Summer books.

8 Summer Books to Satisfy Your Wanderlust

Chockablock with spectacular destinations and dazzling design, these new releases are bound to capture readers’ imaginations

In the era of staycations and social distancing, the ability of a lushly illustrated book to capture the imagination and provide a mental escape—however brief—is all the more important. That’s why Galerie has rounded up a host of enticing new offerings that shine a spotlight on exotic locations and dazzling design. Phaidon’s latest tome, Living on Vacation, for instance, takes readers on a visual voyage to the most remote corners of the world and proves that exciting architecture can thrive anywhere. Journalist Christopher Beanland’s Pool showcases wondrous watering holes with unique backstories. And Rizzoli’s A Garden for All Seasons gives an in-depth look at heiress Majorie Post’s enchanting garden in Washington, D.C. For even more inspiration, check out the rest of the list.

Photo: Phaidon

1. Living on Vacation

Every day is like a holiday when you call one of the houses showcased in this book home. This transportive volume features contemporary retreats in remote locations, with highlights including homes by Studio Rick Joy, Marmol Radziner, and Alberto Campo Baeza. Phaidon, $50

Photo: Batsford

2. Pool

In journalist Christopher Beanland’s graphic celebration of summertime bliss, readers can immerse themselves in incredible feats of engineering, like a nearly 450-foot-long saltwater pool in Vancouver and a German coal mine transformed into an aquatic oasis. Batsford, $26

Photo: Princeton Architectural Press

3. Tom Kundig: Working Title

Cofounder of the award-winning architecture firm Olson Kundig, Tom Kundig conjures spellbinding structures that never fail to find harmony with their surroundings, be it Seattle—where the studio is based—or a lush property in Rio de Janeiro. Working Title, the architect’s fourth monograph, compiles 29 of his most arresting projects, including wineries, museums, and residences. “The title is about evolution and transition in my career with a mix of different types of projects,” Kundig told Galerie in a prior interview. “It’s not a title looking for a title. It’s about being in process.” Princeton Architectural Press, $80


Why Architect Tom Kundig’s Work Perfectly Exemplifies How We All Want to Live Now

Photo: Assouline

4. St. Tropez Soleil

Known for its sun-kissed beaches, celebrity sightings, and unabashed joie de vivre, Saint-Tropez is, not surprisingly, the French Riviera’s most famed summer destination. This dazzling 300-page tome traces the seaside hot spot’s humble beginnings as a writers’ haven to its ultrachic, sybaritic present. Assouline, $95

Photo: Rizzoli

5. Splendor of Marble: Marvelous Spaces by the World’s Top Architects and Designers

With four decades of experience in the stone market, Karen Pearse is the perfect person to compile this vivid tome, which features breathtaking interiors conceived by a slew of A-list designers, among them Kelly Wearstler, Vincente Wolf, and Bjarke Ingels—all of whom utilized marble in their projects. “Marble is certainly the realest and most graceful lyrical answer from Mother Nature to our quest for beauty,” designer Aline Asmar d’Amman, who is featured in the book, told Galerie in a previous interview. “The raw beauty, dazzling colors, and ever-changing landscape are divine works of art.” Rizzoli, $75 


Mesmerizing Marble Interiors by Kelly Wearstler, Juan Pablo Molyneux, and More

Photo: Pointed Leaf Press

6. The Graphic Garden

For his first monograph, landscape architect Keith Williams, cofounder of Palm Beach’s Nievera Williams Design, has compiled a dozen of his most majestic gardens. Abounding with tropical flora, these green spaces are graced with dramatic pools, cabanas, and fountains—all of which spring from Williams’s fertile imagination. Pointed Leaf Press, $75 

Photo: Rizzoli

7. A Garden for All Seasons

In the 1950s, heiress Marjorie Post tapped top landscape architects to create ornate gardens for Hillwood, her sprawling estate in Washington, D.C. This lush volume explores the foliage that makes the compound, now a museum, look perfect year-round. Rizzoli, $50

Photo: gestalten

8. Be Well: New Spa and Bath Culture and the Art of Being Well

Finding a rejuvenating place to relax and unwind is understandably at the top of many to-do lists right now. This striking volume, which looks at everything from Finnish saunas to Mexican temazcal lodges, examines the cultural history of self-care and is rife with inspiring places to visit once global travel resumes. Gestalten, $60 

A version of this article first appeared in print in our 2020 Summer issue. Subscribe to the magazine.


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