Sunday, December 30, 2012

Win This Lovely French Country Diary

Linda Dannenberg, who created and publishes the immensely popular French Country Diary, has just written that she'd love, once again, to offer some copies to my readers as a end-of-the-year giveaway. Last year, the French Country Diary giveaway on Provence Post got such a big response, Linda went a little nuts and actually sent out quite a few more gift copies than she had committed to. ''Couldn't help myself,'' she explains. ''And why not? I loved the comments. It was such fun.''

This year's edition of the hardcover book--the 25th annual!--is 128 pagesIt's slip-cased in a a pretty, deep-rose Provencal toile fabric from Olivades called “Les Quatre Saisons.” Vintage typography and gorgeous photos by Guillaume de Laubier enhance the design and layout, with each week-at-a-glance spread offering an intimate vignette of the French countryside: gardens, private homes, villages and landscapes. As the year goes on you'll visit a luminous stone farmhouse surrounded by lavender fields near Saint-Rémy; take a sunlit drive through the hidden coves and harbors of the Côtes d’Armor, Brittany’s rocky northern coast; enjoy a snowy winter’s day in Paris; and spend an afternoon discovering the Potager du Roi, Louis XIV’s extraordinary vegetable garden at the Palace of Versailles. Also included are lush four-color endpapers, generous space for jotting daily notes, a stitched-in ribbon to mark each week and decorative address pages. More than a few people have told me they save their Diaries year after year, that they make lovely keepsakes.

This year, Linda would like to give away five signed copies To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment below, by clicking COMMENTS.  Linda suggests you tell us:  ''What is your favorite book set in France...fiction or non fiction...and what makes it so special?'' You don't have to answer that question but please keep in mind that the more creative your comment, the better! And please be very sure to leave your email address or we won't be able to reach you if you win.

Meanwhile, if you'd like to go ahead and order the French Country Diary 2013 on Amazon, you can do that here. Or you can order it from Linda's website, which is here.  (On Linda's website you can also get all the info about her other books, an impressive list that includes Pierre Deux's French CountryNew French Country, French Country Kitchens, Paris Bistro Cooking, Perfect Vinaigrettes and Ducasse: Flavors of France.)

So bonne chance...I hope you win...and of course, I wish you all the happiest, healthiest, most-heavenly New Year....

Like this story? Subscribe to Provence Post here. 

72 comments:

  1. How to choose my favorite book set in France??? I love the classics such as Les Miserables and Madame Bovary, because I am a history teacher. I also love the ones that just evoke the sense of France like Peter Mayle's adventure books that bring to mind all the good things of the country especially Provence. Then there are books that tell of French people such as Luncheon of the Boating Party about Renoir which was wonderful. I liked 5 Quarters of an Orange by Joanne Harris and Suite Francais which described another part of French history. I am nuts about the Lost Generation writers who lied in Paris and liked Hemingway's A Moveable Feast and Fitzgerald's Tender is the Night set mostly on the Riviera. Also read biograhy of Sylvia Beach, Gertrude Stein, and Josephine Baker. I could go on and on, but my most recent read has been Madame Bovary's Daughter which I really enjoyed.
    Harriett Godwin and email is hgodwin77@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi,
    I enjoy and own all of Peter Mayle wonderfully descriptive books. I also have On Rue Tatin, Two Towns in Provence, Perfume from Provence, Blossoming in Provence. I have several gardening books about Provencial plants I might be able to grow in my garden, also too numerous to mention all the provencial cookbooks, and learned to make Ratatouille, Tians and Fougasse among other delicious food.I'm in love with Provence and treasure the time we spent there in wonderful B&B-s!

    ReplyDelete
  3. My favorite book set in France is my new novel MAKE THAT DEUX, published in October 2012. The story takes place in Montpellier and Palavas-les-flots over the school year 1979-1980, when life was simpler but France was still as beautiful as it is today. The main character, Jenny, an American college exchange student, shares an apartment on the Mediterranean with two other girls. Jenny learns to speak French and finds romance and a new life in France.
    My email address is mcderm_j@bellsouth.net. I'm an avid reader of Julie's blog and write my own at makethatjulie.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. I would love the diary and have admired her work with the two Pierres that I met when they opened a shop in Boston. For a Modern book,
    The Elegance of the Hedgehog. Before that was published I liked The Fly Truffler. Older books the writings of Colette and MFK Fisher.

    ReplyDelete
  5. forgot to post my email.
    cigalechanta@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I loved The Fly Truffler, too. So sad.
      Pat

      Delete
  6. Oooooh, I would love to win this calendar. I own two of Linda's books, and they were the basis for decorating my current home ... in the mountains of Mexico!
    So many wonderful books about France; it's hard to choose. Cookbooks: Julia, of course, Patricia Wells, Dorie Greenspan. Mysteries: by Martin Walker, Cara Black, Alan Furst, Fred Vargas. Bloggers: Julie, Kristin, Adrian, Carole. Novels: the trilogy by Joanne Harris, A Moveable Feast, A Paris Wife. Non-fiction: My Life In France, The Greater Journey ....
    The photos in this calendar are making me sigh with longing.

    sfruof@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter/Memoires d'une jeune fille rangee by Simone de Beauvoir is my favorite book set in France. I read it in French after taking a couple of years of French in college. Although I am sure that I missed a lot and at times inserted some of my own thoughts instead of Simone de Beavoir's, it was a wonderful experience as it made a profound impact on how I viewed my own family situation.

