At Wanderful, we believe you don’t have to travel far to experience the benefits of travel. All it takes is the desire to try something new, to let yourself be uncomfortable, and to challenge your preconceptions.
Whether you’re scratching that travel itch through some armchair travel or you just love to lose yourself in books from different perspectives, our virtual book clubs are for ALL travel lovers!
With members all around the world, we love to connect to share stories, offer local insights, and find common ground on a variety of topics. Our virtual book clubs are hosted by our chapters in cities all around the world.
Check out some past books we’ve read and discussed, and join us for upcoming and potential future discussions!
You should also catch up on all the books from our Anti-Racism Reading Club and our Conscious Traveler Reading Club. When you’re ready, join our global membership community to continue these conversations!
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Wanderful’s Travel Lovers Virtual Book Club
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The Italian Party
By Christina Lynch
A delicious and sharply funny page-turner about “innocent” Americans abroad in 1950s Siena, Italy. Newly married, Scottie and Michael are seduced by Tuscany’s famous beauty. But the secrets they are keeping from each other force them beneath the splendid surface to a more complex view of ltaly, America, and each other.
When Scottie’s Italian teacher–a teenager with secrets of his own–disappears, her search for him leads her to discover other, darker truths about herself, her husband, and her country. Michael’s dedication to saving the world from communism crumbles as he begins to see that he is a pawn in a much different game. Driven apart by lies, Michael and Scottie must find their way through a maze of history, memory, hate, and love to a new kind of complicated truth.
Half glamorous fun, half an examination of America’s role in the world, and filled with sun-dappled pasta lunches, prosecco, charming spies, and horse racing, The Italian Party is a smart pleasure.
The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon
By David Grann
A grand mystery reaching back centuries. A sensational disappearance that made headlines around the world. A quest for truth that leads to death, madness, or disappearance for those who seek to solve it. The Lost City of Z is a blockbuster adventure narrative about what lies beneath the impenetrable jungle canopy of the Amazon.
After stumbling upon a hidden trove of diaries, New Yorker writer David Grann set out to solve “the greatest exploration mystery of the 20th century”: What happened to the British explorer Percy Fawcett & his quest for the Lost City of Z?
In 1925, Fawcett ventured into the Amazon to find an ancient civilization, hoping to make one of the most important discoveries in history. For centuries Europeans believed the world’s largest jungle concealed the glittering kingdom of El Dorado. Thousands had died looking for it, leaving many scientists convinced that the Amazon was truly inimical to humans. But Fawcett, whose daring expeditions inspired Conan Doyle’s The Lost World, had spent years building his scientific case.
Captivating the imagination of millions around the globe, Fawcett embarked with his 21-year-old son, determined to prove that this ancient civilization — which he dubbed Z — existed. Then his expedition vanished. Fawcett’s fate, & the tantalizing clues he left behind about Z, became an obsession for hundreds who followed him into the uncharted wilderness.
For decades scientists & adventurers have searched for evidence of Fawcett’s party & the lost City of Z. Countless have perished, been captured by tribes, or gone mad. As Grann delved ever deeper into the mystery surrounding Fawcett’s quest, & the greater mystery of what lies within the Amazon, he found himself, like the generations who preceded him, being irresistibly drawn into the jungle’s green hell. His quest for the truth & discoveries about Fawcett’s fate & Z form the heart of this complexly enthralling narrative.
The Carnival at Bray
By Jessie Ann Foley
It’s 1993, and Generation X pulses to the beat of Kurt Cobain and the grunge movement. Sixteen-year-old Maggie Lynch is uprooted from big-city Chicago to a windswept town on the Irish Sea.
Surviving on care packages of Spin magazine and Twizzlers from her rocker uncle Kevin, she wonders if she’ll ever find her place in this new world.
When first love and sudden death simultaneously strike, a naive but determined Maggie embarks on a forbidden pilgrimage that will take her to a seedy part of Dublin and on to a life-altering night in Rome to fulfill a dying wish.
Through it all, Maggie discovers an untapped inner strength to do the most difficult but rewarding thing of all, live.
The Telling Room: A Tale of Love, Betrayal, Revenge, and the World’s Greatest Piece of Cheese
By Michael Paterniti
In the picturesque village of Guzmán, Spain, in a cave dug into a hillside on the edge of town, an ancient door leads to a cramped limestone chamber known as “the telling room.” Containing nothing but a wooden table and two benches, this is where villagers have gathered for centuries to share their stories and secrets—usually accompanied by copious amounts of wine.
It was here, in the summer of 2000, that Michael Paterniti found himself listening to a larger-than-life Spanish cheesemaker named Ambrosio Molinos de las Heras as he spun an odd and compelling tale about a piece of cheese. An unusual piece of cheese. Made from an old family recipe, Ambrosio’s cheese was reputed to be among the finest in the world and was said to hold mystical qualities. Eating it, some claimed, conjured long-lost memories. But then, Ambrosio said, things had gone horribly wrong. . . .
