Riviera Reporter
Riviera Reporter


Books and Guides relevant to France or the Riviera.

Ben Rolfe book cover

Running High, Running Low, Running Long by Ben Rolfe

Riviera Reporter | Aug 14, 2016
We first mentioned Monaco-based Ben Rolfe in the summer of 2014 (On a Rolfe. Fundraising for Diabetes), after his daughter Alice had been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes from a finger prick test. Ben was about to embark on a 230-kilometre…
The Forgotten Summer book cover

Interview with Carol Drinkwater, the bee’s knees

Barth Hulley | May 03, 2016
Barth Hulley sits down with author Carol Drinkwater to discuss writing, racism and pollinators. Carol Drinkwater is best known for her nonfiction best seller Olive Farm series, with over a million copies sold worldwide. Her latest foray into…
English Book Centre, front of shop

The English Book Centre, just around the 17th-century corner in Valbonne

Riviera Reporter | Apr 21, 2016
Snuggled in the pretty medieval village of Valbonne, with a population of 9,500, an unassuming bookshop has quietly become an icon of the expat community and the French Riviera. For nearly four decades, the English Book Centre (EBC) has been selling…
Hugh Fraser

Hugh Fraser talks about his new book “Harm”, will be signing copies in Antibes

Nick Kent | Dec 01, 2015
Inspector Poirot called him Captain ‘Astings, and the French sleuth would be proud to know that his faithful if sometimes clueless friend had finally solved a mystery. Hugh Fraser, who played Captain Hastings alongside David Suchet in the classic TV…
Peter Bills

400 Words at 5.30 with Nannies: Inside the Lost World of Sports Journalism by Peter Bills

Riviera Reporter | Sep 19, 2015
What on earth is it about the French? We live in among them, hugely enjoy their company, marvel at their food and our taste buds salivate at their wines. But do we really know them? Not in a million years, believes English sports writer Peter Bills.…
Paperback and glasses

VendrediLecture, one for the books on social media

Elodie Peyrano | Aug 25, 2015
Let’s be honest, between social networking and apps, it seems like people are spending more time crushing candies and less time reading. But don’t despair; VendrediLecture (VL) has come along to remind us that reading is still cool. This wonderful…
Barth Hulley

Freelance in France by Barth Hulley

Barth Hulley | Jul 06, 2015
If you’re planning to try something new, like jump out of an aeroplane with a silk sheet tied to your back, then you’d be wise to seek a bit of advice on how to do it – before you do it. Now imagine your “jump coach”, the guy behind you on the…
Fenella Holt

Fenella Holt opens a new English bookshop in Antibes

Nick Kent | Jan 22, 2015
Fenella Holt looks over towards the snowy peaks of the Maritime Alps, lit by the last rays of the winter sun. “I can’t imagine ever wanting to go back to London," she says. “I’ve been in Antibes six years now, and I love it.” Fenella, 54, has…
Shakespeare and Company Bookstore

The Shakespeare and Company Bookstore in Paris

Margo Lestz | Jan 16, 2015
For any book-lover, the Shakespeare and Company bookstore in Paris is a must-see. It’s been the centre of the English-speaking literary community there for sixty years. Located just across the Seine from Notre Dame, it’s housed in a crooked 17th…
Hidden Assets

Hidden Assets by Alan Watson

Nancy Heslin | Dec 27, 2014
Alan Watson started life in a small southern UK town, Swindon. “Not at all exciting,” he tells the Reporter, “unless you like trains, car factories and real ale pubs.” A sales director position in a London advertising agency took Alan to every…
Heidi and Antibes Books

Heidi's English Bookshop, Antibes Books, is closing its doors

Riviera Reporter | Dec 08, 2014
The story starts in a cupboard in the Old Town of Antibes. Heidi Lee, children’s author and one-time actress, had discovered this particularly attractive part of the South of France with her husband, Brian Loughran. What it seemed to lack was a…
Jenny Colgan

