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Books about france

Books about France - Buzzing books you're sure to love

Books about France

Fiction, non-fiction, informative and just plain funny, we have buzzed around on Amazon and found a selection of books and Kindle editions that we think you might like.

Covering a range of topics about our area of France, living and working here and, of course, the French language, it also includes food and drink as well as hobbies and crafts.

There are books from famous chefs and restaurants, books to help you improve your French or carry out a bit of DIY, ideas for touring the area and books that show how others have visited or moved to Gironde, Dordogne, Lot et Garonne, Lot, Gers, tarn et Garonne and N. Haute Garonne.

Some of the authors are from our region, some of the books contain stories about our region and some include references to our region.

This website is all about relevance to our region and keeping you up to date so, naturally, we will be adding to this list of books about France regularly. If we miss something and you feel it should be added, please let us know by dropping us a note on our contributor page. Together, let’s keep the news on books buzzing.

To order, simply click on the link under your chosen book.

Bordeaux, Gironde et Landes

Your complete guide to Bordeaux, Gironde and Landes, an invaluable resource for anyone visiting or living in these beautiful areas of France.

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The Autumn Throne

Imprisoned by her husband, King Henry II, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Queen of England, refuses to let her powerful husband bully her into submission, even as he forces her away from her children and her birthright.

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On a barge in France

In On a Barge in France Harvey Schwartz tells of the four years he and his wife, Sandra Hamilton, spent on Hoop Doet Leven on the French waterways. Each chapter presents a vignette of French country life and life in the unique linear village of international bargees traveling extremely slowly through the most beautiful, historic and mind boggling areas of France.

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A Taste for Vengeance

Bruno, now Chief of Police for the whole Vézère valley, has an unusual challenge to rise to: teaching at his friend Pamela’s new cookery school. It is a daunting prospect – the disappearance of one of the school’s pupils almost serves as a welcome distraction.

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The Way of St James

This comprehensive guidebook describes the Way of St James (Camino de Santiago) pilgrim route through France. Also known as the Chemin de St Jacques or GR65, the 730km (454 mile) route runs from Le Puy-en-Velay in central France to Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port in the Pyrenees.

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Swallows and Robins

As the world’s worst housekeeper, running holiday homes wasn’t, with hindsight, a sensible idea. But two collapsing buildings on Susie Kelly’s land would cost more to demolish than to restore. Thus she became a seasonal landlady. Before the guests came the builders. No’s 1, 2, 3 all started promisingly, but by builder No. 4, and with her first guests just hours away, her patience was stretched to its limit.

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The French Revolution and What Went Wrong

Legend has it that, in a few busy weeks in July 1789, a despotic king, his freeloading wife, and a horde of over-privileged aristocrats, were displaced and then humanely dispatched. In the ensuing years, we are told, France was heroically transformed into an idyll of Liberté, Egalité and Fraternité.

In fact, as Stephen Clarke argues in his informative and eye-opening account of the French Revolution, almost all of this is completely untrue.

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The Complete Merde: The Real French You Were Never Taught at School

A saucy guide to survival in everyday French. With chapters on insults, sex, drink and those expressive Gallic gestures, this book reveals the necessary vocabulary, explains its proper use and gives examples and exercises for the eager student.

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The French-Inspired Home

Learn how to master the art of creating simple, elegant and chic French interiors with Carolyn Westbrook’s The French-Inspired Home. Carolyn Westbrook is a designer and decorator whose love affair with French styling began long before she ever travelled to France.

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La Vie Est Belle

This celebration and distillation of the spirit of France provides a privileged glimpse inside 18 ravishing French homes, from chateaux to farmhouses, as well as the regions in which they are set, including Normandy, Brittany, the Ile de Ré, Paris, Provence, the Loire and Bordeaux.

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Birds of France

With 85 million tourists in 2015, France is the largest tourist destination in the world. This new photographic guide for general wildlife-watchers by naturalist James Lowen and French photographer Aurélien Audevard covers the 300 birds most likely to be seen on any visit to the country, with detailed text and superb photography, selected to highlight key identification criteria.

