City of Girls

By Elizabeth Gilbert,

Book cover of City of Girls

Book description

AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!

From the # 1 New York Times bestselling author of Eat Pray Love and The Signature of All Things, a delicious novel of glamour, sex, and adventure, about a young woman discovering that you don't have to be a good girl to be a…

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Why read it?

5 authors picked City of Girls as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

The first thing that drew me in was the format. The entire book, which is 466 pages long, is a response to a letter written on page one by the main character, Vivian. What a neat way to write a book.

In her letter to Vivian, Angela asks, “Vivian, what were you to my father?” It wasn’t the same old “telling” of a story, but Vivian’s detailed response from a historical perspective involving her experiences over the years in love, lust, glamour, and promiscuity and how these affected her life.

Vivian is in her 90s as she responds, and the…

This book was like a big piece of literary chocolate cake. It was a blast from start to finish, set in the 1940s theater world of New York.

Ninety-five-year-old Vivian recounts her time in the theater, looking back on all the pleasure and pain of youth. The theater itself is another character within the novel, and like Broadway itself, the book is littered with eccentrics and phenomenal characters. An absolute jewel.

From Heather's list on a nod to Broadway.

This is the book I wish I had written, because it so well reflects some of the struggles with love I’ve had. It is the story of a woman who lives and makes love according to her own standards. At first, she does it in secret and has no problem ignoring the norms of society. But when her life is turned upside down by these same norms, she is thrown back, feeling numb and doing nothing. I can so much identify with how she handles the dilemma of wanting to follow your own wishes in a culture that sets a…

Dormice & Moonshine: Falling for Slovenia

By Sam Baldwin,

Book cover of Dormice & Moonshine: Falling for Slovenia

Sam Baldwin Author Of Dormice & Moonshine: Falling for Slovenia

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm an Englishman who fell in love with a 300-year-old former sausage curing hut on the side of a Slovenian mountain in 2007. After years of visits spent renovating the place, I moved to Slovenia, where I lived and worked for many years, exploring the country, customs, and culture, learning some of the language, and visiting its most beautiful places. I continue to be enamored with Slovenia, and you will regularly find me at my cabin, making repairs and splitting firewood.

Sam's book list on books about Slovenia

What is my book about?

When two brothers discover a 300-year-old sausage-curing cabin on the side of a Slovenian mountain, it's love at first sight. But 300-year-old cabins come with 300 problems.

Dormice & Moonshine is the true story of an Englishman seduced by Slovenia. In the wake of a breakup, he seeks temporary refuge in his hinterland house, but what was meant as a pitstop becomes life-changing when he decides to stay. Along the way, he meets a colourful cross-section of Slovene society: from dormouse hunters, moonshine makers, beekeepers, and bitcoin miners, to a man who swam the Amazon, and a hilltop matriarch who…

Dormice & Moonshine: Falling for Slovenia

By Sam Baldwin,

What is this book about?

'Charming, funny, insightful, and moving. The perfect book for any Slovenophile' - Noah Charney, BBC presenter

'A rollicking and very affectionate tour' - Steve Fallon, author of Lonely Planet Slovenia

'Delivers discovery and adventure...captivating!' - Bartosz Stefaniak, editor, 3 Seas Europe

When two brothers discover a 300-year-old sausage-curing cabin on the side of a Slovenian mountain, it's love at first sight. But 300-year-old cabins come with 300 problems.

Dormice & Moonshine is the true story of an Englishman seduced by Slovenia. In the wake of a breakup, he seeks temporary refuge in his hinterland house but what was meant as…


I love this book. It’s a great reminder that young people have been feeling the same feelings and taking the same risks since forever. Set in New York City in the 1940s, Gilbert draws an exciting world of vice and art where you feel the bulb burning on every marquee on every playhouse. It’s the story of a young woman, Vivian Morris, who ditches school to pursue the big city life of independence. While reading the book, I worried about her, rooted for her, and couldn’t help but wonder what trouble she was going to get into next.  

There’s sex, flamboyance, partying, nightlife, unconventional characters, and a gritty urban backdrop – exactly what the protagonist Vivian needs in order to find her true self after disappointing her parents and not meeting their expectations. I love stories where the reader gets to experience the protagonist’s journey and evolution, and in this one, I could feel Vivian’s world expand with each chapter. Isn’t that what we all want for ourselves? To get outside of our bubbles and the judgments of others and find love, fulfillment, and an accepting community? 

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