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Inspiring Life & Travel in France

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Inspiring Life & Travel in France

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Must-Read Books For Your French Adventure

 Looking for “fun” reads about France?  Check out these must-read books for your French adventure: “60 Million Frenchmen Can’t Be Wrong” and “The Provence Book.”

Explore the Heart of French Culture

The insightful book, 60 Million Frenchmen Can’t Be Wrong,” offers an engaging exploration into the heart of French culture, dissecting the reasons behind its allure, and the misunderstandings it often faces. An expat- favorite, the book debunks myths (no, the French don’t hate all foreigners) and it serves up facts with laughter.

Written by two Canadian journalists, Jean-Benoît Nadeau and Julie Barlow, the book dives deep into the French way of life, from its bureaucracy and social systems to its values and attitudes towards work, play, and education.The authors, who spent two years in France, examine the historical and social contexts that have shaped modern day France, challenging stereotypes and uncovering the complexities of French society. They argue that the French are not as different as they seem; rather, their approach to governance, social relations, and life, is deeply rooted in history and a strong sense of national identity.

One of the key insights of the book is the importance of understanding the French public administration system, which is often perceived as inefficient by outsiders. The authors reveal how the system reflects the French people’s expectations of the state and their collective notion of citizenship.

Nadeau and Barlow invite readers to see beyond clichés, showcasing a nation that values quality of life, social welfare, and cultural richness.

“60 Million Frenchmen Can’t Be Wrong” is not just a guide for understanding France and its people; it’s an invitation to appreciate the nuances that make French culture both fascinating and profoundly universal.

France isn’t just a country to be understood. It’s lively, sometimes perplexing, but always enchanting, like a new friend you get to know over a glass of wine and a leisurely meal.

Available on Amazon and other booksellers


The Provence Book

Reviewed by Regina Whelan, a 17 year resident of Southern France.

“Oh, how I would have loved to have read this book many years ago before my first trip to Provence.”

Much more than a guidebook, “The Provence Book” is a little treasure that takes you on insightful and humorous stops on the routes of Provence.

Written by Huntley Baldwin, and dedicated to his wife Joan, the book is a whimsical travelogue of Baldwin’s many visits to this part of southern France. He also provides the reader with beautiful watercolors of places he explores and the things he does. They are so charming, so inviting, you want to add each location to your travel itinerary.

Even the frequent traveler will appreciate the manner in which Baldwin reveals cultural differences.  Their humorous descriptions will leave you laughing out loud as you read along.

‘Amuse and inform’ was the author’s guiding principle. The book begins each chapter with a fable whose moral unveils another truth of Provence. You will discover not only fourteen towns and their walking tours, but also unique Provençal landmarks and customs such as: lavender fields, outdoor markets, boules or petanque initiation, picnics, driving and parking etiquette, food shopping and cooking,  the terroirs of its celebrated wines, and cafes, restaurants and their inherent etiquette. Handy mini guides of key words and hand gestures that are needed for success also pepper the text.

This differs from other books about Provence as it is a hybrid between a guide book that you can tuck in your purse as you travel because of its small format, and a humorous account of the France seen through the eyes of a foreigner, in this case seasoned American travelers.  And you will wish you could frame the watercolors throughout the book that have been painted by the author himself.

After reading The Provence Book, you will be comfortable ordering a pastis or a pression and be able to find a WC when needed.

In general, you will find everything to plan for and enjoy the pleasures of a trip to Provence.

Bon voyage!

Regina met Joan, the wife of the author of the book, in Wyoming where she lives most of the year.  Her husband Huntley, who was delighted at the success of the book which had been a retirement project, passed away several years ago.


To order: Contact Joan Baldwin

Approximate cost: shipping to US locations $10.00 Book Price $21.95

Have you read a book about French life you would like to share with others? Add a comment here, please.


Day trip from Uzes to the Cevennes

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