Books set in France

Want to hear what living in France is like from an outsider’s perspective? Try these books –

Nonfiction
A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle (Provence)
A Movable Feast by Ernest Hemingway (Paris)
The Olive Farm by Carol Drinkwater (Provence)
The Piano Shop on the Left Bank by Thad Carhart (Paris)

Fiction
The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery (Paris)

Juvenile fiction with a lot of pictures

Do you have a child who is having a hard time reading? Do you want to transition them away from comic books to slightly more challenging material? Here’s a good starting place. These books (many are series) have many simply-drawn illustrations – some several per page.

Angleberger, Tom- Origami Yoda (series)
Bolling, Ruben- EMU club (series)
Brallier, Max- Galactic Hot Dogs (series)
Cronin, Doreen- Into the Wild
Fry, Michael- The Odd Squad (series)
Kinney, Jeff- Diary of a Wimpy Kid (series)
McMullan, Kate- School! Adventures at the Harvey N. Trouble elementary school
Patterson, James- Middle School (series)
Peirce, Lincoln- Big Nate (series)
Pilkey, Dav- Captain Underpants (series)
Pinchon, Liz- The Brilliant World of Tom Gates
Russell, Rachel Renee- The Dork Diaries (series)
Skye, Obert – Creature from my closet (series)
Smith, James- Barry Loser (series) includes “I am still not a loser” and “I am so over being a loser”
Stilton, Geronimo- Geronimo Stilton (series)
Watson, Tom- Stick Dog (series) and Stick Cat

My favorite children’s book illustrators

Sometimes I read children’s books for the art more than for the story. This is my current list of all the artists I love. This list will be added to as I find more.

Jill Barklem
Aaron Becker
Peter Brown
Ross Collins
Tim Egan
John S. Goodall
Stephanie Graegin
Michael Hall
John Hendrix
Holly Hobbie
Leigh Hodgkinson
Ayano Imai
Oliver Jeffers
Maira Kalman
Jon Klassen
Hilary Knight
Barbara Lehman
Jon Muth
Adam Rex
David Roberts
Dan Santat
Dr. Seuss
David Shannon
David Soman
Melissa Sweet
Chris Van Allsburg

Camino de Santiago books

The Camino: A Journey of the Spirit by Maclaine, Shirley

Fumbling: A Journey of Love, Adventure, and Renewal on the Camino de Santiago by Egan, Kerry

Paris to the Pyrenees: A Skeptic Pilgrim Walks the Way of Saint James by Downie, David

A different view of the Camino de Santiago by Watson, Bill

Buen Camino by Murtagh, Natasha
Off the Road: A Modern-Day Walk Down the Pilgrim’s Route into Spain by Hitt, Jack

Camino de Santiago (Footprint Handbooks) by Symington, Andy

Camino Lingo by Nóvoa, Reinette
The Pilgrimage to Santiago by Mullins, Edwin
Pilgrimage to the End of the World: The Road to Santiago de Compostela by Rudolph, Conrad
Sacred Travels: Recovering the Ancient Practice of Pilgrimage by George, Christian

 

 

I liked the ones by Hitt, Conrad, and Maclaine the most – but whatever you find will be the one you need to read.  The one by Hitt inspired the movie “The Way”.

Inspirational quotes

Everything will change. The only question is growing up or decaying. – Nikki Giovanni

We must go ahead and see for ourselves. – Jacques Cousteau

Life forms no logical patterns. It is haphazard and full of beauties – which I try to catch as they fly by, for who knows whether any of them will ever return? – Margot Fonteyn

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. – Frederick Douglass

Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase. Martin Luther King Jr.

One doesn’t discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time. Andre Gide

All change is a miracle to contemplate, but it is a miracle which is taking place every instant. Henry David Thoreau

To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it – but we must sail, and not drift, not lie at anchor. Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

The more you move, the stronger you’ll grow, not like a tree that can be killed if you uproot it.- Ha Jin

Begin at once to live, and count each separate day as a separate life. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Two changes to live… to live is to change…and not to change is to die. Tennessee Williams

Your hand opens and closes, opens and closes. If it were always a fist or always stretched open, you would be paralyzed. Rumi

The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences. Hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. – Chris McCandless

In three words, I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on. Robert Frost

As time passes we all get better at blazing a trail through the thicket of advice. – Margot Bennett

If the fish had stuck to its gills, there would have been no movement up to the land. Cynthia Ozick

There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning. Louis L’Amour

An infinite question is often destroyed by finite answers. To define everything is to annihilate much that gives us laughter and joy. Madeline L’Engle

Every intersection in the road of life is an opportunity to make a decision, and at some I had only to listen. Duke Ellington

The moment of change is the only poem. Adrienne Rich

Disconnecting from change does not recapture the past. It loses the future. Kathleen Norris

