Whether on a long plane ride, by the pool, or over a leisurely breakfast at a Virtuoso hotel, the editorial staff at Virtuoso loves catching up on summer reading.

Here, our picks for recent favorites and those next on our list.

Spellbinding Fantasy

“I was getting tired of the ‘grip-lit’ genre, so I recently ordered The City of Brass as my Book of the Month and it was such a nice change. It’s a spellbinding fantasy book with a rich cultural setting of eighteenth-century Cairo and a make-believe city of brass called Daevabad. If you want to escape from the real world and don’t mind a little magic and mythical creatures, this is your summer read. I can’t wait to read book number two.”
– Melanie Fowler, art director

Inspired by Florida

“Next up on my summer reading list is FloridaLauren Groff’s new collection of stories inspired by my weird and wonderful home state. Getting ready to dig into this reminded me of another collection from a Florida writer I love: St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves by Karen Russell. Russell’s stories are all a bit fantastical – a young girl becomes an alligator wrestler at a theme park near the Everglades called Swamplandia!, for example – but she has an incredible knack for making the outrageous feel so real through the eyes of her adolescent characters.”
– Amy Cassell, associate editor

The Beauty of Kenya

“In Leopard at the Door by Jennifer McVeigh (which I stayed up late last night to finish), the author brings to life the spare, vast beauty of Kenya’s landscape in a historical coming-of-age novel about an ugly political period during the country’s struggle for independence from British rule in the 1950s.”
–  Elaine Srnka, editorial director 

A New Way of Looking at Octopuses

Three hearts, eight tentacles with, literally, minds of their own, the ability to change color and shapeshift, highly sensitive, complex, intelligent, and individualistic – I’ll never look at octopuses the same way after reading The Soul of an OctopusSy Montgomery’s immersive exploration into cephalopod consciousness.
–  Joel Centano, senior editor

Summer Favorites

“I read about a book a week. Recent 2018 summer favorites include Curtis Sittenfeld’s hilarious, pitch-perfect You Think It, I’ll Say It; the heart-racing, stay-up-until-two Red Notice, about Bill Browder’s ceaseless campaign to expose corruption in Russia (a book rec from travel industry veteran Priscilla Alexander); and the fresh, funny, culturally enlightening – with a murder mystery to boot! – Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widowsby Balli Kaur Jaswal.”
–  Annie Fitzsimmons, digital editor

Traveling the World to Avoid a Wedding

“I’m dying for my husband to finish Less so I can get my hands on it. The Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Andrew Sean Greer chronicles the journey of soon-to-be-50-year-old writer Arthur Less, who, in an attempt to avoid an ex-boyfriend’s wedding, accepts every literary event invitation he can, fleeing to Ho Chi Minh City, Kyoto, Berlin, Morocco, Italy, and more.”
–  Marika Cain, managing editor

Top photo: Getty Images/Yumi-Mini.