Book Review: A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle

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A year in Provence is some sort of a personal memoir written by Peter Mayle.

Describing how his first year living in the French countryside had turned out to be for him and his wife. In which such details were divided into twelve chapters in the book – from January to December.

Actually this decision was something that both of them had been wanting to do. To retire early, and to live a simple life in a small town community. So they’ve packed most of their important belongings and moved into an old farmhouse in the Luberon mountains between Avignon and Aix.

But on their first month in Provence, they were welcomed by the cold winter season. Plus, the house needs a lot of improvements. Which was truly a real struggle for them, and an experience that they were not used to since they usually come to visit the place during the tourist season.

However, despite all of that, Peter and his wife really knew for sure that everything is really going to be worth it. Because Provence is the kind of place that really attracts its visitors of its stunning views of the mountains including its surrounding farms and its vineyards. Another thing is that there’s just something quaint and vintage about its small villages that it tends to feel like you’re on the other side of the world.

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So why do I have an idea about a place that I still haven’t got that chance to visit (but seriously been wanting to)?

Well, before I’ve decided to read the book, I had to make sure that I will have an overview of Provence. So I had to see the film adaptation of Good Year (a novel also written by Peter Mayle) in order to properly visualize this famous countryside, and also to get an idea of some of the important details that might be mentioned in the book – like their usual greetings, the culture of its community, and also their local dishes.

Then by the time I started reading it, I was entirely fascinated by the author’s writing style, for it was very detailed, affable to read, informative, and simply captivating. And even if this was written for almost three decades ago, and that times have already changed since then, I still think that this book is a wonderful reference for anyone who has any plans of visiting France, specifically Provence. In addition to that, it has also a very thorough seasonal account of the place, including those highly recommended restaurants to dine into, and not the usual and overrated restaurants for its tourist.

A year may seem like a short period of time, but a lot has happened since Peter Mayle and his wife had decided to live abroad, and experienced the real charms and frustrations of living a Provencal life, because they’ve truly fallen in love with the place; its people, the food, and how they’ve taken such importance of leading a quiet and meaningful life.

For someone who’ve been wanting to visit France one day, I’ve felt a real connection while reading the author’s personal account of his experiences in living there. And for one moment, it was like I was actually in Provence – living the dream.

Hopefully, one day, I’ll have the chance to go to this breathtaking and beautiful countryside.

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It was a very insightful one to read. In addition to that, I’ve also learned that the author wrote this book so that its readers may know that there’s more to Provence than what we tend to hear from those people who’ve already visited there. Well, of course, it’s a very stunning place. But it’s the kind of a countryside in where its local knows the importance of living a good life and eating a good food with your loved ones. And it’s not about being lazy, it’s just that these people just knew what they truly want in choosing to live a quality life with your friends and family.

The kind of book that after reading will leave all of its readers wanting for more, because getting into the world of Peter Mayle is like they’re on a year-long vacation from France, and would love to extend their stay there.

By the way, if you want a copy of this book. You can buy it online with a free shipping worldwide at Book Depository.

Well, that’s it for now, and till my next book review.

Thank you so much for reading!

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The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy (Book Review)

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A very unconventional memoir that was written by a journalist of The New Yorker named Ariel Levy. It’s a book that gives its readers a glimpse of who she is; her point of view, an insight about herself, her frustrations, opinions, ideas, and all the notions about her true self in this modern world. In which by the way makes this book quite refreshing and honest to read.

Although, I have no idea of who she is since I’ am a Filipino reader, and the only reason that I’ve decided to read this one was because I’ve been hearing such good reviews about her book especially from fellow Goodreads members, celebrities, and other famous public figures. So it was just all out of curiosity that made me chose this one in my reading list.

Then after getting unto her memoir, I was a bit surprised and slightly uncomfortable at first when I’ve already gotten to that part when it was revealed that she’s a diverse type of woman. But despite the fact of about her, I’m still glad that I chose to read this one. The reason is that I’ am quite fascinated by the author’s writing skills, for it was somewhat impeccable and affable to understand. Then I was also enamored by her being so truthful and bold for writing this one.

Well I’m not sure if she’s a feminist or what, but I truly admire her, because through her words, she was able to point it out into the world the things that she truly believes in. Furthermore, she is someone with her own principles in life. And one of my most favorite part in the book was when she was describing about it on how it feels like to be a millennial woman; shedding its readers some light on how a female tend to perceive things specifically during their 20’s and 30’s.

