What We’re Reading This Week: Hitchhiking in NYC, Classic Novels, Packing Advice

I included John Waters' new hitchhiking travelogue in our list of 10 books to read on your summer vacation, so I enjoyed this Vulture story in which the director tries to catch a free ride on the streets of New York City. —Michael Alan Connelly, Editor, Fodors.com

I think everyone else in America read Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walters when it came out in paperback last year, but I just finished it recently and found the story about Old Hollywood, an obscure and forgotten piece of the Cinque Terre, and enduring love to be incredibly moving. It's both funny and sad, not to mention well written. Not to mention a juicy, satisfying story. —Doug Stallings, Editor, Cruises and Resorts

My book club just finished Edith Wharton's House of Mirth, the 1905 novel that skewers with zest the social-climbing, backbiting ways of old- and new-money New Yorkers in the Gilded Age. (Glad we're over that stuff these days, hmm.) Un-rich heroine Lily Bart's options would differ today, but this tale of money tangled with bad behavior still stings. —Linda Cabasin, Editorial Director

I'm taking advantage of Penguin Random House’s employee giveaways and reading Gone Girl and We Were Liars. —Eric Wechter, Editor, Cruises and Resorts

One of my biggest fears is to be stuck on the subway, or anywhere, and not have anything to read so I downloaded one of my favorite classic novels, Henry James's Portrait of a Lady, on my phone. The bonus is that it was free because it's out of copyright. And now if I don't want to carry a book or magazine around, I go back to that. It's still wonderful. —Caroline Trefler, Senior Editor, Cities and Cultural Destinations

A good and well-traveled friend of mine is taking her 3-year-old on her first overseas trip in more than a year and has posted a hilarious account of how the packing process has evolved. Browse the archives and heed the advice; this lady knows how to tote a baby around the world! —Jennifer DePrima, Senior Production Editor