100 books like Living the Dream in the Algarve, Portugal

By Alyson Sheldrake,

Here are 100 books that Living the Dream in the Algarve, Portugal fans have personally recommended if you like Living the Dream in the Algarve, Portugal. 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 Chickens, Mules and Two Old Fools

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

From my list on moving abroad to Europe.

Who am I?

Beth Haslam grew up on a farm in Wales and was mostly seen messing around with her beloved animals. When she and her husband, Jack, bought a second home in France, their lives changed forever. Computers and mobile phones swapped places with understanding French customs and wrestling with the local dialect. These days, Beth is occupied as never before raising and saving animals, writing, and embracing everything their corner of rural France has to offer. And she loves it!

Beth's book list on moving abroad to Europe

Beth Haslam Why did Beth love this book?

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.

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…


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.

Who am I?

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.


Book cover of Living the Dream in Rural Ireland

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

From my list on moving abroad to Europe.

Who am I?

Beth Haslam grew up on a farm in Wales and was mostly seen messing around with her beloved animals. When she and her husband, Jack, bought a second home in France, their lives changed forever. Computers and mobile phones swapped places with understanding French customs and wrestling with the local dialect. These days, Beth is occupied as never before raising and saving animals, writing, and embracing everything their corner of rural France has to offer. And she loves it!

Beth's book list on moving abroad to Europe

Beth Haslam Why did Beth love this book?

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…

By Nick Albert,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Living the Dream in Rural Ireland 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…


Book cover of My Family and Other Animals

Ayser Salman Author Of The Wrong End of the Table: A Mostly Comic Memoir of a Muslim Arab American Woman Just Trying to Fit in

From my list on new worlds that made me feel less like an outsider.

Who am I?

I was born in Iraq, and grew up mostly in the Southern United States—with a brief stint in Saudi Arabia. My father taught me the importance of books and reading. And I found it was the best way to escape from the constant fish-out-of-water feeling that followed me through my nomadic childhood. I grew up, and grew out of those feelings… most of the time. But I never outgrew reading and I still love when a book sucks me in and makes me lose myself completely. These are a few of those books. 

Ayser's book list on new worlds that made me feel less like an outsider

Ayser Salman Why did Ayser love this book?

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.

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…


Book cover of European Feminisms, 1700-1950: A Political History

Jad Adams Author Of Women and the Vote: A World History

From my list on how women rock the world.

Who am I?

I have specialised in writing about radicals and non-conformists who seem to me to be the most interesting people in the world. I like books about people doing challenging things and making a difference. I love travelling to obscure archives in other countries and finding the riches of personal papers in dusty old rooms curated by eccentric archivists who greet me like an old friend.

Jad's book list on how women rock the world

Jad Adams Why did Jad love this book?

This provocative book covers 250 years of European history. I find something to argue with on pretty much every page but I have to admire Offen’s ambition in this sweeping narrative extending across the nations of Europe from Finland to Greece, from Portugal to Poland.

I so admired this book that I wrote to Karen Offen asking her if she would read some of the chapters of my book, which she did, making helpful suggestions which improved it no end.

By Karen Offen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked European Feminisms, 1700-1950 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This ambitious book explores challenges to male hegemony throughout continental Europe. It focuses especially on France, but it also offers comparative material on developments in the German-speaking countries and in the smaller European nations and aspiring nation-states. Spanning 250 years, the sweeping coverage extends from Portugal to Poland, Greece to Finland, Ireland to Ukraine, and Spain to Scandinavia-as well as international and transnational feminist organizations.
The study has several objectives. For general readers and those interested primarily in the historical record, it provides a comprehensive, comparative account of feminist developments in European societies, as well as a rereading of European…


Book cover of The Portuguese: A Modern History

Louise Ross Author Of Women Who Walk: How 20 Women From 16 Countries Came To Live In Portugal

From my list on historically accurate books about Portugal.

Who am I?

Louise Ross is a non-fiction and fiction writer, speaker, and podcaster. Originally from Australia, she moved abroad in the mid-'80s, living in the UK, France, the US, and since 2014, Portugal. Her book, Women Who Walk: How 20 women from 16 countries came to live in Portugal, (2019), is a collection of mini-memoirs. In 2020, she released the sequel and comparative read, The Winding Road to Portugal: 20 Men from 11 Countries Share Their Stories. Louise lives on the Estoril coastline where she continues to interview women living in Portugal, and around the world, for her podcast, Women Who Walk

Louise's book list on historically accurate books about Portugal

Louise Ross Why did Louise love this book?

On the back cover, Hatton says that his purpose in writing The Portuguese – and this quote made me smile knowingly, and it’s why I bought the book – “is to describe the idiosyncrasies that make this lovely, and sometimes exasperating country unique and to search for explanations, surveying the historical path that drove the Portuguese to where they now stand.” Hatton succeeds beautifully in his endeavour, offering up 280 pages of an enlightening and scintillating read.

By Barry Hatton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Portugal is an established member of the European Union, one of the founders of the euro currency and a founding member of NATO. Yet it is an inconspicuous and largely overlooked country on the continent’s southwest rim. Barry Hatton shines a light on this enigmatic corner of Europe by blending historical analysis with entertaining personal anecdotes. He describes the idiosyncrasies that make the Portuguese unique and surveys the eventful path that brought them to where they are today. Portugal, which claims Europe’s oldest fixed borders, measures just 561 by 218 kilometers. Within that space, however, it offers a patchwork of…


Book cover of The History Of The Siege Of Lisbon

Michael David Lukas Author Of The Last Watchman of Old Cairo

From my list on magical historical.

Who am I?

