100 books like Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes

By Robert Louis Stevenson,

Here are 100 books that Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes fans have personally recommended if you like Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes. 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 Suite Française

David Snell Author Of Sing to Silent Stones: Part One

From my list on wartime books about families torn apart by the conflict in WW1 and WW2.

Why am I passionate about this?

My reading is almost entirely influenced by my own family’s extraordinary history. My mother and father-in-law were both illegitimate. Both suffered for the fact and my father-in-law was 11 years old when he first found out and was reunited with his mother, albeit on a second-class basis compared to his half siblings. My mother trained bomb aimers. My father flew Lancaster bombers and was just 19 years old in the skies above wartime Berlin. My own books combine history, my personal experiences, and my family’s past to weave wartime stories exploring the strains that those conflicts imposed on friendships.

David's book list on wartime books about families torn apart by the conflict in WW1 and WW2

David Snell Why did David love this book?

An abiding theme within my own book is that love and friendship can supplant racial and cultural differences, and this book, set in a village in France during the 2nd World War, highlights a growing and reluctant friendship between an occupier and the occupied.

The hatred that invasion induces causes any fraternisation to be labelled ‘collaboration.’ Sometimes it is. Sometimes, it is just people caught out of context seeking comfort and normality.

It is easy for those whose countries have never been occupied to scoff at the behaviour of those who had to live in the atmosphere and the reality of a hostile invasion. Let’s hope we never have to find out firsthand.

By Irene Nemirovsky,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked Suite Française as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 1941, Irene Nemirovsky sat down to write a book that would convey the magnitude of what she was living through, not in terms of battles and politicians, but by evoking the domestic lives and personal trials of the ordinary citizens of France. She did not live to see her ambition fulfilled, or to know that sixty-five years later, "Suite Francaise" would be published for the first time, and hailed as a masterpiece. Set during a year that begins with France's fall to the Nazis in June 1940 and ends with Germany turning its attention to Russia, "Suite Francaise" falls…


Book cover of Travels with Charley in Search of America

Eyal Halfon Author Of They Were Here Before Us: Stories from Our First Million Years

From my list on traveling the world from your armchair.

Why am I passionate about this?

Long before I became a filmmaker and many years before I knew what pre-history meant, I was a restless traveler. I was an adventurer and a hiker, fascinated by maps and mountain peaks and constantly searching for the best place for a coffee break. In my list, I have tried to combine my passion for traveling with what is really important in life: people, friends, and travel companions.

Eyal's book list on traveling the world from your armchair

Eyal Halfon Why did Eyal love this book?

I wish I could be there, in the back seat of Steinbeck’s pickup truck…with a 10-year-old French poodle named Charlie.

Steinbeck's travelogue is a farewell to the America he knew and an observation of a country that is changing before his eyes. What a joy it could have been to join this great writer (and the poodle) if only for a part of his 10,000-mile road trip across the USA at the beginning of the 60s.

By John Steinbeck,

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked Travels with Charley in Search of America as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An intimate journey across America, as told by one of its most beloved writers

To hear the speech of the real America, to smell the grass and the trees, to see the colors and the light-these were John Steinbeck's goals as he set out, at the age of fifty-eight, to rediscover the country he had been writing about for so many years.

With Charley, his French poodle, Steinbeck drives the interstates and the country roads, dines with truckers, encounters bears at Yellowstone and old friends in San Francisco. Along the way he reflects on the American character, racial hostility, the…


Book cover of The Life and Campaigns of the Black Prince: From Contemporary Letters, Diaries and Chronicles, Including Chandos Herald's Life of the Black Prince

Colin Duncan Taylor Author Of Lauragais: Steeped in History, Soaked in Blood

From my list on France through foreign eyes.

Why am I passionate about this?

Colin Duncan Taylor is the author of Lauragais: Steeped in History, Soaked in Blood, and Menu from the Midi: A Gastronomic Journey through the South of France. He has been a French resident for 20 years, and through his books he shares his passion for the region’s culture, gastronomy, history, and language.

Colin's book list on France through foreign eyes

Colin Duncan Taylor Why did Colin love this book?

Richard Barber gathers together and translates letters written by, among others, the Black Prince and his steward, and the work of two contemporary chroniclers. Between them, these sources constitute an extraordinary collection of first-hand accounts of military campaigns in 14th-century France, including the battles of Crécy and Poitiers, and the 1355 expedition when the Black Prince rode through the area where I live – the Lauragais, between Toulouse and Carcassonne – and ordered his army to destroy and loot most of the towns along its route.

