What We’re Reading This Week: Hunter S. Thompson, Summer Cocktails, Berlin’s Ruins

I just read “Ashes to Ashes,” David Farley's essay about Varanasi, India, in the new issue of AFAR magazine. Varanasi, on the banks of the Ganges River, is the one of the oldest cities in the world and is considered by many to be the holiest place on earth. Farley captures the incredibly head-spinning combination of chaos and transcendence that I remember from my own visit there almost a decade ago. This story definitely reawakened my India wanderlust! —Caroline Trefler, Senior Editor, Cities and Cultural Destinations

After finishing Edmund White's Inside a Pearl, I picked up his previous memoir about the City of Lights, Our Paris: Sketches From Memory. White's writing was never sharper, and his neighborhood's eccentric shopkeepers and restaurateurs come vividly to live. His lover Hubert provided the whimsical illustrations, and a sad postscript—he died of AIDS soon after finishing the book. —Mark Sullivan, Editor, Cities and Cultural Destinations

I was thinking about what to do for my big fall trip when I came across Abandoned Berlin. I love exploring modern ruins, and Ive never been to Berlin, so maybe this will be my October adventure! —Jennifer DePrima, Senior Production Editor

For beach weekends this summer, I'm packing up my cocktail shaker and a copy of The Cocktail Club by Maureen Christian-Petrosky. The new book packs a year's worth of cool cocktails and tasty nibbles into a trim, stylish package. I love the selections for June, with classic and new twists on tequila drinks. You'll find me on the beach pouring pitchers of Palomas and strawberry-basil Margaritas. Cheers! —Erica Duecy, Deputy Editor, Fodors.com

I knew that Hunter S. Thompson had spent some time reporting overseas, but I just learned from this interview that he spent an entire year in South America. Writer Brian Kevin retraced Thompson’s travels around the continent and wrote about it in his new book, The Footloose American, which I’m adding to my reading list. —Michael Alan Connelly, Editor, Fodors.com