    Another excellent choice is French Lessons by Alice Kaplan, who might still inspire me to write of my own experiences during my junior year in Italy.

    ReplyDelete
  8. If I could write, I would. Or paint, I would. Or sing, I would. Sadly, these are not my gifts. But, I can appreciate, which is why all the books, paintings and songs mean so much. My heart is in the South of France, and this calendar book touches my soul every day.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Le Herisson (Elegance of the Hedgehog( by Muriel Barbery is a beautiful story set in Paris. The main characters are a 12 year old affluent young,intelligent girl who lives in a grand standing and its concierge a mysterious, closet intellectual. The two lives meet in an amazing way and each change the other.Along the way, the author introduces the reader to all kinds of philosophical, literary and musical theories and ideas. A beautiful although sad story.

    But for nonfiction on France I have to no qualms in saying Harriet Welty Rochefort's trilogy French Toast, French Fried and her most recent Joie de Vivre are tops! This latest is a fabulous read for all Francophiles and all those who have yet to discover the French joie de vivre. There are countless books on the market about moving to France, re-making your life in France etc but Welty Rochefort simply lives the French life and has done so for close to 40 years. Welty Rochefort really examines what creates that joie de vivre among the French (and in particular the Parisians). Her book is both light-hearted (often very funny) and a serious analysis of joie de vivre and how that is a foreign concept to Americans. The illustrative anecdotes are often hysterical as when the cleaning staff is horrified at a brown bag lunch meeting (and mystified they weren't asked to set a table with plates, glasses and silverware for a business lunch). In the second half of the book, there is a closer look at how changes in France have caused people to move somewhat away from the traditional way of life...but not that far away. In short, she reassures us that "we'll always have Paris."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jacqui we need your email address please. Thanks!
      Julie

      Delete
  10. Bonjour! My favorite book about France...hmm there are several; A Moveable Feast, The Paris Wife (which in turn made me read A Moveable Feast), A Train in Winter (about the French Resistance in WWII), Suite Francais, The French Country Garden, French Essence, A Year in Provence and of course of all of my tourist books that guide me each summer to discover something new and wonderful about France! The photographs in the diary look just beautiful and inspiring. Thanks for the opportunity.
    Rose roseblamey@shaw.ca

    ReplyDelete
  11. I would have to suggest The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery. It is a lovely look into the hidden life of a concierge in Paris and the sights and sounds of the tenants in the building. Nothing is as it seems. A lesson to all of us not to judge a book (or a person!) by its cover. Moira - email moira@30seconds.ca

    ReplyDelete
  12. I was enchanted by "The Piano Shop on the Left Bank," by Thad Carhart. It was a bestseller, published in 2000, but I only discovered it a couple of months ago in a used book store. I could not possibly resist a title containing the words piano, shop, and Left Bank. In this nonfiction book, Carhart tells of discovering an atelier in his Paris neighborhood where pianos are repaired and sometimes sold. Eventually he becomes friends with the owner (after the proper introduction) and re-learns a love of music. From his story, beautifully told with a light touch, I learned the history of pianos, the way music is taught in France, how pianos are made and the amazing craftsmanship involved, how Parisian friendships form, the charm and grit of hidden byways in Paris, and what it takes to haul a grand piano up a spiral staircase. It sent me back to my own piano to practice with a whole new respect for even my simple attempts. That's my favorite book set in France this year. Now I'm in the midst of a novel, also set in Paris, that is strange, if not unique. "13,rue Therese," by Elena Mauli Shapiro, is a kind of puzzle story that goes back and forth in time from World War I to today, all told in present tense. It has postcards, artifacts, letters, footnotes--some of them actually found by the author, who spun a story around them. I'm not sure how well it works, but so far it's interesting. I'm a sucker for any book set in France. My email address is marilyn@marilynmcfarlane.com

    ReplyDelete
  13. Le Herisson (Elegance of the Hedgehog( by Muriel Barbery is a beautiful story set in Paris. The main characters are a 12 year old affluent young,intelligent girl who lives in a grand standing and its concierge a mysterious, closet intellectual. The two lives meet in an amazing way and each change the other.Along the way, the author introduces the reader to all kinds of philosophical, literary and musical theories and ideas. A beautiful although sad story.