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France: A History from Gaul to de Gaulle

From frowning Roman generals and belligerent Gallic chieftains, to Charlemagne (hated by generations of French children taught that he invented schools) through Marie Antoinette and the storming of the Bastille to Vichy, the Resistance and beyond, FRANCE is packed with heroes and villains, adventures and battles, romance and revolution.

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James Martin’s French Adventure

James Martin’s French Adventure showcases the superstar chef’s handpicked favourite recipes from the series and sees him journey the length and breadth of the country, sampling the very best food France has to offer. Along the way he cooks seafood in Marseille, shops at colourful Provencal markets, cooks with legendary chefs including Michel Roux and Pierre Gagnaire and explores the vineyards of Burgundy.

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The French for Always

Leaving the grey skies of home behind to transform a crumbling French Château into a boutique wedding venue is a huge leap of faith for Sara. She and fiancé Gavin sink their life savings into the beautiful Château Bellevue – set under blue skies and surrounded by vineyards in the heart of Bordeaux.

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The French for Love

Gina has lost her perfect job, her boyfriend and her favourite aunt all within the space of a few months. So when she inherits her aunt’s ramshackle French house, Gina decides to pack her bags for the Bordeaux countryside – swapping English weather for blue skies, sunshine, great wine and a fresh start.

What she hasn’t factored in is a hole in the roof, the most embarrassing language faux pas, and discovering family secrets that she was never supposed to know.

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Walking in the Dordogne

Guidebook to 35 half-day and day walks in France’s beautiful Dordogne region, based around Bergerac, Lalinde, Sarlat and Souillac (Lot). The walks, which range from 6 to 18.5km, take in the region’s myriad delights, from spectacular gorges to enchanting chateaux and charming medieval villages.

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Simplissime: The Easiest French Cookbook in the world

Taking cooking back to basics, Simplissime is bursting with easy-to-follow and quick recipes for delicious French food. Discover how to make a mouth-watering Apple Tart with Cinnamon with just five ingredients, or Spaghetti with Asparagus and Orange in just three steps. For an impressive dish, whip up mouth-watering Mussels in Curry in a short 15 minutes.

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La cuisine de la Tupiña : Les vraies recettes du Sud-Ouest

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Rick Stein’s French Odyssey

Rick Stein embarks on a journey of gastronomic discovery from Padstow to Bordeaux and then to Marseille. The book is divided into a diary section and recipe chapters. Featuring starters, light lunches, main courses and desserts, the recipes include authentic versions of French classics as well as new takes on traditional ingredients.

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French Collection: Twelve Short Stories

For fans of all things French, a collection of short stories from the author of The House at Zaronza. France is a land steeped in history, whose landscapes and light have enthused writers and artists for centuries. Beneath the dust of ages lie buried countless personal histories, which have inspired this collection of twelve fictional short stories.

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Reflections of Sunflowers

The final book in the Sunflowers trilogy sees Ruth Silvestre and her husband returning to Bel-Air de Grèzelongue, their much-loved home in the south-west of France.

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A Harvest of Sunflowers

Twenty years after first setting eyes on Bel-Air de Grèzelongue, her dream house in south-west French, Ruth Silvestre brings us the sequel to her enchanting memoir A House in the Sunflowers.

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A House in the Sunflowers: An English Family’s Search for Their Dream House in France

The author and her husband decided to try and find their dream house in the Lot-et-Garonne area of France. This book records their search for a house, buying it, the renovation, and their attempts at assimilation into the local population.

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A Garden in Sarlat

Moving and funny, this is the story of the trials and tribulations involved in buying and converting their new house. The challenges of starting a new business in a foreign land, speaking a language they had struggled to learn thirty years previously and had since forgotten. But ultimately of fulfilling an ambition to work, laugh and play in the beautiful town of Sarlat.

