We've been devouring books recently. These are some of the ones we've most enjoyed, for anyone looking for ideas...
A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle.
We've been living in our new home in France for almost 3 months now, and we're settling into the slower pace of rural life. My mother-in-law suggested I read A Year in Provence, as the author tells the story of his first year in the French countryside as an expat, and the trials and tribulations of embarking on the renovation of a 200 year old house - pretty much exactly what we're doing.
The novel was first published in 1989, but things don't change very quickly in rural France and the Mayle's experiences are hilariously similar to our own. The writing is witty and warm-spirited, and explores the curiosities and nuances of French country life in perceptive detail.
It really gives you a taste of what life is like in these parts, and will almost certainly tempt you into packing your bags for some sort of vacation. If you're not one of the 6 million people who've already read the book, it makes ideal summer reading.
Community: Salad Recipes from Arthur Street Kitchen by Hetty McKinnon.
I was given this cookbook as a gift, and I absolutely love the recipes. The whole book is entirely salads; hearty, delicious, vegetable-packed salads. If, like me, you're trying to incorporate more plant-based dishes into your diet, without sacrificing flavor, then this book is a great source of inspiration.
The Further Adventures of the Owl and the Pussycat by Sue Donaldson
Celebrated children's author, Sue Donaldson, author of The Gruffalo, has written a superb sequel to Edward Lear's poem, more than 140 years after the original.
The story has been beautifully illustrated by Charlotte Voake, and takes the reader on a wonderful, rhyming adventure through nonsensical lands - exactly as you'd hope for such a sequel. If you're not familiar with the original poem, here's Rosie's rendition ;-)
Rosie's godmother gave her this book; it's full of uplifting positive reinforcement, and its personalization makes it even more special and meaningful. We find ourselves saying "Rosie is amazing, there's so much she can do!" all the time now, much to Rosie's delight.
The book comes in around 30 popular girl's names (Mia, Sophia, Emily, Poppa, Ava, Chloe, Ruby, etc) - but even if it doesn't come in your kid's name, I'd still recommend the generic version because the messaging is awesome, and it's a fun read.