    But for nonfiction on France I have to no qualms in saying Harriet Welty Rochefort's trilogy French Toast, French Fried and her most recent Joie de Vivre are tops! This latest is a fabulous read for all Francophiles and all those who have yet to discover the French joie de vivre. There are countless books on the market about moving to France, re-making your life in France etc but Welty Rochefort simply lives the French life and has done so for close to 40 years. Welty Rochefort really examines what creates that joie de vivre among the French (and in particular the Parisians). Her book is both light-hearted (often very funny) and a serious analysis of joie de vivre and how that is a foreign concept to Americans. The illustrative anecdotes are often hysterical as when the cleaning staff is horrified at a brown bag lunch meeting (and mystified they weren't asked to set a table with plates, glasses and silverware for a business lunch). In the second half of the book, there is a closer look at how changes in France have caused people to move somewhat away from the traditional way of life...but not that far away. In short, she reassures us that "we'll always have Paris."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do my France travel books count? They are set in France! I have enjoyed Peter Mahle's books, On Rue Tatin, My Life in France by Julia Child. My favorite book is Monet's Passion by Elizabeth Murray. She is an American gardner who in 1985 moved to France and volunteered her services at Giverny. She stayed for nine months. Like the appointment book it is full of photographs of the gardens and describes Monet's original gardens, the gardens today, designs for similar looks for the home gardner with plant species, etc. It has not only provided inspiration for my own small gardens, but also many daydreams on cold snowy days.

      Delete
  14. I was just thinking how much I was going to miss my 2012 Monet diary and that I had not found one yet which I'd like to replace it with... Linda, your fabulous French Country Diary sounds like the perfect candidate! The last book I read that took place in France was Gully Wells, A House in France, on Julie's recommendation, which I loved. My all time favorites are Alexandre Dumas' novels (all of them!), which aside from their highly entertaining value also helped me understand the genealogy of the Kings of France from Henry IV to Louis XVI. On a more contemporary note, "The Elegance of the Hedghog" is my favorite recent book by a French author. A must read for pure literary pleasure, but also to understand the role of this unique Parisian character," la concierge", unfortunately now almost extinct. A great insight of the social class system, as well, which is still very alive in France. colombe@daitravel.com

    ReplyDelete
  15. Peter Mayle has always been my favorite; read all his books and also everything written by Kristin Espinasse. But Linda, your bistro book has been our guide for many years. We finally made it to La Fontaine de Mars this past January but were so disappointed that Le Vieux Bistro was closed; so many wonderful memories thanks to you.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I just got through reading a book that takes place in France during World War II. It is called "Love and Rutabaga by Claire Hsu Accomando. This was written in 1993 about the trials and tribulations of a French family and the rememberances of Claire Hsu of that family. A very poignant story of a little girl's ordeals during that very perilous time in France's history.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Dear Julie, Books of France - well, here is one I just received in the mail today -The Ingredients of Love. Can't put it down. The series I follow are those of Cara Black -perfect if you like mystery and lastly Nicole de Vesian - Gardens, Modern Design in Provence - probably my favorite of all. What a lovely woman; we can all learn from her. Cheri - my e-mail address is hletergo@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  18. Noel Barber's A Farewell to France.

    (This is a big, thick book. Actually, the copy I bought used on Amazon is a Doubleday Book Club edition. It took me a lot of time to read. Unusual for me, but I was somewhat indisposed (Shingles) during the time I was reading it. I loved returning to it every single night at bedtime. I love this book.)

    lemonade_marielle@comcast.net

    ReplyDelete
  19. At first, it seems impossible to pick just one book that a Francophile like me loves about Paris or anywhere in France. I have read so many good books on France, but the book Lunch in Paris by Elizabeth Bard is one I go back to again and again. Ms. Bard writes so well. I enjoy reading it from beginning to end. In fact, I find it hard to put the book down when I'm reading it. We have all read books written by Americans who have tried to make a life in Paris and who experience many trials and tribulations while doing so, but Ms. Bard's book seemed fresh to me. She makes me feel as if I am there, walking along the Canal St. Martin on my way home from the market with the makings of a delicious dinner. I can dream for a little while that I also live in Paris.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Do my France Travel books count? They are set in France! I have enjoyed Peter Mahle's books, On Rue Tatin, My Life in France by Julia Child. My favorite book is Monet's Passion by Elizabeth Murray. She is an American professional gardner who in 1985 moved to France and volunteered her services at Giverny. She stayed for nine months. Like the appointment book it is full of photographs. She describes Monet's original gardens, the gardens today and designs for similar looks for the home gardner with plant species, etc. It has not only provided inspiration for my own small gardens, but also many daydreams of visiting Giverny. My email address is nsgriccia@gmail.com.
    P.S. I also loved the Madeline books. She is French, non?

    ReplyDelete
  21. Julie, I would LOVE to receive a copy of this lovely notebook. What a great and wonderful giveaway!! Happy New Year !!!

