100 books like Grape Expectations

By Caro Feely,

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

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Book cover of Cafe Neandertal

Martin Walker Author Of Bruno, Chief of Police

From my list on Perigord France.

Why am I passionate about this?

Martin Walker studied history at Oxford, international relations and economics at Harvard, and spent 28 years as journalist and foreign correspondent for Britain's The Guardian newspaper. He divides his time between the USA, Britain and the Perigord region of France, where he produces his own Bergerac red wine, 'Cuvee Bruno'. Martin writes a monthly wine column and is a Grand Consul de la Vinee de Bergerac, a body founded in the year 1254 AD and dedicated to the support of the region’s wines. 

Martin's book list on Perigord France

Martin Walker Why did Martin love this book?

This is the most entertaining (and informative) book on archaeology, prehistory and the cave art of our early ancestors that I have ever read.

By Beebe Bahrami,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Award-winning writer Bahrami is a delightful guide in this thoroughly enjoyable look into the research and recovery of a group of Neandertal remains in the French Dordogne region . . . Her wide interests in travel, memoir, food, wine, and more make this exceedingly engaging title more like a French version of Under the Tuscan Sun." ―Booklist (starred review)

Centered in the Dordogne region of southwestern France, one of Europe’s most concentrated regions for Neandertal occupations, Café Neandertal features the work of archaeologists doing some of the most comprehensive and global work to date on the research, exploration, and recovery…


Book cover of Eleanor of Aquitaine

Martin Walker Author Of Bruno, Chief of Police

From my list on Perigord France.

Why am I passionate about this?

Martin Walker studied history at Oxford, international relations and economics at Harvard, and spent 28 years as journalist and foreign correspondent for Britain's The Guardian newspaper. He divides his time between the USA, Britain and the Perigord region of France, where he produces his own Bergerac red wine, 'Cuvee Bruno'. Martin writes a monthly wine column and is a Grand Consul de la Vinee de Bergerac, a body founded in the year 1254 AD and dedicated to the support of the region’s wines. 

Martin's book list on Perigord France

Martin Walker Why did Martin love this book?

This may not be the most scholarly book on this extraordinary woman; but it is by far the most readable on the only woman who married both a King of France and King of England, went on Crusade to Jerusalem, and civilized feudalism by sponsoring poets and minstrels and creating the idea of romantic love.

By Marion Meade,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Marion Meade has told the story of Eleanor, wild, devious, from a thoroughly historical but different point of view: a woman's point of view." Allene Talmey, Vogue.


Book cover of Life and Food in the Dordogne

Martin Walker Author Of Bruno, Chief of Police

From my list on Perigord France.

Why am I passionate about this?

Martin Walker studied history at Oxford, international relations and economics at Harvard, and spent 28 years as journalist and foreign correspondent for Britain's The Guardian newspaper. He divides his time between the USA, Britain and the Perigord region of France, where he produces his own Bergerac red wine, 'Cuvee Bruno'. Martin writes a monthly wine column and is a Grand Consul de la Vinee de Bergerac, a body founded in the year 1254 AD and dedicated to the support of the region’s wines. 

Martin's book list on Perigord France

Martin Walker Why did Martin love this book?

James Bentley, a former Anglican priest, wrote this a generation ago but it remains a classic, with excellent recipes, by a man who really knew his stuff. I always keep it on hand.

By James Bentley,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Life and Food in the Dordogne as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Through the centuries, the Dordogne has cherished a tradition of fine cuisine that is framed throughout France, and the region has produced a disproportionate number of France's finest chefs: Brillat-Savarin, CarZme, Escoffier, AndrZ Noel and, in our own times, Marcel Boulestin. Moreover, the culinary skills found on the farms and in town households are not far removed from the gastronomic secrets of the finest restaurants.


Book cover of The Discovery of France

Julie Barlow Author Of The Bonjour Effect: The Secret Codes of French Conversation Revealed

From my list on understanding the French.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been writing books about France and the French for two decades. The adventure began when I moved to Quebec in my early 20s and married a Quebecker. He became my life partner and co-author. I learned his language, immersed myself in Canada’s French-language culture and began writing articles in French. In 1999 we moved to France for three years to study the French. Three books later, we returned to Paris with our daughters to try to demystify French conversation. The result is The Bonjour Effect. I am grateful to the authors on my list for helping me refine my understanding of France, the French and their language. 

Julie's book list on understanding the French

Julie Barlow Why did Julie love this book?