Sometimes verging on propaganda aimed at convincing those back in England that the war was worth fighting, and at others full of anecdotes from military life such as the time the Black Prince’s men were passing through an area so dry, they had to give their horses wine instead of water, this book paints a vivid picture of daily life in a…

By Richard Barber,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Life and Campaigns of the Black Prince as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Edward of Woodstock, eldest son of Edward III, known as the Black Prince, is one of those heroes of history books so impressive as to seem slightly unreal. At sixteen he played a leading part in the fighting at Crecy; at twenty-six he captured the king of France at Poitiers; and eleven years later he restored Pedro of Castile to histhrone at the battle of Najera. His exploits were chronicled by Jean Froissart, but Froissart was writing three or four decades after the events he describes. There are other sources much closer to events, and it is on these that…


Book cover of Thomas Jefferson's European Travel Diaries

Colin Duncan Taylor Author Of Lauragais: Steeped in History, Soaked in Blood

From my list on France through foreign eyes.

Why am I passionate about this?

Colin Duncan Taylor is the author of Lauragais: Steeped in History, Soaked in Blood, and Menu from the Midi: A Gastronomic Journey through the South of France. He has been a French resident for 20 years, and through his books he shares his passion for the region’s culture, gastronomy, history, and language.

Colin's book list on France through foreign eyes

Colin Duncan Taylor Why did Colin love this book?

This book is based on notes made by Thomas Jefferson when he was US ambassador to France. For me, their highlight is his account of a journey south to examine the operation of the Canal du Midi which links Toulouse to the Mediterranean. Jefferson travelled down from Paris in his own carriage and when he reached the mouth of the canal near Agde he saw no reason to abandon it. He hired a barge to take him to Toulouse and loaded his carriage on deck.

During his eight-day journey, he recorded his impressions in notes and letters written while he was travelling, and he made observations on aspects of daily life which his French contemporaries rarely thought worth recording: agriculture, architecture, the price of goods and labour, the condition of the people, technical aspects of the canal, and where he could find the best wine.

This book is hard to…

By James McGrath Morris, Thomas Jefferson, Persephone Weene

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Thomas Jefferson's European Travel Diaries as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Jefferson's own account of his journey's through the countryside and wine regions of the continent in 1787 and 1788.


Book cover of A Moveable Feast

Claudia Amendola Alzraa Author Of The Transformational Path: How Healing, Unlearning, and Tuning into Source Helped Me Manifest My Most Abundant Life

From my list on completely transforming your life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve known I was “special” since I was a child. I saw, felt, and heard things that others did not. Eventually I embraced my clairaudient mediumship gifts and turned it into a thriving business, allowing me to live a life of purpose: helping others find their passions and live their most joyful lives. But the journey never ends; I am always on a mission to transform. Consistently, literature has been where I turn when I am seeking wisdom on becoming the best version of myself. I also pursued certification as a Book Therapist - the first thing I’ll recommend to friends, family, or clients is the best book for their dilemma!

Claudia's book list on completely transforming your life

Claudia Amendola Alzraa Why did Claudia love this book?

A Moveable Feast is life-changing, with its introspective and evocative exploration of Hemingway’s early years as a struggling writer in the 1920s. It heavily inspired me to make my own move and pursue my authorship journey in Paris!

Through vivid and poetic prose, Hemingway captures the bohemian atmosphere of the era. The book delves into themes of creativity, love, loss, and pursuing one's artistic vision. Hemingway's raw and honest reflections on his own experiences and struggles offer profound insights into the nature of art, resilience, and the pursuit of a meaningful life. 

This book inspired me to uncover my passions, live the life of my dreams, embrace the beauty of the world around me, and, most importantly, savor every moment.

By Ernest Hemingway,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked A Moveable Feast as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Published posthumously in 1964, A Moveable Feast remains one of Ernest Hemingway's most beloved works. Since Hemingway's personal papers were released in 1979, scholars have examined and debated the changes made to the text before publication. Now this new special restored edition presents the original manuscript as the author prepared it to be published.

Featuring a personal foreword by Patrick Hemingway, Ernest's sole surviving son, and an introduction by the editor and grandson of the author, Sean Hemingway, this new edition also includes a number of unfinished, never-before-published Paris sketches revealing experiences that Hemingway had with his son Jack and…


Book cover of Tschiffely's Ride: Ten Thousand Miles in the Saddle from Southern Cross to Pole Star

Christina Dodwell Author Of Madagascar Travels

From my list on chosen by a long-term traveller and explorer.

Why am I passionate about this?

