100 books like Fat Dogs and French Estates, Part 4

By Beth Haslam,

Here are 100 books that Fat Dogs and French Estates, Part 4 fans have personally recommended if you like Fat Dogs and French Estates, Part 4. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Failure Is Not an Option: Mission Control from Mercury to Apollo 13 and Beyond

Nick Albert Author Of Living the Dream in Rural Ireland

From my list on dealing with unexpected events.

Why am I passionate about this?

Nick Albert is British, but for close to 20-years, he has lived in a ramshackle farmhouse in the rural west of Ireland with his wife and several unruly but affectionate dogs. He's the author of the bestselling comedy memoir series, Fresh Eggs and Dog Beds, and the twisty thriller Hunting the Wrecking Crew. Nick's greatest pleasure in life has always been to make people laugh. Although outwardly capable and in control of his life, Nick considers himself to be the poster boy for the saying, "If it can go wrong, it will!" Therefore, he has a good eye for inspiring books about dealing with unexpected events.

Nick's book list on dealing with unexpected events

Nick Albert Why did Nick love this book?

This New York Times bestselling memoir of a veteran NASA flight director, tells riveting stories from the early days of the Mercury program through Apollo 11 (the moon landing) and Apollo 13, for both of which Kranz was flight director. As a child of the Apollo era, I was fascinated by the inside story of the moon landing and riveted by how Kranz and his team overcame the impossible and turned a near disaster into a triumph of ingenuity and determination.

By Gene Kranz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Failure Is Not an Option as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The man who headed the "tiger team" that saved the Apollo 13 astronauts gives an insider's view of NASA Mission Control, from the early years of trying to catch up with the Russians to the end of the manned spaced program.


Book cover of Fly for Your Life: The Story of R. R. Stanford Tuck

Jay A. Stout Author Of Jayhawk: Love, Loss, Liberation, and Terror Over the Pacific

From my list on personal accounts of World War II air combat.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an aviation historian and writer, a defense analyst, and a retired, combat-experienced, Marine Corps fighter pilot. I am one of the lucky ones. Since early childhood, I wanted nothing more than to become a fighter pilot. It was a combination of good fortune, hard work, and a bit of talent that made it possible for me to realize that dream. I was inspired by the memoirs and recollections of World War II fighter pilots, and I read every book on the topic that I could find.  Following my military service, I transitioned from a reader to a writer; my experience as a military pilot helps to make my books real and credible.

Jay's book list on personal accounts of World War II air combat

Jay A. Stout Why did Jay love this book?

A classic biography about one of the Royal Air Force’s most colorful fighter pilots during the early part of the war.  Robert Stanford Tuck was born into a wealthy family, but had an individualistic spirit that was sometimes at odds with that family.  Prior to the war, he went to sea aboard a tramp steamer where he did much growing up. Upon his return, he was drawn to the excitement of flight and joined the Royal Air Force. Not an intrinsically gifted pilot, he nearly washed out of training, but ultimately flourished. He excelled as a leader as one of the “few” during the Battle of Britain. 

By Larry Forrester,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Fly for Your Life as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is the story of a magnificent pilot, a reckless, steely-nerved warrior of the sky, feared by the Luftwaffe and known as a legend in the Royal Air Force Fighter Command. He was shot down four times, wounded twice, crash landed in the Channel, and survived two air collisions. Officially, he bagged 29 enemy planes. Unofficially, he destroyed 35. He won the Distinguished Service Order and was only the second man in history to gain a second bar to the Distinguished Flying Cross. He was a national hero recognized by his King, his Queen, and the people of the world.…


Book cover of Two Old Fools on a Camel

Nick Albert Author Of Living the Dream in Rural Ireland

From my list on dealing with unexpected events.

Why am I passionate about this?

Nick Albert is British, but for close to 20-years, he has lived in a ramshackle farmhouse in the rural west of Ireland with his wife and several unruly but affectionate dogs. He's the author of the bestselling comedy memoir series, Fresh Eggs and Dog Beds, and the twisty thriller Hunting the Wrecking Crew. Nick's greatest pleasure in life has always been to make people laugh. Although outwardly capable and in control of his life, Nick considers himself to be the poster boy for the saying, "If it can go wrong, it will!" Therefore, he has a good eye for inspiring books about dealing with unexpected events.

Nick's book list on dealing with unexpected events

Nick Albert Why did Nick love this book?

