There are three books that explore the cultural ways of the French countryside not indulging in a romanticized view of a region popularly praised by its gorgeous everything. Though humorous and sometimes poignant, they talk of France with respect and kindness.

Notes from the Languedoc by Rupert Wright is a humorous approach to the history and the culture of the region from an insider point of view (Wright’s family actually lives on a farm in the region). The book will give you details about the intricacies of French food and wine.

In Signs of the Heart: Love and Death in Languedoc, Christopher Hope portrays the region as a kaleidoscope of marginal characters that come from all over Europe to create this weird community in the historical Langue doc. Hope taps on the region’s conflictive history and rebellious tradition as the backdrop for this contemporary weirdo characters who mingle with Langue doc traditional characters. It plays as a social commentary to the complexity of French Modern countryside.

Finally, Terry Darlington takes us with Narrow Dog to Carcassone, into his and his wife’s voyage from Staffordshire to Carcassonne cruising the canals in their boat. Darlington amuses the reader with his descriptions of the landscape and the people they come across in their adventurous trip.