Brownell Book Club: Second Edition | Brownell Travel

Brownell Book Club: Second Edition

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With spring break trips and summer vacations just around the corner, we can’t help but dream of lazy days in the sun reading a fabulous book. In the second edition of the Brownell Book Club (see the first edition here), we’ve rounded up what people are reading now that inspires them to travel!

“I just finished reading The Swans of Fifth Avenue by Melanie Benjamin and loved it. It was all about old New York Society, Babe Paley, Slim Keith and Truman Capote. It’s beautifully written, and I felt like I was transported back in time to the Plaza, St. Regis and restaurants in the city like La Cote Basque! So fun!” – Kelly Millington

“Visiting Italy? Connect with the artists, inventors, rebels, designers, architects, and intellectuals of the Renaissance, finding a true sense of place, with Galileo’s Daughter: A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith, and Love, The Agony and the Ecstasy: A Biographical Novel of Michelangelo, and Brunelleschi’s Dome: How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture. – Kristen Meckem

“I am currently reading Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter by Mario Vargas Llosa. It is set in 1950’s Lima and is based on the author’s real life experience of falling in love with his divorcee aunt who is about 15 years his senior. You learn a lot about the working class neighborhoods at that time, you experience life in Plaza de San Martin, and of course life in Miraflores, and it’s a great way to learn about the colonial city center. So far it’s a great read and I love the “old school” vibe of the characters’ experiences. I can easily imagine taking those trolleys to the port city of El Callao.” – Claudia Austin

The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House by Kate Andersen Brower.  It makes me want to plan a trip to DC and see our nation’s famous monuments.” – Austin Vollmer

“I just finished Once We Were Brothers about a Polish family before, during, and after World War II. It made me want to mapquest the towns and surrounding areas where the book takes place…the towns where the Polish and Jewish people lived before the war including some of the mountain regions.” – Karen McAlpin

“I read The Paris Wife before heading to Paris, and it was fun to imagine myself at the same places Hemingway frequented!” –Amanda Foshee

“I just finished A Mediterranean Summer written by a now famous chef who recounts his first experience as a chef on a private yacht in Italy one summer. I love hearing about his high seas experience trying to satisfy a very privileged family and their quirky tastes. His trips in each port to provision food are fabulous itineraries for culinary tours anyone would enjoy. A great read to get you ready for a sun kissed summer abroad.” – Debbie Fairvalley

Birds Without Wings by Berniers is an excellent way to see the formation of Turkey post WWI from personal perspectives of citizens. Turks vs Greeks, Muslims vs Christians, old Ottomans vs Young Turks, Russian and Western powers trying to carve up the Ottoman Empire..not a fast read but rich.” – Troy Haas

All the Light We Cannot See will transport you to Paris and northern France at the beginning of World War II. You’ll experience life as it changed for a young man who became a soldier and a young lady who had to adapt to a hidden life away from home in an occupied village on the sea.” – Martha Rhodes

Circling the Sun by Paula McLain (author of The Paris Wife). Great read if you’re coming or going to East Africa. All about a young woman from England growing up in Kenya (British East Africa) in the 1920s…the woman is aviator and adventurer, Beryl Markham.” – Jane Braun

Outlander! I love this book because of the love story, of course, but also because it’s a fictitious book with some fantasy elements. It does a remarkable job giving a pretty accurate overview of this time in Scottish history. Great story and very educational!” – Janet Matheson

 “I once read that 100 Years of Solitude should be ‘required reading for the human race.’ I couldn’t agree more. It’s a magical and moving tribute to family.” – Haisley Smith



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