10 books like Grape Expectations

By Caro Feely,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Grape Expectations. Shepherd is a community of 6,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Cafe Neanderthal

By Beebe Bahrami,

Book cover of Cafe Neanderthal

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

Cafe Neanderthal

By Beebe Bahrami,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Cafe Neanderthal 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…

Eleanor of Aquitaine

By Marion Meade,

Book cover of Eleanor of Aquitaine

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.

Eleanor of Aquitaine

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.

Life and Food in the Dordogne

By James Bentley,

Book cover of Life and Food in the Dordogne

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.

Life and Food in the Dordogne

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.

The Discovery of France

By Graham Robb,

Book cover of The Discovery of France

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.

The Discovery of France

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…


Damson Skies and Dragonflies

By Lindy Viandier,

Book cover of Damson Skies and Dragonflies: A Journey through the Seasons in the French Countryside

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.

Damson Skies and Dragonflies

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.


Code Name Camille

By Kathryn Gauci,

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

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. 

Code Name Camille

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.


Faring to France on a Shoe

By Valerie Poore,

Book cover of Faring to France on a Shoe

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.

Faring to France on a Shoe

By Valerie Poore,

Why should I read it?

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


Labyrinth

By Kate Mosse,

Book cover of Labyrinth

Kate Mosse gives readers a fascinating insight into the turbulent history of Carcasonne in many of her novels, including Labyrinth. In 1209, Alais is given an ancient and mysterious book by her father, which with two other books contain the secrets of the true Grail. But the Cathars, the ‘heretics’ at Carcasonne, are under siege from the Catholic church and the books must be kept hidden. Helping Alais escape are a young boy, Sajhe, the guide, Harif, and the wise woman, Esclaramonde. But others are also determined to locate the Trilogy, among them Alais’ own sister, the ambitious and beautiful Oriane.

On an archeological dig in 2005, Alice Tanner discovers two skeletons in a cave in the French Pyrenees, along with a ring bearing a labyrinth symbol. She begins to experience flashbacks to the past, and understands that she’s disturbed something that was meant to stay hidden forever. Also…

Labyrinth

By Kate Mosse,

Why should I read it?

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

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…

Vineyard Tales

By Gerald Asher,

Book cover of Vineyard Tales: Reflections on Wine

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!

Vineyard Tales

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.


A Year in Provence

By Peter Mayle,

Book cover of A Year in Provence

Okay, this is another Peter Mayle book, but there are only so many vineyard books that I can recall at the moment. And this is an excellent one! I think it’s the first ‘vineyard’ book that I ever read. Similar to Under the Tuscan Sun, it’s a true story about how Peter and his wife relocated to Provence France for an amazing year. And it’s an amazingly well-written story that transports you straight into French wine country. I particularly love his description of the ancient farmhouse they occupy during their year. This is a real ‘take you away’ tale.

A Year in Provence

By Peter Mayle,

Why should I read it?

4 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.

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