So now that I already know what the fuss was all about. I would most certainly say that this is a book that one should truly recommend to every fellow readers out there. A memoir that talks about being an unconventional woman in today’s modern society. An inspiration for every feminist.

But I have to remind you that as reader, you really need to be more open-minded before getting into a glimpse of Ms. Ariel Levy’s world. For there are certain issues that she had shared that you might find a bit sensitive especially for some people of different cultures and traditions.

It may seem to be that way, but this is a wonderful lesson to each and every one of us that we shouldn’t be too judgmental; but to be more kind, respectful, and understanding particularly to those who are in between in terms of their own struggles and sexuality, and you might think that they are different, but, they are also a human being who truly deserves such fair and just treatment in our society.

A sincere and real equality for all.

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And by the way, here are the following quotes that has intrigued me while reading the book:

“There is nothing I love more than traveling to a place where I know nobody, and where everything will be a surprise, and then writing about it. It’s like having a new lover—even the parts you aren’t crazy about have the crackling fascination of the unfamiliar.”

“Nature. Mother Nature. She is free to do whatever she chooses.”

“What does it mean to be a woman? What are the rules? What are your options and encumbrances? I wanted to tell stories that answered, or at least asked, those questions.”

“Character is who you are when nobody else is watching,”

“It is a still stranger thing that there is nothing so delightful in the world as telling stories.”

Well, that it’s for now.
Till my next book review.
Thank you so much for reading! 😊✌🏻

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl (Book Review)

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Anne Frank’s extraordinary diary, written in the Amsterdam attic where she and her family hid from the Nazis for two years, has become a world classic and a timeless testament to the human spirit. Now, in a new edition enriched by many passages originally withheld by her father, we meet an Anne more real, more human, and more vital than ever. Here she is first and foremost a teenage girl—stubbornly honest, touchingly vulnerable, in love with life. She imparts her deeply secret world of soul-searching and hungering for affection, rebellious clashes with her mother, romance and newly discovered sexuality, and wry, candid observations of her companions. Facing hunger, fear of discovery and death, and the petty frustrations of such confined quarters, Anne writes with adult wisdom and views beyond her years. Her story is that of every teenager, lived out in conditions few teenagers have ever known.

Summary by Goodreads.com

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Oh what a mind of a young girl! Well, I understand Anne Frank’s views of the world. For she was only young but there is also a sense of maturity within her every time I go further into reading her diary. In which I tend to feel like I’m being transported into her world. A world where there was so much fear, pain, hatred, and suffering. But even if that were the case, she still believes it to be a beautiful place to live into.

Actually, reading the first half of the book was sort of dragging for me. The reason is that Anne seems so childish! And I was like “What is wrong with this girl?”

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But I was totally wrong about her. For when I was into the second half of the book. That’s when I’ve realized that despite all the negative things that keeps on happening around her – inside and outside the Annex. She still remains to be more positive and strong; encouraging herself to stay firm no matter what. Moreover, I truly admire her for being so true to her faith in God, and believes that there is a divine purpose as to why such things just keeps on happening into her life. A young girl with a beautiful mind and a true heart.

So as I’ve finally reached into the last few dates of her diary, I was getting way more intrigued especially since I’ve already known what had happened to her. But what I wanted to know was her thoughts during her last few days at the Annex before they were captured. And as ever, I was totally surprised to all the things that she has written into her diary.

And when I’ve finished reading the book, I was utterly speechless. Moreover, I had a hard time sleeping that night. I guess, my heart was truly aching for a child in which the world has deprived her of the chance to live it as to the way as she wanted to be. But it was not given to her; so painful and so sad.

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Also, her diary has made me appreciate my life even more; though each and every one of us experiences such different kinds of sufferings into this world. But hers was a kind of suffering that I myself wouldn’t know if I have the strength and courage to experience, especially after she and her family were captured; their experience during their captivity were far too painful than the ones that they’ve encountered inside the Annex. Plus, I still have goose bumps whenever I think about it.

Oh Anne Frank, thank you so much for sharing into the world your innermost and positive thoughts; the idea of to appreciate life every single day. Although, there were some things that were written that were a bit shocking. But now that I think about it, it’s quite normal to think that way. For we are only humans, and that we are perfectly imperfect. And lastly, you’ve truly shown us that despite all of your sufferings into this world, you were truly true to yourself and to God.

Thank you so much for reading! 🙂

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