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Perfect for the armchair dreamer -- a few memoirs of those who've up and done it, bought a house and relocated to France:

Carol Drinkwater's The Olive Farm: A Memoir of Life, Love and Olive Oil in the South of France is an enchanting romance about this British actress's love affair with a Frenchman, Provence and a beautiful olive farm. The sequel, just recently published, continues her sentimental but satisfying story, The Olive Season: Amour, a New Life, and Olives Too.

A Castle in the Backyard: The Dream of a House in France sounds like my kind of place! Betsy Draine and Michael Hinden, an American couple, recount their 15 summers establishing a summer home in the Dordogne valley in southwest France.

Michael Sanders' From Here, You Can't See Paris: Seasons of a French Village and Its Restaurant explores life in a remote French village, with his family's experiences with the traditions of food and the inner workings of a bustling restaurant in the middle of nowhere.

And more for travel fiends...

Larousse de Paris: Monuments, Districts,..., a grand volume that definitively showcases the monuments, architecture, history and everything else that is the essence of physical Paris.

The Flaneur: A Stroll Through the Paradoxes of Paris by Edmund White, presents a different view of Paris from a street promenader's point of view.

Stanley Karnow, author of the Pulitzer Prize winning Vietnam: A History, lived in Paris as a Time magazine correspondent during the '50s. Thus his memoir, Paris in the Fifties.

The First Time I Saw Paris, also written by Karnow and accompanied by the fabulous photographs of Peter Miller, captures the soul of Paris in a wonderful way.

Orgasmic Days in the South of France showed up on our screen a few weeks ago, and although we haven't read it, it sounds like it is a must-have if you're traveling in the south of France, particularly the Cote d'Azur.

Coming Down the Seine, the latest of the Lost and Found series, is a gem of a book, the memoir of an Irishman who navigated the Seine river back in the early 1950s. And don't forget, from the same publisher, Theodore Cook's Old Provence, originally written in the early 20th century, and reissued with great acclaim.

And can't forget to mention Peter Mayle's A Year in Provence, Toujours Provenceand Encore Provence, and his latest  French Lessons: Adventures with Knife and Corkscrew.

More great travel reading:

Jeffrey Greene French Spirits: A House, a Village, and...

Edmund Mullins The Pilgrimage to Santiago, part of the Lost and Found Series from Signal Books.

Ann Barry  At Home in France 

Lawrence Wylie  Village in the Vaucluse

Eleanor Clark  The Oysters of Locmariaquer

M.F.K.Fisher  Two Towns in Provence  
 
William Wharton  Houseboat on the Seine  

Erasmus Kloman   Sojourn in Gascony

Ernest Hemingway  A Moveable Feast  

Richard Goodman French Dirt: The Story of a Garden in...

 


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