Lounging poolside this summer? Or taking a much-needed vacation somewhere remote? Here are our favorite summer reads, from exceptional design, incredible interiors, magnificent wildlife, and inspiring memoirs, to true escapism.

Light Space Life Houses by SAOTA Book Review - Our favorite Summer Reads by Helene

Globally renowned firm SAOTA has debuted its first book, entitled Light Space Life, and as the title suggests, the content encapsulates the importance of the aforementioned three factors, embodying the extraordinary buildings constructed by the SAOTA team. Led by professional architect Stefan Antoni, he works in conjunction with fellow principals Philip Olmesdahl, Greg Truen, Philippe Fouché, Mark Bullivant, and Logen Gorden in designing unique residences and commercial projects on over six continents. From Los Angeles to Lagos, Light Space Life honors thirty-five years of excellence and innovation, showcasing beautiful color photographs of twenty-three residential projects that undoubtedly have the wow factor, taking readers back to where it all began – homes from the spectacular South African coast.

Safari Style book review

Written by Melissa Biggs Bradley and photographed by Guido Taroni, Safari Style: Exceptional African Camps and Lodges is the epitome of what a keepsake coffee table book should look like. The larger format 352-page book takes readers on an inspiring journey to the crème de la crème of camps and lodges throughout eastern and Southern Africa. Founding her travel company Indagare in 2007, Melissa is the ideal author for this book, having experienced her first safari at the age of 12, with many more to follow. “Africa’s top lodges celebrate sustainable design and nature’s beauty, as well as the power of tourism to fuel conservation,” Melissa says. “The book was a true passion project, taking readers on a journey to the most remarkable places.”

Safari Kruger book review

Heading up specialty safari and travel company Rhulani Safaris, professional guide, author, and photographer, Armand Grobler captures the wildlife splendor of Greater Kruger Park in his first book, Photo Safari Kruger, published by HPH Publishing. South African-born Armand spent his childhood on the east coast of Australia and in doing that, developed a passion for wildlife and a calling to nature. He honed his skills as a volunteer at Sydney’s Tarongo Zoo, realizing the importance of connecting with nature, a view that brought him back to his birth country where he hosts private photographic safaris, sharing his knowledge and photography skills with like-minded guests. 

Brazen book review

Julia Haart’s early life was ruled by the dictates of ultra-Orthodox Judaism – what she wore, what she ate, and even what she thought. The star of the Netflix reality series My Unorthodox Life has published a memoir that is both captivating and inspirational, and in Brazen, she candidly reveals her escape from this oppressive life. Breaking the chains and starting afresh at the age of 42. She founded a namesake shoe collection, and then became the creative director of lingerie brand La Perla. Julia is the former CEO of the media conglomerate Elite World Group, a title she no longer holds following her split from her husband Silvio Scaglia.

STORM TIDE Book Review

Bestselling author Wilbur Smith enthralls fans once again, this time with his first posthumous title Storm Tide, with guest writer Tom Harper. Having published 49 books and selling over 140 million copies by the time of his death in November 2021, enthusiasts will enjoy the next edition in the popular Courtney series. Storm Tide is a historical book, marking the 50th book from the master storyteller, and centers around three generations that fight on opposing sides of a terrible war that will change the face of the world forever. The story is set against the backdrop of the American Revolution and is a powerful historical thriller filled with adventure.