100 books like The Lost Upland

By W.S. Merwin,

Here are 100 books that The Lost Upland fans have personally recommended if you like The Lost Upland. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Bad Faith: A Forgotten History of Family, Fatherland and Vichy France

Helen Martin Author Of Lot: Travels Through a Limestone Landscape in Southwest France

From my list on the Lot department of Southwest France.

Why am I passionate about this?

A francophile and a researcher. I ran the research department of The Guardian newspaper for many years. I decided to write my book after it became apparent that there were no English language guidebooks devoted to the Lot alone (and not many in French either). I have been travelling all over France since I was a child in the 50s and discovered the Lot, en route to Spain, in about 1956. I have visited every year since. Pretty well all my interests in life are centred around my passion for this area, but extend beyond it -- history, ecclesiastical architecture, vernacular architecture of Quercy, gastronomy, cave art, the Resistance.

Helen's book list on the Lot department of Southwest France

Helen Martin Why did Helen love this book?

Plenty of Resistance activity in the Lot, certainly, but it was also the home of the vicious anti-semite Louis Darquier de Pellepoix, who rounded up many Jews to their deaths on behalf of the Vichy Government. Years later, Carmen Callil, founder of Virago, was seeking psychiatric help when she came across his daughter Anne, a psychiatrist, who had been abandoned by her despicable parents.

It was Anne’s death by suicide that set Callil off on a stunning attempt to track the life of Darquier, a drunkard, a rapist, and a man of few if any redeeming features. He disgraced his family and native town, where his father was mayor of Cahors, capital of the Lot. He was sentenced to death but, protected by Franco, died a free man in Spain.

“Only lice were ever gassed at Auschwitz” was his mantra as he sent children off to the gas chambers.

By Carmen Callil,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This brilliant book tells the story of one of history s most despicable villains and conmen Louis Darquier de Pellepoix, Nazi collaborator and Commissioner for Jewish Affairs , who managed the Vichy government s dirty work, controlling its Jewish population. orn into an established, politically moderate family, Louis Darquier ( de Pellepoix was a later affectation) proceeded from modest beginnings to dissemble his way to power, continually reinventing himself in conformity with an obsession with racial purity and the latent anti-Semitism of the French Catholic Church. He was the ultimate chancer- always broke, always desperate for attention, social cachet, women…


Book cover of Three Rivers of France

Helen Martin Author Of Lot: Travels Through a Limestone Landscape in Southwest France

From my list on the Lot department of Southwest France.

Why am I passionate about this?

A francophile and a researcher. I ran the research department of The Guardian newspaper for many years. I decided to write my book after it became apparent that there were no English language guidebooks devoted to the Lot alone (and not many in French either). I have been travelling all over France since I was a child in the 50s and discovered the Lot, en route to Spain, in about 1956. I have visited every year since. Pretty well all my interests in life are centred around my passion for this area, but extend beyond it -- history, ecclesiastical architecture, vernacular architecture of Quercy, gastronomy, cave art, the Resistance.

Helen's book list on the Lot department of Southwest France

Helen Martin Why did Helen love this book?

Not called a classic for nothing, the book covers the rivers Dordogne, Lot, and Tarn. A pioneering travel writer, Freda White was aided in her research by a little Morris Minor, her Oxford history degree, her good French, her journalism, her erudition, and a curious mind. Anyone who wants to understand the Lot in all its many guises should start here. It is written in an evocative and accessible prose.

By Freda White,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Three Rivers of France as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Book by White, Freda


Book cover of Lacombe Lucien: The Screenplay

Helen Martin Author Of Lot: Travels Through a Limestone Landscape in Southwest France

From my list on the Lot department of Southwest France.

Why am I passionate about this?

A francophile and a researcher. I ran the research department of The Guardian newspaper for many years. I decided to write my book after it became apparent that there were no English language guidebooks devoted to the Lot alone (and not many in French either). I have been travelling all over France since I was a child in the 50s and discovered the Lot, en route to Spain, in about 1956. I have visited every year since. Pretty well all my interests in life are centred around my passion for this area, but extend beyond it -- history, ecclesiastical architecture, vernacular architecture of Quercy, gastronomy, cave art, the Resistance.

Helen's book list on the Lot department of Southwest France

Helen Martin Why did Helen love this book?

Louis Malle was one of the first film directors to demythologise de Gaulle’s spin that most of France was engaged in resistance to the Nazis. Lacombe Lucien was set in the Lot, Malle’s adoptive home, and he asked for the help of Modiano, Nobel Literary prize winner, to write the screenplay.

Lucien, too young to join the fierce if small Lot Resistance, dropped accidentally into the hands of the Gestapo instead, and through them met and fell for the cultured Jewish Parisienne, France Horn. A strange pairing of young people whose different lives had been interrupted by war, they fled both the Gestapo and the Resistance, hiding from a troubled world in the wilds of the causse, where Lucien, the peasant boy, was in his element. There they blissfully awaited the inevitable.