The author and her husband are trapped in an almost untenable situation, but they pull together to see things through to a satisfactory conclusion. I thought it was a great example of that British philosophy to "Keep calm and carry on."

In this third memoir in her enjoyable Two Old Fools series, Victoria and her husband Joe find that rising costs and a shrinking bank balance are threatening their idyllic retirement. After applying online, they leave their beloved Spanish mountain village to teach for a year in Bahrain. But their timing couldn't have been worse. Just after they arrive, the Arab revolution erupts, throwing the country into violent events that would make world headlines. Suddenly they are trapped. Should they leave and risk losing their Spanish dream or stay and face a greater hazard?

By Victoria Twead,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

★ New York Times Bestselling author ★
"James Herriot meets Driving over Lemons"

Reluctantly, Vicky and Joe leave their Spanish mountain village to work for a year in the Middle East. How could they know that the Arab revolution was poised to erupt, throwing them into violent events that would make world headlines?

Teaching Arab kids, working with crazy teachers, forming life-long friendships and being placed under house arrest, Vicky and Joe laugh and lurch through their year in Bahrain.

Includes FREE photobook and Arabic recipes from Nadia Sawalha.


Book cover of Watery Ways

Linda Kovic-Skow Author Of French Illusions: My Story as an American Au Pair in the Loire Valley

From my list on unusual travel stories.

Why am I passionate about this?

Linda is an award-winning author and travel enthusiast. Her two-book memoir series, French Illusions, is based on her diaries from 1979 and 1980. She has completed an adaption of these books into a screenplay and is currently seeking representation. Originally from Seattle, Linda now resides in Saint Petersburg, Florida with her longtime husband near her youngest daughter and grandchildren. To this day, she tells people that she is thankful for her storybook life.

Linda's book list on unusual travel stories

Linda Kovic-Skow Why did Linda love this book?

With humor and grace, Valerie describes her trials and tribulations as she transitions from a divorce and corporate job in Johannesburg, to renting and eventually purchasing an old barge in the city of Rotterdam in the Netherlands. As she points out, “one of the first things you learn about living on a barge is that an awful lot of stuff is going to end up in the water.”

By Valerie Poore,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Watery Ways as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this account of her first year of living on a barge in Rotterdam's Oude Haven, Valerie Poore’s overriding impression is that “one of the first things you learn about living on a barge is that an awful lot of stuff is going to end up in the water”.The year in question is 2001, and at forty something, the author takes the plunge to exchange her life in the corporate fast lane of Johannesburg, for life on a historic Dutch barge. Every month brings new challenges, obstacles and experiences. She meets a whole world of fascinating people, not least of…


Book cover of Napoleon's Wars: An International History

Lisa Chaplin Author Of The Tide Watchers

From my list on hidden histories on The Napoleonic Wars.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a very ordinary person. A history and literary nerd. A wife and mother. I don’t have any M.As or PhDs. I started teaching myself to write in 1991, and after joining the Romance Writers of America, Australia, and New Zealand, as well as Writing NSW (New South Wales), I had my first writing award, and first short story published in 1997. I got my first writing contract in 2000 (Silhouette Books, NY). I quit romance in 2012 to focus on historical fiction and YA, both of which I still love, and putting a little romance in there never hurts. I've given workshops and talks for the Historical Novel Societies of Australia and North America.

Lisa's book list on hidden histories on The Napoleonic Wars

Lisa Chaplin Why did Lisa love this book?

This compelling history goes “beyond the legend that Napoleon himself helped create, to form a new, genuinely international context for his military career.”

History is most often written by the victors, and real life is never so one-sided. Esdaile writes as though he lived Napoleon’s life, and shows that many times his decisions were made (or changed) because of acts, or provocation, by British diplomats or agents. The quote by Napoleon’s stepdaughter Hortense says it all: “Any man who becomes the sole head of a great country by means other than heredity can only maintain himself in power if he gives the nation either liberty or military glory – if he makes himself, in short, either a Washington or a conqueror...it was impossible for him to establish...an absolute power except by bemusing reason [and] by every three months presenting the French people with some new spectacle.” Esdaile brings this unspoken…

By Charles J. Esdaile,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Napoleon's Wars as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A glorious?and conclusive?chronicle of the wars waged by one of the most polarizing figures in military history