If I needed an excuse to be an explorer, I’d say it was inherited wanderlust. My grandparents moved to China in the 1920s and my grandmother became an unconventional traveller by mule in the wilds. My mother spent her childhood there. And much of her married life in West Africa, where I was born and raised. The wildest places fill me with curiosity.

Christina's book list on chosen by a long-term traveller and explorer

Christina Dodwell Why did Christina love this book?

It’s an extraordinary journey, people said it was absurd and impossible. I read it as a teenager, and even then it struck a chord with me. And it showed that what people call impossible is merely a sign of challenge. It also shows what deep reserves of stamina we all have in us, only found if we dig deep enough. It stayed with me as an inspiration, and as a dream of adventure

By Aimé Tschiffely,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Tschiffely's Ride as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the southeast coast of South America through an expanse of Peruvian sands en route to the West Coast, then onward through Central American jungles and rainforest, and finally to New York, Tschiffely’s journey was considered impossible and absurd by many newspaper writers in 1925. However, after two and a half years on horseback with two of his trusty and tough steeds, this daring trekker lived to tell his best-selling tale.

Tschiffely’s 10,000-mile journey was filled with adventure and triumph, but it also forced the traveler to deal with tremendous natural and man-made obstacles, as many countries in Central America…


Book cover of Cloud Road: A Journey Through the Inca Heartland

Hilary Bradt Author Of A Connemara Journey: A Thousand Miles on Horseback Through Western Ireland

From my list on travel with animals.

Why am I passionate about this?

Until I did my own animal-accompanied journey with Mollie and Peggy in 1984, my only association with animals on the trail was inadvertently with a collection of cockroaches in my backpack. It was when Bradt decided to add to their anthologies with a collection of stories about travelling with animals in 2018, Beastly Journeys, that I was able to read a wide variety of books on the topic. A delightful exercise!

Hilary's book list on travel with animals

Hilary Bradt Why did Hilary love this book?

Like the Stevenson book, this is also about travelling with a donkey, but what makes this narrative special is the author’s hatred of his pack animal. This will sound instantly off-putting but John’s descriptions of Dapple’s transgressions are very, very funny and his fury is never translated into violence towards the animal. There are lyrical descriptions of the landscape in northern Peru, but it is for the humour that I return to this book from time to time. I’m a sucker for any book about Peru, the subject of my early adventures and very first guidebook, and this is one of the most enjoyable

By John Harrison,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In every atlas there is a country missing from the maps of South America: the Andean nation. For five months John Harrison journeys through this secret country, walking alone into remote villages where he is the first gringo the inhabitants have ever seen, and where life continues as if Columbus had never sailed. He lives at over 10,000 feet for most of the trip, following the great road of the Incas: the Camino Real, or Royal Road. Hand built over 500 years ago, it crosses the most difficult and dangerous mountains in all the Americas, diving into sweltering canyons and…


Book cover of Zarafa: A Giraffe's True Story, from Deep in Africa to the Heart of Paris

Hilary Bradt Author Of A Connemara Journey: A Thousand Miles on Horseback Through Western Ireland

From my list on travel with animals.

Why am I passionate about this?

Until I did my own animal-accompanied journey with Mollie and Peggy in 1984, my only association with animals on the trail was inadvertently with a collection of cockroaches in my backpack. It was when Bradt decided to add to their anthologies with a collection of stories about travelling with animals in 2018, Beastly Journeys, that I was able to read a wide variety of books on the topic. A delightful exercise!

Hilary's book list on travel with animals

Hilary Bradt Why did Hilary love this book?

I discovered this fascinating and extraordinary story when I was researching tales about travelling with animals for Beastly Journeys. Unlike the other four books in my list, this one has the animal as the central character. And what an animal! Zarafa was captured as a calf in what is now Ethiopia in a plan to cement relationships between the Ottoman Viceroy of Egypt and Charles V of France. The year was 1826 and a giraffe had never before been seen in France. Zarafa did the first part of her journey strapped to the back on a camel, and then – surely more comfortably – down the Nile and across the Mediterranean on a brigantine.

A hole was cut in the deck which allowed Zarafa to travel with her body in the hold, while her head and neck enjoyed the human company on deck. From Marseille she was walked, with…

By Michael Allin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In October 1826, a ship arrived at Marseille carrying the first giraffe ever seen in France. A royal offering from Muhammad Ali, Ottoman Viceroy of Egypt, to King Charles X, she had already traveled 2,000 miles down the Nile to Alexandria, from where she had sailed across the Mediterranean standing in the hold, her long neck and head protruding through a hole cut in the deck. In the spring of 1827, after wintering in Marseille, she was carefully walked 550 miles to Paris to the delight of thousands of onlookers.

