Margarita Wednesdays: Making a New Life by the Mexican Sea


Deborah Rodriguez - 2014
    She first lands in California, where she feels like a misfit teetering on the brink of sanity. Where was that fearless redhead who stared danger in the face back in Kabul?After being advised to commune with glowworms and sit in contemplation for one year, Rodriguez finally packs her life and her cat into her Mini Cooper and moves to a seaside town in Mexico. Despite having no plan, no friends, and no Spanish, a determined Rodriguez soon finds herself swept up in a world where the music never stops and a new life can begin. Her adventures and misadventures among the expats and locals help lead the way to new love, new family, and a new sense of herself.In the magic of Mexico, she finds the hairdresser within, and builds the life she never knew was possible—a life on her own terms.

Voices of the Old Sea


Norman Lewis - 1984
    Voices of the Old Sea describes his three successive summers in that almost medieval community where life revolved around the seasonal sardine catches, Alcade's bar, and satisfying feuds with neighboring villages. It's lucky Lewis was there when he was. Soon after, Spain was discovered by its neighbors in a more prosperous northern Europe, and the tourist tide that ensued flowed inexorably over the old ways of the town and its inhabitants.

Black Lotus: A Woman's Search for Racial Identity


Sil Lai Abrams - 2016
    Out of her family, Sil Lai was the only one with a tousle of wild curls and brown skin. When she asked about her darker complexion, she was given vague answers. At fourteen, the man she knew her entire life as her birth-father divulged that Abrams was not his biological child, but instead the daughter of a man of African descent who didn’t know she existed. This shocking news sparked a quest for healing that would take her down the painful road to reclaim her identity despite the overt racism in her community and her own internalized racism and self-hatred. Abrams struggled with depression, abuse, and an addiction that nearly destroyed her. But eventually she would leave behind the shame over her birthright and move toward a celebration of her blackness. In Black Lotus, Abrams takes you on her odyssey filled with extreme highs and lows and the complexities of not only the black experience, but also the human one. This vivid story reexamines everything you think you know about racial identity while affirming the ability of the human spirit to triumph over tragedy. Ultimately, Black Lotus shines a light on the transformative power of truth and self-acceptance, and the importance of defining your personal identity on your own terms.

The French House: An American Family, a Ruined Maison, and the Village That Restored Them All


Don Wallace - 2014
    What they found when they arrived was a building in ruin, and it wasn't long before their lives resembled it. Plagued by emergency repairs, a stock market crash, and very exasperated French neighbors, the Wallace's could have accepted their fate. Instead, they embraced it. The French House is the delightfully amusing and picturesque memoir about a family who seized life, rose from the rubble, and built themselves a home away from home.

Can We Live Here?


Sarah Alderson - 2015
    Now, I am sleeping in kickers and a vest under a fan. Let the mosquitos bite me. They can have me ... Can we live here? ... If I don't become roadkill in the next few days, I'll let you know my thoughts. In 2009, Sarah and John Alderson quit their full-time jobs in London and headed off, with Alula, their three-year-old daughter, on a global adventure to find a new home. For eight months, they travelled through Australia, the US and Asia navigating India with a toddler in a tutu, battling black magic curses in Indonesia and encountering bears in North America asking themselves one defining question: Can We Live Here? Inspirational, hilarious and fascinating this is an unforgettable travel memoir and a unique guide to quitting your job, following your dreams and finding your home in a far-flung paradise

One Young Fool in Dorset


Victoria Twead - 2015
    Her childhood memories are vividly portrayed, leaving the reader chuckling and enjoying a warm sense of comfortable nostalgia. Photographs and recipes complement page after page of tales that burst with the rich vitality we have come to expect from Victoria Twead.

Confessions of a Hostie: True Stories of an International Flight Attendant


Danielle Hugh - 2012
    You might be surprised and shocked to discover many of the truths behind the lifestyle as well as the incidences and behaviour of passengers at 30,000 feet. In this updated edition, which features Chapter 1 of the sequel "More Confessions of a Hostie: The Second Sector," Danielle writes candidly, humorously and from the heart about life, love and her exploits around the world. From the slums of Mumbai to the glitz of New York there are as many highs and lows as take-offs and landings. Prepare for a turbulent ride of emotions and adventure, so place your seat upright, fasten your seatbelt and prepare for take-off. Danielle Hugh's passion for flying dazzles in this frank and amusing account of jet-setting around the globe. With almost 20 years in a unique working world, her juicy tales are often as shocking as they are colourful.

Only in Spain: A Foot-Stomping, Firecracker of a Memoir about Food, Flamenco, and Falling in Love


Nellie Bennett - 2012
    Tired of her boring retail job and longing to get closer to the authentic experience, she packs her suede dance shoes and travels to Seville, Spain. What Nellie didn't realize is that flamenco is not just a dance; it's a way of life. While there, she falls in love three times-with a smoky-eyed dance teacher, a tempestuous Gypsy, and with a handsome Basque chef-only to discover that it's the country that's held her heart all along.