    ReplyDelete
  22. As an interior decorator I have acquired a large number of French design books and two of my favorites are New French Country and French Country Kitchens. They each have wonderful photos that are so useful in helping clients to visualize their dreams. Charles Faudree and Betty Lou Phillips have also published numerous books on French design and who didn't love reading, My Life in France, by Julia Child? What an amazing woman - an inspiration to all of us for sure. Julia's, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, actually inspired me to try my hand at French cooking, a true wonder to my family! And,for those true romantics in all of us, the novel, "The Last Time I Saw Paris" was very good. A story set in Paris in 1940 - full of danger and romance, what more could we ask for?

    Kathy@airspd.net

    ReplyDelete
  23. Ah, my favorite French book is one that I am the main character with the story created around the foods, peoples, and adventures of being lost in that gorgeous country. Alas, it has not been written. A favorite book of mine is Linnea in Monet's Garden. Children's books create such wonderful flavors of travel. Keeping my coming days recorded in the French Country Diary would be such a delight.

    ReplyDelete
  24. What a wonderful idea! Not only would I really love to win this diary but I have already won a new reading list by reading over the comments above! I love reading books, especially historical fiction, set in France. From Joanne Harris to "The Avignon Quintet" by Lawrence Durrell, I blame/thank evocations of southern French life for bringing me to Provence.
    maryna.fontenoy@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  25. I have so many books about living in France, I have lost count, from when I aspired to living here. I now experience my own personal "stories" about living on the French Riviera, but still enjoy reading others.

    ReplyDelete
  26. There are so many books to choose from, one would be "on rue Tatin" by Susan Loomis, because who would not want to master the art of French cooking? Surely a large part of France's attraction! Also this book is not set in Paris, very refreshing!
    Don't get me started on films, an equally difficult choice, I love "Charade", set in Paris, but really highlighting the unforgettable Audrey Hepburn, the "frenchiest" American actress....
    Andrea, apd41(at)free.fr

    ReplyDelete
  27. Wow - what a lovely diary.. One of my favourite books is "Pedaling though Provence Cookbook by Sarah Leah Chase" her personal colletion of Provencal recipes, inspired by the countryside travels on a bicyclette. My husband and I, both Kiwis have lived in Provence for 5 years now and we have very much fallen in love with it. We have so many memories all through photos but for 2013 we decided to start keeping a diary. At the end of each day we will both write one thing that we learnt, inspired us, had fun with, a new experience or someone we met. Something to remember our wonderful time in France.
    Email is masstant@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  28. forgot my email address
    jdbucar@maine.rr.com

    ReplyDelete
  29. Oh, Julie?.....
    As someone who took five degrees in literature (silly, I know...but it was a pleasant way to avoid normal,adult responsibilities for thirteen years), I don't think I'm capable of citing a single, "favorite" book.
    That said (and having just read through the previous comments)?....I'd have to agree with several other folks in immediately coughing-up "The Elegance of the Hedgehog".
    Oddly enough, I was given four copies of it this Christmas, having previously given away at least ten copies of it in the past five years. Previous folks have described it sufficiently.....all I can add (and I have no problem admitting this publicly) is that it's the only book, among all that I've read over the years, that I finished, in the middle of a sunny afternoon....and I surprisedly and suddenly found myself crying. The ending is just profoundly sad and wise and beautiful. Having reviewed books for over twenty years, it takes a lot to get crotchety-me to say " I LOVED this book", but I did.

    Otherwise?.....the most moving French book I've ever read is Genevieve Jurgesen's justly renowned "The Disappearance: A Primer of Loss" (initially published in 1994, with the English edition in 1999). I't's a slim, 168 page book...an account of Jurgeson's facing the question of losing, on a holiday afternoon when she wasn't present, her four and seven year old daughters to a drunk driver. I just pulled-down my copy....some comments from reviews:

    "'The Disappearance' is about the unimaginable, and about the way it is rendered survivable" (The New Yorker)......"Sympathetic and intelligent, it shows us not only how the unbearable can be borne, but also that to relieve one's suffering by writing does not diminish love" (The London Evening Standard)...."This book is modest and has a simplicity which is unbearable" (Madame Figaro)...."A lyric and haunting memoire...Jurgenson's is a powerful voice for the unbearable sadness casued by death and the courage and love it takes to live with both the pain of loss and the cherished memories" (Kirkus Reviews).

    Notice how often reviewers automatically resorted to the same word...."unbearable". It's an extraordinarily (almost dauntingly, for me) wise and profound and kind and generous book.....not quite a memoir, and not in the least an "elegy". In the end?... it's simply beautiful.

    Fortunately (and wonderfully), Felicity Jones made a recording of excerpts from "The Disappearance" for the American radio program, "This American Life". It's one of the most powerful and moving recordings I've ever heard. you can find it by going to:


    http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/193/stories-of-loss

    (to be continued...)