By the time the two men exited the telling room that evening, Paterniti was hooked. Soon he was fully embroiled in village life, relocating his young family to Guzmán in order to chase the truth about this cheese and explore the fairytale-like place where the villagers conversed with farm animals, lived by an ancient Castilian code of honor, and made their wine and food by hand, from the grapes growing on a nearby hill and the flocks of sheep floating over the Meseta.
Equal parts mystery and memoir, travelogue and history, The Telling Room is an astonishing work of literary nonfiction by one of our most accomplished storytellers. A moving exploration of happiness, friendship, and betrayal, The Telling Room introduces us to Ambrosio Molinos de las Heras, an unforgettable real-life literary hero, while also holding a mirror up to the world, fully alive to the power of stories that define and sustain us.
A Year by the Sea: Thoughts of an Unfinished Woman
By Joan Anderson
The basis for the major motion picture of the same name. An entrancing memoir of how one woman’s journey of self-discovery gave her the courage to persevere in re-creating her life.
Life is a work in progress, as ever-changing as a sandy shoreline along the beach. During the years Joan Anderson was a loving wife and supportive mother, she had slowly and unconsciously replaced her own dreams with the needs of her family.
With her sons grown, however, she realized that the family no longer centered on the home she provided, and her relationship with her husband had become stagnant. Like many women in her situation, Joan realized that she had neglected to nurture herself and, worse, to envision fulfilling goals for her future. As her husband received a wonderful job opportunity out of state, it seemed that the best part of her own life was finished.
Shocking both of them, she refused to follow him to his new job and decided to retreat to a family cottage on Cape Cod. At first casting about for direction, Joan soon began to take pleasure in her surroundings and call on resources she didn’t realize she had.
Over the course of a year, she gradually discovered that her life as an “unfinished woman” was full of possibilities. Out of that magical, difficult, transformative year came A Year by the Sea, a record of her experiences and a treasury of wisdom for readers.
Looking for Clara
By Simona Grossi
Her life has become a single, low note. Will an Italian escape strike a joyful chord in her soul?
Clara Smith seems out of tune, drifting through one empty day after another. Alone in LA for Christmas and uncertain about her new boyfriend, the pianist-turned-lawyer feels as fake as the artificial snow she sees on the lawns in her neighborhood. But when her firm dispatches her to Siena, Italy to lead a major project, the rhythm of the daily grind gloriously changes tempo.
Bonding with her charismatic eighty-year-old neighbor over his large collection of photographs, she uncovers a picture of a mysterious woman. And a breathtaking cross-country adventure, in search of the framed beauty who shares her name gives voice to Clara’s long-silenced passions.
Can a melodious tour through sun-drenched landscapes restore her sense of harmony?
Looking for Clara is a heartfelt journey into women’s fiction. If you like deeply drawn characters, vivid settings, and romantic secrets, then you’ll love Simona Grossi’s life-affirming novel.
The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living
By Meik Wiking
Get Cozy for DC’s January 2022 Virtual Book Club! This event will be hosted by the Washington DC Chapter of Wanderful & open to ALL! While all the previous titles have already been discussed, this event awaits your attendance!
The fabulous Annie of Into the Bold & the Indie Travel Network has graciously agreed to lead our discussion.
To attend, we highly recommend PJs, woobie, furbie & a cuppa. Or a glass/bottle of wine, depending on where you are in the world!
BOOK: The Little Book of Hygge—The Danish Way To Live Well by Meik Wiking. Let’s snuggle up with a good book and relax after a busy holiday season, shall we? It’s not your typical book club book, but a lovely way to start a fresh new year off right!
Other Titles for Potential Travel Lovers Virtual Book Clubs
The following titles have all been offered up by Wanderful members for potential upcoming book club gatherings. If any (or all!) of these titles jump out at you, then join us for a chat.
In fact, come on in and host your own book club! We love seeing new faces and hearing new voices during our Wanderful events. We can’t wait to welcome you into the sisterhood!
Next Year in Havana
By Chanel Cleeton
The Henna Artist
By Alka Joshi
A Gentleman in Moscow
By Amor Toules
Notes from a Small Island
By Bill Bryson
Home is Not a Country
By Safia Elhillo
Land’s End – A Walk in Provincetown
By Michael Cunningham
Miss Benson’s Beetle
By Rachel Joyce
West With Giraffes
By Lynda Rutledge
By Madeline Miller
What do you think? Are you ready to travel the world through a good book? Come share your favorite travel literature and non-fiction with us. Check out our Wanderful membership options and join the fun!
Feature image by Tatiana Syrikova from Pexels
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