What We’re Reading This Week: Ultra-Luxury Travel, ‘Little Reef,’ St. Aubyn’s Wordplay

Having finally begun to work my way through a growing stack of The Atlantic issues on my desk, I came across this article about Edward St. Aubyn in May's Culture File. Just 54 years old, St. Aubyn has yet to enter the upper echelon of elite British writers, but his commentary on the English class system is as timeless as Shakespeare or Austen. Most of all, St. Aubyn has a way with words that combines the most sophisticated of language with the most base of subjects—who else would describe American obesity as “the apprehensive fat of people who had decided to become their own airbag systems in a dangerous world”? —Abbey Chase, Digitial Editorial Intern

Hailing from Florida, I was excited to pick up Michael Carroll's Little Reef and Other Stories, largely set in the Sunshine State. Don't expect the blinding sunshine of South Beach—Carroll prefers exploring more enclosed spaces, like a retired editor's musty living room in Key West or an elderly barfly's favorite haunt in Jacksonville. He has an ear for tequila-soaked dialogue and an eye for vivid details that let you know everything a character isn't saying. —Mark Sullivan, Editor, Cities and Cultural Destinations

Some travelers spend $5,000 a year on trips, while others spend $100,000 or more. The Times looks at the latter set and the rise of bespoke luxury travel, a growing part of the industry that caters to a demographic whose vacation spending has been on the rise in recent years. For the rest of us, it's nice to dream. Michael Alan Connelly, Editor,Fodors.com

Fendi's name on Rome's Trevi Fountain, or Tod's on the Colosseum? I enjoyed “Corporate Medicis to the Rescue”, by Gaia Pianigiani and Jim Yardley in The New York Times, for a look at how cash-strapped Italy is seeking private and corporate support to preserve cultural treasures from churches to monuments. Some partnerships may raise issues (a Rolling Stones concert at the Circus Maximus), but Italy's list of needs is long. —Linda Cabasin, Editorial Director

I had read reviews of Adelle Waldman's novel, The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P., when it came out in hardcover and wasn't that keen to read it, but when I found a paperback copy on my stoop I picked it up. And I really enjoyed it. The cover art is cute, too. I put it back on my stoop for the next person. Caroline Trefler, Senior Editor, Cities and Cultural Destinations