10 books like A Year in Provence

By Peter Mayle,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like A Year in Provence. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Chickens, Mules and Two Old Fools

By Victoria Twead,

Book cover of Chickens, Mules and Two Old Fools

Besides being delighted by the title, I was keen to read this highly-recommended book about moving to Spain. Victoria and her long-suffering husband really did up sticks and buy a home in a tiny mountain village in Andalucía. I was dying to know how they got on.

What a treat. This exquisitely written book is packed with hilarious tales about their property restorations, the local folks, and the battles they have with a psychotic cockerel. Really, it’s true! I learned about the region, loved Victoria’s character descriptions and finished wanting more. Rumour has it that many folks wanted to dash over to Spain to join them after reading this gem – and I’m not surprised. Happily, ‘Chickens’ is the first in a best-selling series from this award-winning author. I have read every book so far, and each has been an absolute winner.

Chickens, Mules and Two Old Fools

By Victoria Twead,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Chickens, Mules and Two Old Fools as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

★ Wall Street Journal Top 10 bestseller ★

★ New York Times Bestselling author ★


If Joe and Vicky had known what relocating to a tiny mountain village in Andalucía would REALLY be like, they might have hesitated... 

They have no idea of the culture shock in store. No idea they'll become reluctant chicken farmers and own the most dangerous cockerel in Spain. No idea they'll help capture a vulture or be rescued by a mule. 

Will they stay, or return to the relative sanity of England?

Includes Spanish recipes donated by the village ladies and a link to FREE…


Fresh Eggs and Dog Beds

By Nick Albert,

Book cover of Fresh Eggs and Dog Beds: Living the Dream in Rural Ireland

As a doggy person, this sounded a fun book, an added attraction being that it is a memoir about moving overseas. The author, and his wife, Lesley, buy a property in a rural part of Ireland. Sounds simple enough, but having done the same ourselves, I guessed there might be challenges ahead. Nick skillfully draws the reader into his world. I felt as though I was alongside them as he describes the properties they visit and misadventures along the way. The anecdotes about their dogs are delightful. His descriptions conjure up pictures of a stunningly beautiful country filled with enchantingly quirky people. No wonder they quickly fall in love with it.

Nick’s sense of humour is infectious and wonderfully appealing. I finished wanting more. Luckily, through the success of this first book, he launched a series. I have read and loved each subsequent episode and look forward to his next…

Fresh Eggs and Dog Beds

By Nick Albert,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Fresh Eggs and Dog Beds as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Nick and Lesley Albert yearn to leave the noise, stress and pollution of modern Britain and move to the countryside, where the living is good and has space for their dogs to run free. Suddenly out of work and soon to be homeless, they set off in search of a new life in Ireland, a country they have never visited. As their adventure begins to unfold, not everything goes according to plan. If finding their dream house is difficult, buying it seems almost impossible. How will they cope with banks that don’t want customers, builders who don’t need work, or…


Living the Dream

By Alyson Sheldrake, Alyson Sheldrake,

Book cover of Living the Dream: in the Algarve, Portugal

The author and her husband decide to leave successful careers in the UK and settle in the Algarve. Determined to assimilate with the local culture, they buy a house on the outskirts of a village, adopt a rescue dog (who I instantly fall in love with), and begin a new life. I know the Algarve well and loved the author’s vivid descriptions of the places they visit, the scenes, sights, and customs. I could easily imagine having that daily coffee and delicious pastel de nata in the village café. It’s a delightfully Portuguese tradition.

Throughout the book, Alyson provides advice on different areas and the sometimes tortuous processes involved in becoming a resident in a country hyper-keen on bureaucracy. They manage, though, and often with refreshing ease. The book is a fun travel memoir with bags of appeal for anyone who enjoys an informative read, especially those interested in moving…

Living the Dream

By Alyson Sheldrake, Alyson Sheldrake,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Living the Dream as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Could you leave everything behind and start a new life in the sun?

Have you ever been on holiday abroad and wondered what it would be like to live there?

Alyson and Dave Sheldrake did. They fell in love with a little fishing village in the Algarve, Portugal, and were determined to realise their dream of living abroad. They bought a house there, ended their jobs, packed up everything they owned and moved to the Algarve to start a new life.

