100 books like Toujours Provence

By Peter Mayle,

Here are 100 books that Toujours Provence fans have personally recommended if you like Toujours Provence. 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 The Promise of Provence

Lise McClendon Author Of Blackbird Fly

From my list on transporting you to France.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m American but I’ve been a Francophile for ages. I didn’t get a chance to visit France until well into adulthood. So much history lives in France and it’s been my joy to illuminate it for readers who tell me they feel transported. There is no higher compliment, in my mind. I’ve been writing novels for thirty years, set in the Rocky Mountains, America’s heartland, and the scenic villages of France. The Bennett Sisters Mysteries are now up 18 books in the series, featuring settings from Paris to Champagne to the Dordogne, with more in the works. I must go back to France to research, oui

Lise's book list on transporting you to France

Lise McClendon Why did Lise love this book?

A dream of many who live in cold climates is to live a second life (or first or third) in sunny France, and in particular Provence. Sands mainlines that dream in this book and especially the healing properties of sunshine and lavender. Her heroine recovers from a painful divorce and is reinvigorated, all the best qualities of a vacation, in reality or in reading. 

By Patricia Sands,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

On the evening of her twenty-second wedding anniversary, Katherine Price can't wait to celebrate. But instead of receiving an anniversary card from her husband, she finds a note asking for a divorce.

Fifty-five and suddenly alone, Katherine begins the daunting task of starting over. She has her friends, her aging mother, and her career to occupy her, but the future seems to hold little promise-until, after a winter of heartbreak, Katherine is persuaded to try a home exchange holiday in the South of France.

In Provence, bright fields of flowers bloom below medieval hilltop villages with winding cobblestone streets. Charmed…


Book cover of The Secret Life of Writers

Lise McClendon Author Of Blackbird Fly

From my list on transporting you to France.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m American but I’ve been a Francophile for ages. I didn’t get a chance to visit France until well into adulthood. So much history lives in France and it’s been my joy to illuminate it for readers who tell me they feel transported. There is no higher compliment, in my mind. I’ve been writing novels for thirty years, set in the Rocky Mountains, America’s heartland, and the scenic villages of France. The Bennett Sisters Mysteries are now up 18 books in the series, featuring settings from Paris to Champagne to the Dordogne, with more in the works. I must go back to France to research, oui

Lise's book list on transporting you to France

Lise McClendon Why did Lise love this book?

Browsing at Shakespeare and Company in Paris last fall I picked up this book in translation by Guillaume Musso, touted as the ‘French Suspense King.’ Set on an isolated island off the Côte d’Azur, this moody thriller is unpredictable and twisty, as all good mysteries should be. A reclusive author, his strange past, a relentless fan: what could go wrong?

By Guillaume Musso, Vineet Lal (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'THE FRENCH SUSPENSE KING' New York Times

'It's no wonder that Musso is one of France's most loved, bestselling authors'
Harlan Coben

In 1999, after publishing three cult novels, celebrated author Nathan Fawles announces the end of his writing career and withdraws to Beaumont, a wild and beautiful island off the Mediterranean coast.

Autumn 2018. As Fawles' novels continue to captivate readers, Mathilde Monney, a young Swiss journalist, arrives on the island, determined to unlock the writer's secrets and secure his first interview in twenty years.

That same day, a woman's body is discovered on the beach and the island…


Book cover of Corkscrew

Lise McClendon Author Of Blackbird Fly

From my list on transporting you to France.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m American but I’ve been a Francophile for ages. I didn’t get a chance to visit France until well into adulthood. So much history lives in France and it’s been my joy to illuminate it for readers who tell me they feel transported. There is no higher compliment, in my mind. I’ve been writing novels for thirty years, set in the Rocky Mountains, America’s heartland, and the scenic villages of France. The Bennett Sisters Mysteries are now up 18 books in the series, featuring settings from Paris to Champagne to the Dordogne, with more in the works. I must go back to France to research, oui

Lise's book list on transporting you to France

Lise McClendon Why did Lise love this book?