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Dordogne Valleys & Villages: A Bicycle Your France guidebook

Walter Judson Moore’s third edition of Dordogne Valleys and Villages contains 15 cycling routes with comprehensive maps, elevation profiles, point to point and turn directions, and two town detail maps. These maps also have symbols indicating locations for restaurants, grocery stores and historically significant châteaux. Each route has a few colour photographs to help visualise the ride.

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French Atlantic Coast (Dordogne, Aquitaine, Gascogne) Marco Polo Map

Fully updated for 2016… Marco Polo maps feature completely up-to-date, digitally generated mapping. The high quality cartography with distance indicators and scale converters aid route planning. Coverage of Dordogne, Aquitaine and Gascogne. Includes 3 city maps: Bordeaux, Limoges and Toulouse.

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La Belle Saison

La Belle Saison is Patricia’s eulogy to this way of life: a testament to the timelessness of the beautiful French countryside, the bounty of the land, and the generous-hearted French neighbours who showed Patricia that a simple life has many rewards.

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The Ripening Sun: One Woman and the Creation of a Vineyard

For most people giving up the day job and moving to a beautiful area of France and living off the vines is an impossible but delicious dream. In 1990, Patricia Atkinson and her husband decided to sell up in Britain and emigrate to the Dordogne. Their idea was to buy a house with a few vines attached …

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Bonne Chance

Richard Wiles bought his dream home but little did he expect to be living full time in the dilapidated farmhouse while struggling to finish the conversion during the insect plagues of summer and the harsh blizzards of winter.  Richard also pursued his more unusual dreams of raising llamas, hot-air ballooning and marathon running whilst trying to keep the roof over his head.

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Dictionary of French Tools and Materials

English-speaking home-owners bent on renovating a property in France may be baffled by the vagaries of the French language. With a dash of humour this dictionary demystifies the choice of what’s available, exposing the oddities and inconsistencies – and highlights items that don’t exist in the UK.

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Dictionary of French Building Terms

This essential dictionary and phrase book provides every term you need to know when buying, maintaining, renovating or building a home in France. It includes the technical words for tools and equipment and every aspect of painting, carpentry, roofing, plumbing and drainage.

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Concise Dictionary of House Building Terms

This concise dictionary contains over 10,000 words and phrases providing an overall total of more than 20,000 entries.The book is arranged by trades and is divided into 14 sections.

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Are you the Foie Gras Correspondent?

An amusing, honest look at life in the south west of France from a seasoned correspondent.  A must for anyone living, working or visiting this area of France.

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The Bordeaux Kitchen

From classics like rich Beef Burgundy and succulent slow-cooked leg of lamb, to modern takes on nutrient-dense organ meats, the recipes from The Bordeaux Kitchen will bring the timeless wisdom of past generations to your cooking and meal planning.

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Holding on Letting Go

Change threatens the comfortable in this story of how friends and work colleagues eventually found each other in Tarn et Garonne. Staying at a farmhouse in a corner of France steeped in history and filled with dramatic beauty, two people find that their lives are changed by letting go rather than holding on. This is the second book from Catherine Finch.

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A Stranger in Paris

The first of Karen Webb’s three-part memoir about her move to France. Now living in SW France, her funny, poignant study of French life starts in Paris.

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Dark Secrets of the Dordogne

When Pamela and William Sinclair moved to France, their expectations were high. What could be more idyllic than living in a Renaissance château, feasting on local produce and elegant French wines? They didn’t expect a power struggle with Shirley Johnson-Smith, the self-styled ‘Queen of the Dordogne’.

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A Gourmet Tour of the Périgord: 13 chefs – 35 recipes

A Gourmet tour of the Périgord created by The association Entre Chefs et Périgord. Discover the favourite products, the producers, the tips and advice of 13 chefs from the Perigord whose enthusiasm is infectious.