Follow them as they battle with Portuguese bureaucracy, set up their own businesses, adopt a rescue dog and learn…


In Patagonia

By Bruce Chatwin,

Book cover of In Patagonia

Chatwin is a storyteller and adventurer. He makes his way into Argentina, across the Pampas, and into the mountains at the tip of South America where he finds in a cave remnants of a giant ground sloth that had lived there thousands of years before. His writing takes you on the journey: listening to a pianist on a passenger ship playing on an out-of-tune piano, drinking with local shepherds, telling tales of old conflicts and revolutions. Like all good travel writers, he is precise: “I passed through a desert of black stones and came to Sarmiento. It was another dusty grid of metal buildings, lying on a strip of arable land between the fizzling turquoise Lake Musters and the slime-green Lake Colhue-Huapi.”

In Patagonia

By Bruce Chatwin,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked In Patagonia as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'The book that redefined travel writing' Guardian

Bruce Chatwin sets off on a journey through South America in this wistful classic travel book

With its unique, roving structure and beautiful descriptions, In Patagonia offers an original take on the age-old adventure tale. Bruce Chatwin's journey to a remote country in search of a strange beast brings along with it a cast of fascinating characters. Their stories delay him on the road, but will have you tearing through to the book's end.

'It is hard to pin down what makes In Patagonia so unique, but, in the end, it is Chatwin's…


A Walk in the Woods

By Bill Bryson,

Book cover of A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail

The reasons I personally recommend this book are because it is a true-to-life story which makes the characters so much more real as they come across just like you or me with many good characteristics, while also demonstrating a lot of real human flaws. It is not about the 2,000-mile hike along the Appalachian Trail, but it is rather about the people who accomplish this amazing feat while in the untamed wilderness, preparing to face the real world now called home - all over again.

A Walk in the Woods

By Bill Bryson,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked A Walk in the Woods as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the author of "Notes from a Small Island" and "The Lost Continent" comes this humorous report on his walk along the Appalachian Trail. The Trail covers 14 states and over 2000 miles, and stretches along the east coast of America from Maine in the north to Georgia in the south. It is famous for being the longest continuous footpath in the world. It snakes through some of the wildest and most specactular landscapes in America, as well as through some of its most poverty-stricken and primitive backwoods areas.


Along the Enchanted Way

By William Blacker,

Book cover of Along the Enchanted Way: A Story of Love and Life in Romania

A unique book. Read this and you'll find yourself in a disappearing world. Northern Romania eschewed the modern conveniences and less delicate touches of capitalism for most of the twentieth century. Blacker shares a life wholly dictated by the rhythms of nature. This is a world where the locals recognise someone visiting from another village at a distance, not by their face or their clothes, but by the horse they are riding.

Along the Enchanted Way

By William Blacker,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Along the Enchanted Way as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Chosen for the Duchess of Cornwall's online book club The Reading Room by HRH The Prince of Wales

When William Blacker first crossed the snow-bound passes of northern Romania, he stumbled upon an almost medieval world.

There, for many years he lived side by side with the country people, a life ruled by the slow cycle of the seasons, far away from the frantic rush of the modern world. In spring as the pear trees blossomed he ploughed with horses, in summer he scythed the hay meadows and in the freezing winters gathered wood by sleigh from the forest. From…


My Family and Other Animals

By Gerald Durrell,

Book cover of My Family and Other Animals

I was nine and still getting used to life in America after moving from Iraq five years prior, when my family moved us to Saudi Arabia. Scared and lonely, I felt more like an outsider than ever before and reading became my solace. I discovered this hilarious book and instantly fell in love with it; mainly because it depicted the author’s dysfunctional British family during their time living abroad in Corfu. In addition to the humor that naturally comes from “fish out of water” stories, it was the first time I’d read a literary account about a family as colorful as mine. It encouraged me to view my family not as a source of annoyance (as I’d been doing prior to that point) but as a source of entertainment.

My Family and Other Animals

By Gerald Durrell,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked My Family and Other Animals as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The inspiration behind ITV's hit family drama, The Durrells.

