The world is looking for an escape right now. Whether you choose to watch a Netflix comedy special or go for a socially distant walk around the neighborhood, it’s key to find opportunities for brief mental breaks. That’s why today, the Hawkins International team is rounding up a few of our favorite books that virtually transport us to some of our favorite travel destinations. While we may not currently be able to walk the streets of Paris or visit the South Carolina Lowcountry, we can turn a page and allow the prose to paint a travel picture. Unplug from the Zooms and curl up with one of these great reads.
by John Berendt
Set in Venice, this non-fiction work explores some of the city’s interesting inhabitants that the author met while living there in the late 1990’s. The book chronicles local reactions to the historic La Fenice opera house fire, which was destroyed in 1996. Learning from locals is one part of travel we miss the most and look forward to doing again. Until we board a boat to the JW Marriott Venice once again, we’ll settle for this virtual trip to The City of Love.
by Pat Conroy
This classic novel follows the story of Tom Wingo and twin sister Savannah, and their struggle to triumph over a dark family legacy. Set in the beautiful South Carolina Lowcountry, this book reminds us of Montage Palmetto Bluff’s beautiful, moss-filled acres.
by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
This first installment in the Holmes detective series introduces readers to Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. One of the story’s central characters is the city of London, as the duo traverses the city investigating a crime scene on Brixton Road and work out of and 221B Baker Street. We can’t wait to make a return trip to the city and book a stay in one of onefinestay’s beautiful townhomes. Until then, the adventures of Holmes await.
by Paula McLain
Set in 1920s Paris, this novel follows Hadley Richardson who has all but given up on happiness and love until she meets Ernest Hemmingway. Chronicling the couple’s adventures in Jazz Age Paris, this book paints a beautiful portrait of the city. When travel resumes, we look forward to returning to Le Maurice and Hôtel Plaza Athénée and exploring this city in person.
by J.D. Salinger
Focusing on the character of 16-year-old Holden Caufield, who returns to New York City after failing out of his Pennsylvania prep school, the book features many notable landmarks like Central Park, Rockefeller Center and Greenwich Village. Just as Holden ventures to the Central Park lagoon to admire the ducks, we look forward to returning to The Plaza Hotel to make our own memories in Manhattan.