We’re voracious readers at Virtuoso – long-hauls and layovers allow for lots of reading time. Last year, one of our most popular posts recommended books to read on trips. This year, we asked Virtuoso advisors and editors for more books you can’t put down for the cold days ahead.
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng: I love reading how perfect yet imperfect any family can be. As a mother, I can relate to the power of motherhood, and what we would do to protect the family.
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee: Historical fiction that follows a multigenerational Korean family – it transported me to another time and era. Don’t be intimidated its size: Lee’s tale is deeply engrossing and educational at the same time.
~Melanie Fowler, design director
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles: I could not put down this book. Russian count Alexander Rostov is sentenced by the Bolsheviks to house arrest in Moscow’s Hotel Metropol. In spite of his confines, he lives a full, adventurous life, surrounded by all the characters that populate the hotel – including a small girl with a key that opens every secret door in the place. Bonus: deep appreciation for Russian artistic and intellectual achievements bring Moscow to life.
Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld: For Jane Austen fans, I recommend Eligible, a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice, set in Cincinnati. Knowing how the book ends somehow makes the read even more enticing, given the twenty-first-century twist on the plot. Lizzy is a successful writer, Jane is (of course) a yoga instructor, Darcy is a neurosurgeon, and reality television is in the mix. What’s not different from the original: The quest for marriage and the characters’ jump-off-the-page believability.
~Marika Cain, managing editor
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi: A hopeful and thought-provoking page-turner.
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng: Although this book is tragic, I would still recommend it to anyone.
How to Murder Your Life by Cat Marnell: I picked it up because I remembered Cat’s writing from when I read Lucky magazine back in the day, and because she worked at a few different Condé Nast publications. Very entertaining but very intense – like a privileged rich kid/addiction memoir version of reality TV.
The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro: A romantic feel-good book that will make you want to go to Paris and buy perfume.
~Rebecca Ratterman, associate editor
Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong: I’m currently reading and enjoying this a sweet novel about a 30-year-old woman who moves home to help her Alzheimer’s stricken father after a bad breakup. Up next on my very long list: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.
~Amy Cassell, assistant editor
The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkel: This is a great read. It details the experiences of a man who spent 27 years living alone – and seriously roughing it (with the assistance of winter raids on empty cabins and camps, that is) – in the Maine woods. It’s also a great study of the human condition, and the benefits that both solitude and community can provide.
~Joel Centano, senior editor
West with the Night by Beryl Markham: A wonderful autobiography of a young woman growing up in Kenya and southern Africa, from early childhood to bush pilot in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Truly amazing and insightful into the culture of Africa then and now.
The Far Pavilions by M.M. Kaye: A must-read for anyone who has visited or is going to India, especially Rajasthan. Set in colonial times and very well-researched, it’s a great story and provides insights into the history and culture of the time.
~Ange Wallace, Virtuoso agency executive
The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne: This heartwarming, funny book tells the story of Cyril Avery, an adopted boy growing up gay in Ireland. It parallels the story of how Ireland became the first country in the world to allow gay marriage. It’s my favorite book of the year, and when I closed it, I was so sad to leave Cyril’s world. Don’t let the length deter you – it’s immensely readable.
The Bright Hour by Nina Riggs: Cancer memoirs are often depressing and unappealing. Like many of us, I’ve lost close family and friends to the disease. Nina Riggs, a poet and direct descendant of Ralph Waldo Emerson, wrote a fresh, intensely honest, and witty book. It’s one of the best “death” books I’ve read (along with Paul Kalanithi’s When Breath Becomes Air) and completely crackling with life.
~Annie Fitzsimmons, digital editor