My Family and Other Animals is Gerald Durrell's hilarious account of five years in his childhood spent living with his family on the island of Corfu. With snakes, scorpions, toads, owls and geckos competing for space with one bookworm brother and another who's gun-mad, as well as an obsessive sister, young Gerald has an awful lot of natural history to observe. This richly detailed, informative and riotously funny memoir of eccentric family life is a twentieth-century classic.

Part of the Macmillan Collector's Library; a series of stunning, clothbound, pocket sized classics…


Old Indian Trails of the Canadian Rockies

By Mary T.S. Schaffer,

Book cover of Old Indian Trails of the Canadian Rockies

The best travel writing allows us to explore a place vicariously and this book certainly does that. But it also gives a sense of what it is like to explore as a woman and on horseback, two things I cannot claim to have ever done. It is rich with insights into the nature of the land and people. And it is sensitive without being sentimental. Schaffer was a true pioneer and the book gives a sense she would have been good company too. 

Old Indian Trails of the Canadian Rockies

By Mary T.S. Schaffer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Old Indian Trails of the Canadian Rockies as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“We seemed to have reached that horizon, and the limit of all endurance, to sit with folded hands and listen calmly to the stories of the hills we so longed to see, the hills which had lured and beckoned us for years before this long list of men had ever set foot in the country.” —Mary T.S. Schäffer


Mary T.S. Schäffer was an avid explorer and one of the first non-Native women to venture into the heart of the Canadian Rocky Mountains, where few women—or men—had gone before.


First published in 1911, Old Indian Trails of the Canadian Rockies is…


Personal Narrative of a Journey to the Equinoctial Regions of the New Continent

By Alexander von Humboldt,

Book cover of Personal Narrative of a Journey to the Equinoctial Regions of the New Continent

Humboldt is the Godfather of so many fascinating areas of natural history. His mind unravels mysteries for breakfast. The book is a great travel story in its own right, but this tale envelopes countless examples of groundbreaking discovery. 

Personally, I find his work inspiring because he excelled at revealing how nature and place reflect each other. The plants and animals we encounter change with latitude, altitude, and a dozen other variables. This is the science that allows us to start making maps from plants and animals. We are all indebted to Humboldt and I feel it strongly. 

Personal Narrative of a Journey to the Equinoctial Regions of the New Continent

By Alexander von Humboldt,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Personal Narrative of a Journey to the Equinoctial Regions of the New Continent as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of the greatest nineteenth-century scientist-explorers, Alexander von Humboldt traversed the tropical Spanish Americas between 1799 and 1804. By the time of his death in 1859, he had won international fame for his scientific discoveries, his observations of Native American peoples and his detailed descriptions of the flora and fauna of the 'new continent'. The first to draw and speculate on Aztec art, to observe reverse polarity in magnetism and to discover why America is called America, his writings profoundly influenced the course of Victorian culture, causing Darwin to reflect: 'He alone gives any notion of the feelings which are…


Under the Tuscan Sun

By Frances Mayes,

Book cover of Under the Tuscan Sun

Frances Mayes’s first bestseller takes us along on one woman’s journey of taking a leap of faith and pursuing a dream – buying a house in the Tuscan countryside, restoring it, and blending into the rhythms of life in Cortona. Her writing is mesmerizing, immersing us in the sensual details of the adventure – from scents of the markets season by season to faces of the locals, the wonderful sounds of the language, and changing colors out her window. She even includes easy recipes to give us a true taste of life in this paradise.

Under the Tuscan Sun

By Frances Mayes,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Under the Tuscan Sun as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Discover the New York Times bestseller that inspired the film. The perfect read for anyone seeking an escape to the Italian countryside.

When Frances Mayes - poet, gourmet cook and travel writer - buys an abandoned villa in Tuscany, she has no idea of the scale of the project she is embarking on.

In this enchanting memoir she takes the reader on a journey to restore a crumbling villa and build a new life in the Italian countryside, navigating hilarious cultural misunderstandings, legal frustrations and the challenges of renovating a house that seems determined to remain a ruin.

Filled with…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Provence, France, and home?

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