    ReplyDelete
  30. (continuation...):
    ...Otherwise (and in an attempt to indicate that my tastes aren't entirely geared towards the tragic)?.....one of my very-favorite "french" books is by the food-writer (she's written, among many other books, the Williams Sonoma edition of "Savoring France") Georgeanne Brennan. "A Pig in Provence" is just lovely, warm, very funny, and disarmingly sincere......it's the FURTHEST THING POSSIBLE from all those many tales of how "I sold all of the stocks&bonds my daddy left me and bought a villa/manoir, and I restored it to perfection, and now I'm SO surprised that magazines want to photograph me in it!" books. There's nothing "wrong" with such books, of course.....but I'm sufficiently vulgar (or maybe just too obviously raised during the "follow the money" Watergate years in the USA) as to always find myself wondering "Okay, lady....but where'd the money come from?".

    "A Pig in Provence" is delightfully frank about such matters. Brennan and her husband were somewhat disaffected gradstudents from California in the 1970's....he was desultorily studying veterinary medicine, and she was supposedly completing a dissertation in some humanities department (I can't recall what discipline).....and they just hied themselves (and their toddler daughter) off to Provence (LONG before it became fashionable). They intended to set themselves up as farmers, equipped with nothing beyond American suburban upbringings and a few brochures from the California Agriculture Department....and the memoir tells of their many "surprises" (mostly not very pleasant) as they learned what it really meant (and required) to be pig-farmers and cheese-makers in those days. the book is also replete with plenty of anecdotes of the unexpected pleasures they encountered...and the friends they made amongst the locals. All in all, it's a remarkably joyous book about two young people making their way in a foreign world; I can't recommend it highly enough. One of my favorite lines is (and I've just pulled-down this book, also): "My friendship with Joanne spans four decades, two new husbands, three children, six stepchildren, and all the memories and experiences that form our personal histories".

    That's a lovely passage, I think. Brennan is a very smart and funny lady.

    Google Brennan and Jurgenson; both books are readily available, if you go looking for them......and I would recomend both to folks who aren't even francophiles. They're wonderful books by two really admirable, smart, and capable women. Both are slim books....but both just open up worlds and worlds of things to think about.....which is my definition of a fine book.

    gosh....this is sufficiently long response, I think.

    thanks for asking...and I probably should emphasize that I (being married into a French family) am, for better or worse, markedly unsentimental about the whole business. to be honest?....I and Herve always cringe when someone announces that he'she is a "lover of ALL things French!". I don't know how many times I've told him that tonight's dinner-party really isn't the best time to bring up the topic of Algerians floating in the Seine in the 1950's and 60's.....

    David Terry
    www.davidterryart.com
    email: dterrydraw@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  31. I love this calendar book! I've used them for years. My husband and I lived near Grenoble, France and I used them then and now I love to look at the lovely pictures - brings back some wonderful memories. My favorite books about France include, of course, Peter Mayle's books - all of them; Cara Black's mysteries set in all areas of Paris and I'm a huge fan of Stephen Clarke's books - his books are very funny and quite entertaining! I also enjoy Kristin Espinasse's french-word-a-day blog and her books based on her blog. Provence Post is also a favorite...Julie always has great information for us Francophiles that live vicariously though blogs such as hers!
    Vicki Herman
    edhvah@yahoo.com
    USA

    ReplyDelete
  32. I love Linda Danneberg's books and own pretty much all of them. Her French Country Diaries are always on my bedside table. And while I have read many of the books above, [ Suite Francaise is my favorite] it's fun to see what others have piqued my interest to read. Loved the "Hedgehog" which so many of you cite, and I would also add "Pure" as a fascinating historical novel. But my real find this year was the wonderful work of French mystery writer, Fred Vargas, and her quirky protagonist, Commissaire Adamsberg. I'm totally smitten with him! If you like mysteries [ and I LOVE them] you will get your French Fix, as well as meet some colorful characters. And I cannot mention mysteries without giving a nod to Cara Black and her wonderful Aimee Leduc. Her mysteries are set in Paris' various arrondissements, and I always read them with a map open so I can "follow along' with Aimee, as she traverses the particular quartier of the book's title.
    And while I'm waiting for these women to come out with a new mystery, I've jusr started on of my Christmas presents, "Memoirs of Duc de Saint-Simon". It should be fun reading about the life at court.

    iluvfrance@wildblue.net

    ReplyDelete
  33. My favorite book? Not possible. I must say though, Peter Mayle's Provence books sparked my desire to visit the region. Many many books (and authors) later I finally visited 2 years ago. I adored A House in France by Gully Wells (thank you Julie!) and Gourmet Rhapsody by Muriel Burberry (which I totally understood after making a pig of myself when offered a plate of Chouquettes at the home of a very elegant hostess.....). Let's see what others? A Castle in the Backyard by Betsy Draine, The Magic of Provence by Yvonne Lenard. I adore my French Cookbooks by Dorie Greenspan and Patricia Wells, Clotilde and David Lebovitz.Oh Julie thank you so much for asking us to name our favorites. I have now come up with a whole new list of "must reads"! Oh please please pick me.
    Laura Lewakowski
    lauralewakowski@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  34. My absolute favorite book is by Julia Child and called "My Life in France". I have listened to the audio version countless times in my car on the way to and from work and fallen deeply in love with Julia's France! And because Julia has had such a mark on what American's think of French cooking I simply had to purchase volumes 1 and 2 of Mastering the Art of French cooking! Now for practicality sake and because I wanted to actually cook French food I have Richard Grausman's French Classics Made Easy.
    I am also a lover of diaries made in this fashion: drenched in an old world charm, beautifully made/constructed, and something that if you were to leave it on a coffee table by mistake it could be thought of as a work of art. I very much want this book simply because I can imagine taking it with my everywhere I go and using it because of how it combines practicality with old world charm. Thank you for making this most generous offer!