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A Culinary Journey in Gascony: Recipes and Stories from My French Canal Boat

Kate Hill is a gourmet chef who teaches cooking classes internationally and runs culinary tours on her 75-year-old Dutch barge in the Gascony region of France. Home chefs and armchair travellers alike will cherish this collection of tales along with 80 recipes from the heart and soul of Gascony. This book features full-colour and black-and-white photographs of the picturesque Gascony region and full-colour food photographs

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101 French Idioms

You won’t have avoir le cafard (have the cockroach or have the blues) with this humorous volume of colourful French idioms.  A whimsical collection of colloquialisms that is sure to delight you.

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Water lilies and Bory Latour-Marliac

Monet’s water lilies have a story to tell, one that culminates in Belle époque France, but which began in antiquity… Water lilies are inextricably linked to the ancient cultures of Greece and Rome, Egypt and the Far East, in which they were highly valued for their medicinal, spiritual and aesthetic qualities.

This volume records our enduring love affair with this most beautiful and exotic of plants up to the present day. It is most of all a comprehensive account of how, during the 19th century, the hardy white water lily varieties native to Europe and North America were transformed into the colourful waterlilies we know today. This was a task undertaken with gusto, passion and devotion by Latour-Marliac (1830-1911).

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The Strawberry Thief

Vianne Rocher has settled down. Lansquenet-sous-Tannes, the place that once rejected her, has finally become her home. With Rosette, her ‘special’ child, she runs her chocolate shop in the square, talks to her friends on the river, is part of the community. Even Reynaud, the priest, has become a friend.

From the best selling Author of Chocolat – Joanne Harris


How Make a French Family

Take one French widower, his two young children, and drop a former city girl from Chicago into a small town in southwestern France. Shake vigorously… and voilá: a blended Franco-American family whose lives will all drastically change.


From Source to Sea: A Meander Down the Dordogne Valley

Written by Valerie Thompson

A journey the whole length of the river Dordogne, exploring the history, legends, peoples, nature, archaeology and architecture of the several regions that the river passes through. The book covers what is in, on, by and over the iconic waterway from its source to the sea. Enjoy meandering down the Dordogne valley with me.

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Market Fresh Cooking

Market Fresh Cooking: A Taste of the French Countryside

By Paola Westbeek

More than 30 delicious and colourful recipes that are inspired by the bounty of French markets and easy to make. From tasty starters such as eggs with lemon mayonnaise and Burgundy’s famous gougères, to perfect lunch dishes such as a crisp tomato tart, quiches and vibrant soups. You’ll even find beautiful desserts, among them a delicate apricot tart and a classic flan parisien that tastes like it came straight out of a French bakery.
Accessibly written and full of stories that are just as inspiring as the recipes. You’ll not only feel as though you’re walking through a sunny French market full of sumptuous produce stalls, but you’ll be cooking recipes everyone will love!

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Overture (L’Alouette trilogy Book 1)

by Vanessa Couchman

Overture is the first in a trilogy set in France, starting in 1897 and finishing at the end of World War II.

France, 1897. Born to a modest farming family, Marie-Thérèse has a remarkable singing voice and wants to become a professional singer. But too many obstacles, including her parents’ opposition, stand in her way.

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French Women for All Seasons

French Women for All Seasons

Author: Mireille Guiliano

Full of irresistible food, menus, stories and advice on everything from wine to detoxing, from yoghurt to yoga, as well as beauty tips and how to tie a scarf, this is an essential book about how to savour the gastronomic and everyday joys of life – in moderation, and, above all, with pleasure.

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The French Squadrons

The French Squadrons: A True Story of Love and War

Author: Barbara Harper-Nelson, Genevieve Monneris

Barbara Harper-Nelson was once the nineteen-year-old girlfriend of twenty-two-year-old French airman Francis Usai, who served in the RAF Bomber Command. Amazingly, she still possesses the letters she received from this witty and amusing young Frenchman. Together with her own diaries, these letters constitute a unique, evocative and often amusing conversation between two young people during a turbulent and often terrifying time in history, as they coped with the daily threat of permanent separation and the regular, tragic loss of close friends.

