Julia Reed is in love with New Orleans – the quirky people, the food, the laid-back lifestyle. She eventually marries and buys a house on St. Charles Street, and the book chronicles the trials and tribulations of renovations – which culminate in Hurricane Katrina.
The book provides a moving tribute to the people of New Orleans as they seek to re-establish their city and their homes after the hurricane. This is a must-read for anyone who has visited or wants to visit New Orleans.
Driving over Lemons: An Optimist in Andalucia, Chris Stewart
While Julia Reed is spending thousands of dollars having paint shipped from Farrow and Ball and buying Empire corner tubs and showers with three heads from the Waterworks catalogue, Chris Stewart is buying 37 sheep and constructing a bridge to a remote farmhouse in the Alpujarras mountain valley in southern Spain. Stewart relies on locals to teach him how to build a stone house, clean out the Roman water channels and harvest the olives. It’s hard to believe that such a remote, rural area still existed just a few years ago.
I particularly enjoyed this book because I will be spending three weeks in Andalucia in May. But I know I wouldn’t be prepared to live in such a rural area with so few modern conveniences. But then – there are no hurricanes in Andalucia.
See my earlier post for more books about Houses Around the World.