Since one of my characters is a French wine fraud detective I am always on the lookout for novels about wine. This book is all about the grape and the crazy world of the international wine industry. Comic, bawdy, and improbable, it will take you to vineyards in Europe and beyond as the hero learns to trust his nose, and you laugh out loud. 

By Peter Stafford-Bow,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?


Shortlisted for The People's Book Prize 2018

"One of the funniest novels I've ever read. I honestly didn't want this book to end." The Wine Stalker

Felix Hart, a tragic orphan, is expelled from school, cast onto the British high street, and forced to make his way in the cut-throat world of wine retailing. Thanks to a positive mental attitude, he is soon forging a promising career, his sensual adventures taking him to the vineyards of Italy, South Africa, Bulgaria and Kent. His path to the summit is littered with obstacles, however. Petty office politics, psychotic managers and the British…


Book cover of The Paris Winter

Lise McClendon Author Of Blackbird Fly

From my list on transporting you to France.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m American but I’ve been a Francophile for ages. I didn’t get a chance to visit France until well into adulthood. So much history lives in France and it’s been my joy to illuminate it for readers who tell me they feel transported. There is no higher compliment, in my mind. I’ve been writing novels for thirty years, set in the Rocky Mountains, America’s heartland, and the scenic villages of France. The Bennett Sisters Mysteries are now up 18 books in the series, featuring settings from Paris to Champagne to the Dordogne, with more in the works. I must go back to France to research, oui

Lise's book list on transporting you to France

Lise McClendon Why did Lise love this book?

I love weaving history into my mysteries so I was drawn to this dark tale of Paris in the Belle Époque. An English girl goes to Paris to study art but, desperately poor, throws her fate into the hands of some shady characters. The atmosphere and scene-setting of Paris during a terrible rainy winter are unforgettable. 

By Imogen Robertson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Extra material includes a deleted scene and a Q&A with Imogen Robertson

Maud Heighton came to Lafond's famous Academy to paint, and to flee the constraints of her small English town. It took all her courage to escape, but Paris eats money. While her fellow students enjoy the dazzling joys of the Belle Epoque, Maud slips into poverty. Quietly starving, and dreading another cold Paris winter, Maud takes a job as companion to young, beautiful Sylvie Morel. But Sylvie has a secret: an addiction to opium. As Maud is drawn into the Morels' world of elegant luxury, their secrets become…


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.


Book cover of Provence, 1970: M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, James Beard, and the Reinvention of American Taste

Barbara Santich Author Of The Original Mediterranean Cuisine: Medieval Recipes for Today

From my list on gastronomic Provence.

Why am I passionate about this?

Since first stepping off a train at Nice I've felt an affinity with southern France, but it was a chance encounter with the local shepherd who, speaking a version of the Provençal language, alerted me to the proud past of this region and its individual identity. (I've written about this time in my book Wild Asparagus, Wild Strawberries.) A serendipitous opportunity to study ancien Provençal led me down a meandering path to a PhD that eventually became The Original Mediterranean Cuisine, and on to a career researching and teaching culinary history. My next book looks at the roots of Provençal cuisine in the eighteenth century. 

Barbara's book list on gastronomic Provence

Barbara Santich Why did Barbara love this book?

In December 1970, a group of acclaimed American culinary experts met in Provence, where Julia Child had a holiday house, planning to celebrate Christmas together. Joining them were food writer Richard Olney and novelists Sybille Bedford and Eda Lord, all living relatively close. Barr, Fisher's grandnephew relies on her journal and letters to recreate their sumptuous tables in delectable detail. Alas, hopes for a joyous gathering of friends soured as egos clashed and petty rivalries intervened; MFK left abruptly and spent Christmas alone in Avignon. What interests me is how these authorities on French cuisine engaged with the French, the relationship between the 'French' cooking they portrayed and the food of the French, and their response to the changes creeping into France post-1968.