Don’t be intimated by the academic-sounding title. This book just blew my mind. If you want to even begin understanding the French, you have to know where they came from. As Robb proves in this readable work, there is no better way to do this than by looking at French geography. France is a country that evolved out of surprisingly varied landscapes, ethnic origins, languages, and more. Understanding all the pieces of the puzzle, the great struggles that gathered them into a unified country, will forever change how you see the country.

By Graham Robb,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Discovery of France as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A narrative of exploration-full of strange landscapes and even stranger inhabitants-that explains the enduring fascination of France. While Gustave Eiffel was changing the skyline of Paris, large parts of France were still terra incognita. Even in the age of railways and newspapers, France was a land of ancient tribal divisions, prehistoric communication networks, and pre-Christian beliefs. French itself was a minority language.

Graham Robb describes that unknown world in arresting narrative detail. He recounts the epic journeys of mapmakers, scientists, soldiers, administrators, and intrepid tourists, of itinerant workers, pilgrims, and herdsmen with their millions of migratory domestic animals. We learn…


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.…


Book cover of Code Name Camille: A story of trust, love and betrayal

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 novel set in Nazi-occupied France during World War 2? It promised to be gripping. It was.

I was quickly immersed in an oppressive environment where French citizens’ lives are strictly controlled. For many, it is a living nightmare. Failure to toe the line leads to often harrowing consequences.

This is the story of a courageous young woman who refuses to give in. She moves to Paris, where she joins the Resistance movement. Here, she is pushed to the limits of her resolve as she faces extreme danger.

Throughout, the author paints a superb picture of the period. Balanced by historical facts, the plot unfolds with vivid imagery. It is a compelling adventure with a catch that grabs the reader’s imagination. 

By Kathryn Gauci,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Code Name Camille as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the USA Today runaway bestseller, The Darkest Hour Anthology: WWII Tales of Resistance.
Code Name Camille, now a standalone book.

1940: Paris under Nazi occupation. A gripping tale of resistance, suspense and love.

When the Germans invade France, twenty-one-year-old Nathalie Fontaine is living a quiet life in rural South-West France. Within months, she heads for Paris and joins the Resistance as a courier helping to organise escape routes. But Paris is fraught with danger. When several escapes are foiled by the Gestapo, the network suspects they are compromised.

Nathalie suspects one person, but after a chance encounter with a…


Book cover of Faring to France on a Shoe

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?

We live close to the Canal du Midi and regularly enjoy blissful dog walks on the towpath. Spotting this memoir about faring to France immediately piqued my interest. 

The author’s colourful descriptions gently transported me to her watery world. Through Val’s narrative, I admired the scenery, both industrial and pastoral, and I could almost hear the wavelets lapping against the bows of her beloved barge, the Hennie H. 

Throughout Val and her partner’s trip, the reader is given fascinating history snippets. And, as with all great writers, there’s drama and fun, too. Val made me giggle, especially with her vignettes about their simple living arrangements aboard.  

This book contains both humour and depth, it is a celebration of this author’s excellent writing.

By Valerie Poore,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Faring to France on a Shoe as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A travelogue about a dream come true. After seven years of owning their barge, Hennie-Ha, seven years involving catastrophe and crisis, Val and her partner finally go 'faring' to France for the first time. This travelogue is about the places they visit and the people they meet along the canals on their route from the Netherlands, through Belgium and into northern France. It tells a gentle story about how they experience their life on board during the four weeks they spend cruising. Written as a journal, the reader joins them on their travels through rain and shine and reveals how…


Book cover of Labyrinth

Julie Brooks Author Of The Keepsake

From my list on whisking you from one time period to another.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m the girl who loved school excursions to historical parks and the middle-aged author who cannot keep away from a house museum. Like most Australians, I love to travel (you’ll meet us everywhere), gravitating towards historical sites and weighing down my luggage with museum-shop trophies from Beijing to Bath and Cusco to Athens. All novels are mysteries the reader wants to solve, but stories with multiple timelines add an extra layer of puzzle to the mystery. As a writer I get to craft those puzzle pieces. And as a reader, I love solving them!

Julie's book list on whisking you from one time period to another

Julie Brooks Why did Julie love this book?

Mystery, quest, treasure, and historical adventure, this novel has it all.

Labyrinth links a twelfth-century French heroine in a land of legends, castles, and knights with a present-day heroine who finds two ancient skeletons at an archaeological dig and is drawn into a quest for the Holy Grail.

