Books On Living in France

Old Sep 2nd, 2011, 01:49 PM
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Current airplane reading on the way home for OR to AK:

Time Was Soft There, A Paris Sojourn at Shakespeare & Co by Jeremy Mercer (re: the second S and Co)

and "Paris was Ours" Rowland
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Old Jan 25th, 2012, 12:48 PM
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Another update....if anyone is interested.

Books of France

A White House in Gascony, by Rex Grizell
A Walk Across France, by Miles Morland
A House in the Sunflowers, by Ruth Silvestre
A Village in the Vaucluse, by Laurence Wylie
A Village in the Vineyards, by Thomas Mathews
A Pig in Provence, by Georgeanne Brennan
A Piano in the Pyrenees, by Tony Hawks
A Place in France (An Indian Summer), by Nigel Farrell
A Place in the World called Paris, Edited by Steven Barclay
A Bright Sun & Long Shadows, by Val Littman
A Castle in the Backyard, by Draine & Hinden
A Place in Normandy, by Nicholas Kilmer
A Farmhouse in Provence, by Mary Roblee Henry
A Goose in Toulouse, by Mort Rosenblum
A Harvest of Sunflowers, by Ruth Silvestre
A Summer in Gascony, by Martin Calder
A Perfect Circle, by Susie Kelly
A Town Like Paris, by Bruce Corbett
A Walk in the Vineyards, by Thomas Mathews
A Window on Provence, by Bo Niles
A Month of Sundays, by Ira & Barbara Spectror
A Chateau of One’s Own, by Sam Juneau
A Vineyard in the Dordogne, by Jeremy Josephs
Adieu, Dordogne by Roger Kohn
An Englishman in la Campagne, by Michael Sadler
At Home in France, by Ann Barry
Au Revoir Agnleterre, by Paul Jenner & Christine Smith
Backpacks, Boots & Baguettes, by Calder & Webb
Bananas in Bordeaux, by Louise Franklin Castanet
Best Foot Forward, by Susie Kelly
Bon Appetit, by Peter Mayle
Bon Courage, by Richard Wiles
Bon Chance, by Richard Wiles
Butterflies on Mimosa, by Eleanor Francis
C’est La Folie, by Michael Wright
Cast Off, by Jan Murra
Come to the Table, by Louise Luiggi
Courage & Croissants, by Suzanne & Jean Roux
Deep France, by Celia Brayfield
Deep France, by William Glover
Dordogne Adventures, by Eric Line
Floating Through France, by Barbara Euser
France, A Travelers Literary Companion, edited by Rodarmor/Livia
France in Mind, Edited by Alice Powers
French Cricket, by George East
French Leaves, by E.V. Lucas
French Toast, by Harriet Rochefort
From Here You Can’t See Paris, by Michael Sanders
Hidden Triangle, by Valerie Thompson
Home & Dry in Normandy, by George East
Hot Sun, Cool Shadow, by Angela Murrills
I’ll Never Be French, by Mark Greenside
In the Heart of France, by Cobley and Gallant
Instructions for Visitors, by Helen Stevenson
Je Ne Sais Quoi, by Charles Timoney
Life in a Postcard, by Rosemary Bailey
Lilac & Roses, by Peggy Anderson
Maison Therapy, by Alastair Simpson
Mommy, Are we French Yet, by Shawn Underwood
More France Please, We’re British, by Helena Powell
Mourjou, by Peter Graham
My Father’s Glory & My Mother’s Castle, by Marcel Pagnol
My Life in France, by Julia Child
Narrow Dog to Carcassone, by Terry Darlington
Notes from the Languedoc, by Ruppert Wright
Ou’ est le Ping? By Grace McKee
Perfume from Provence, by E.H. Shepard
Provence je t’aime, by Gordon Bitney
Reflections of Sunflowers, by Ruth Silvestre
Rene & Me, by George East
Running in Place, by Nicholas DelBanco
Savoir Rire: The Humorists Guide to France
Seeking Provence, by Nicholas Woodsworth
Serge Bastarde At My Baguette, by John Dummer
Ten Years in Provence, by Anne-Marie Simons
Strangers in Paradise (A Memoir of Provence, by Paul Chrsitensen
Tarte Tatin, by Susan Loomis
The Collected Traveler, Southwest France by Fodor’s
The Olive Farm, by Carol Drinkwater
The Ripening Sun, by Patricia Atkinson
The French Way, by Ross Steele
The Duck With a Dirty Laugh, by Ann Loader
The Bells of St. Paradis, by Ann Loader
The Magic of Provence, by Yvonne Lenard
The Oysters of Locmariaquer, by Eleanor Clark
Time was Soft There, by Jeremy Mercer
Tout Sweet, by Karen Wheeler
Travelers Tales/Provence, Edited by James O’Reilly
Tabvelers Tales/France, Edited by James O’Reilly
Vive La Renovation, by Trevor Morris
We’ll Always Have Paris, by John Baxter
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Old Jan 25th, 2012, 06:23 PM
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What a great list! Have you read all these books? I also read and collect travel books, not necessarily about moving to France, just France in general.