By Luke Barr,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Provence, 1970 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Provence, 1970 is about a singular historic moment. In the winter of that year, more or less coincidentally, the iconic culinary figures James Beard, M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, Richard Olney, Simone Beck, and Judith Jones found themselves together in the South of France. They cooked and ate, talked and argued, about the future of food in America, the meaning of taste, and the limits of snobbery. Without quite realizing it, they were shaping today’s tastes and culture, the way we eat now. The conversations among this group were chronicled by M.F.K. Fisher in journals and letters—some of which were later…


Book cover of A Good Year

Melody Carlson Author Of Looking for Leroy

From my list on vineyards.

Why am I passionate about this?

The first time I visited a vineyard was as a child with my mother and grandparents. Driving to San Francisco from Oregon, we stopped to tour a Sonoma vineyard and winery there. Later, as a young adult touring Western Europe, I became intrigued by the vineyards there. Something about the beauty of gently rolling slopes of green vines tugged on me. And I found the science and art of winemaking fascinating. Even the history of wine-making is noteworthy. And I love that Jesus’ first miracle was transforming ordinary water into extraordinary wine. So using the setting of a vineyard for my novel just felt right. And it was a fun adventure!

Melody's book list on vineyards

Melody Carlson Why did Melody love this book?

This story, primarily set in France, is about a guy who loses his job in Great Britain and inherits his uncle’s vineyard in Provence. There are quirky scenes in this book that make you laugh out loud, and scenes that tug at your heartstrings. Years ago, I spent a little time in France and remember looking longingly at French wine country—from the windows of a train, and wishing I could hop off and visit some of those beautiful places. Isn’t that why we love books? We can travel vicariously! 

By Peter Mayle,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Max Skinner is a man at the heart of London's financial universe until his employers embark on a little asset-stripping of their own. Himself. Amid the grey London drizzle, there is one potential ray of sunshine: Max's Uncle Harry has left him his estate in his will - an eighteenth-century chateau and vineyard an hour's drive from Avignon. Out of a job, and encouraged by his friend Charlie about the money in modern wine, he heads for France.

What Max discovers is a beautiful house, wonderful weather and a bustling village. The downside is the quality of the wine in…


Book cover of The Passion of Dolssa

Chris Tebbetts Author Of Me Myself & Him

From my list on you’d never think were so compulsively readable, but are.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was pitching my then novel-in-progress, Me, Myself, and Him to editors and agents, I usually got one of two responses: either “That sounds like a tough sell” or “That sounds great, and not like anything I’ve seen before.” Of course, I preferred to hear the latter, but I also enjoyed winning over skeptics by giving them something much more accessible than they might have expected, based on my pitch. It all speaks to the special place I have in my heart for the books you never expect to love…and then love anyway.

Chris' book list on you’d never think were so compulsively readable, but are

Chris Tebbetts Why did Chris love this book?

A healer and a matchmaker cross paths in 12th century France, and….zzzzzzz, right? Or so I thought, until I tried this Printz honor book, a piece of gorgeously written historical fiction that turned out to be a complete page-turner and attention-grabbing thriller. I’m a big TV watcher, so when I say that I was turning off the TV at night to spend more time with this book, you can take that as a 5+ star review. It’s one of my favorite YAs, and for what it’s worth, could just as easily have been shelved as an adult title. 

By Julie Berry,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Passion of Dolssa as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

The Printz Honor winner that garnered five starred reviews and was hailed by the New York Times as "magnificent"!

Dolssa is an upper-crust city girl who's been branded a heretic, on the run from the friar who condemned her mother to death by fire and wants Dolssa executed, too. Botille is a matchmaker and a tavern-keeper, struggling to keep herself and her sisters on the right side of the law in their seaside town. When their lives collide by a dark riverside, Botille rescues a dying Dolssa and conceals her in the tavern, where an unlikely friendship blooms. Aided by…


Book cover of My Father's Glory & My Mother's Castle: Marcel Pagnol's Memories of Childhood

Richard Goodman Author Of French Dirt: The Story of a Garden in the South of France

From my list on the South of France.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a writer and a teacher of writing who fell in love with France after my first visit fifty years ago. I was lucky enough once to spend a year in a small village about thirty miles west of Avignon in the south where I was able to observe, and eventually participate in, the daily life of this village. I wrote my book, French Dirt, about that experience. I have read intently about the South of France ever since with an eye for those books that truly capture the spirit and character of these people who are the heart of this storied part of France.

