blog

Notes on books and travel.

Lion Rock, Antilibrary, Food in Fiction, Irish Castle, Book Nooks & More: Endnotes 02 December
Lion Rock, Antilibrary, Food in Fiction, Irish Castle, Book Nooks & More: Endnotes 02 December
Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got gift guides from an excellent bookshop, the history of gingerbread, the bookish game Pentiment, an SAT words quiz, and more.
16 Gripping Novels That Feature Diaries, Journals, and a Strong Sense of Place
16 Gripping Novels That Feature Diaries, Journals, and a Strong Sense of Place
What's more seductive than reading the words that follow 'Dear Diary'?! These 16 books cross genres — adventure, classic lit, mystery, horror, and more — and feature a diary or journal that's critical to the plot.
Macy's Parade, Modern Manners, Chocolate, Holiday Poetry & More: Endnotes 25 November
Macy's Parade, Modern Manners, Chocolate, Holiday Poetry & More: Endnotes 25 November
Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got how to adopt a book, Keita Morimoto's stunning paintings of everyday Japan, NPR's favorite books, a fun travel quiz, and more.
SSoP Podcast: A Mini-Episode to Wish You A Cozy and Happy Thanksgiving
SSoP Podcast: A Mini-Episode to Wish You A Cozy and Happy Thanksgiving
The fourth Thursday of November, a.k.a. Thanksgiving (in the US), is an annual excuse to gather our favorite people, devote a full day to feasting, and, maybe, work our way through serious family drama. Delicious!
Palermo, Sicily, Ode to Bookstores, Galatea, Travel Gifts & More: Endnotes 18 November
Palermo, Sicily, Ode to Bookstores, Galatea, Travel Gifts & More: Endnotes 18 November
Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got great travel podcasts, Edward Gorey art contest winners, an unusual Christmas mystery, an ancient written sentence, and more.
Get Ready for European Adventures with These 7 Great Books
Get Ready for European Adventures with These 7 Great Books
We think people who love books and travel are the best people, and we love introducing you to nice people doing cool things. So today, we've got book picks from a couple who founded a Europe-based indie publisher.
Eltz Castle, Magpie Murders, Antique Travel Library, Kibbeh & More: Endnotes 11 November
Eltz Castle, Magpie Murders, Antique Travel Library, Kibbeh & More: Endnotes 11 November
Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got a new story from Robin Sloan, Emily Brontë biopic, the best BBC adaptations, unique advent calendars, iconic photos, and more.
16 Irresistible Recipes to Help You Feel Cozy This Fall
16 Irresistible Recipes to Help You Feel Cozy This Fall
A cup of tea is the classic pairing with a great book. But you can level up your reading experience with a crunchy snack, a sweet treat, or a comforting bowl of soup. If there's cinnamon involved, it's all the better.
Are you a Witch? Read this poem by Elizabeth Willis and Find Out
Are you a Witch? Read this poem by Elizabeth Willis and Find Out
For centuries, witches were painted with a black brush, punished for being all a woman shouldn't be: powerful, mysterious, untamed, seductive. But aren't those words really a compliment of the highest order?
History of Ouija, Haunted Houses, Ode to Diners, New 'Classic' Books & More: Endnotes 28 October
History of Ouija, Haunted Houses, Ode to Diners, New 'Classic' Books & More: Endnotes 28 October
Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got adorable Halloween comics, Halloween around the world, potluck tips, music from Ryan Gosling, fantastical candles, and more.
Our Super Mega-Deluxe Coffer of Eerie (and Not-Too-Scary) Halloween Goodness
Our Super Mega-Deluxe Coffer of Eerie (and Not-Too-Scary) Halloween Goodness
The only thing better than multiple Reese's Peanut Butter cups in your trick-or-treat haul is a neck-tingling Halloween story. Here's our spooky cache of podcast, books, short stories, audiobooks, recipes, and more.
Palais Garnier, Halloween Reads, Sleepy Hollow Tour, Witch Podcast & More: Endnotes 14 October
Palais Garnier, Halloween Reads, Sleepy Hollow Tour, Witch Podcast & More: Endnotes 14 October
Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got Native American cuisine, Tom Gauld's library cartoons, Rod McKuen poetry, secret bookcase stairs, 1950s nostalgia, and more.
Read Across the Country with 'United Books of America'
Read Across the Country with 'United Books of America'
