Cheating Summer Reading

July 25th, 2023

Everyone dreams of plowing through a towering stack of best sellers in the summer – visions of quiet beach days and lounging poolside. Often, life gets in the way of these serene, literary daydreams and the stack of books gets smaller and dustier. For a way to cheat a bit for summer reading, here are some of our favorite new coffee table books to transport readers (viewers, really) off to another locale.

UXUA Utopia: A Very Gifted Guest House

The boutique property on the Bahian coast of Brazil tends to attract a cool crowd (Anderson Cooper loved it so much that he had them build him a house, it’s where Solange Knowles spent her honeymoon, models like Candice Swanepoel have been spotted there…), so it’s no surprise that leading trend forecaster Li Edelkoort joined forces to release this new coffee table book this summer. The 288-page book combines elements of design, art, and travel, exploring owner Wilbert Das’ achievements in establishing values for a new world through a local project meant to set a global example. Past guests can reminisce about their holidays while flipping through the beautiful pages, and those yet to visit can daydream and imagine themselves in the tropical paradise of Trancoso, Brazil.

Assouline and Island Outpost launch Jamaica Vibes – August 2023

With its rich culture and sublime scenery, Jamaica has inspired countless artists and creatives. The nation’s pride is reflected in the music, dance, cuisine and literature that originated in Jamaica, but has since influenced people across the globe. The legacy of Bob Marley is intricately linked with the image of Jamaica; and for novelist Ian Fleming, Jamaica was his creative incubator. Now, the most stylish Caribbean nation has inspired Assouline’s newest title, Jamaica Vibes, written by Lisa Lovatt-Smith and Novia McDonald Whyte, with a foreword by music industry legend and Island Outpost founder Chris Blackwell. The book, launching in August 2023, is part of Assouline’s iconic Travel Series and retails for $105.

Born to a family that made its fortune in Jamaica growing sugar cane and making rum, Blackwell grew up on the island. By the 1960s, he entered the music business and launched the careers of Bob Marley and U2. He is credited for popularizing reggae throughout the world and has since been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. But Blackwell is just as well-known for his passion for Jamaica and its people, and his collection of celebrity-favorite boutique hotels as part of the Island Outpost portfolio (GoldenEye, Strawberry Hill, and The Caves). Blackwell contributed a forward to Jamaica Vibes, presenting an intimate, insider portrait of this vibrant island nation and its mesmerizing power.

Italian Summer Vacation brought to you by Belmond

Belmond, owned by LVMH, has collaborated with the former editor-at-large of Vogue Italia, Cesare Cunaccia, to publish Villeggiatura: Italian Summer Vacation ($95). As the definition of “authentic” travel continues to evolve, the Assouline coffee table book is a vibrant reminder that a hotel is not just a hardware, but in fact, it is a part of cultural immersion and prolonged discovery – whether at the newly renovated Splendido in Portofino, the countryside estate Castello di Casole in Tuscany, or perched atop the mountains of Ravello at Caruso.

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