Richard's book list on the South of France

Richard Goodman Why did Richard love this book?

No one wrote about the South of France with more affection and understanding than Marcel Pagnol. He was a novelist, playwright, director, and memoirist. Pagnol’s family had a small house in the hills near Marseille where they spent summers. His book, My Father’s Glory, is about those months Pagnol spent there as a child and about his family, mostly his father. (The companion book, My Mother’s Castle, concerns his mother more.) The story of his aunt’s sweet, delicate courtship with his eventual uncle is worth reading the book alone. If you’re like me, you will come away from reading this book wishing you’d been part of Pagnol’s kind and joyous family and his life in this little corner of France. The good news is that with this book, you very nearly are.

By Marcel Pagnol, Rita Barisse (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked My Father's Glory & My Mother's Castle as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Bathed in the warm clarity of the summer sun in Provence, Marcel Pagnol's childhood memories celebrate a time of rare beauty and delight.Called by Jean Renoir "the leading film artist of his age," Pagnol is best known for such films as The Baker's Wife, Harvest, Fanny, and Topaze, as well as the screen adaptations of his novels Jean de Florette and Manon of the Springs (North Point, 1988). But he never forgot the magic of his Provencal childhood, and when he set his memories to paper late in life the result was a great new success. My Father's Glory and…


Book cover of Caesar's Vast Ghost: Aspects of Provence

Barbara Santich Author Of The Original Mediterranean Cuisine: Medieval Recipes for Today

From my list on gastronomic Provence.

Why am I passionate about this?

Since first stepping off a train at Nice I've felt an affinity with southern France, but it was a chance encounter with the local shepherd who, speaking a version of the Provençal language, alerted me to the proud past of this region and its individual identity. (I've written about this time in my book Wild Asparagus, Wild Strawberries.) A serendipitous opportunity to study ancien Provençal led me down a meandering path to a PhD that eventually became The Original Mediterranean Cuisine, and on to a career researching and teaching culinary history. My next book looks at the roots of Provençal cuisine in the eighteenth century. 

Barbara's book list on gastronomic Provence

Barbara Santich Why did Barbara love this book?

Provence has inspired hundreds of books, but Lawrence Durrell captures better than most what he calls its 'real nature'. His book is both personal response (he lived for many years at Sommières, north of Nimes) and historical reflection, particularly on the Roman legacy – a legacy that includes wine and olive oil, perennial staples of the Provençal table. Although Caesar occupied the whole of France, nowhere is the Roman imprint more omnipresent than in Provence; living near Carpentras, we daily dreamed of finding our fortune in an ancient Roman coin, shining through the dust of a lonely track. Durrell's language is poetic, his imagery evocative: the 'Socratic austerity' of a game of boules, the 'felicity and eloquence' of Provençal skies. As a companion to Provence, Durrell is my pick.

By Lawrence Durrell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Caesar's Vast Ghost as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Lose yourself in this classic travelogue evoking the idyllic South of France by the king of travel writing and real-life family member of The Durrells in Corfu.

'Full of stories, landscapes, comedy, history, heresies, animals, food, drink, and songs of the Midi.' Patrick Leigh Fermor

'A richly characteristic bouillabaisse by our last great garlicky master of the vanishing Mediterranean, our old Prospero of the south.' Richard Holmes

Provence, Southern France. Celebrated writer and poet Lawrence Durrell made the Midi his home for more than thirty years: and in his final book, he shares his most evocative, dazzling memories of life…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Provence, France, and home?

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

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