The Yogurt Man Cometh


Kevin Revolinski - 2006
    Revolinski relates in candid style his encounters in a foreign culture, all told with an open mind and a sense of humor. An enjoyable read for anyone who has spent time in Turkey or who plans to do so.

Skin Deep: Tattoos, the Disappearing West, Very Bad Men, and My Deep Love for Them All


Karol Griffin - 2003
    When she walked into the Body Art Workshop in Laramie, Wyoming, she found what she was looking for: a culture on the fringe of polite society, complete with outlaw signature. Soon Karol was a full-time tattoo artist, an occasional outlaw, and a tattooed woman looking for love in all the wrong places. By the mid nineties, the West had been invaded by suburban culture; and tattoos had become a mass commodity of coolness, compelling Karol to go even farther to find the authentic outsiders she romanticized. She eventually hooked up with a real old-fashioned Wyoming outlaw, complete with felony convictions and outstanding warrants—which is how Karol wound up looking down the barrel of a gun held by a tattooed caricature of true love.

One Summer in France


Bev Spicer - 2013
    They are full of enthusiasm and the dazzling spirit of adventure that only seems possible when we are young. Essential swimwear is selected and Lipton’s vegetable oil is perfumed with patchouli for the perfect tan. They end up in Argelès-sur-Mer, on a campsite close to the coast and not far from the border with Spain. Every day brings new challenges: how to hold a meaningful conversation on a naturist beach, what to do about a precocious teenage stalker, how to transport a gallon of port on a moped… all of which they meet head-on, with dubious philosophy and irrepressible optimism. One Summer in France is a humorous tale based on a three-month study break the author took as part of her languages degree course at Keele University in 1979. ‘Would you do it all again?’ asked Carol.‘Like a shot!’ I said.And I would.

Palladian Days: Finding a New Life in a Venetian Country House


Sally Gable - 2005
    What she found and learned to love was a new life in a beautiful and celebrated Palladian villa in the countryside outside Venice. In Palladian Days, she takes us with her on a journey of discovery and transformation as she and her husband, Carl, become the bemused owners of Villa Cornaro, built in 1552 by the great Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio called by Town & Country one of the ten most influential buildings in the world.Sally Gable writes lovingly of the villa as she and Carl settle in and slowly uncover its history, the lives of its former inhabitants, and its architectural pleasures. She tells of her early days there, learning to speak Italian with the help of her engaging new neighbors in the tiny town that surrounds the villa, Piombino Dese, a place both traditional and busily modern with its old-fashioned street markets and its burgeoning economy.She writes with beguiling humor about learning to take care of a Renaissance palace with its 104 frescoes and 44 pairs of shutters (all of which have to be opened and closed daily). She tells of baffling encounters with the soprintendente di belle arti, who must give permission for even the smallest repair to the Italian national treasure Sally and Carl call home. And she describes the life she and her husband create for the villa itself, allowing it to be used for concerts, ballet performances, even as a movie set.In Palladian Days, we enter with Sally and Carl into their engrossing adventure, following along as they are woven ever more deeply into the fabric of small-town Italy and into its larger national history. Their story will delight travelers and would-be travelers; all who are fascinated by architecture, by art, by the powerful essence of place—and, especially, house-dreamers everywhere.

Made for You and Me: Going West, Going Broke, Finding Home


Caitlin Shetterly - 2011
    This fascination is driven by the ancient chemical forces that first drew humans and animals together. It is also the same biology that transformed wolves into dogs and skittish horses into valiant comrades that would carry us into battle.Made for Each Other is the first book to explain how this chemistry of attraction and attachment flows through -- and between -- all mammals to create the profound emotional bonds humans and animals still feel today. Drawing on recent discoveries from neuroscience, evolutionary biology, behavioral psychology, archeology, as well as her own investigations, Meg Daley Olmert explains why the brain chemistry humans and animals trigger in each other also has a profound effect on our mental and physical well being. This lively and original investigation asks what happens when the bond is severed. If thousands of years of caring for animals infused us with a biology that shaped our hearts and minds, do we dare turn our back on it? Daley Olmert makes a compelling and scientific case for what our hearts have always known, that we were, and always will be, made for each other.

A Cottage in Portugal


Richard Hewitt - 1996
    34 illustrations.

Vodka and Apple Juice


Jay Martin - 2018
    Between glamorous cocktail parties and ambassadorial shenanigans, Jay sets out to get to know quirky, difficult, fascinating Poland, with its impenetrable language and sometimes unfathomable customs.It’s a challenge even for an intrepid traveller with a willing heart. Not to mention a marriage that increasingly doesn’t look as if it will survive its third Polish winter.