Acclaimed on both sides of the Atlantic as a new standard on the subject, this sweeping, boldly written history of the Napoleonic era reveals its central protagonist as a man driven by an insatiable desire for fame, and determined ?to push matters to extremes.? More than a myth-busting portrait of Napoleon, however, it offers a panoramic view of the armed conflicts that spread so quickly out of revolutionary France to countries as remote as Sweden and Egypt. As it expertly moves through conflicts…


Book cover of The Ebony Tower

Rosalind Brackenbury Author Of The Lost Love Letters of Henri Fournier

From my list on set in France with themes to match.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m fascinated by these themes – love, France, mystery, women’s lives, war, and peace. My parents took me to France when I was 12 and I’ve spent years there in between and go back whenever I can. I started reading in French when sent to be an au pair in Switzerland when I was 17. My own novel, The Lost Love Letters Of Henri Fournier was absorbing to write as it contains all of the above. I found an unpublished novel of Fournier’s in a village in rural France a few years ago and decided I had to write about him and his lover, Pauline, who was a famous French actress. 

Rosalind's book list on set in France with themes to match

Rosalind Brackenbury Why did Rosalind love this book?

Another story that's impossible to forget – actually this is a novella in a collection of stories with this name. Again, about a lost house in a forest in France, an artist, a young man in love, and the two young women who bewitch him in turns. John Fowles is an English writer from the 1960s, whose work I loved when young and still do. He was much influenced by Alain-Fournier.

By John Fowles,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Ebony Tower as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Ebony Tower, comprising a novella, three stories, and a translation of a medieval French tale, echoes themes from John Fowles's internationally celebrated novels as it probes the fitful relations between love and hate, pleasure and pain, fantasy and reality.


Book cover of Perilous Glory: The Rise of Western Military Power

Beatrice Heuser Author Of War: A Genealogy of Western Ideas and Practices

From my list on war in general.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have studied aspects of war and strategy – mainly on the political-military interface level – for the past forty years of my life. My interest originated from my parents’ stories about their childhood and early youth in the Second World Wars, its horrors and hardships, and from myself living in South-East Asia during the time of the Vietnam War. Moreover, I became obsessed with the fear of nuclear war through reading and hearing about it. So I have studied aspects of war, much as an oncologist studies cancer, in the hope that a better understanding may eventually help us ban it in practice (and not just in theory as it has been since the Briand-Kellogg Pact of 1928).

Beatrice's book list on war in general

Beatrice Heuser Why did Beatrice love this book?

John France has a knack for making the history of war interesting and readable, without taking away its gore and horror, without making you think it in any way romantic or desirable. The title already captures it: the book is largely about the rise of Europe (or later: the West) on the back of military prowess, but at what perilous price! The book aptly traces military traditions and continuity of ideas and concepts, but also profound changes, from Antiquity to the present, giving us a grasp of the essence of warfare during different periods. This book can be said to replace Sir Charles Oman’s old classic.

By John France,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Perilous Glory as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A major new history of war that challenges our understanding of military dominance and how it is achieved

This expansive book surveys the history of warfare from ancient Mesopotamia to the Gulf War in search of a deeper understanding of the origins of Western warfare and the reasons for its eminence today. Historian John France explores the experience of war around the globe, in Europe, Asia, Africa, and America. His bold conclusions cast doubt on well-entrenched attitudes about the development of military strength, the impact of culture on warfare, the future of Western dominance, and much more.

Taking into account…


Book cover of Gap Year Girl: A Baby Boomer Adventure Across 21 Countries

Marianne C. Bohr Author Of The Twenty: One Woman's Trek Across Corsica on the GR20 Trail

From my list on by women about outdoor adventure.

Why am I passionate about this?

I married my high school sweetheart and travel partner, and followed my own advice to do graduate work, and started my career working for the French National Railroad in New York City, mapping itineraries for travelers to Europe. Travel means the world to me and if I don’t have a trip on the horizon, I feel aimless and untethered. I worked in book publishing for 30 years and dropped out of the corporate rat race to take a gap year abroad. I wrote about our “Senior year abroad” in my first book Gap Year Girl. I returned to the US to teach middle school French and organize student trips to France. 

Marianne's book list on by women about outdoor adventure

Marianne C. Bohr Why did Marianne love this book?

For readers with wanderlust who long to hit the road, Gap Year Girl is a pleasure to read.

