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Palm Beach Reads: Summer Book List


Picture yourself on Palm Beach, sipping a cold drink and reading a juicy book about the island. I thought there might be a name for reading a book about a place when you’re in that place because it’s one of my favorite things to do! ¬†According to Google there’s no such word, so I’ll call it wanderlust reading.

Palm Beach Reads: Summer Book List will transport you to our tropical paradise that’s home to 32 billionaires. If you’ve visited Palm Beach, you’ll recognize many of the names and places, and if you haven’t visited, you might be enticed to plan a vacation. From historical fiction to non-fiction…there’s a common theme of wealth, scandals and secrets.

Madness Under the Royal Palms
by Laurence Leamer

Palm Beach Island has attracted the rich and famous for over a century, and Madness Under the Royal Palms dives into the secrets, the scandals, the love, the lust, the money and even murder. Author and Palm Beach resident, Laurence Leamer, went “undercover” for 15 years to observe the lives of the Palm Beach elite, and oh does he have stories to tell. He’s recently written Mar a Lago: Inside The Gates of Power at Donald Trump’s Presidential Palace which reportedly got Leamer kicked out of Mar a Lago for life!


When We Left Cuba
by Chanel Cleeton

The story begins in Palm Beach in the year 2016; Fidel Castro is dead, someone sent Beatriz flowers to celebrate, and you are hooked! Beatriz and her wealthy family fled Cuba in 1960 and exiled to Palm Beach. She’s recruited by the CIA to get into Castro’s inner-circle, so expect a political thriller with plenty of romance, and expect to learn more about Cuba than you ever did in your high school history class. Author Chanel Cleeton was born in Florida and grew up hearing stories of her family’s exile from Cuba which have inspired many of her historical fiction works.



The Last Train to Key West
by Chanel Cleeton

Although the story does not take place in Palm Beach, it takes you on a journey through the Florida Keys during the deadly Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 which wiped out Henry Flagler’s Oversea Railroad. There it is, Henry Flagler, and your Palm Beach connection! Over the holiday weekend, 3 women’s lives cross paths, and they are forever changed when one of the most powerful hurricanes in history hits the Florida Keys. You’ll be thankful we now have better weather forecasting and homes built to withstand hurricanes.


Palm Beach Babylon: The Sinful History of America’s Super-Rich Paradise
by Murray Weiss and Bill Hoffman

Written by 2 New York Post investigative reporters, you’ll have to constantly remind yourself this is a non-fiction book! After all, the subtitle is Sins, Scams & Scandals. The book begins with Henry Flagler’s time, and each chapter peeks into the lives of a different Palm Beach family. The Pulitzer’s, The Kennedy’s, The Trump’s…drama, drama, drama!



Don’t worry, there are plenty more Palm Beach Reads, but we’ve got to save some for next summer. Happy Reading!