friends from his working days as this issue has become very important in recent years. It includes well proven material from books written when he was working. What happens at work can severely affect the preparation for and enjoyment of retirement.

B.GARDENING BOOKS (Titles with a * were written with the support of my wife)

‘HOW TO USE LESS WATER IN YOUR GARDEN’ (2014 ) is a practical guide to what is involved in water-wise gardening in Spain and other Mediterranean climate situations worldwide. It includes several hundred ideas for application to various styles of gardens and also in developing emergency strategies at household, village, town, regional and national levels.

‘YOUR GARDEN IN SPAIN – Practical ideas for gardens that suit your Spanish lifestyle’ (2005) was the total guide to gardening in Spain including growing vegetables and fruit. However after a few years the publisher asked us to make the following three books out of it in order to reduce its printing costs and eventual price.

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‘YOUR GARDEN IN SPAIN – From planning to planting and maintenance’* (2007) is the comprehensive guide for residents and holiday-home owners to create colourful, interesting and productive gardens that suit and enable their planned short and longer term lifestyles.

‘APARTMENT GARDENING – MEDITERRANEAN STYLE’*(2010) is the complete guide to terrace, balcony and windowsill gardening, enabling the development and maintenance of colourful and productive outdoor living spaces that can in fact be seen as ‘patios in the sky’.


GROWING HEALTHY VEGETABLES IN SPAIN’ (2006)* is the comprehensive guide to growing the family’s daily vegetables under Spanish conditions, taking into account the soils, climate, seasonal varieties of vegetables and pests that need to be overcome. Growing vegetables in containers, raised beds and vegetable plots are all covered.

‘GROWING HEALTHY FRUIT IN SPAIN’*(2007) is the sister book to the vegetable one and the growing of over seventy types of fruit are discussed.

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PRACTICAL GARDENING ON THE COSTA BLANCA’* (2001) and the related second edition re-titled as ‘PRACTICAL GARDENING ON THE COSTA’*(2003) were a republication as a book of the first hundred gardening articles we wrote for a Costa Blanca newspaper.


‘THE BANKERS MANAGEMENT HANDBOOK’ (1976) with Richard Handscombe as a key chapter author and Editor-in-Chief was the first comprehensive UK book on the management of banks since the Country Banker was published in 1885. It is a compendium of 38 chapters written by 40 experienced and knowledgeable banking consultants and practising bankers.

‘THE PRODUCT MANAGEMENT HANDBOOK’ (1989) is a comprehensive handbook for use by product managers of all types of products and services in private and public companies and other institutions. Product management is presented from a general management point of view and is dedicated to product champions with courage to seek product, personal and corporate effectiveness.

‘STRATEGIC LEADERSHIP – THE MISSING LINKS’ (1989) is an original and practical approach to improving the future competitive performance of companies and the senior management running them.

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‘STRATEGIC LEADERSHIP – MANAGING THE MISSING LINKS’ (1993) is a fully revised and updated second edition of the previous book Strategic Leadership – The missing links. It includes some entirely new chapters based on the experience gained in implementing ideas introduced in the first edition in various parts of the world.

PRODUCTIVITY THROUGH PEOPLE (1992) was written for the International Labour Office as a leaders’ guide and participant text to support the use of a training film with the same title.

‘AUDITING AND IMPROVING COMPANY CULTURES’ (2014) already mentioned under lifestyle books.


All the books are available from Amazon Books and a number of other internet sites.

If you wish to contact Dick Handscombe regarding his books, the writing of articles or books or the giving of talks this is possible via the following:








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