Archive for the ‘Book’ Category


Just heard from Janice Nagourney, an American living in Marseille who has published ‘A Forgery in Paris’, the first book in a series entitled French Deception.

She writes: ‘When an old school friend is mugged after taking photographs at a wealthy magazine publisher’s chateau, a French-American translator teams up with a disgruntled FBI agent to infiltrate a violent organized crime operation in a landscape of villas and galleries, navigating a lethal atmosphere of art, money and murder’.

The following books continue Janice Nagourney’s series with novels focusing on the growing romance between the two leads, Alex and Eugene, as they push into a web of organized crime in the art world in Lyon, Marseille and Toulouse.

Janice tells me the next three books are completed. ‘I believe the Lyon book will be out next spring, with the Marseille and Toulouse books to follow. I’m working on the fifth book right now: it will take place in Marseille and Montenegro’.  Prolific!

More info: http://www.janicenagourney.com

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British author Anna Hope (‘Wake’, ‘The Ballroom’) will be in Aix later this month to present her latest work, ‘The White Rock’.  (more…)

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A couple of ideas here for the coming weekend. (more…)

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‘Lee Miller Photographe Professionelle’  focuses on one of the most intense and productive periods in the life of this intriguing (*) American photographer (1907–1977).


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Happy Birthday to Cezanne

Happy Birthday Paul Cezanne…183 today!

An event today in Aix will celebrate this birthday. Painter and writer Jacky Chabert who has published several books on Aix and Cezanne with Editions Desbaumes, will be signing his latest works ‘P.Cezanne aquarelliste’ and ‘Paul Cezanne, le temps d’un Abécédaire’. The great-grandson of the painter, Philippe Cezanne will attend. Today, 15h – 18h, Hotel des Augustins, rue de la Masse, Aix.

If you are new to Aix and seek further acquaintance with the town’s most famous artist, here are some suggestions. (more…)

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Many of you will be familiar with the series of mystery novels set in and around Aix by locally-based Canadian author M.L. Longworth.  Each one brings a fresh challenge to Antoine Verlaque, investigating judge in Aix, with his romantic partner lawyer Marine Bonnet, who together track down the villains through vineyards, the Provencal countryside and the atmospheric streets of centre ville.


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There’s also a section of advice on driving locally with tips on car-hire, negotiating French roundabouts and peages, all pretty useful according to M. Aixcentric.

So, this is a fun personal introduction to the western part of Provence for newbies, and any one of the couple’s favourite outings could really add happiness to your holiday.

From Amazon $9.99, or $5.99 on Kindle.



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Delighted to say that my book Aix-en-Provence The Inside Story is being re-issued, brought up to date and now in colour throughout.  It ‘s 8 years since it was first published and I believe I am right in saying that it’s still the only book to cover the story of this fascinating town in English.

Where to buy it:  from http://www.lulu.com if you aren’t in Aix; but if you are, you can pick up a copy from Book-in-Bar in rue Joseph Cabassol. https://www.bookinbar.com/  Copies will be available from next week – call 04 42 26 60 07 to check.

It just remains to wish you all a happy and healthy summer as Aixcentric takes its annual break!







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Sometimes the best guide through history’s complications is a well-researched piece of fiction, and this is certainly the case with ‘The Art of Losing’ by Alice Zeniter, a novel which follows a family uprooted from 50s Algeria to an unwelcoming new life in France.

Spanning three generations across 70 years, the novel tells the story of colonisation and immigration, and how people adjust to loss.  In it, grandaughter Naima goes to Algeria herself to understand why her grandfather Ali went from being a wealthy landowner to being an immigrant factory-worker in a French sink estate.

It won the Prix Goncourt des Lycéens and the Prix Littéraire du Monde, and has just come out in English (hard back).  ‘A startling exploration of the unspoken histories of the Algerian war’, Le Monde. 

I found it riveting and it helped me understand more of this complex period.  On a local note, Ali’s journey takes him through the south of France as he and his family are billeted at Jouques.  Recommended.

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Next year, a 19.2m euro, 3-year renovation will begin at the Cité du Livre: what is planned and what will happen to those famous books (see photo)? (more…)

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