    Jill S. Godin
    jillg7@cox.net
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    ReplyDelete
  35. First, let me say how beautiful your new book is . It would be a pleasure to win this so I could go to a different "piece" of France everyday . My favorite book set in France I would have to say is "Tete a Tete" by Simone de Beauvoir . It takes you back to the heart of Parisian bohemian life and REAL life in Paris . When I read this book I can hear the sound of champgane glasses clinking softly in the background,Jean-Paul Sartre animatingly swinging his arms about passionately discussing some interesting subject while his intellectually followers surround him at the table sipping kir royales,cafe creme and lingering on Gitanes and his words ! What a time to live in Paris !

    Merci !
    Cyndi
    ladyeiffel@msn.com

    ReplyDelete
  36. P.S. Severeal folks have mentioned the very-fine Patricia Wells. She was visiting here in North Carolina (her sister lives in the same town as I did until I moved 15 miles down the road a few months ago), and I went to her bookstore reading for her new "Salad As a Meal" book. I thought the audience was rather unresponsive and, deciding to liven things up, raised my hand and asked her to repeat her remark (I can't recall which of her books contains it) about buying Julia Child's stove after Julia died.

    Patricia's remark is/was "It was like buying Freud's couch".

    I think that's one of the most-genuinely-most-funniest things I've heard in many years. Patricia is, all done and said, very delightful and funny.

    ----david terry
    david terryart.com

    ReplyDelete
  37. My favorites at the moment would be Patricia Wells' "At Home in Provence" and "Paris in Color" by Nichole Robertson for a picture of France. Both make think of how I would live and eat if I were lucky enough to spend time in France. Having been lucky enough to meet Julia Child I can understand Patricia's comment about buying Julia's stove "that it was like buying Freud's couch".

    ReplyDelete
  38. My favorite at the moment would be "Paris in Color" by N. Robertson and "At Home in Provence" by Patricia Wells. I like to think that they give me a good picture of how I would live and eat if I were lucky enough to spend some time in France.

    I love Patricia Wells' comment posted above that buying Julia Child's stove was "it was like buying Freud's couch." Having had the pleasure of meeting Julia in a cooking setting I can understand. She was amazing.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Oh how fun, my husband has given me the French Diary book for the last five or more Christmas's. Always my most treasured gift and a favorite keepsake that I find I cannot part with. Absolutely beautiful the photography of various regions and gorgeous French landscapes, shops, salons. Inspirational and heart warming. I would love to win a copy as we embark on our new lives in S. France.

    Favorite books that have inspired and nourished the dream of moving to la belle France include:
    Kristin Espinasse's A French Word A Day
    On Rue Tatin
    Courage and Croissants, is a truly
    lovely account of the family's move to Uzes with words of wisdom and encouragement to follow your dream whatever it is. Mille merci's.
    A Home In France, Peter Mayle's Series,
    Blogs such as Julie's, Kristin's and 24/7 that are full of sage advice and encouragement. We are celebrating our dream of living in France having relocated here in November. Truly un reve and wonderful...Provence at Christmas, Menton for New Year and soon to house sit we hope maybe back in Saint Remy for new friends!
    Bon fetes a tous. Merci beaucoup Julie for your wonderful blog.
    Sandy Vann smvsoleil@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  40. Oh Lord.....obsessive-me is back again..

    One commentator mentioned Alice Kaplan's memoir "French Lessons". I forgot to mention that any francophile should also read the wonderful Alice Kaplan's most recent book "Dreaming in French: The Paris Years of Jaqueline Kennedy, Susan Sontag, and Angela Davis". According to Dinaw Mengestu (yes, I just pulled yet another book down from the shelf): "'Dreaming in French' is an eloquent, brilliant, and often moving portrayal of three remarkable women whose personal and intellectual engagement with France transformed them, and by extension America as well". It was published in 2012.....so I still have 10 hours during which to describe it as having been published "just this past year".

    It's a fascinating book....whooduh thunk you'd ever find Jackie Kennedy/Onassis and Angela Davis in the same book?.....but that's sort of fiercely curious mind Kaplan has.

