24 Following

Austen to Zafón

Reading widely since 1972.

Currently reading

A London Family, 1870-1900: A Trilogy
Molly Hughes
The Cellist of Sarajevo
Steven Galloway
Lives of a Cell: Notes of a Biology Watcher
Lewis Thomas
All the Names
José Saramago, Margaret Jull Costa
A History of the World in 100 Objects
Neil MacGregor
Down the Garden Path
Beverley Nichols
Virtue Betray'd, Or, Anna Bullen
John Banks
Year of Wonders
Geraldine Brooks
Swallows and Amazons
Arthur Ransome
Illusion in java
Gene Fowler
A Year in Provence - Peter Mayle I've often dreamed of moving to Europe, so I enjoyed the descriptions in this book of the countryside, the food, and the houses and Mayle is often witty. I'll give him that. But I couldn't help feeling annoyed with his whingeing on about his situation. He and his wife obviously have plenty of money; enough to buy a big, beautiful, old house with a swimming pool and then to pay a bunch of people to work on it while they spend their time eating, drinking wine, and pretending to be locals. What's to complain about? Well, Mayle finds quite a bit: The "tourists"(Mayle's term for non-French people who visit Provence who are not Mayle), visitors who take up his time when he really needs to be drinking wine and supervising his staff, the weather, and the Provencal lifestyle which frustrates Mayle with it's slow pace. It's not surprising that he eventually moves home to Britain. And although it's common to find this attitude in travelogue-type books, I found his descriptions of the local people to be rather condescending in an "oh, aren't they quirky and quaint!?" way.