The viceroy's tribute was politically motivated: He commanded the Turkish…


Book cover of Footsteps: Adventures of a Romantic Biographer

Elizabeth Buchan Author Of Two Women in Rome

From my list on soothing after a love affair, divorce or Covid.

Why am I passionate about this?

Elizabeth Buchan began her career as a blurb writer at Penguin Books. She moved on to become a fiction editor at Random House before leaving to write full-time. Her novels include the award-winning Consider the Lily, The Museum of Broken Promises, and the international bestseller, Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman, which was made into a CBS Primetime Drama. Elizabeth’s short stories are broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and published in magazines. She has reviewed for The Times, the Sunday Times, and the Daily Mail, and has chaired the Betty Trask and Desmond Elliot literary prizes. She has been a judge for the Whitbread First Novel Award and for the 2014 Costa Novel Award.

Elizabeth's book list on soothing after a love affair, divorce or Covid

Elizabeth Buchan Why did Elizabeth love this book?

I first read this many years ago and it has stayed with me. Every so often, I return to it in order to immerse myself in its wonderful prose and insights. It combines travelogue with biography, detective work with a probing inner exploration and is both an account of a physical journey and a remap of the writer’s imagination. He begins with his homage to Robert Louis Stevenson’s Travels with a Donkey and describes his own trek over the Cevennes. He starts out with the idea that he will be a poet and finishes his walk having been led "far away into the undiscovered land of other’s men and women’s lives. It led towards biography."

It is the turning point of his life and for the remainder of the book – as he hunts down his subjects which include Mary Wollstonecraft, Shelley, Gerard de Nerval, and Gautier – he goes…

By Richard Holmes,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Richard Holmes knew he had become a true biographer the day his bank bounced a check that he had inadvertently dated 1772. Because for the acclaimed chronicler of Shelley and Coleridge, biography is a physical pursuit, an ardent and arduous retracing of footsteps that may have vanished centuries before.
 
In this gripping book, Holmes takes us from France’s Massif Central, where he followed the route taken by Robert Louis Stevenson and a sweet-natured donkey, to Mary Wollstonecraft’s Revolutionary Paris, to the Italian villages where Percy Shelley tried to cast off the strictures of English morality and marriage. Footsteps is a…


Book cover of Map of Another Town

Marcia DeSanctis Author Of 100 Places in France Every Woman Should Go

From my list on women in France.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a former television news producer who worked for Barbara Walters and Peter Jennings at ABC News, and at Dateline NBC and CBS’s 60 Minutes. I was always a journalist, but mid-career, I switched lanes from TV to writing. Since then, I've contributed essays and stories to many publications, among them Vogue, Travel & Leisure, The New York Times, BBC Travel, and others. I mostly write about travel, but also cover beauty, wellness, international development, and health. I'm the recipient of five Lowell Thomas Awards for excellence in travel journalism, including one for Travel Journalist of the Year. My book of essays, A Hard Place to Leave: Stories From a Restless Life comes out in May 2022.

Marcia's book list on women in France

Marcia DeSanctis Why did Marcia love this book?

California-born Mary Francis Kennedy Fisher’s contribution to our culture was revolutionary. Before her, no man or woman wrote about food as they might about art: what was noteworthy in the meal, how the cauliflower was cooked or the paté presented, and how all of it made her feel. She is perhaps best known for her masterpiece The Gastronomical Me, her memoir about her sensory awakening around food, cooking, and love when she moved to Dijon, France. After returning to the States, Fisher moved with her two daughters to Aix-en-Provence following World War II. By now, the memoir of Provence—the farmhouse, lavender fields, and dappled summer light—have become a genre unto themselves. But as with everything this trailblazer wrote, few have ever done is as well or with such exquisite understatement as Fisher did in Map of Another Town.

It is a soulful and beautifully atmospheric chronicle of building…

By M.F.K. Fisher,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'I was a brash newcomer to it, and yet when I first felt the rhythm of its streets and smelled its ancient smells, I said, 'Of course,' for I was once more in my own place, an invader of what was already mine.'

M.F.K. Fisher moved to Aix-en-Provence with her daughters after the Second World War. In Map of Another Town, she traces the history of this ancient and famous town, known for its tree-lined avenues, pretty fountains and ornate façades. Beyond the tourist sights, Fisher introduces us to its inhabitants: the waiters and landladies, down-and-outs and local characters all…


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Interested in France, donkeys, and Paris?

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

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