    ----david Terry
    www.davidterryart.com

    ReplyDelete
  41. I've read so many French themed books of late, my most recent one which I am about to finish and wish it would never end is Marcel Pagnol's "Water of the Hills" (Jean de Florette and Manon of the Springs). I've never seen the movie but will definitely look for it somewhere. It is such a heart wrenching story on so many levels, the characters all so vividly written. I can picture Provence of that time.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Definitely "Chocolat" by Joanne Harris. In college I read this dreaming of a life of chocolate and love. Little did I know, that after teaching junior high school students in Los Angeles I would get married, move to Switzerland, and because of my husband's job, teach at a charming international school where a field trip let us to France. The book just shows that even when things aren't necessarily going your way, and you have set backs or challenges, ultimately love and chocolate will find it's way to you and it did to me!

    ReplyDelete
  43. It's hard to pick just one, and I think the blogs about France I read must count also. Julia Child and Dorie Greenspan are so much more than cookbook authors, Peter Mayle certainly fueled interest in southern France, favorite blogs like Chocolate and Zucchini, Southern Fried French, and my favorite French Word of the day by Kristin Espinasse awake new interest in various phases of life in France. I loved Linda Danenberg's book on Paris Boulangeries and Patisseries; this calendar looks beautiful. Carole
    sendmeyer@sbcglobal.net

    ReplyDelete
  44. I would have to say "Chocolat" by Joanne Harris because as a child I loved chocolate, and always was cooking, baking with chocolate. I was going to go to culinary school, but ended up getting a teaching credential instead. I taught it a tough school in Los Angeles, but when my fiance got a job in Switzerland, I packed my bags, and got a job teaching at a lovely school in Switzerland. My students and I took two field trips to France and what a joy. Plus the chocolate where we lived was some of the best I ever had. So like the book, even though we all have challenges, with love, and chocolate we can accomplish so much!

    ReplyDelete
  45. Just for the record?....(and I've noticed how many folks have mentioned Dorie Greenspan)...

    Dorie has a very einformative and enjoyable website/blog at:
    http://doriegreenspan.com/

    Predictably enough, she's too busy to update it every day...but it's predictably (given her other writings) very generously spirited, often funny, never pretentious, and always engaging. Do yourself a favor and bookmark it.

    there are, of course, a lot of folks who are experts in their field, but Dorie's one of the few who manage, in his/her writings, to be experts AND also make it clear that you don't have to be a professional in order to hve a lot of fun in your own kitchen.

    That's a rare quality among cookbook writers, and she's got it in spades.

    I'm glad to see that so many folks really like and enjoy her work.

    Advisedly everyone's, as ever,

    david terry (who proably ought to emphasize that he's not in the least involved in the publishing/marketing bidness anymore; I recommend things only when, as in this case, I REALLY like them)
    www.davidterryart,com

    ReplyDelete
  46. Wow! I love all these reminders of favorite books, and ideas for some I've not read yet. Although most of my favorite book takes place in outer space, I have to say Le Petit Prince.

    cqualin@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  47. dawn@chicfrenchnight.comJanuary 1, 2013 at 5:49 PM

    There is nothing more a picture of my heart than snapshots of France...would love to have the diary!

    ReplyDelete
  48. Great suggestions...also, Carol Drinkwater- The Olive Farm, Season and Harvest books...David Lebovitz's great website: living the sweet life in Paris, Almost French by Sarah Turnbull...and Dearie, the remarkable life of Julia Child by Bob Spitz... Merci beaucoup...

    ReplyDelete
  49. suev182@comcast.net - great suggestions continued- because I too forgot my email address... whoops...
    Merci beaucoup, encore...

    ReplyDelete
  50. My favourite books set in France are by Australian author Belinda Alexandra titled "Golden Earrings" and "Wild Lavender". Belinda writes in such a way that you can almost smell the lavender in Provence and the croissants in Paris and can transport you back in time so that when you are present in France today you can time travel back to days gone by. judells@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  51. My favourite book set in France is Le Lys dans la Vallee by Balzac. It is set in Touraine and its beautiful countryside. I had great pleasure years back to retrace the footsteps of the book's main characters. It was a real adventure to discover these places as some of the locations mentioned in the book required some detective work in order to find them since the landscape had changed a bit since Balzac wrote the novel. My email is cecile26@aapt.net.au

    ReplyDelete
  52. Merci beaucoup for the diary give away special! My favorite book so far is "Spotted in France" by Gregory Edmont. It tells the rue story of the author and his Dalmatian dog traveling by motorbike from Paris and through the country. It is charming and funny and tells of the true spirit of the French. Being an American, he tells of how having his dog with him opened up the hearts of the people to him.
    I have been to France only once and for only 20 minutes or so ( and 15 feet off the ground above Paris..we were refueling from a flight out of the Middle East!)
    Our family ( we have 7 children)would love to be able to travel the world some day. For now we take in exchange students. So far we have hosted about 7 teens from France and showed them America. By living with us we have been able to share our culture and geography and teach them English. It is very rewarding ( and in 12 days we are hosting a teen from Marseilles! )
    Our eldest daughter is now certified to teach English and is hoping to go abroad soon to France and teach. She loves all things about France ( including the things she has learned from our guests)and hopes to be able to learn to cook and bake the French cuisine.
    I would be thrilled to be able to win the diary to give to her as a gift before she goes overseas!
    Thanks for all of your wonderful posts on this blog.
    Susan

