Travel Writing from Chris Stewart

Chris Stewart writes travel books about his family who relocated to Andalusia, a town in the mountains of Southern Spain. The first title in the series, ‘Driving over Lemons’, was massively popular, and his writing is very witty and humourous.

The Last Days of the Bus Club

last days of the bus club
It’s two decades since Chris Stewart moved to his farm on the wrong side of a river in the mountains of southern Spain and his daughter Chlöe is preparing to fly the nest for university. In this latest, typically hilarious dispatch from El Valero, we find Chris, now a local literary celebrity: using his fame to help his old sheep-shearing partner find work on a raucous road trip, cooking a TV lunch for visiting British chef Rick Stein, discovering the pitfalls of Spanish public speaking, and recalling his own first foray into the adult world of work.

Yet it’s at El Valero, his beloved sheep farm, that Chris remains in his element as he, his wife Ana and their assorted dogs, cats, and sheep weather a near calamitous flood and emerge as newly certified organic farmers. His cash crop? The lemons and oranges he once so blithely drove over!

You can reserve Last Days of the Bus Club here



The first book in the Chris Stewart Spanish Adventure series is Driving Over Lemons, An Optimist in Andulcia


Meet Chris Stewart, the eternal optimist. At age 17 Chris retired as the drummer of Genesis and launched a career as a sheep shearer and travel writer. He has no regrets about this. Had he become a big-time rock star he might never have moved with his wife Ana to a remote mountain farm in Andalucia, nor forged the friendship of a lifetime with his resourceful peasant neighbour Domingo. He might not have watched his baby daughter Chloë grow and thrive – nor written this book.

Driving Over Lemons is a funny, insightful book that charms you from the first page to the last, and one that makes running a peasant farm in Spain seem like a distinctly good move.

Chris transports us to Las Alpujarras, an oddball region south of Granada, and into a series of misadventures with an engaging mix of peasant farmers and shepherds, New Age travellers and ex-pats. The hero of the piece, however, is the farm that he and Ana bought, El Valero – a patch of mountain studded with olive, almond and lemon groves, sited on the wrong side of a river, with no access road, water supply or electricity.Could life offer much better than that?

Reserve Driving Over Lemons here


The second book in the series is The Almond Blossom Appreciation Society


almond_blossom_coverThe Almond Blossom Appreciation Society finds Chris and his family still at El Valero, their farm on the wrong side of the river in rural Andalucía and life there continues in a decidedly oddball fashion.When Chris arrived in the Alpujarras, fifteen years ago, he could never have imagined the locals would invite him to join an Almond Blossom Appreciation Society, or that his daughter Chloe would be teaching him about teenage Spanish social life, nor that he would be spending time shepherding Bostonian art trustees around Seville, or working in an immigrants’ advice centre in Granada!

Reserve The Almond Blossom Appreciation Society here


parrot in a pepper treeBook three is A Parrot in the Pepper Tree

This third book by Chris Stewart follows the lives of Chris, Ana, and their daughter, Chloë as they get to grips with a misanthropic parrot who joins their home, Spanish school life, neighbours in love, their amazement at Chris appearing on the bestseller lists, and their shock at discovering that their beloved valley is once more under threat of a dam.

A Parrot in the Pepper Tree also looks back on Chris Stewart’s former life: the hard times shearing in midwinter Sweden, driving across the frozen sea to reach island farms, his first taste of Spain, learning flamenco guitar as a 20-year old, and his illustrious music career, drumming for his school band Genesis.

You can reserve A Parrot in the Pepper Tree here






About HB Williams Memorial Library Staff

The HB Williams Memorial Library includes five community libraries and supports the multi-cultural community of Gisborne and the East Coast of New Zealand.
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