Readers' Room

Livermore Reads Together 2015

Livermore Reads Together (LRT) is the library's annual community-wide event that occurs each February. The City of Livermore is encouraged to read the same book and participate in the free LRT events for children, teens, and adults.  LRT aims to boost community engagement with literature through reading and discussion.

The 9th annual LRT event will feature the charming book A Good Year, as voted on by the community. Join us for a spirited celebration of Peter Mayle’s enchanting novel. The event kickoff is January 25th, 2015, at the Civic Center Library with a panel of wine experts and a wine-related art exhibit. Throughout the month of February 2015, the library will host a series of great programs related to France and wine!

Book copies of A Good Year will be available at the library’s three locations, as will the LRT 2015 event schedule. All LRT events and programs are free and open to the public.  Many thanks to the Friends of the Livermore Library for generously supporting LRT 2015 and making it possible.  Cheers!  À votre santé!

A Good Year by Peter Mayle

 
Peter Mayle’s enduring love for Provence takes center stage in his 2004 novel A Good Year, which tells the story of Max Skinner, a London financial agent turned vintner. As Max's professional life falls apart, he receives notice of an inheritance in Provence, France. Abandoning London and the world of finance, Max sets off to become a gentleman winemaker. Once there he takes in the local scenery and women, including Nathalie Auzet, the notaire handling the property transfer, and Fanny, the vivacious owner of the local bistro. Although enjoying his new life, there are complications and Max realizes the wine label he inherited, Le Griffon, is virtually undrinkable. Max must find a solution to the problems inherent in producing a wine that nobody wants to drink. Author Peter Mayle told NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday host, Liane Hansen, of the research he conducted, “I had to sample, you know, copiously…and I'm lucky enough to have friends and neighbors who make wine, and so I hung around with them for a long time. And it was much better than, you know, peering around in a library doing your research. It was just terrific fun.”

Book club discussion questions for A Good Year.

About the Author

   
Peter Mayle was born in 1939 in Brighton, East Sussex, England, and worked in advertising in London and New York City for many years. In 1975, he retired from advertising in order to write books. During the nascent years of his new career, Mayle penned several nonfiction books for young readers, including Where Did I Come From? The Facts of Life Without Any Nonsense. The book is still in print and has been translated into 17 languages. But Mayle wanted to move beyond the birds and the bees, so he set his sights on writing fiction for adults. In 1986, Mayle and his wife sold their house in England and moved to a mas, or ancient stone farmhouse, in the Luberon mountains in Provence.

Instead of writing a novel, however, Mayle wrote A Year in Provence, an account of his new life in the rural south of France and a celebration of the region’s sun, culture, and cuisine. Mayle says, "What I like best about the people in Provence is their joie de vivre. They'll always take the time to have a drink, to look at something beautiful, even if it's only a sunset." Mayle describes the writing of his first book as a “nearly effortless” experience, and when A Year in Provence was published in 1989, it shot to the top of best seller lists in both England and the United States. In her review of the book, New York Times Book Review contributor Betty Fussell wrote, “Like a good host, Mayle entertains us with course after course of comic characters.” Toujours Provence, the sequel to A Year in Provence, is a collection of essays in which Mayle revisits familiar Provençal characters and scenes. Mayle has continued to sing the praises of Provence in nonfiction books, such as Encore Provence and French Lessons, and in novels, such as Hotel Pastis and A Good Year.

Mayle writes six days a week, working in his office from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., moving outside in the afternoons, and revising in the evenings. He says, "I'm usually finishing one project and starting another without more than a week or 10 days in between. To me that is a very pleasant life." As for Provence, Mayle says, “One of the reasons for my enormous joy in living here is that I’ve come to realise the two greatest luxuries in life are time and space. What I have here is a lot of time. Nobody’s in a hurry, which is delightful, and the house is big, its ceilings are high, there’s room to put everything, and it’s terribly peaceful and beautiful.”

To learn more about Peter Mayle, visit http://www.petermayle.com/.

Sun., January 25, 2015
All Day Event
  Livermore Reads Together Art Exhibit Opens
2:00 PM
  Livermore Reads Together Kick-Off Event!
Wed., February 4, 2015
5:30 PM
  “Grapes to Wine in Art” Gallery Show and Reception
Thu., February 5, 2015
7:00 PM
  “Wine: A History” with Professor Ken Albala
Sat., February 7, 2015
12:00 PM
  Bottle Shock ~ FREE movie screening
Sun., February 8, 2015
2:00 PM
  All About Wine with Master Sommelier Tim Gaiser
Tue., February 10, 2015
4:00 PM
  French Tales @CC
6:00 PM
  French Tales @SP
Sun., February 15, 2015
2:00 PM
  Duo Gadjo & Quartet Concert
Thu., February 19, 2015
7:00 PM
  Armchair Travelers ~ France Travel Gems
Fri., February 20, 2015
3:30 PM
  "Ratatouille" Family Movie Day
Sat., February 21, 2015
2:00 PM
  Ballet Basics (grades 2nd-5th)
Sun., February 22, 2015
2:00 PM
  “3 French Villages, 7 French Masters”
Mon., February 23, 2015
6:00 PM
  "Ratatouille" Family Movie Night
Thu., February 26, 2015
7:00 PM
  Readers’ Theater featuring: “A Good Year”