    ReplyDelete
  53. I loved "Spotted In France" by Gregory Edmont. The author and his Dalmatian dog travel by motorbike through France. It's charming and funny.
    We have not been yet to France, but we invite France to our home in the USA. So far we have hosted at least 7 teens from various parts of France. My oldest daughter just got certified to teach English and is hoping to Provence to teach and learn to cook and bake the French Cuisine.
    Would love to win the Diary of the French Countryside for her before she embarks!
    Merci, Susan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry that I posted this statement repetitively..mistake!
      Susan
      growingracefarm@gmail.com

      Delete
  54. I loved "Spotted In France" by Gregory Edmont. The author and his Dalmatian dog travel by motorbike through France. It's charming and funny.
    We have not been yet to France, but we invite France to our home in the USA. So far we have hosted at least 7 teens from various parts of France. My oldest daughter just got certified to teach English and is hoping to Provence to teach and learn to cook and bake the French Cuisine.
    Would love to win the Diary of the French Countryside for her before she embarks!
    Merci, Susan

    ReplyDelete
  55. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Twenty and Ten by Claire H Bishop; Celestine: Voices from a French Village by Gillian Tindall; and At Home in France by Ann Barry -- my love for France began long ago!

    ReplyDelete
  57. My favorite book is the one i just finished writing called 100 Places in France Every Woman Should Go, published by Travelers Tales. It's special to me because I adore France and have always wanted to write a French Travel guide. If I win the Diary, I'd use it to help organize my upcoming tours.

    ReplyDelete
  58. But as a history and Languedoc buff, I am a huge fan of Kate Moss's Languedoc Trilogy: "Labyrinth", "Sepulchral" & "Citadel." And an academic read, but nonetheless drama-ridden and telling of medieval culture, is "Montaillou: The Promised Land of Error" by Emmnuel Le Roy Laduri.

    ReplyDelete
  59. My current favorite is Bruno, Chief of Police.
    In one easy to read book Martin Walker manages to combine some of the best of rural France, with a large scoop of murder and intrigue, a nice sprinkling of romance, some tasty bits of little known WW II history, and a bittersweet counterpoint of the changing political and demographic landscape of modern France. This is not a pure hardboiled crime story; it is an unusual blend that works quite well. It's mostly lite, easy reading - popcorn fiction at its best. And hard to put down. I was hooked from the start and tore through to the end at a fast pace. Leaving me hunting for the next Bruno adventure...
    If you’re talking favorite book of all time, well that has to be A Movable Feast, a true classic that moved me as much on the 12th reading as it did on the first.
    William@piratesofavalon.com

    ReplyDelete
  60. Peter Mayle's Toujours Provence whetted an appetite that had been awakened by Hemingway. Pauvre, Bill. Perhaps next year.

    ReplyDelete
  61. Peter Mayle whetted an appetite that was awakened by Hemingway -- The Sun Also Rises and A Moveable Feast. Alas, that appetite has not been satisfied yet. Perhaps next year.

    ReplyDelete
  62. I still love the Peter Mayle books, but reading the comments have given me a few new ones that I'm going to check out. The French Country diary is absolutely gorgeous!

    ReplyDelete
  63. Chere Julie,
    This amazing list just keeps growing to my delight...I now have an notebook page where I am jotting down the new favs I want to read soon from all of your readers wonderful suggestions. Be lovely to put this list in a concise fashion for us...(hint, hint)...such gems are recommended. Always your blog is so full of the most helpful tips and suggestions.
    Bonne annee. Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sandy!
      Funny that you should say that as I'm definitely planning to do that. Stay tuned for the list...probably in a couple weeks.
      Best Wishes,
      Julie

      Delete
  64. When are you going to draw the five winners names Julie?


    Jill Godin

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jill
      I think I'll leave it open a couple more days and then Linda and I will select the winners. Thanks for checking in!
      Julie

      Delete
  65. Have you selected the winners yet Julie? I was watching a movie last night called a Year in Provence and thought of your phrase "in a couple of days" when the word "normalement" was used by the person who was fixing their house. After realizing that normalement meant maybe this Tuesday, maybe not she demanded that he give her a definite date and not use the word normalement. Anyway, I found this charming movie due to the people that have posted comments to win the French Country Diary! I have found quite a lot of gems reading the posts and what I have done is looked several of the books up in the library and put several on hold so that I can enjoy a bit of French literature. I just picked up the Hedgehog last week and plan to pick up The Olive Farm tomorrow. Oh, what fun!!!

    Jill S. Godin
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    jillg7@cox.net

    ReplyDelete
  66. Don't know if you've selected the winners here yet. I have just started Delicatesse by Foenkinos, but I think my all time favourite French novel is Germinal by Zola. I had to study it at university and something about it really appealed to me. Lots of interesting books mentioned here, might have to try a few.
    mackan510@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete

ShareThis

Related Posts with Thumbnails