10 books like The Horse of Pride

By Pierre-Jakez Helias,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like The Horse of Pride. Shepherd is a community of 8,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Fields of Glory

By Jean Rouaud,

Book cover of Fields of Glory: A Novel Fields of Glory

Mark Greenside Author Of (Not Quite) Mastering the Art of French Living

From the list on the magic of Brittany France.

Who am I?

Mark Greenside has been a civil rights activist, Vietnam War protestor, anti-draft counselor, Vista Volunteer, union leader, and college professor. He holds B.S. and M.A. degrees from the University of Wisconsin and his stories have appeared in numerous journals and magazines. He presently lives in Alameda, California, where he continues to teach and be politically active, and Brittany, France, where he still can’t do anything without asking for help.

Mark's book list on the magic of Brittany France

Discover why each book is one of Mark's favorite books.

Why did Mark love this book?

This is the first book of a fictionalized family history, starting with the omniscient narrator’s maternal grandparents and paternal aunt, who are all born in the late 1880s: the World War I generation. The story takes place near Nantes, which until 1956 was part of Brittany, but then was administratively moved to a new department, the Loire Atlantic—though most people in Nantes and Brittany continue to believe the Nantois are Breton. As with many things French, the issue is far from settled.

Rouaud creates character through vignettes—and they’re wonderful: grandpa smoking; grandpa driving; grandma complaining about grandpa smoking and driving; their car—the infamous, uncomfortable, 2CV, deux chevaux—in the rain, the wind, on hills, having to wipe the windshield by hand to see, clearing grandma’s side, not grandpa’s, whose vision is blocked by pouring rain, streaking mud, and cigarette smoke. The rain leaks through the windows, the vents, and canvas roof.…

Fields of Glory

By Jean Rouaud,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Through a family chronicle - some three generations of a middle-class family living on the French Atlantic coast - Rouaud evokes the lingering heartache of a whole nation: the period is the interval between the two wars, but the slaughter of World War I dominates. Winner of the Prix Goncourt.


A Gift from Brittany

By Marjorie Price,

Book cover of A Gift from Brittany: A Memoir of Love and Loss in the French Countryside

Mark Greenside Author Of (Not Quite) Mastering the Art of French Living

From the list on the magic of Brittany France.

Who am I?

Mark Greenside has been a civil rights activist, Vietnam War protestor, anti-draft counselor, Vista Volunteer, union leader, and college professor. He holds B.S. and M.A. degrees from the University of Wisconsin and his stories have appeared in numerous journals and magazines. He presently lives in Alameda, California, where he continues to teach and be politically active, and Brittany, France, where he still can’t do anything without asking for help.

Mark's book list on the magic of Brittany France

Discover why each book is one of Mark's favorite books.

Why did Mark love this book?

A twenty year old American woman goes to Paris to paint, meets a French artist, marries, has a child, and together buy a farmhouse and make a summer home and art studios in rural Brittany: that story. A memoir. 

The book was published in 2008, but the story takes place in the early 1960s when rural Brittany was closer to the 19th century than the 21st. I was in Paris in 1967, and it was still possible to rent a hotel room for under five dollars a night, to travel in Europe for ten dollars a day. In 1967, you could not safely drink the water in France, including in Paris, and you had to have proof of a typhus vaccine to return to the U.S. It was still more Henry Miller’s Paris than Macron’s.

This was the time of the last of every day berets, blue…

A Gift from Brittany

By Marjorie Price,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Gift from Brittany as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The enchanting memoir of an artist?s liberating sojourn in France during the sixties?and the friendship that transformed her life

While in her late twenties, Marjorie Price leaves the comfort of her Chicago suburb to strike out on her own in Paris and hone her artistic talents. Dazzled by everything French, she falls in love with a volatile French painter and they purchase an old farmhouse in the Breton countryside. When Marjorie?s seemingly idyllic marriage begins to unravel, she forms a friendship with an elderly peasant woman, Jeanne, who is illiterate, has three cows to her name, and has never left…


Book cover of The Price of Water in Finistère

Mark Greenside Author Of (Not Quite) Mastering the Art of French Living

From the list on the magic of Brittany France.

Who am I?