By Louis Malle, Patrick Modiano, Sabine Destrée (translator)

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Patrick Modiano and Louis Malle’s screenplay for the Oscar-nominated film tells a powerful story set in World War II France of a seventeen-year-old boy who allies himself with collaborators, only to fall in love with a Jewish girl
                  
This early work by the Nobel Prize winner Patrick Modiano relates the story of Lucien Lacombe: a poor boy in Nazi-occupied France who, rebuffed in his efforts to enter the Resistance for a taste of war, becomes a member of a sordid, pathetic group of Fascist collaborators who join the Gestapo in preying upon their countrymen. Lucien encounters the Horns, a Jewish…


Book cover of Et toute ma sympathie

Helen Martin Author Of Lot: Travels Through a Limestone Landscape in Southwest France

From my list on the Lot department of Southwest France.

Why am I passionate about this?

A francophile and a researcher. I ran the research department of The Guardian newspaper for many years. I decided to write my book after it became apparent that there were no English language guidebooks devoted to the Lot alone (and not many in French either). I have been travelling all over France since I was a child in the 50s and discovered the Lot, en route to Spain, in about 1956. I have visited every year since. Pretty well all my interests in life are centred around my passion for this area, but extend beyond it -- history, ecclesiastical architecture, vernacular architecture of Quercy, gastronomy, cave art, the Resistance.

Helen's book list on the Lot department of Southwest France

Helen Martin Why did Helen love this book?

Sagan was born in the Lot at Cajarc and is buried there. She returned most summers to seek the peace and quiet of an area so different from the demi-monde of the mad, bad, and dangerous metropolitan life she was more used to inhabiting. She took her sustenance from riding across its stony wastes and introduced her famous friends to it too. Mitterrand and Pompidou were frequent visitors.

Her memoirs were published in two books. Avec mon meilleur souvenir was translated into English as With Fondest Regards and details many of her trips to America and meetings with Billie Holliday and Truman Capote. Her second memoir, Et toute ma sympathie, has not been translated but contains a few pages on the Lot. She doesn’t seem keen to share the place with many. But Sagan, author of fifty novels, starting with Bonjour tristesse when she was a teenager, was grounded…

By Françoise Sagan, Françoise Sagan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Et toute ma sympathie as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Text: French


Book cover of The Cooking of South West France

Clifford A. Wright Author Of A Mediterranean Feast: The Story of the Birth of the Celebrated Cuisines of the Mediterranean from the Merchants of Venice to the Barbary Corsairs, with More than 500 Recipes

From my list on provincial French cooking for home cooks.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an independent research scholar, food writer, and cook who won the James Beard Cookbook of the Year award and the Beard Award for the Best Writing on Food in 2000 for A Mediterranean Feast. I have written 19 books, 17 of which are cookbooks, and two on politics and history. I wrote all the food entries for Columbia University's Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and the entry for tiramisu and other sweets in the Oxford Companion to Sweets. I have written articles on politics, military affairs, foreign policy, history, and botany.

Clifford's book list on provincial French cooking for home cooks

Clifford A. Wright Why did Clifford love this book?

Wolfert made her name with her book Couscous and Other Food of Morocco, first published in 1973. This groundbreaking book was not only the first time an American writer’s topic was North African food but Wolfert explored for the first time its culinary anthropology. This book on southwest France might even be better than her couscous book. Its depth of understanding and explanation is amazing. Its thoroughness is unparalleled. Its fastidiousness might annoy some readers, but one will never claim there wasn’t enough detail. Follow this book and you will be able to make confit de canard to use in your equally authentic cassoulet of southwest France.

By Paula Wolfert,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Paula Wolfert is one of America's most highly respected food writers, and the author of Moroccan Cuisine which Grub Street reissued to much critical acclaim in 1998. Her highly respected book on South West France, unavailable for 15 years, is now appearing in paperback. This reissue could not be more timely with the opening of restaurants such as Club Gascon in West Spitalfields which has had unanimous plaudits from all the national restaurant critics praising its delicious South Western French classic dishes. The food of this region could well become one of the popular causes of the next year as…


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

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

From my list on the magic of Brittany France.

Why am I passionate about this?

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

Mark Greenside 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.…

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.


Book cover of The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen

George J. Siedel Author Of Seven Essentials for Business Success

From my list on leadership that doesn’t have “leadership” in the title.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I headed the Executive Education Center at the University of Michigan I had the opportunity to meet with many great leaders and observe them in action. I also enjoy interacting with faculty colleagues who conduct state-of-the-art research on leadership. Because of this experience, I believe that leaders are made, not born, and that reading biographies, psychological studies, philosophical commentary, histories, and fiction like the books on my list is one of the best ways to gain insight into what you need to become a great leader. 

George's book list on leadership that doesn’t have “leadership” in the title

George J. Siedel Why did George love this book?

This is the heartwarming and inspiring story of the journey a great chef took from serving as a lowly apprentice to becoming a leader in establishing new food traditions in America. I especially enjoyed the many funny stories about Pepin and his family. Warning: the book includes many of his favorite recipes that will cause hunger pangs as you read the book. 

