We have recently created a BOOK CLUB and I am very excited to share with you our first book club selection of 8 books recommended by our members.
The Dream and Travel Book Club is meant to be the place where the Dream, Book, and Travel community meets to delve deeper into books of common interest, exchange impressions, and travel virtually through great works of both fiction and non-fiction. You can always become a member of our book club by requesting to join the Facebook private group!
Each month, members of the book club will propose books they enjoyed and/or would like to read. This list will then serve as a basis for a vote to pick the book to be discussed in an upcoming live event on the group. I am particularly happy with the Dream and Travel book club selection for March 2021 as this group is only a week old.
Later edit: Based on the voting of the book club members, we will be discussing The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri on 17th of April at 9 P.M. CEST live on the facebook group! JOIN US!
To help members browse the monthly book club selection while deciding on which book to pick, as well as to share our book club selection with our readers, I will write monthly articles as this one to offer short descriptions of the books included. Please note that this article contains a few friendly affiliate links. Shall you make a purchase through any of them, we get a small commission at no extra cost for you. Thank you.
Spain, by Jan Morris
I was thrilled when this piece of extraordinary travel writing was picked by one of our most faithful readers for our book club selection. I read it as part of our holiday in Andalusia reading list, and it has stayed with me ever since.
Jan Morris is an author I’ve discovered through her classic evocation of Venice and her accounts are ones I would always happily re-read and discuss. Spain is a heartfelt introduction to the country, packed with personal and historical perspectives, legends and landscape description, anecdotes and architectural insights. I loved that it covers vast areas of the country in enough depth, not a small feat considering that we are talking about multifaceted and diverse regions in terms of culture, landscape, and history.
The Moth and the Mountain, by Ed Caesar
As travel writer and author of Only in Guides, Duncan J.D. Smith tells us, this is “a stirring tale about a forgotten British adventurer, who without any climbing experience flew to Everest and attempted to scale it solo! An extraordinary tale”, which I am so excited to have as part of our book club selection and I am looking much forward to read!
Brunelleschi’s Dome, by Ross King
I was asked to include books related to architecture in our book club selection, so I almost instantly decided on the great story of how the dome of Florence’s cathedral Santa Maria dei Fiori came to be.
An account I actually purchased in Florence during our road trip through Tuscany, this book tells the extraordinary story of how the cupola was raised by the brilliant and exuberant architect Filippo Brunelleschi. A feat considered impossible for almost 200 years, this is a story of the biggest achievement of Renaissance architecture. Keeping with the spirit of the era, it is also a tale of intrigue, ambition, political rivalries, intellectual torment, and ingenuity.
Journey to Portugal, by Jose Saramago
Nobel prize winner José Saramago uses literary language as a means to explore his native Portugal, in this unique travel account of his observations journeying across a landscape he loves dearly. Fascinated by the ancient myths and histories embedded in the country’s culture and traditions, the author brings to life a country in its entirety – people, landscape, and contradictions included.
I have added this to our first book club selection with a pang of uncertainty – although a beautiful, unique account, this is not an easy or a fast read, but rather one that needs revisiting several times to explore its depth.
All That Is, by James Salter
I have a rather embarrassing confession to make, in that I have yet to read anything that James Salter has written, so I am extremely happy to have had his works suggested for our book club selection. A work of fiction this time, All That Is tells a story set in the years after World War II that closely follows the life of a former naval officer turned book editor as he navigates personal and professional success and failure in a world on the brink of major change.
I Belong to Vienna, by Anna Goldenberg
The most recent addition to my list of favorite books set in/about Vienna and my suggestion for the book club selection, this recent family memoir by Anna Goldenberg is originally written and extraordinarily well researched. The author, who is herself a returned Viennese, mainly tells the story of her grandparents, victims of the Nazi regime who fled to the US only to return to Vienna later on.
Answering questions such as the nature of life in Vienna during WW II and how family, greater history, and a city can shape personalities and destinies, this book is at the same time an outstanding reportage, a family story, and a personal essay.
The Beekeeper of Aleppo, by Christy Lefteri
No book club selection is complete without at least one historical fiction account and I am so happy that The Beekeeper of Aleppo came up. Goodreads fittingly describes this moving fictionalised account of the journey of a family of Syrian refugees as “the unforgettable love story of a mother blinded by loss and her husband who insists on their survival as they undertake the Syrian refugee trail to Europe (…) Moving, powerful, compassionate, and beautifully written, The Beekeeper of Aleppo is a testament to the triumph of the human spirit. It is the kind of book that reminds us of the power of storytelling.”
For me personally, The Beekeeper of Aleppo was a true episode of binge reading and one of the books that did not allow me to start another one for several days afterwards.
The Girl in the Garden, by Kamala Nair
I have to be very honest in admitting I have not heard of Kamala Nair before The Girl in the Garden was suggested for our March book club selection. It tells the story of a young woman who revisits the events of one childhood summer when she visited an ancestral Indian village that hides a garden with a terrifying secret.
Which book from the list above would you choose to read and discuss in a live event with other members of our book club? Join us to be part of the decision and to explore together at least one of these amazing works!