It is the author’s travel adventure memoir about how she and her husband, late Baby Boomers, retraced their backpacking travels abroad from much earlier years. Bohr describes what it’s like to kiss your job goodbye, sell your possessions, pack your bags, and take off on a quest for adventure.

Readers will be intrigued and inspired by this account of a couple’s experiences on an unconventional, past-the-blush-of-youth quest. Bohr blends the details of travel, culture, and history with humor and the intimacy of her life.

She shares that seven weeks into their journey, homesickness hit them hard in a cold, ancient village in southwestern France, but they rallied and went on to continue their adventure. 

By Marianne C. Bohr,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Gap Year Girl as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the 1960s and '70s, thousands of baby boomers strapped packs to their backs and flocked to Europe, wandering the continent on missions of self-discovery. Many of these boomers still dream of "going back"-of once again cutting themselves free and revisiting the places they encountered in their youth, recapturing what was, and creating fresh memories along the way. Marianne Bohr and her husband, Joe, did just that.

In Gap Year Girl, Bohr describes what it's like to kiss your job good-bye, sell your worldly possessions, pack your bags, and take off on a quest for adventure. Page by page, she…


Book cover of The Edge of the Sword

James Strock Author Of Serve to Lead: 21st Century Leaders Manual

From my list on approaching life and work as an artist.

Why am I passionate about this?

Service and leadership have been a primary focus of my life and work for many years. Though today these are matters of academic study, they weren’t when I was in school. I’ve written and spoken extensively on these topics to corporate, military, academic, governmental, and NGO organizations. I strive to narrow the gap between those who study leadership and management and those who apply the principles in practice. My approach is to pose questions and share the experiences of those who have made significant contributions throughout history into the present moment. The books on my list have meant a lot to me and many others. I hope you’ll find value in them, too.  

James' book list on approaching life and work as an artist

James Strock Why did James love this book?

Charles de Gaulle is a consequential leader of the 20th century.

In an extraordinary turn of events, this little-known colonel emerged as the leader of France in exile during Hitler’s occupation. Following the Second World War he became a dominant political figure.

He can be seen as the founder of modern France, whose shadow reaches into our present moment.

In the 1930s he wrote a brilliant mediation on leadership, The Edge of the Sword. Though distilled from his lived experience in the military, de Gaulle provides insights that apply in many situations.

The book takes on additional significance when one considers the project of self-creation that the author undertook—first on himself, then on the re-creation of France, finally on Europe and the world, in his time and into our own.

By Charles De Gaulle,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

....


Book cover of Damson Skies and Dragonflies

Beth Haslam Author Of Fat Dogs and French Estates, Part 1

From my list on set in France to inspire and excite the imagination.

Why am I passionate about this?

My love affair with France began years ago with a holiday to St Malo. Since then, it’s been hard to stay away. Luckily, my husband felt the same way and eventually, we decided to buy a country estate in the rural southwest. Today, I write about our wacky lives here, how we refurbished our home and came to live with so many animals. We’re immersed in a quirky farming community that lives in harmony with the seasons. Honestly? Nothing much has altered for the past thirty years. It’s magical. Oh, and when we have time, we’ll explore our locality. We still have so much here to discover.

Beth's book list on set in France to inspire and excite the imagination

Beth Haslam Why did Beth love this book?

A touch of French magic.

In this memoir, the reader is invited into the author’s enchanting world. She and her husband view a gracious old cottage. It’s tired, though possesses that special je ne sais quoi. Inexplicably drawn to its soul, they embark on a project to restore life and love into its walls and garden.

During this captivating journey, Lindy learns about her surroundings, the colourful characters who become their friends, the creatures that share their home, but mostly she learns about nature and the joys of living in harmony with the seasons. 

The author’s style is delightful. Her new experiences, feelings, and encounters are expressed with a gentle, poetic intimacy. She also delights with her culinary skills and shares heavenly recipes. For me, this was an intoxicating read.

By Lindy Viandier,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Damson Skies and Dragonflies as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

No. 1 Best Seller in French Travel and New Release in French Cooking.

“Is it too much?” I mouth to my husband when the estate agent’s back is turned. I’m talking about the amount of work, not the asking price, as we survey the dilapidated state of the 300-year-old house. He gives me a knowing look, purses his mouth in a French way and shakes his head. He’s going to do a deal. The truth is, too much work or not, it’s too late. The fairy-tale cottage has spun her magic web around us, and we are her willing captives.…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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