Let’s get reading, shall we?

Whether you read books…. you know, the traditional hold-in-your-hand-and-turn-the-page kind, or on your iPad or other device, I’ll bet you’re always ready to hear about new reads. Right?

Here are three I read this past summer and can recommend to you:


1. The French House
by Don WallaceScreen Shot 2014-10-26 at 9.06.36 PM

I loved this book! Of course, it’s about France so it was kind of a natural like for me, but it’s great. Follow Don and his wife, Mindy, as they buy a small house on an island off the coast of Brittany,France. It is a complete, utter mess and needs A LOT of work. The problem is they have neither the money nor the time: they live in New York where they are struggling to make ends meet but want desperately to spend more time in their French house. It’s real. The story unfolds at a perfect pace; characters are introduced slowly; the details of their lives, the island, and the people are explored and there is a kind of textural quality that really appealed to me.


2. The Sea Garden
by Deborah Lawrenson

Screen Shot 2014-10-26 at 9.58.13 PM

This book, really three novellas woven into one, was a treat to read. Deborah is a friend of mine, through our blogs and maybe just a bit because I envy her having a house in the Luberon. This book was just published in June and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it! I loved the back and forth in time quality and her skill in interweaving these stories. France, the Mediterranean, World War II, England, one of the main characters as garden designer/landscaper…. the combination, for me, was compelling and thrilling. Again, a must read.


3. The Secret Life of Violet Grant
by Beatriz Williams

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While thinking about how to approach a review of this book here I realized it, too, is told in two different time periods. Hmmm. Guess I have a thing for this kind of writing without realizing it! Contemporary time is 1964 when we meet Vivian Schuyler in New York City as she receives and opens a suitcase that had belonged to her aunt Violet in 1914 at the outbreak of WWI in Europe. It’s a page turner alright: I downloaded on my Kindle before a long and tedious flight home and couldn’t put it down.

If YOU have any great recommendations for us, we would love to see them in the comment section here. I actually keep a list of books (and yes, movies too) on both my iPhone and iPad and am always adding to them. Then I look them up, usually on Amazon, and they go onto my Wish List. And eventually I order them, one by one. I probably end up reading about 50% on my Kindle and 50% as “real” books: a lot depends on if I am traveling and need to save space.

Would love to hear from you with some new ideas!



  1. Cheers, Libby! I’m so pleased you enjoyed it and hope it transported you back to Provence for a while. D x
    Deborah recently posted…Isirdi: a Lourmarin artistMy Profile

  2. Oooh, these books sound like really good reads. I’m always looking for a good book to read. I prefer book-in-hand instead of Kindle or IPAD books, just a personal preference. I will have to look these books up and add them to my already loooong list of items on my wish list! LOL Like you, I eventually get to ordering items as time goes along.

    Have a wonderful week Libby, we turned our heat on this a.m. to warm the house. It was 45 here last night but supposed to warm back up again by the middle of the week.

  3. Lovely list Libby and I wish I just had a moment to read one of those. I certainly miss reading a lot, so those are for now added on to my never ending reading list for the day when I will have a couple of extra hours. I hope all is well for you. Corinne
    Corinne – Emerald Green Interiors recently posted…Martin Bjoernson’s Tile Collection for PurpuraMy Profile

    • Hi Corinne: Well, even I do not read all that often…I find I am glued to the computer most of the free hours of the day! Or I’m in the garden. My “best” reading is done when I travel! But you should take a look at Deborah’s book. She spends summers in the Luberon, so perhaps you two could meet up some day? It’s a small world, isn’t it?
      This is the last week of the BYW course: haven’t made any real pals this time; the group isn’t quite as cohesive I think.

  4. Thanks. I think I might try the Violet Grant one. Sounds interesting.

  5. These are all going on my list-problem is I never seem to select anything from the list because I always find something else first. thank you for these.

    quick read is Me Before You by JoJo Moyes-could not put it down.

    The Pearl that Broke it’s Shell

    The Rosie Project

    • Thank you Esme! I just looked them all up and will put them on my list…. I know, there is always something new! Nice to hear from you: hope all is going well.

  6. Hi Libby,
    I am ready to do some winter reading and have been researching ideas, love this timely post and your readers comments.

    For some reason, your posts stopped being delivered into my blog reader and I have missed your last few weeks of posts. Need to figure it out.
    cindy recently posted…two books for gift givingMy Profile

  7. I was just wondering what to read during my Christmas vacation. Thanks for sharing the books. They look interesting. I’m going to start with “The secret life of Violet Grant”.

  8. So interesting! I will check The french house 🙂

  9. Violet Grant it’s a great book 😉

  10. The secret life is a must read imo. I couldn’t get away from the book!

  11. Thank you for this books will go and buy them all 🙂

  12. The French house really got me. I spent all of my free time reading it and guess I am addicted. Think I recommend it!

  13. The Sea Garden has a cover that really makes me think. I know we shouldn’t judge the book by the cover but these colours can make me order it without even knowing what it’s about.

  14. I have heard of the ‘French House’. Is it really that good? A friend of mine has read it not so long ago and she told me that it was a good read.. I guess I have to find out 🙂 Thank your for the reminder.

    Best wishes,

  15. Definitely, must read collection!
    p.p. The French House is my fav!