here are some from my collection.

French Spirits - Jeffrey Greene
The Luberon Garden - Alex Dingwall- Main
The Vine Garden- as above
French Leave - John Burton Race
Just Enough French - Sally Hammond
Pardon My French - as above
Arazat's Aubergines - Patrick Moon
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Old Jan 25th, 2012, 06:54 PM
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Sixty Million Frenchmen Can't be Wrong, Jean-Benoit Nadeau and Julie Barlow, Sourcebooks Inc., 2003

Almost French: Love and a New Life in Paris, Sarah Turnbull, Gotham Books, 2003

Paris to the Moon, Adam Gopnik, Random House, 2001

C'est La Vie: An American Woman Begins a New Life in Paris and--Voila!--Becomes Almost French, Suzy Gershman, Penguin, 2005

The Olive Farm: A Memoir of Life, Love and Olive Oil in the South of France, Carol Drinkwater, Penguin, 2002

Instructions for Visitors: Life and Love in a French Town, Helen Stevenson, Washington Square Press, 2002
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Old Jan 26th, 2012, 07:28 AM
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Thanks for the update. I'm making my way through Barnum's list and now have a few more to add.

I recently read "The Last Time I Saw Paris" by Lynn Sheene and loved it from the very first page. It's fiction, but the descriptions of Paris were great.

Also, "Extremely Pale Rose" by Jamie Ivey. The vineyards of France and searching for one of my favorite wines. There is nothing like a glass of cold, dry French Rose on a hot summer's day.

The next one I'm going to try is "Dordogne Adventures" from Barnum's list as we hope to travel there in the fall.
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Old Jan 26th, 2012, 09:04 AM
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Not a book but a blog actually 2 blogs by a pair of gentlmen who moved from NC , I think, to a village in The Loire
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Old Jan 26th, 2012, 09:40 AM
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Yes I have indeed read all of these books....couple of them twice. I appreciate hearing about new ones. Thank you.
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Old Jan 26th, 2012, 09:45 AM
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Looks like you haven't read A Year in the Merde by Stephen Clark. Merde in French of course means "perfume"!
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Old Jan 26th, 2012, 10:12 AM
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I see that Morningglory47 has recommended "Sixty Million Frenchmen Can't be Wrong" which is a wonderful book, even if the title doesn't really reflect the book's contents.

For those who haven't read all the way through this thread, I will repeat my recommendation from 2009 (was it that long ago?):

I heartily recommend Jean-Benoît Nadeau's "Les Français Aussi ont un Accent", subtitled, "Mésadventures Anthropologiques d'un Québécois en Vielle-France". He and his wife Julie Barlow spent two years in France looking at the French, as he says, "with the same approach of anthropologists towards the Yanomani in the interior Amazon" It's very witty and perceptive.