Why bestselling Jenny Colgan’s a write-off for the French

Elodie Peyrano | Nov 05, 2014
Between the Scottish mist and the endless sun of the French Riviera, there is a thin line. Like her compatriot Robert Louis Stevenson, award-winning author Jenny Colgan said goodbye to her beautiful native country to settle in the South of France,…
Graham Lord

Graham Lord's full life: Lord of the Files

Philip Irwin | Apr 29, 2014
Graham Lord boasts a journalistic career spanning 50 years, and his book, Lord of the Files, attempts to give readers a cross-section of his output. It’s no easy task, as Mr Lord has written 19 books, plus newspaper articles too numerous to count.…
Patricia Sands

The Promise of Provence, Patricia Sands on home exchange

Riviera Reporter | Apr 13, 2014
Secrets of success for a serial swapper Romance and travel are intertwined in Patricia Sands’ latest novel The Promise of Provence. The heroine, Katherine, pitches up amongst the summer sunflowers and lavender fields of the South of France. On the…
Siri Khalsa

Monaco turns the page: BOMO Book Boutique

Riviera Reporter | Feb 23, 2014
After 25 years of selling books Jane France shut the doors of Scruples bookshop in Monaco in 2008. Then Cat’s Whiskers in Nice closed, leaving an ever-bigger hole on the Riviera English-language bookshelf for those living east of Antibes. But good…
Paris Night

Paris Night: A political thriller with many layers

Riviera Reporter | Oct 11, 2013
At 586 pages, Paris Night (UK: MarbleJoe) might be a tad heavy for toting to the beach, but its weightiness will certainly keep your towel from being blown away. (There is a lighter Kindle version for €6.) Conspiracy, terror, money, murder and sex…
Piu Marie Eatwell

Interview with Piu Marie Eatwell, author of They Eat Horses Don’t They?

Nancy Heslin | Sep 22, 2013
The Riviera Reporter interviews Piu Marie Eatwell, author of They Eat Horses Don’t They? The Truth About the French (UK: Head of Zeus), her first non-fiction book. Riviera Reporter: Did one specific “myth” plant the seed for They Eat Horses, or was…
They Eat Horses Don't They?

They Eat Horses Don’t They? The Truth About the French

Nancy Heslin | Sep 13, 2013
The French: facts without friction When I read the press release that accompanied Piu Marie Eatwell’s book They Eat Horses Don’t They? The Truth About the French (UK: Head of Zeus) – “she worked as a lawyer, a BBC television producer and a teacher”…
Book: France On Two Wheels

France on Two Wheels: Six Long Bike Rides for the Bon Vivant Cyclist

PJ Heslin | Aug 20, 2013
How to enjoy French food and lose weight With France on Two Wheels: Six Long Bike Rides for the Bon Vivant Cyclist (UK: Short Books) Adam Ruck has written a travel book that is equally informative as it is enjoyable. All three of Ruck’s passions are…

L’Auberge: A real “inn” to French living

Nancy Heslin | Aug 09, 2013
Teaching English as a Foreign Language, Julia Stagg has lived in Australia, Japan and the US, although her time in Charlotte, North Carolina, was thanks to her husband’s work. When the two finally returned to the UK, they decided to develop a…
War Taxi, Peace Taxi

War Taxi, Peace Taxi by Raymond Gatti

Patrick Middleton | Mar 17, 2013
There are some professions whose members are rarely boring: policemen, hotel managers and taxi drivers. A good example of an engaging cabbie is Raymond Gatti whose memoirs, originally published in French, have now come out in English as War Taxi,…
The Spy She Loved by John Hefford

The Spy She Loved by John Hefford

Patrick Middleton | Mar 07, 2013
Paris in the spring of 1968 An agreeable way of learning history. A love story and thriller set in Paris during the May 1968 student riots which brought France to a standstill. Based on real events and with a surprise revelation.“Everyone,” so the…
Bon Courage

Bon Courage, Les Anglais by Peter and Christine Wakefield

Riviera Reporter | Feb 27, 2013
An everyday story of (expat) country folk Since Peter Mayle set the ball rolling there's grown up a large literature of British expat accounts of life in France. Many of these are so much pastis-flavoured mush, useless to anyone thinking of trying…
Med Home Blues

