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We’re at home with our young kids so we’ve been attempting to relearn some basic academics and spending a lot of time in the kitchen. We always love to read and we have some family and friends who are at home plowing through their reading lists. 

We love to read when we can so we’d like to share some of our favorite books with you in case they are of interest to you. 

Lunch in Paris and Picnic in Provence

We love these books written by a dear friend from New York. Plus they include some seriously scrumptious recipes. These enchanting stories are a staple on our recommended reading for any French or Italian tours. We recommended a cup or tea or a glass of wine to enjoy Lunch in Paris as Elizabeth transports you through Parisian cafes and boulangeries. Definitely don’t read Picnic in Provence on an empty stomach or you’ll be growling with hunger as you flip through stories about crepes, croissants and homemade ice cream. These two are the perfect read to get you through the pandemic and ready to travel again as soon as it’s safe. 

A Year in Provence

Much like Under the Tuscan Sun, this story will transport you to a gorgeous European region and maybe even incite a little jealousy for the authors. A Year in Provence is the story of Peter Mayes move to Provence with his wife. This narrative is funny and again delicious (is it even possible to write about Provence without writing about food?). Dip your toes into the French culture and get a peak into some of the funny “only in Provence” moments that Peter and his wife experience as they settle into their new life. 

Sadly, Peter passed away in early 2018 but just before he passed he wrote a book called My Twenty-five Years in Provence: Reflections on Then and Now. It may not be as engaging as his first book but it’s a great follow-up in case you’re curious about how his journey in Provence went. 

The First Tour de France

This is a great read for avid Tour fans and for those we just like to catch the highlights. The Tour has a fascinating history that includes a reluctant first field of cyclists. You may have heard that the 2020 Tour de France was postponed to late August and September so you still have plenty of time to get psyched for the epic race. The First Tour de France will do just that! This is a must read for anyone with an ounce of interest in the Tour!

Serafina and the Black Cloak

This is one is a current favorite because we’ve been reading it with our eight year old daughter. It’s a fun fantasy book set in the largest private home in America. The Biltmore Estate is also conveniently located in Asheville and a frequent stop for most WNC tours. Serafina and the Black Cloak is sure entertainment for every age with some history, science and romance. Don’t miss it!

Vanilla Bean and Brodo

Looking back over our list, it looks like we’re huge francophiles! Which we are, but we also love the Tuscan country! This read is the perfect book to get you in the mood to visit Italy. It shares the journey of an Australian who settles in Montepulciano. In Vanilla Beans and Brodo Isabella Dusi shares that it’s certainly not an easy thing to be accepted by this ancient Italian village but she perseveres and creates a beautiful life in a breathtaking part of Italy. 

We’re always looking for good books to read so let us know what you have on your coffee table! Also, don’t forget to let us know what you think of our suggestions. If you’ve already read them or if you order them today, let us know!

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