By Jacques Pépin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this captivating memoir, the man whom Julia Child has called “the best chef in America” tells the story of his rise from a frightened apprentice in an exacting Old World kitchen to an Emmy Award–winning superstar who taught millions of Americans how to cook and shaped the nation’s tastes in the bargain.

We see young Jacques as a homesick six-year-old boy in war-ravaged France, working on a farm in exchange for food, dodging bombs, and bearing witness as German soldiers capture his father, a fighter in the Resistance. Soon Jacques is caught up in the hurly-burly action of his…


Book cover of The Inquisitor's Tale: Or, the Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog

Nancy McConnell Author Of Into the Lion's Mouth

From my list on kids who love a medieval quest.

Why am I passionate about this?

Before I could start writing Into the Lion’s Mouth, I spent a lot of time researching the medieval and renaissance Venice. I was astounded to see how relevant that history is to today. Not only are there many parallels that can be drawn between the past and today there is so much to learn about the consistency of human nature. I find myself currently gravitating towards books that mix history and fiction and these are some of my favorites.

Nancy's book list on kids who love a medieval quest

Nancy McConnell Why did Nancy love this book?

A warm inn, and a stranger’s tale gather together a group of travelers as they become fascinated by the story of three gifted children that is sweeping the land. I loved the way this book brought the story of the people in the inn and the marvelous children together step by step. Peppered with real historical figures and legends this book is a must-read for the middle-grade medieval enthusiast. 

By Adam Gidwitz, Hatem Aly (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Inquisitor's Tale as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

A Newbery Honor Book
Winner of the Sydney Taylor Book Award

An exciting and hilarious medieval adventure from the bestselling author of A Tale Dark and Grimm. Beautifully illustrated throughout by Hatem Aly!

A New York Times Bestseller A New York Times Editor's Choice A New York Times Notable Children's Book A People Magazine Kid Pick A Washington Post Best Children's Book A Wall Street Journal Best Children's Book An Entertainment Weekly Best Middle Grade Book A Booklist Best Book A Horn Book Fanfare Best Book A Kirkus Reviews Best Book A Publishers Weekly Best Book A School Library Journal…


Book cover of Down and Out in Paris and London

Patrick Bringley Author Of All the Beauty in the World: The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Me

From my list on bringing you deep inside fascinating workplaces.

Why am I passionate about this?

I worked for ten years as a guard at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, as narrated in my memoir, All the Beauty in the World. I’ve found that readers are fascinated by the art in the Met but also by the “living museum,” which includes five hundred security guards keeping watch over millions of visitors each year. I’ve read a variety of workplace memoirs to study how authors depict the rhythms of work and the feel of particular workplaces. I’m especially passionate when there are larger themes at play and thus clear reasons why we should care.

Patrick's book list on bringing you deep inside fascinating workplaces

Patrick Bringley Why did Patrick love this book?

Orwell is my favorite nonfiction writer.

This is a workplace memoir in part because of the engaging, disgusting scenes where he labors as a plongeur (dishwasher) in a grimy French restaurant. But in a broader sense, it’s a book about the hard work of being poor.

Every sentence is intelligent and the overall thrust is deeply moral—Orwell’s calling card.

By George Orwell,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Down and Out in Paris and London as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the author of 1984, the classic semi-autobiographical story about the adventures of a penniless British writer in two cities.

Down and Out in Paris and London follows the journey of a writer among the down-and-out in two great cities. Without self-pity and often with humor, this novel is Orwell at his finest-a sobering, truthful protrayal of poverty and society.


Book cover of Saint Joan

Paul Camster Author Of Apocalypse, Third Edition

From my list on females overcome evil opponents to save the world.

Why am I passionate about this?

As Rebecca Roberts in Apocalypse was an ancestor whose achievements have been largely ignored-maybe because of gender-it seemed to be time to redress the balance. A female author may have done the job better, but none stepped forward at the time and Hollywood screenwriter K.Lewis was keen to write a screenplay, requiring a concept screenplay outline as a guide. It was that which later became the 1st Edition of Apocalypse.

Paul's book list on females overcome evil opponents to save the world

Paul Camster Why did Paul love this book?

Although written as a play, it has a foreword detailing its subject—the life of Joan of Arc. Joan was the inspiration and much-admired heroine of Rebecca Roberts in my own book. Based closely on the Inquisition records, it has very moving moments, whether read or performed as a play.

By Bernard Shaw,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'What other judgment can I judge by but my own?' Charting the meteoric rise and fall of Joan of Arc and her mission to drive the English from France, Shaw's Saint Joan draws directly on the medieval records to cut through the sentiment that characterized previous literary treatments of her story. A powerful example of a new kind of history play, its staging of dissent and social constraint, personal responsibility and female assertion, as well as fervent adherence to a cause, gave it a powerful modernity in its own day and continuing resonance in ours. Acclaimed internationally, this instant modern…


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