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False Rumours

Author: Danae Penn

In August 1483 Belina Lansac, young wife of a detective in Gascony, learns that the Princes in the Tower are being chased by a murderer who has been ordered by Henry Tudor’s mother to kill them so that she can accuse Richard III of their murder and thereby spread false rumours five hundred years ago. Will the two princes survive?

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Paola Westbeek

My Winter Kitchen

Warming Recipes for the Coldest Months
Culinary author Paola Westbeek invites us to grab a glass of mulled wine and join her in her cozy winter kitchen with a delicious collection of warming recipes. You’ll find recipes for Dutch meatballs, classic French stews such as boeuf bourguignon, savory pies and even traditional holiday bakes, among them a French Three Kings Cake (galette des rois) and Dutch spiced cookie bars.
Chase away the winter blues with heartwarming recipes and stories from her family table to yours!

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Flowers for your Soul

Flowers for your Soul

Author Claire Walkiden

Flowers for your Soul: Be your own Flower Essence Therapist and heal your life.  Learn how to make and use Flower Essences – one of nature’s truest forms of energy medicine. Learn how to understand plants and what they can do to help you.

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Singer Dancer Soldier Spy

Josephine: Singer, Dancer, Soldier, Spy

Fiction based on Fact this novel follows the work carried out by Josephine Baker during World War 2 for the French resistance.

Born into poverty in a racially segregated America, Josephine flees to France.

With Hitler’s rise to power in Germany she is forced to face her true self. Determined to protect the Liberty Equality and Fraternity she has found in France, she becomes an ‘honorable correspondent’ for the French Intelligence Service.

Josephine Baker was decorated with the Legion d’Honneur and the Croix de Guerre with Palme. At her funeral the French Government provided a 21 gun salute, the only American born woman to be so honored.

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The Mattress Vendor

The Mattress Vendor

Author: Donna K Drago

Vivian looks down at the old brass key in her hand. “Now you are a Duraquoise,” the notaire says, explaining that is what the women of Duras are called.She stops at the local café for a grand crème, breathes in the aromas and listens to the cheerful sounds of her new neighbors enjoying a spring afternoon. Southwest France is now home.  A chance encounter with the roving mattress vendor leads to the purchase of a new mattress as well as new friendships and family that bring joy and help her to see what her life has been missing.

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Sixty Million Frenchmen

Sixty Million Frenchmen Can’t Be Wrong

The French drink, smoke and eat more fat than anyone in the world, yet they live longer and have fewer heart problems than the English and the Americans. They work 35-hour weeks and take seven weeks’ paid holiday each year, yet they are the world’s fourth-biggest economic power. So how do they do it? From a distance modern France looks like a riddle. It is both rigidly authoritarian, yet incredibly inventive; traditional (even archaic) yet modern; lacking clout on the international stage yet still hugely influential. But with the observations, anecdotes and analysis of the authors, who spent nearly three years living in France, it begins to makes sense. ‘Sixty Million Frenchmen Can’t Be Wrong’ is a journey into the French heart, mind and soul. This book reveals French ideas about land, food, privacy and language and weaves together the threads of French society, uncovering the essence of life in France and giving, for the first time, a complete picture of the French. Buy Now

around the world in 80 days

Around the World in 80 Days

Around the World in 80 Days By Jules Verne

Phileas Fogg finds himself backed into a heated argument at the Reform Club in London, England, about the plausibility of circumnavigating the world in 80 days or under. An argument he is so passionate about that he wagers £20,000 he and his valet, Jean Passepartout, can in fact travel the entire world in under 80 days. With a handshake and the wager official, Fogg sets out on his journey around the world in 80 days!

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Good Life in France

How to Live the Good Life in France

Author – Lorraine Turnbull

Fed up with the rat race? Dreaming of a simpler life? A better life? A GOOD LIFE?
Since the 1990’s hundreds of thousands of people left it all behind and moved to France.

Are you dreaming about moving to France to live a simpler, rural life; perhaps on a smallholding or simply in the countryside? Then THIS is the book for YOU.

