Books by William Alexander

"His timing and his delivery are flawless" — The New York Times


“Hilarious and touching, all the way to the surprise ending" -- Julie Barlow, author of Sixty Million Frenchman Can't Be Wrong

Tired of saying things like "I've have the ham in newspaper and my son will have my daughter," I've decided to learn French - at the age of 57. Do I succeed? A better question might be, "Do I survive"!

“Money, sex, aging. That's real gardening!" -- The New York Observer

Ever had a groundhog eat your garden tomato the day before you were going to pick it? The neighbor's cat pee repeatedly on your organic lettuce? Ever suspect that your home-grown produce is costing you more than you could buy it for at the supermarket? A National Book Festival selection, a Quill Book Award finalist, and a national bestseller, The $64 Tomato is the garden book "for the rest of us."

“What Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance did for, well, motorcycles, 52 Loaves will do for bread" -- Peter Reinhart, America's leading bread instructor and author

Who knew the joy, angst, illness, adventure, cheating, theft, marital discord, and enlightenment that lay in wait when I embarked on a year trying to bake the perfect loaf of peasant bread? 52 Loaves is a breathless week-by-week account of my year of baking often, badly, and even dangerously, in search of the perfect loaf.


  1. Just read your piece in the NYT and looking forward to reading your book!

  2. French breaks my heart every single week that I am taking lessons. And I am much older than you! This week I start a new class, learning French by singing French songs -- Chansons classe! I took it once before and loved it, but hopefully I still have those lyrics somewhere because I can remember the melodies but not the words!

    1. Merle, you'll not want to miss my piece coming soon in the Book Notes section of, where I describe my experience trying to learn French from studying French songs.

  3. Cher Mr. Alexander,
    I just finished reading "Flirting With French" and Wow! It's fantastique! I started my own French learning at 40-ish, and I haven't had life-threatening medical issues, and it's still difficult! After 3 years of study, I spent a month in France and found that I can consider myself "conversational!" I have taken many of the same methods as you did (sans "Rosetta Stone") : Livemocha (before they sold out), My Language Exchange, French in Action, and many other online studies, but have finally found for me, the best method was to join a local class taught by an excellent prof from Dijon. (truly, she's fabulous) I so enjoyed reading about your journey, and I thank you for sharing your story. I've already recommended your book to my class, most of whom are retired persons!
    Merci beaucoup!


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