Sunday, January 30, 2011

"A Year in Provence" by Peter Mayle

Published: 1990 in US
Read: 2011
Genre: memoir
Setting: Provence, France
Rating: 4
Review: Bookgirl's Nightstand

I agreed with the reviews on the front and back of the book:

  • "Delightful."  (Washington Post)
  • "Get a glass of marc, lean back in your most comfortable chair, and spend a delicious year in Provence"  (George Lang)
  • "Stylish, witty, delightfully readable."  (The Sunday Times - London)
  • "I really loved this book."  (Julia Child)

- neighbor's winter meal
- Mistral
- stone table top
- truffle hunting
- goat race
- home repair and "Provence" time

About food:
"That night, we ate for England."

"Butchers, for instance, are not content merely to sell you meat.  They will tell you, at great length, while the queue backs up behind you, how to cook it, how to serve it, and what to eat and drink with it."

"But of course, he said, it is well know that the English kill their lamb twice; once when they slaughter it, and once when they cook it."

Great description of a neighbor
"His face was the color and texture of a hastily cooked steak, with a wedge of nose jutting out above a ragged, nicotine-stained mustache.  Pale blue eyes peered through a sprouting tangle of ginger eyebrows, and his decayed smile would have brought despair to the most optimistic dentist."

After a snow storm:
"Otherwise it was so still that, as Massot observed later, you could have heard a mouse fart."

What the French love the most - after food, of course:
"There is, however, a well-established ritual of respectable cheating which has the double attractions, so dear to every French heart, of saving money and screwing the government."

Dancing after much food and drink:
"I don't think it is given to many of us to witness fifty or sixty couples in the advanced stages of inebriation attempting the swoops and turns and heel-stamping flourishes of the true tango artist, and it was a sight I shall never forget."

Read his other books:
  • Toujours Provence
  • Encore Provence
  • A Dog's Life
  • French Lessons: Adventures with Knife, Fork and Corkscrew

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