I love mystical, historical quests, and mysterious symbols, especially when the setting is so real you feel you are there. This one kept me reading far into the wee hours and I enjoyed learning more about medieval France.

By Kate Mosse,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Labyrinth as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14.

What is this book about?

July 2005. In the Pyrenees mountains near Carcassonne, Alice, a volunteer at an archaeological dig, stumbles into a cave and makes a startling discovery-two crumbling skeletons, strange writings on the walls, and the pattern of a labyrinth.

Eight hundred years earlier, on the eve of a brutal crusade that will rip apart southern France, a young woman named Alais is given a ring and a mysterious book for safekeeping by her father. The book, he says, contains the secret of the true Grail, and the ring, inscribed with a labyrinth, will identify a guardian of the Grail. Now, as crusading…


Book cover of Vineyard Tales: Reflections on Wine

Kathleen Burk Author Of Is This Bottle Corked? The Secret Life of Wine

From my list on for those who like wine.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m the daughter of a Californian grape farmer, and have driven tractor, picked grapes, and tied vines. Whilst at Berkeley, I travelled around Napa Valley tasting wines whilst riding pillion on a 750 cc motorcycle; at Oxford I discovered European wines. Thereafter, I was a professor of modern and contemporary history in London, writing nearly a dozen books, and continuing to explore wines with my husband. I have wine in my bones. I now travel around the world tasting it, writing about it, judging it, and leading tasting tours, all the while continuing to drink it. I am currently writing a book on the global history of wine.

Kathleen's book list on for those who like wine

Kathleen Burk Why did Kathleen love this book?

Gerald Asher is a wine writer who is celebrated for his range, his knowledge, his ability to see below the surface of things, and his compelling writing style. This book of essays about wine is one of my favourites, ranging as it does from wines with food, in which he goes in unexpected directions, to whether or not and how to decant wines, to drinking wine in Greece surrounded by the gods, to wines from Portugal and California and Oregon and Italy and France. He takes me to places I’ve never been and to wines I’ve never drunk, all with no effort on my part. Along the way, I learn and I enjoy. What a pleasurable book!

By Gerald Asher,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A Napa Valley Cabernet, a French Burgundy, an Orvieto Classico shared among friends in the Umbrian hills—every wine has a story, and Gerald Asher tells it best. Asher, longtime wine editor of Gourmet magazine, has an unsurpassed knowledge of vineyards, wineries, and wines. He also has the refreshing ability to write about wine informatively and entertainingly, without technical jargon. Now in paperback, Asher's delightful Vineyard Tales evaluates wines from around the world—from secret sun-drenched vineyards on Crete to the celebrated Champagne houses of France—setting each wine in the context of a region's history and culture. In addition, Asher offers an…


Book cover of A Year in Provence

T.C. Kuhn Author Of The Artist of Aveyron

From my list on the amazing history of the south of France.

Why am I passionate about this?

While using the city of Albi in southern France as a base for visiting some cave art locations I became fascinated with the history of the early Christians of the region and the brutal Cathar Crusade which happened there. I was also surprised to learn this was the home of Toulouse Lautrec and other later artists. As an archaeologist studying cave art, I became caught up in the long and important history of this one small area. The idea for a story intertwining different religious movements and art over thousands of years quickly emerged. I couldn’t resist this unique opportunity to reveal a piece of the past from a perspective I hadn't considered before.  

T.C.'s book list on the amazing history of the south of France

T.C. Kuhn Why did T.C. love this book?

No book list on any aspect of southern France would be complete without one of Peter Mayle’s many books on his travels and adventures in Provence. 

His initial best seller is a grand introduction to the many small villages, customs, foods, and peoples who maintain the traditional aspects of the unique lifestyle to be found there, which in some places reflects hundreds of years with little change.

I have found in my travels that because this area of France was spared the ravages of the two World Wars, any trip to the region puts the visitor in touch with this remarkable past in a way few other European locales can. I often found myself wrapped up in the incredible history that surrounded me everywhere I went in the region, leading to my own attempt at expressing some of it.

I’ve learned that Peter Mayle, through his books, is like having…

By Peter Mayle,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked A Year in Provence as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A personal description of Provencal life as seen through the eyes of the author and his wife when they move into an old farmhouse at the foot of the Luberon mountains between Avignon and Aix. The bestselling work of non-fiction in paperback of 1991 in the UK.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in France, vineyards, and wine?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about France, vineyards, and wine.

France Explore 884 books about France
Vineyards Explore 9 books about vineyards
Wine Explore 59 books about wine