Our way is not soft grass, it’s a mountain path with lots of rocks. But it goes upwards, forward, toward the sun. Ruth Westheimer
Grief can take care of itself; but to get the full value of joy you must have somebody to divide it with. – Mark Twain

Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared. Buddha

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine. Proverbs 17:22

Laughter is the sun which drives winter from the human face. Victor Hugo

How truly is a kind heart a fountain of gladness, making everything in its vicinity freshen into smiles. Washington Irving

The supreme happiness of life is the conviction of being loved for yourself, or, more correctly speaking, loved in spite of yourself. Victor Hugo

Mirth is like a flash of lightning, that breaks through a gloom of clouds, and glitters for a moment; cheerfulness keeps up a kind of daylight in the mind, and fills it with a steady and perpetual serenity. Joseph Addison

… feel the stars and the infinite high and clear above you. Then life seems almost enchanted after all. Vincent Van Gogh

Joy is prayer, joy is strength, joy is love, joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls. Mother Teresa

There is no pleasure in having nothing to do, the fun is in having lots to do –
and not doing it. Mary Little

Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be. Abraham Lincoln

One cannot divine or forecast the conditions that will make happiness; one only stumbles upon them by chance, in a lucky hour, at the world’s end somewhere, and holds fast to the days, as to fortune or fame. Willa Cather

You won’t win until you learn how to lose. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Growth and self- transformation cannot be delegated Lewis Mumford

What we lack is not so much leisure to do as time to reflect and time to feel. Margaret Mead

The easiest way to avoid wrong notes is to never open your mouth and saying. What a mistake that would be. Joan Oliver Goldsmith

Every beginning is only a sequel, after all, and the book of events is always open halfway through. Wislawa Szymborska

We ought not to look back, unless it is to derive useful lessons from past errors. George Washington

Mistakes are part of the dues one pays for living a full life. Sophia Loren

The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations. Anaïs Nin

To assign unanswered letters their proper weight, to free us from the expectations of others, to give us back to ourselves -there lies the great, singular power of self-respect. Joan Didion

We know too much and feel too little. Bertrand Russell

Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim. Nora Ephron

The man who has lived most is not he who has numbered the most years, but he who has had the keenest sense of life. Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Each day, and the living of it, has to be a conscious creation in which discipline and order are relieved with some play and pure foolishness. May Sarton

We need other human beings in order to be human. Desmond Tutu

People are like bicycles. They can keep their balance only as long as they keep moving. Albert Einstein

Education is when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get if you don’t. Pete Seeger

Try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun. Julia Child

In the Book of Life, the answers aren’t in the back. Charles Schultz

It is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all. Laura Ingalls Wilder

To find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter; to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest, or over a wild flower in spring – these are some of the rewards of the simple life. John Burroughs

The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of nonessentials. – Lin Yutang

The art of art, the glory of expression and the sunshine of the light of letters, is simplicity. Walt Whitman

Simplify the problem of life: distinguish the necessary and the real. Probe the earth to see where your main roots run. Henry David Thoreau

Silence is more musical than any song. Christina Rossetti

Most of the luxuries, and many of these so-called comforts of life, are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind. Henry David Thoreau

I adore simple pleasures. They are the last refuge of the complex. Oscar Wilde

Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful. William Morris

Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity. Charlie Mingus

To be a lush carpet of pine needles or spongy grass is more welcome than the most luxurious Persian rug. Helen Keller

Reduce the complexity of life by eliminating the needless wants of life, and the labors of life reduce themselves. Edwin Way Teale

Learn to wish that everything may happen as it does. Epictetus

Do what you can, with what you’ve got, where you are. Theodore Roosevelt

Look at your feet. You were standing in the sky. When we think of the sky, we tend to look up, but the sky actually begins at the earth…We breathe it deep within us. Diane Ackerman

Go not abroad for happiness. For see! It is a flower that blossoms by thy door. Minot J Savage

Being is sufficient. Being is All. The cheerful, sunny self you are missing will return, as it always does, but only being will bring it back. Alice Walker

And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. Khalil Gibran

Happiness, not in another place but this place … not for another hour, but this hour. Walt Whitman

…those who do not observe the movements of their own minds must of necessity be unhappy. Marcus Aurelius

Learn to be quiet enough to hear the sound of the genuine within yourself, so that you can hear it in other people. Marian Wright Edelman

Strange as it may seem today to say, the aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware. Henry Miller

The breeze of grace is always blowing on you, but you have to unfurl your sails. Sri Ramakrishna

Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes. Carl Jung

Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around us in awareness. James Thurber

You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after. J.R.R. Tolkien

Only if we understand, can we care. Only if we care, will we help. Only if we help, shall all be saved. Jane Goodall

The softest thing in the universe overcomes the hardest. Lao Tzu

Sometimes people say unkind or thoughtless things. When they do, it is best to be a little hard of hearing. Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectations of reward, save that one day someone might do the same for you. Diana Spencer, Princess of Wales