Mark Greenside has been a civil rights activist, Vietnam War protestor, anti-draft counselor, Vista Volunteer, union leader, and college professor. He holds B.S. and M.A. degrees from the University of Wisconsin and his stories have appeared in numerous journals and magazines. He presently lives in Alameda, California, where he continues to teach and be politically active, and Brittany, France, where he still can’t do anything without asking for help.

Mark's book list on the magic of Brittany France

Discover why each book is one of Mark's favorite books.

Why did Mark love this book?

In 2000, angry at the state of the world, a fifty five year old acclaimed Swedish writer, sells her home and most of her belongings, leaves her homeland, and drives west with no destination in mind. She’s alone, but not lonely, searching for peace and freedom and a break with the past. She stops where the land ends, at the end of the world, Finistère, Brittany, where she buys a house, meets Madame C, and plants a garden. 

“It’s so wonderful here that one should write a book about it,” she tells Madame C, and spends the rest of the book refusing to write it, because to do so, she says, will diminish, simplify, and transform everything she loves about her new home. She’s like the banker who thinks money is filth and saves it; she’s the writer who distrusts words and writes—a memoir.

She writes about planting, tending, thinking,…

The Price of Water in Finistère

By Bodil Malmsten,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'In the same way as there's a partner for every person, there's a place. All you have to do is find the one that's yours among the billions that belong to someone else, you have to be awake, you have to choose.'

With this conviction in mind, acclaimed Swedish writer Bodil Malmsten abandons her native country at the age of fifty-five and settles in Brittany.

At the heart of this memoir is the conviction that the happiness to be found in Finistere will not allow itself to be, cannot be, expressed in writing. Embroidered around this seeming paradox are poignant,…


Memoirs of a Breton Peasant

By Jean-Marie Déguignet,

Book cover of Memoirs of a Breton Peasant

Mark Greenside Author Of (Not Quite) Mastering the Art of French Living

From the list on the magic of Brittany France.

Who am I?

Mark Greenside has been a civil rights activist, Vietnam War protestor, anti-draft counselor, Vista Volunteer, union leader, and college professor. He holds B.S. and M.A. degrees from the University of Wisconsin and his stories have appeared in numerous journals and magazines. He presently lives in Alameda, California, where he continues to teach and be politically active, and Brittany, France, where he still can’t do anything without asking for help.

Mark's book list on the magic of Brittany France

Discover why each book is one of Mark's favorite books.

Why did Mark love this book?

Jean-Marie Déguignet is not your typical Breton peasant. He’s small and puny—and these people aren’t built that way. At nine, a bee caused him to fall and hit his head, leaving an ugly wound that oozed for years and left a deep indentation in his skull when it finally healed. The result was a lifetime interest in bees and a lonely life, as no one wanted to be near him.  

A curious and isolated lad, he becomes an auto-diktat, and like many auto-diktats has lots of disparaging things to say about those who are less educated and more successful and powerful than he—especially church and government officials, monarchists, and landlords: ignorant bastards he constantly fought (and lost) who controlled and ruined his life. He’s an anti-cleric in this most Catholic of lands. He’s a Republican in a time and place of monarchists. He understands the world as a scientist, through…

Memoirs of a Breton Peasant

By Jean-Marie Déguignet,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Memoirs of a Breton Peasant as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A fascinating document of an extraordinary life, Memoirs of A Breton Peasant reads with the liveliness of a novel and bristles with the vigor of an opinionated autodidact from the very lowest level of peasant society. Brittany during the nineteenth century was a place seemingly frozen in the Middle Ages, backwards by most French standards; formal education among rural society was either unavailable or dismissed as unnecessary, while the church and local myth defined most people's reasoning and motivation. Jean-Marie Déguignet is unique not only as a literate Breton peasant, but in his skepticism for the church, his interest in…


Book cover of The Ripening Seed

Rosalind Brackenbury Author Of The Lost Love Letters of Henri Fournier

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

Who am I?

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

Discover why each book is one of Rosalind's favorite books.

Why did Rosalind love this book?

Anyone who wants to read a love story – all of us, surely – has to start with this story of young love set on the coast of the South of France in the early 20th century. Colette’s prose has been well matched by her translators and she’s simply a jewel of a writer and the first woman who really told the truth about love and sexuality.

The Ripening Seed

By Colette,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The author captures that precious, painful moment when childhood retreats at the onslaught of dawning knowledge and desire. Philippe and Venca are childhood friends. In the days and nights of late summer on the Brittany coast, their deep-rooted love for each other loses its childhood simplicity.


