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With every tour packet we provide clients we include a list of recommended reading.  It can range from a Michelin Green Guide which we provide with the tour, to a fiction novel based in the area of the tour, or a non-fiction history book about the region of the tour or about the event we are watching.  Below is a list of our favorites:

A Year in Provence:

A Year in Provence

A classic account of Peter Mayle’s experience buying and restoring an old house in the Luberon region of Provence.  The tale covers one year – from him and his wife’s move-in through all of the seasons of the year.  The characters and issues he deals with trying to motivate workers to do work on his house, to the simple adjustments of fitting in as a local will keep you chuckling through the read.  He is very honest about his ignorance and frustrations, but in the most comical way.  The Luberon is a common visit for those on our Provence tours.  South of Gordes, it is a beautiful and hilly day ride through the Luberon, including Peter Mayle’s town of Menerbes.

Bruno, Chief of Police:

Bruno Chief of Police

The setting for the book is just down the road from Les Eyzies, where we start our tours in the Dordogne.  St. Denis, the name of Bruno’s village in the book, is actually Le Bugue.  This book, as well as the others in the series, are about Bruno Courreges and his efforts to solve crimes in his village.  This first in the series deals with a mysterious death of a local elder.  Using his local connections and knowledge he pieces the mystery together.  Of course, being French, he is helped by beautiful ladies to solve the crime.

Team 7-Eleven – How An Unsung Band of American Cyclists Took On The World And Won:

team-7-eleven-book-cover

This is the complete story of how Jim Ochowicz pulled together the best cyclists in the US after the 1984 Olympics and created a team around them.  The dramatic difference between how professional cyclists’ lives were back in the ’80s and how they are now is one of the most evident realizations coming away from this book.  Cycling, despite the recent controversy, has come a long way.  The tales of humility, failure, and success are funny and give a great deal of insight of what it was like to race in that era.  We always suggest reading this in preparation for our Tour de France tours.

Bobke II:

Bobke II

Get ready to laugh and laugh hard.  This book is an honest and often hilarious account of Bob Roll’s life as a professional cyclist.  If you’ve ever seen him on TV you know he is a complete goof-ball, and it comes through in the pages of the book.  I am not going to spoil it any more by telling stories from the book…just read it!  We always suggest reading this in preparation for our Tour de France tours.

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