Benefit from Lorraine Turnbull’s own experience and read the case studies from real people who have moved to live the Good Life in various areas of France. It’s a big step to a brave new world and this timely book aims to help you in your journey to your Good Life in France. Lorraine is an award-winning smallholder and former cider maker who relocated to rural France in 2017.

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What Have we got Tiulouse

What have we got Toulouse: A family moving to France (A mother in France Book 1)

This is the true story of an ordinary British family who swapped their run-of-the-mill life in Southeast England for a far-from ordinary-life in a mill in Southwest France. Nikki McArthur, aka ‘A mother in France’, opens up a window to her world and invites you to journey with her through the positive and negative experiences of the process of moving, settling, making a living and raising a family in a new country.

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My Heart’s Home: Memories & Recipes of France

Join culinary author Paola Westbeek as she takes you on a delicious journey to some of her favorite places in France, cooking authentic regional delights and sharing recipes inspired by travels through her adoptive country.

Included are classics such as moules marinières, tartelettes aux fraises, tomates farcies and moelleux au chocolat, but also exciting dishes such as pork loin with lavender and mustard, chicken in Banyuls, a vibrant tomato tarte tatin, tuna rillettes with ras el hanout, and ice cream with prunes and Armagnac.

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Robin Ellis’s Mediterranean Vegetarian Cooking

A food lover’s guide to eating well with diabetes. Poldark star Robin Ellis’s Mediterranean-inspired vegetarian recipes are delicious and suitable for the entire family and for entertaining friends, with no sacrifice of taste or quality. This fully illustrated book contains photographs, not only of the recipes but of beautiful, rural southwestern France, where Robin lives and leads sell-out cooking workshops focused on simple, delicious and healthy Mediterranean cuisine, making the most of all the fresh local ingredients available..
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A Butterfly on my wine glass

A Butterfly on my Wine Glass

Travel guide to Nouvelle-Aquitaine: the Gironde and Dordogne areas of SW France  – Author: Annie Jefferies

This book is for all who want to explore the delightful area of Nouvelle-Aquitaine in south-west France, focusing on the Gironde and parts of the Dordogne regions. An essential guide for both first time visitors and seasoned travellers to the area.

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Following the letters: Life, love and war in south-west France

When Hilary Sunman came across a cache of more than 100 letters in the cellar of her semi-derelict mill house in south-west France, she was drawn into a beguiling world of discovery through two world wars and two remarkable families, one aristocratic, the other wine-makers and farmers. Dusty and fragile, these handwritten letters shed a fascinating light on the lives and deaths of people who each lived through the turbulent years of the first half of the twentieth century.

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Join us at the Table: Easy French Recipes

Join Us at the Table Easy French Recipes

Author: Annie Sargent

Simple, everyday and classic French recipes that you can make at home, even if you didn’t go to cooking school. Many recipes feature vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian and gluten-free options.

French culture and history are imprinted in the flavors, spices and sauces of everyday homes all across the country. During a time where travel to France isn’t possible, here’s a straightforward, inexpensive and healthy way to savor French culture.

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Resistance Book 1 Liberty

Resistance Book 1 Liberty by Eilidh McGinness

Set in Dordogne during WWII, the friends’ relationships and strengths are tested to the very limits as life changes in unbelievably horrific ways.  The friends find themselves facing frightening situations and responding in ways they never thought possible as bravery and resistance take different forms in each of their actions.

Vivid and exquisite in its illumination of a time and place that was filled with atrocities but also humanity and extraordinary bravery, this novel will evoke readers to ask “What would I have done”?

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Dictionary of French Gardening Terms

English-speaking home-owners bent on creating a garden in France may be baffled by the vagaries of the French language when purchasing tools, materials and equipment. Plants familiar in the homeland do not bear the same common names in France, so Latin provides an essential link in translation.  From an established author, the Dictionary of French Gardening Terms demystifies the bewildering choice of what’s available in garden centres, nurseries and stores, exposing oddities and inconsistencies – even highlighting items that don’t exist in the UK.

>Buy Now