Extraordinary Eco Retreats and the Books To Read While You’re There

Not that we need another excuse to daydream our digital day away, but thanks to travel writer Francisca Mattéoli’s new book Escape Hotel Stories: Retreat and Refuge in Nature, we have one that’s valid. Combining two of our favorite escapist pleasures — travel and really good books — the stunning tome available this month from the great curator of culture, Assouline, explores environmentally sensitive retreats around the world through the lens of literature and art.

After previewing the stunning travel book, we thought we’d share some of the goodness with you, dear readers, by paying a virtual visit to a few of the author’s top destinations. From a village of fifteen tents on land that shares an ancient history with Bruce Chatwin’s poetic account of the Australian outback’s aboriginal Dreamtime mythology in The Songlines to a converted limestone refinery on the Swedish island of Gotland and The Magic Lantern, the autobiography of its most famous neighbor, Ingmar Bergman, to a luxurious hideaway in Big Sur, California and longtime resident, Henry Miller’s masterpiece, Tropic of Cancer, click through to check out our favorite pairings from Escape Hotel Stories. For more wonderful pairings and an in-depth look at each retreat, head over to Assouline’s online book boutique and order your copy today. Tell us about your favorite holiday reading material in the comments below! … Read More

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American Beauty: Swanky Photos of Society Gals

Photographer Claiborne Swanson Frank has an eye for feminine beauty, and a knack for spotting it at the upper stratum of American society. The daughter of a Napa Valley vintner and granddaughter of the founder of Swanson Foods (the company that brought us the ubiquitous TV dinner), she formed her vision of modern beauty and style while assisting Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour. Inspired by the strong, working women who she met in fashion, publishing, and business, the self-taught photographer turned her lens on her enterprising young friends to create a portfolio of sophisticated ladies who are making their mark across America. Her striking portraits of writers, models, singer/song-writers, winemakers, fashion executives, and philanthropists — with family names like Hearst, Bloomberg, Kennedy, Rockefeller, Lauder, and Bush — are currently on view at the Lu Magnus gallery on New York’s Lower East Side and compiled in a colorful, new monograph, published by Assouline. Click through a selection of our favorite photos of her posh pals. … Read More

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