I’ve always been fascinated by history, by the way that the past informs the present, how it makes us who we are. And I’ve found myself drawn, as a reader and as a writer, towards those stories that incorporate some element of magic into the past. I’ve written two magical historical novels. And my third book, which I hope to be finished with soon, is a fabulist tale set in the future, which I like to say is history that hasn’t happened yet. 

Michael's book list on magical historical

Michael David Lukas Why did Michael love this book?

I first read this book nearly twenty years ago and have been thinking about it ever since. It’s a relatively simple story, about a bored proofreader who literally rewrites the history of his hometown. But in the hands of a master storyteller like Saramago, the topic takes on a raft of existential questions about history, place, and our relationship to the past.

By José Saramago,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The History Of The Siege Of Lisbon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An editor at a Portuguese publishing house, Raimundo Silva, undertakes to rewrite a crucial episode in Portuguese history as a romantic saga, with the amorous encouragement of his supervisor.


Book cover of Rick Steves Portugal

Alyson Sheldrake Author Of Living the Dream in the Algarve, Portugal

From my list on moving to Portugal.

Who am I?

Alyson Sheldrake is the author of the award-winning Algarve Blog, and she is also a feature writer for the Tomorrow Magazine in the Algarve. She is an accomplished and sought-after artist working alongside her husband Dave, a professional photographer. She has published three books about their Algarve Adventures: Living the Dream – in the Algarve, Portugal, Living the Quieter Algarve Dream, and her latest book is a new anthology of expat stories entitled A New Life in the Algarve, Portugal. When she is not painting or writing, you can find her walking their rescued Spanish Water Dog called Kat along the riverbank in Aljezur.

Alyson's book list on moving to Portugal

Alyson Sheldrake Why did Alyson love this book?

I am often asked for recommendations on where to go and what to see for visitors to Portugal, and I always recommend Rick Steve’s book. He doesn’t just cover the major attractions, he takes you into the small towns and villages, the remote beaches, and the local restaurants and cafés that will introduce you to the ‘real’ Portugal. Top tips, must-see destinations and clever itineraries will help you to pick out the best spots and the most memorable locations of this beautiful place I am proud to call home.

By Rick Steves,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Rick Steves Portugal as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Stroll Lisbon's cobbled lanes, cruise the Douro River, and soak up the sun on Algarve beaches: experience Portugal with Rick Steves! Inside Rick Steves Portugal you'll find:

* Comprehensive coverage for spending a week or more exploring Portugal
* Rick's strategic advice on how to get the most out of your time and money, with rankings of his must-see favorites
* Top sights and hidden gems, from the bone chapel of Evora and the palaces of Sintra to seaside street food and lush vineyards
* How to connect with culture: Chat with friendly locals over a glass of vinho verde,…


Book cover of Baltasar and Blimunda

Jessica Dall Author Of The Stars of Heaven

From my list on historical fiction in lesser-known settings.

Who am I?

I’ve been a history nerd all my life. Historical fiction chap books were my entrance to reading, and my copy of Little Women fell apart from excessive re-reads. (It also taught me the word “abridged.” I was very upset to find out I hadn’t been given the full book!) I love how novels can pull you into a time on such a personal level. That immersion is part of what made me so interested in books set in lesser-known eras. I mean, I love a good Tudor court drama or WWII novel as much as the next reader. There is just something extra special about learning about a brand-new time. 

Jessica's book list on historical fiction in lesser-known settings

Jessica Dall Why did Jessica love this book?

I admit, Baltasar and Blimunda is not the type of historical fiction I generally pick up (a more distanced narrative voice plus magical realism doesn’t tend to be my normal pick for pleasure reading) but I felt I needed to read at least one novel set in 18th century Portugal before trying to write my own set there. Something by a Portuguese author as well seemed entirely the way to go. So, I picked this up, and am really glad I did. 

By José Saramago, Giovanni Pontiero (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In eighteenth-century Portugal, fifty thousand laborers carry stones on their backs across mountains to build the king's convent, a heretical priest devises a magic flying machine--the Passarola--and two lovers' dream of flight sets them apart.


Book cover of First Thousand Words in Portuguese

Alyson Sheldrake Author Of Living the Dream in the Algarve, Portugal

From my list on moving to Portugal.

Who am I?

Alyson Sheldrake is the author of the award-winning Algarve Blog, and she is also a feature writer for the Tomorrow Magazine in the Algarve. She is an accomplished and sought-after artist working alongside her husband Dave, a professional photographer. She has published three books about their Algarve Adventures: Living the Dream – in the Algarve, Portugal, Living the Quieter Algarve Dream, and her latest book is a new anthology of expat stories entitled A New Life in the Algarve, Portugal. When she is not painting or writing, you can find her walking their rescued Spanish Water Dog called Kat along the riverbank in Aljezur.

Alyson's book list on moving to Portugal

Alyson Sheldrake Why did Alyson love this book?

This is a great book to help you learn some basic Portuguese words quickly. It is also in European Portuguese, unlike many other books that cover the Brazilian language (always something to watch out for when you are looking to learn Portuguese). This is a nicely illustrated book with labelled pictures and scenes that help you start to construct basic sentences – and you have the fun of trying to spot the hidden duck on every page too! I have struggled with learning and recalling Portuguese words, but the basics in this book are easy to remember and cover most everyday situations.

By Heather Amery,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked First Thousand Words in Portuguese as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

There are 1000 Portuguese words to learn in this classic word book, great for sharing with young language learners. Each busy scene features the wonderful illustrations of Stephen Cartwright, alongside items to spot, each labelled with their Portuguese name. A fun way to build key Portuguese vocubulary, specially revised and updated to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Usborne Publishing in 2013. Readers can listen to every word read by a native Portuguese speaker at the Usborne Quicklinks Website. Don't forget to spot the Little Yellow Duck on every page!


5 book lists we think you will like!

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