Holiday Gift Guide: Books from Provence our 2022 List
Holiday Shopping Made Easy
Here is our 2022 holiday gift guide for books from Provence for the people on your list who love reading, travelling, and dreaming of France. These books are for anyone who wants a literary “dose” of Provence. Whether you have visited the region or always dreamed of doing so, this collection includes cookbooks, guidebooks, memoirs, love stories, mysteries and more. However, click here for a more extensive listing of books we have read, reviewed, and recommended.
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Books from Provence 2022
If you are looking for a more in-depth selection by genre, click on the headings below, which direct you to pages with books listed in alphabetical order by author’s last name.
For History Buffs:
Discover the biographies of people who lived in Provence, including the artists inspired by the region. These authors have done extensive research on their subjects. If you enjoy reading biographies or historical fiction, then these titles will be of interest. Each book provides insight into life in the South of France. Understand the fascinating characters who chose to live in the region and their impact on Provence.
Aix-en-Provence The Inside Story includes 16 chapters about this city’s long and fascinating history. Lynne’s goal is not to replace travel guidebooks but to provide deeper insight into the history of this city. “There was nothing in English that told the story of the town. Guides seem hooked on architectural features.” Her interest was also in discovering more about the city’s inhabitants, particularly the women and working classes. The book is in chronological order from ancient populations to modern-day Aix-en-Provence.
Food and Wine Lovers:
Fresh + Seasonal = Delicious. These culinary books are far from an exhaustive list, but rather a few of the ones in our collection. Some are cookbooks, some are culinary guides to the Provencal lifestyle, and others are invaluable resources for navigating the tantalizing markets.
Colin Duncan Taylor’s second book, Menu from the Midi, explores a full spread of gastronomic discoveries such as Armagnac, the black Gascon pig, and pink garlic soup exclusive to this part of France. If you like food, drink, and travel, Menu from the Midi is one book you need to add to your reading list.
Göran Boman, the author of The Wines of Provence – Tricolour, is based in Sweden, far from Provence’s vineyards. However, Göran is a wine lover in this book. He covers 58 wine producers and recommends 338 wines, not just rosé wines. Use the book as a guide to discovering these wines and their producers. His goal is to deepen your knowledge of everything worth knowing about the wines of Provence.
With Love from Provence:
A budding romance, a Provencal setting and voila – a love story. The following list of books only begins to scratch the surface of the women’s fiction genre. However, we recommend these authors as they write beautifully, inviting you into the lifestyle in the South of France with their prose. These books may be fiction, but these authors have “done their homework” regarding historical facts, understanding local traditions and immersing themselves in the culture.
Sophie Claire wrote her latest book, An Escape To Provence, during the lockdown and set it in inland Provence, where the landscape is dry and arid, especially in the fierce heat of summer. She says, “It’s a place of intense colours, perfumes and flavours, so I love to write about it. But it was only as the story developed that I realised how crucial the setting was to become. The setting helped to intensify what was already a sensual and emotional story.”
Grab a transat (lounge chair) and settle for a great read complete with family dynamics, hot bodies, superyachts, and a tour through Provence. Sunshine and Shadows at the Vineyard is the latest novel by Jane Dunning, and here is our review.
Who Doesn’t Love a Mystery?:
Provence may not spring to mind as a setting for a mystery, but these authors think so. This collection of murders, thefts, drug busts and generally bad actors is for anyone who loves solving a puzzle. Settings are Provencal vineyards, art galleries, and even the chic French Riviera. So enjoy diving into the pages of these novels and attempting to solve the mysteries.
George Bellairs, Death in High Provence, London, 2016. Originally published in 1957 in Great Britain by John Gifford Ltd., and in 1963 in the U.S by Penguin. George Bellairs is the nom de plume of Harold Blundell (1902-1982), a mystery writer born in Heywood, Lancashire, in the United Kingdom. By day he was a Manchester banker, and by night and in his spare time, he wrote mysteries and articles for magazines and newspapers such as the Manchester Guardian under the pseudonym of George Bellairs. Reviewed by Mary-Jane Deeb.
For the Travel and Photography Buffs:
Provence – Alpes – Côte d’Azur (PACA) is not only a mouthful, but it is also immense geography and hard to tackle in a short vacation or even an extended stay. What better way to discover some local knowledge than a book written by one? Therefore, the following books are not guidebooks in the traditional sense but rather a way to find the best of the region based on these personal experiences.
An Insider’s Guide to Provence is a must-have for every visitor looking for local advice. It’s like Keith Van Sickle’s Rolodex for the region. Full of a local’s tips and amusing anecdotes, we loved this new regional pocket guide. This book includes favourites – restaurants, picnic spots, vineyards, walks – a list of things the Van Sickles do every time they visit Provence. Intended as supplemental reference material with hundreds of links to detailed articles, websites, and maps, the book is available in handy e-book and paperback versions.
How do you get a table at a romantic restaurant? Where is the best place to walk on a hot day? With so many market vendors, where do you start? Keith Van Sickle has the answers to some of those questions and many more in his latest publication, An Insider’s Guide to St-Rémy-de-Provence. So, if you are planning to be in the Alpilles, buy a copy of this handy 146-page reference guide filled with countless local tips.