One of the best ways to understand a place is to read about it, then visit to talk to the locals. With 'United Books of America,' Jen Varino is meeting her neighbors across the US — and she wants you to join her.
Dubai Frame, Witches in Art, Macedonian Poetry, Sicilian Pottery & More: Endnotes 07 October
Dubai Frame, Witches in Art, Macedonian Poetry, Sicilian Pottery & More: Endnotes 07 October
Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got women in travel history, bookish bird art, a papercraft class, Scottish Storytelling Festival, great book podcasts, and more.
Take a Lyrical Trip to the Italian Coast with 'Amalfi' by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Take a Lyrical Trip to the Italian Coast with 'Amalfi' by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Let the Romantic poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow transport you to Italy's Amalfi coast. His lyrical words evoke the awesome beauty and formidable power of the Tyrrhenian Sea 'where the waves and mountains meet.'
Fat Bear Week, Cataloging Books, Hilary Mantel, Castles & More: Endnotes 30 September
Fat Bear Week, Cataloging Books, Hilary Mantel, Castles & More: Endnotes 30 September
Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got a new Swedish audio thriller, an endless magical bookshop, great cities for architecture, Women Who Travel podcast, and more.
7 Great Books Set in Italy That We Love
7 Great Books Set in Italy That We Love
Take a virtual trip to Italy with a love letter to Trieste, a history of Venice told through food, a fresh look at Galileo's life, a novel infused with sunshine and Gothic vibes, and two dreamy literary classics.
SSoP Episode 44 — Italy: A Bottle of Red, the Tuscan Sun, and Il Dolce Far Niente
SSoP Episode 44 — Italy: A Bottle of Red, the Tuscan Sun, and Il Dolce Far Niente
Oh, Italy! We see your snow-capped mountains and sunny beaches, your fresh pasta and sweet gelato, your Renaissance artists, iconic cities, and the soft, magical quality of your light. We love all of it. Grazie.
Japanese Rakan, Emotion Words, American Diners, Drone Photos & More: Endnotes 23 September
Japanese Rakan, Emotion Words, American Diners, Drone Photos & More: Endnotes 23 September
Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got photos of a lonely Icelandic island, recommended historical fiction, travel journaling, Kabul's oldest restaurant, and more.
11 Books Featuring Secret Passages, Hidden Rooms, and Mysterious Tunnels
11 Books Featuring Secret Passages, Hidden Rooms, and Mysterious Tunnels
In real life, dark secrets and potentially perilous passageways might best be avoided. But on the page, is anything more delicious than the tingle up the back of the neck that says an adventure is about to begin?
Enjoy a Little Mischief with 'Poem for a Hidden Passage' by Catherine Pierce
Enjoy a Little Mischief with 'Poem for a Hidden Passage' by Catherine Pierce
Thank goodness for an active imagination and a well-stocked library, or many of us might actually wander — in real life — down that shadowy corridor or into a secret passage that leads... who knows where. Dare you!
our mission

Strong Sense of Place is a website and podcast dedicated to literary travel and books we love. Reading good books increases empathy. Empathy is good for all of us and the amazing world we inhabit.

our patreon

Strong Sense of Place is a listener-supported podcast. If you like the work we do, you can help make it happen by joining our Patreon! That'll unlock bonus content for you, too — including Mel's secret book reviews and Dave's behind-the-scenes notes for the latest Two Truths and a Lie.

get our newsletter
We'll never share your email with anyone else. Promise.

This is a weekly email. If you'd like a quick alert whenever we update our blog, subscribe here.

no spoilers. ever.

We'll share enough detail to help you decide if a book is for you, but we'll never ruin plot twists or give away the ending.

super-cool reading fun
reading atlas

This 30-page Reading Atlas takes you around the world with dozens of excellent books and gorgeous travel photos. Get your free copy when you subscribe to our newsletter.

get our newsletter
We'll never share your email with anyone else. Promise.
follow us

Content on this site is © 2022 by Smudge Publishing, unless otherwise noted. Peace be with you, person who reads the small type.