Mediterranean Homesick Blues by Ben Chatfield

Karen Hockney | Feb 20, 2013
Little did Ben Chatfield realise almost 20 years ago that his adventures during a gap year on the Côte d’Azur would one day form the basis of a hilarious coming of age tale about his on/off love affair with France.Set in 1994, Mediterranean Homesick…
CarfaxParlezVous 300

The Routledge Dictionary of Cultural References in Modern French

Patrick Middleton | Aug 07, 2012
A new dictionary that seeks to catch “the hidden cultural dimensions of French” A few weeks back in the House of Commons David Cameron put down an uppity woman Labour MP with the words “Calm down, dear”. A French reader of the English press may have…
Guides S'Installer Nice

Settling in with the AVF and a helpful read

Riviera Reporter | Jun 27, 2012
Les Guides S’Installer à Nice Côte d’Azur (France: Héliopoles) is part of a series of “anti-tourist guides” – also available for Paris, Lyon and Marseille – released in association with AVFs across the country. Very attractively designed, these…
Julian Hale's "The French Riviera"

The French Riviera: A Cultural History by Julian Hale

Patrick Middleton | Jun 25, 2012
There’s more to the French Riviera than sun, sea and shady people. Indeed. It’s long been a cultural centre of great importance ... and that’s an interesting story Julian Hale’s The French Riviera: A Cultural History (UK: Signal Books) is one of…
The Diamond Queen

The Diamond Queen by Andrew Marr

Patrick Middleton | May 28, 2012
Graciousness, decency and protective silence A few months ago a writer in The Economist remarked that for most of her subjects the Queen is as mysterious a being as a unicorn. That is true in that, largely by her own intent, little has been revealed…
Castro and Stockmaster

The Riviera’s history man, Michael Nelson

Patrick Middleton | Feb 13, 2012
There’s a constant flow of books about this region, ranging from dreary helpings of pastis-flavoured mush to works of genuine historical and social interest. These latter offer a rewarding task to the reviewer and I recall with pleasure Michael…
book cover

Going Dutch in Beijing by Mark McCrum

Nancy Wilson | Jan 10, 2012
Two American men are sitting on a beach when a scantily-clothed beauty lays down to suntan in front of them. One says to the other, “You know, in some European countries, it’s legal for women to go topless at the beach.” Both men smile in thought.…
book cover

The Discovery of France by Graham Robb

Patrick Middleton | Jan 10, 2012
An unusual take on French history Brits are attracted to living in France, says Marie-Martine Aguer, who has been studying their motivations, in part by what they think of as a traditional rural landscape and way of life which has largely…
book cover

Americans and the Making of the Riviera by Michael Nelson

Patrick Middleton | Jan 10, 2012
Patrick Middleton has been reading a new book about Americans on the Coast Michael Nelson made his debut in the field of what could be called Anglo-Riviera history with his book Queen Victoria and the Discovery of the Riviera. Some time after that…
book cover

Queen Victoria and the Discovery of the Riviera by Michael Nelson

Riviera Reporter | Jan 10, 2012
Victoria's secret: "Dear Cimiez" Princess Diana is reputed to have dismissed the Riviera as a "vulgar" place where she couldn't possibly have lived and she visited it very rarely. This was not at all the opinion of her husband's great-great-great…
book cover

Grace by Robert Lacey

Riviera Reporter | Jan 10, 2012
Grace: Inward and Outward A couple of years ago I had lunch with Robert Lacey in Nice. He had taken a generous advance from his publisher for a biography of Princess Grace of Monaco, had already used up a large chunk of it and had got almost…
married couple

Intercultural Marriage, Promises And Pitfalls: a new book about mixed marriages

Jill Penton-Browne | Jan 10, 2012
"Look, Jean-Paul, I don’t want to go to your family for lunch again this Sunday … ” Jill Penton-Browne has been reading a new book about mixed marriages Mixed marriages are a delicate subject. When I wrote about them here some time back I got an…
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