From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life. Arthur Ashe

Compassion will cure more sins than condemnation. Henry Ward Beecher

The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own. Benjamin Disraeli

We must understand ourselves before we can respect ourselves. We must respect ourselves before we can win the respect of others. Pearl S Buck

Art is a lie that makes us realize truth. Pablo Picasso

Time has no divisions to mark its passage; there is never a thunderstorm to announce the beginning of the new year. Even when a new century begins it is only we mortals who ring bells and fire off pistols. Thomas Mann

I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you can see all kinds of things you can’t see from the center. Kurt Vonnegut

Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old. Franz Kafka

It is a narrow mind which cannot look at a subject from various points of view. George Eliot

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. Oscar Wilde

Better keep yourself clean and bright: you are the window through which you must see the world. George Bernard Shaw

A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life. Mohammed Ali

The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes. Marcel Proust

Drop by drop is the pitcher filled. Buddha

Patient serves as protection against wrongs as clothes do against cold. Leonardo da Vinci

Nothing great is produced suddenly. Epictetus

The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself. Anna Quindlen

Little drops of water wear down big stones. Russian proverb

Little strokes fell great oaks. Benjamin Franklin

The best way out is always through. Robert Frost

It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer. Albert Einstein

Genius is only a greater aptitude for patience . Georges-Louis LeClerc de Buffon

The one at peace sleeps pleasantly having abandoned victory and defeat. Buddha

The greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances. Martha Washington

Never look at what you have lost; look at what you have left. Robert Schuller

You will never be able to escape from your heart. So it’s better to listen to what it has to say. Paulo Coelho

The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance; the wise grows it under his own feet. James Oppenheim

One must view the world through the eye I n one’s heart rather than just trust the eyes in one’s head. Mary Crow Dog

It’s hard to fight an enemy who has outposts in your head. Sally Kempton

A thousand words leave not the same deep print as does a single deed. Henrik Ibson

It’s more fun to be a pirate than to join the Navy. Steve Jobs

I don’t believe that life is supposed to make you feel good, or to make you feel miserable either. Life is just supposed to make you feel. Gloria Naylor

You can’t be brave if you’ve only had wonderful things happen to you. Mary Tyler Moore

Take as a gift whatever the day brings forth. Horace

When you drink the water, remember the well. Chinese proverb

The critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude. GK Chesterton

It isn’t enough to talk about peace; one must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it; one must work at it. Eleanor Roosevelt

However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light. Stanley Kubrick

Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the ability to cope with conflict by peaceful means. Ronald Reagan

He has great tranquility of heart who cares for neither praise nor blame. Thomas A Kempis

Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer. William S Burroughs

Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding. Albert Einstein

Go within every day and find the inner strength so that the world will not blow your candle out. Katherine Dunham

There is no way to peace; peace is the way. Mahatma Gandhi

Do you work, then step back. The only path to serenity. Lao Tzu

None but ourselves can free our minds. Bob Marley

“Home” resources

What does “home” mean? When is “progress” a step backwards? If we are building for a community in need, we must consult the community to see what it values. What about co-housing – sharing resources?

—-Movies—

The Pruitt-Igoe myth. Housing project in St Louis.

Surviving Progress. Overconsumption, environmental collapse.

The Human Scale. Architect Jan Gehl. Cities for people – human sized, meant for livabilit

Tomorrow we disappear. India slums rehab. Doing for people (the poor) versus doing to people.

Commune. About Black bear ranch. Features Peter Coyote

Urbanized. Documentary by Gary Hustwit about design. “Who is allowed to shape our cities, and how do they do it? And how does the design of our cities affect our lives?” (from the description)

Blackout. “The lights went out and all hell broke loose” – about the chaos that followed the July 13, 1977 New York City blackout. Haves and have-nots.

“10 that changed America” – 10 homes, parks, and towns that changed our nation. Urban design, relationship of environment upon the people who live in it. Shaping people by where they live.

A Convenient Truth: Urban Solutions from Curitiba, Brazil

—-Books—

“Pocket Neighborhoods: Creating Small-Scale Community in a Large-Scale World” by Chapin, Ross

“A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction” by Alexander, Christopher W.

“Microshelters: 59 Creative Cabins, Tiny Houses, Tree Houses, and Other Small Structures” by Diedricksen, Derek

Books that wish they were apps.

Perhaps there are too many kids growing up with books that are digital. They don’t know how to appreciate a book that doesn’t move or make noise.

Here is a list of books that think they are apps. They don’t beep or wiggle, but they are interactive, nonetheless. They are all picture books.

“Mix it Up!” by Herve Tullet

“Press Here” by Herve Tullet

“Tap the Magic Tree” by Christie Matheson

“Touch the Brightest Star” by Christie Matheson

“Shake to Assemble” by Calliope Glass

“Look” by Edouard Manceau