Book cover of I'll Never Be French (no matter what I do)

Janet Hulstrand Author Of Demystifying the French: How to Love Them, and Make Them Love You

From the list on understanding and appreciating the French.

Who am I?

I became fascinated with France and the French as a child, and over the past 40 years I have spent as much time as I can here. I’ve been fortunate to be able to combine my dual passions—for France and for literature—in creating a series of classes for CUNY study abroad programs and for the Politics & Prose bookstore. Through this work, over the past 20+ years I have spent much of my time reading and teaching works of literature that explore France and the French people in depth. I now live in France, and I continue to find the French endlessly fascinating. I think I always will. 

Janet's book list on understanding and appreciating the French

Discover why each book is one of Janet's favorite books.

Why did Janet love this book?

This book is a wonderful romp through the adventures and misadventures of a hapless American who speaks very little French (he describes himself as “functionally illiterate”) yet manages to charm his way into a very happy part-time life in a little village in Brittany. Greenside’s self-deprecating sense of humor as he recounts the many awkward situations he finds himself in as he settles into life in France and deals with a variety of everyday challenges is often laugh-out-loud funny. I also recommend the sequel to this book, (not quite) Mastering the Art of French Living, but you should definitely start with this one: the author’s unanticipated, unpredictable, joyful journey into a life in France, told from the very beginning, is too good to miss

I'll Never Be French (no matter what I do)

By Mark Greenside,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I'll Never Be French (no matter what I do) as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In a story that stands above the throngs of travel memoirs, full of gorgeous descriptions of Brittany and at times hysterical encounters with the locals, Mark Greenside describes his initially reluctant travels in this "heartwarming story" (San Francisco Chronicle) where he discovers a second life.

When Mark Greenside-a native New Yorker living in California, political lefty, writer, and lifelong skeptic-is dragged by his girlfriend to a tiny Celtic village in Brittany at the westernmost edge of France in Finistere, or what he describes as "the end of the world," his life begins to change.

In a playful, headlong style, and…


Anne and Charles

By Rozsa Gaston,

Book cover of Anne and Charles

Jessica Russell Author Of Hot Winter Sun

From the list on character-driven historical suspense with romance.

Who am I?

My first experience with historical fiction was reading The Witch from the Sea by that iconic author, Victoria Holt. This sparked a 40-year-long love affair with that genre that’s still burning intensely. I’ve been immersed in such fiction for a lifetime and have read the works of virtually every great author in this genre. I started my own series in 2020 because I feared this type of no-fluff fiction was becoming obsolete. There were 17th Century English characters making noise in my head so I used my creative writing background to bring them to life on the pages of my books, under the pen name Jessica Russell. 

Jessica's book list on character-driven historical suspense with romance

Discover why each book is one of Jessica's favorite books.

Why did Jessica love this book?

This book pulled me in from page one and I could not stop reading. I have rarely found Historical fiction written in a way that makes you feel as if you are truly there. The era did not seem abstract and far away, but instead, I felt like I was in the room with the characters in every single scene. It was vivid, colorful, realistic, entertaining, and I could have never predicted all the things that would happen. Rarely can I find authors who write about Anne of Brittany or that time period, let alone do it well, but this one was a winner! 

Anne and Charles

By Rozsa Gaston,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"A historically sharp and dramatically stirring love story."—Kirkus Reviews"

Gaston's blend of royalty, young love, and the French Renaissance is enchanting."—Publishers Weekly


When Anne of Brittany's father dies in 1488, she becomes Duchess of Brittany, her country's ruler at age eleven. For the next three years, the unmarried, orphaned duchess is pursued by suitors while Brittany is invaded by its larger, more powerful neighbor of France. With no other way out, at age fourteen she agrees to marry Charles VIII, King of France, to save her country. Better to be a queen than a prisoner...

Unexpectedly, a passionate relationship ensues.…


Secret Flotillas

By Brooks Richards,

Book cover of Secret Flotillas: Vol. I: Clandestine Sea Operations to Brittany, 1940-1944

Anne-Marie Walters Author Of Moondrop to Gascony

From the list on escaping from occupied France during WW2.

Who am I?