If you don't read French, they also wrote an account in English of their experience, "60 Million Frenchmen Can't Be Wrong". It's not a translation, but is also quite good. (In fact, it was later translated for the French market as "Pas si fous, ces Français!")
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Old Jan 26th, 2012, 11:20 AM
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"Paris Passions" by Keith Spicer

"The Most Beautiful Walk in the World" by John Baxter
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Old Mar 10th, 2013, 12:48 AM
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an e-book with very good reviews

Our House is Not in Paris - by Susan Cutsforth
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Old Mar 10th, 2013, 04:20 AM
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Our Fodors Book Group just read A Life of Her Own: The Transformation of a Countrywoman in 20th Century France by Emilie Carles, the autobiography of a woman who lived in the the Hautes-Alpes region of France from 1900 to 1979.
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Old Mar 10th, 2013, 04:35 AM
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Bookmarking! MelJ, have you seen this?
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Old Mar 10th, 2013, 06:03 AM
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Barnum... My gosh, I may be in love with you... (I won't tell your wife, if you don't tell my husband)... My dream has been to live in France. I never knew this many books existed on the subject.!

I have always been much more into Europe than my husband.... Through work, I was given the chance to live in Bratislava (definitely not France)... And now Budapest (still not France)... But thru this process my husband fell in love with Europe... We have sold our home and our cars... Perhaps France here we come..?!

I guess my real question is, have you ever considered your dream could become reality? Living in Europe is cheaper and easier than I ever thought possible... Think about it!
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Old Mar 10th, 2013, 06:15 AM
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Great thread - thanks!

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Old Mar 10th, 2013, 07:06 AM
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Here's a few I enjoyed:

"BUYING A PIECE OF PARIS" a memoir by Ellie Nielsen.
A fun and informative read on the ins and outs of Paris real estate.

"PARIS:A LOVE STORY" by Kati Marton
A memoir that takes place mostly in Paris. She is a journalist who was married to Peter Jennings and later Richard Holbrooke.

"A YEAR OF SUNDAYS" by Edward D. Webster.
This is one of my favorites. A memoir about a man who takes his blind wife and 16 year old cat on a year long stay in Europe. They stay in several countries including France.
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Old Mar 11th, 2013, 09:48 AM
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I wanted to post a comment about Louis Sanders; I bought several of his books because they looked like interesting takes on Brits living in France, but I found the characters in his books to be grim and depressing. His books are well-written, but he has such a sour view of his fellow human beings - not just the invading Brits, although they come in for most of his contempt, but even his French compatriots - that it's unpleasant to spend much time in his company. He also tends to dispose of his characters with some violence, as though he wants to get even with them for being so unsatisfactory. I have to wonder how he gets along with his English wife - and, in fact, with anyone else that he's forced to deal with on a routine basis. He does not seem to suffer fools gladly, and he appears to feel that most people are fools.
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Old Mar 11th, 2013, 10:07 AM
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Randy Lofficier's "Over Here" is the story of a couple from Los Angeles who decided to move to France following the 2004 presidential election. Their adjustment was made easier by the fact that her husband is French and they already had dual citizenship, but their story is told with humor and it makes the reader feel as though he or she is there with them, finding a home, renovating it, and settling into their new community in the Aude region of France.

For those who enjoy reading about France, Martin Walker's series about his protagonist Bruno, chief of police in a small village in the Dordogne, is very nice, and includes lots of local color and sympathetic characters. Also taking place in the Dordogne, W.S. Merwin's "The Lost Upland" contains three novellas about rural France and the changes that have occurred over the past fifty or so years. It's a somber but beautiful work by a major poet.
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Old Mar 15th, 2013, 12:26 PM
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A marvelous book by Elisabeth Gille, the daughter of Irene Nemirovsky, is THE MIRADOR. It is a biography of her mother's early life, but it reads more like a gorgeous, poetic novel. While it begins in Kiev, it eventually is set in Paris. Not quite like most of the books listed here, but I think Francophiles enjoy it.

Cathinjoetown, I, too, loved THE HARE WITH THE AMBER EYES. It actually has a lot in common with THE MIRADOR (which I'm guessing you'll also like.)
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Old Mar 15th, 2013, 12:56 PM
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Thank you so much for this recommendation. "Suite Française" was so good (that really doesn't do it justice). I hadn't heard of The Mirador but will order it.

I have been struggling with "Team of Rivals" for a month. Almost finished, with an even greater appreciation of Lincoln, and now I can see the film.

RiverFarm, also appreciate your suggestions.
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