Anne-Marie Walters was born in 1923 in Geneva to a British father and French mother. At the outbreak of war in 1940, the family escaped to Britain, where Anne-Marie volunteered for the WAAF (Women’s Auxiliary Air Force). Having been approached by SOE in 1943, she was accepted for training and in January the following year dropped into France by parachute to work as a courier with George Starr, head of the Wheelwright circuit of the SOE in SW France. This she did until August 1944, when Starr sent her back to Britain under somewhat controversial  circumstances. Anne-Marrie was awarded the OBE in 1945 in recognition of her “personal courage and willingness to undergo danger.” 

Anne-Marie's book list on escaping from occupied France during WW2

Discover why each book is one of Anne-Marie's favorite books.

Why did Anne-Marie love this book?

A detailed and authoritative account of the vitally important secret naval operations mounted to rescue Allied service personnel and also ferry secret agents to and from occupied France. Recognised as the official historian of the ‘secret flotillas’, as a Royal Navy officer Brooks Richards took part in many of these operations and thus vividly describes the hazardous voyages, often in small fishing vessels under cover of darkness and well before the days of GPS and other modern navigation tools. In addition to his own wartime experiences, Brooks Richards’ account is informed by extensive personal research, including access to what were then (and some still are) closed government archives.

Secret Flotillas

By Brooks Richards,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

With the fall of France, almost the entire coastline of Western Europe was in German hands. Clandestine sea transport operations provided lines of vital intelligence for wartime Britain. These 'secret flotillas' landed and picked up agents in and from France, and ferried Allied evaders and escapees. This activity was crucial to the SIS (Secret Intelligence Service) and the SOE (Special Operations Executive).

This authoritative publication by the official historian, the late Sir Brooks Richards, vividly describes and analyses the clandestine naval operations that took place during World War Two.


Ninety-Three

By Victor Hugo,

Book cover of Ninety-Three

Joy Sheridan Author Of Charity Amour

From the list on the French Revolution.

Who am I?

I have always been fascinated by the Regency Period, and because of this fascination, I explored its historical context in full. That includes, of course, the French Revolution and its repercussions in England and globally. I am also obsessed with the literary concept of the heroine, and wanted to create characters who in some ways synthesized Moll Flanders and Jane Eyre, bridging the gap between 18th and 19th Century expression.

Joy's book list on the French Revolution

Discover why each book is one of Joy's favorite books.

Why did Joy love this book?

A total feeling for the pulse of the Revolution, and a focus on its core in that fatal year – the end of the Monarchy, the ushering-in of the Reign of terror. Its reverberations spread everywhere. It gave me such a strong sense of the decadence of the ancien régime, and the fury of the populace that aroused.  

Ninety-Three

By Victor Hugo,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Ninety-Three as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Ninety-Three (1874) is the final novel of Victor Hugo. As a work of historical fiction, the story is set during the period of conflict between the newly formed French Republic and the Royalists who sought to reverse the gains of the revolution. Praised for its morality and honest depiction of the horrors of war, Ninety-Three influenced such wide-ranging political thinkers as Joseph Stalin and Ayn Rand. "The soldiers forced cautiously. Everything was in full bloom; they were surrounded by a quivering wall of branches, whose leaves diffused a delicious freshness. Here and there sunbeams pierced these green shades." Advancing through…


Grave Mercy

By Robin LaFevers,

Book cover of Grave Mercy

Liza Street Author Of Blood Bounty

From the list on historical fantasy with a touch of romance.

Who am I?

As an author and a lifelong lover of books, I read all genres. My favorites are set in fantastical worlds with unique settings. The mash-up of history and fantasy is endlessly compelling to me, and I always want to see a romantic subplot (or main plot!) in the books I read. I want a happily-ever-after even when the strange world and its villains are conspiring against the main characters. 

Liza's book list on historical fantasy with a touch of romance

Discover why each book is one of Liza's favorite books.

Why did Liza love this book?

Set in the mid-1400s in France, this series starter contains action, court intrigue, romance, and assassin nuns! I read it years ago and it remains a favorite, not only for the beautiful language, but for the strong heroine, Ismae, and her journey from following the rules and doing as she’s been told, to learning how to discern right from wrong and follow the guidance of her own moral compass. This is a book I would love to watch as a movie, not only for the action, but the costumes.

Grave Mercy

By Robin LaFevers,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Grave Mercy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.
     Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high…


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