blog

Notes on books and travel.

Moroccan El Minzah Orange Salad Inspired by the Novel 'Tangerine'
Moroccan El Minzah Orange Salad Inspired by the Novel 'Tangerine'
This colorful salad combines sweet oranges, cool fennel and mint, and salty olives for a taste that's bold and a little exotic. It's a tribute to 'Tangerine,' a taut noir thriller set in 1950s Tangier, Morocco.
The Intricate Design and Moroccan Tradition of Henna Tattoos
The Intricate Design and Moroccan Tradition of Henna Tattoos
For centuries, women have been adorning their bodies with delicate, colorful henna tattoos to mark significant events in their lives. We take a look at the origin of this art and share tips for you to try it yourself.
SSoP Podcast Episode 07 — Morocco: Couscous, Camels, and the Kasbah
SSoP Podcast Episode 07 — Morocco: Couscous, Camels, and the Kasbah
The breathtaking scenery and raucous markets of Morocco can seem like something conjured from a dream. In this episode, we share the books that transported us to this special place and talk Moroccan food with MarocMama.
Tea in Lit, International Lipreading, Drawing Room Drama & More: Endnotes 28 February
Tea in Lit, International Lipreading, Drawing Room Drama & More: Endnotes 28 February
Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got the history of the drawing room, the scoop on jet lag, underwater photography, books Erik Larson loves, Taco Bell poetry, and more.
Explore the Tropical Jungle and Try Not to Get Chomped with 'Jurassic Park'
Explore the Tropical Jungle and Try Not to Get Chomped with 'Jurassic Park'
This weekend, we recommend a getaway to the lush landscape of Costa Rica: glorious sunshine, azure-blue water, and dazzling foliage. Pay no attention to the many ravenous, angry dinosaurs roaming the jungle.
The Delightful and Diabolical World of Edward Gorey
The Delightful and Diabolical World of Edward Gorey
In honor of what would have been American artist Edward Gorey's 95th birthday, we invite you to creep into his gleefully macabre world of Victorian manor houses, elegant characters, with plenty of murder and mayhem.
Novels in Translation, Nevada Road Trips, Nautical Terms & More: Endnotes 21 February
Novels in Translation, Nevada Road Trips, Nautical Terms & More: Endnotes 21 February
Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got the Phyrne Fisher movie, mid-century Gothic novels, Miss Havisham, Indian root bridges, the downside of solo travel, and more.
Walk on the Beach and Confront Your Fears with Stephen King's 'Joyland'
Walk on the Beach and Confront Your Fears with Stephen King's 'Joyland'
This story has the ideal elements for a King horror tale — a creepy carny, a haunted ride, a fortune teller, and an unsolved murder — it's really a coming-of-age story that captures that breathless ache of summer.
Sing a Song of the Sailor: Everything You Need to Know About Sea Shanties
Sing a Song of the Sailor: Everything You Need to Know About Sea Shanties
Once you've heard a crew singing 'Roll the Old Chariot,' you'll not forget it. Sea shanties are infectious — and they served an important function aboard ship. We've got the backstory on this charming nautical art form.
A Classic Tom Collins Cocktail Inspired by 'The Last Cruise'
A Classic Tom Collins Cocktail Inspired by 'The Last Cruise'
The Tom Collins is the ultimate highball, a combo of gin, simple syrup, lemon, and bubbly water. This classic is effervescent and refreshing — the ideal go-along for a literary thriller set on a retro luxury liner.
Chart a Course for Adventure: 8 Thrilling Books Set on the Sea
Chart a Course for Adventure: 8 Thrilling Books Set on the Sea
It's anchors aweigh on these literary voyages that promise excitement of both the physical and emotional variety. You'll meet a lady pirate, a WWII freighter captain, the passengers of a luxury liner, Ishmael, and more.
SSoP Podcast Episode 06 — The Sea: Tales of Poets and Pirates
SSoP Podcast Episode 06 — The Sea: Tales of Poets and Pirates
From a luxury cruise to battered warships and open seas to exotic ports, the ocean is a compelling setting for stories of big adventure, quiet moments, human vs. nature, and the drama sparked by close quarters aboard ship.
The Librarian-Spy, Chocolate Sorcery, Miami Beach Colors & More: Endnotes 14 February
The Librarian-Spy, Chocolate Sorcery, Miami Beach Colors & More: Endnotes 14 February
Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got a global landmarks quiz, the logic of spoken English, delightful old book illustrations, high-stakes hotel security, and more.
Take a World Tour (and Fall in Love) with a Charming Author in the Novel 'Less'
Take a World Tour (and Fall in Love) with a Charming Author in the Novel 'Less'
Arthur Less is a medium-successful author with an OK life. But he's turning 50, his ex-boyfriend's in love — and Arthur is invited to the wedding. He does the only reasonable thing: he takes a trip around the world.
Wigtown Postcards: What It's Like to Run a Bookshop in Scotland's National Book Town
Wigtown Postcards: What It's Like to Run a Bookshop in Scotland's National Book Town
It's a readers' paradise: buttery scones and shortbread and tea, a windy landscape with the scent of the sea, and bookshops. Oh, the bookshops! Every genre, new and used, and a bookstore cat. What else could you need?
Victorian Mansions, Malaysian Food, Award-Winning Travel Photos & More: Endnotes 07 February
Victorian Mansions, Malaysian Food, Award-Winning Travel Photos & More: Endnotes 07 February
Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got weird stuff left in Ubers, dining with nomads in Kyrgyzstan, crime novels with a strong sense of place, a notorious mansion, and more.
Get Caught Up in a Coming-of-Age Story in Pre-Revolution Iran with 'Disoriental'
Get Caught Up in a Coming-of-Age Story in Pre-Revolution Iran with 'Disoriental'
Take a suspenseful, surprising trip to pre-Revolution Iran with an unforgettable heroine. This gripping story travels from the green mountains of northern Iran to the city streets of Tehran and Paris of the 1980s.
Scotch Eggs Inspired by Val McDermid's 'Broken Ground'
Scotch Eggs Inspired by Val McDermid's 'Broken Ground'
Bake a batch of Scotch eggs and get caught up in a police procedural that travels from a peat bog in the Scottish Highlands to beautiful Edinburgh. Sure, there's murder afoot, but that's no excuse to go hungry.
12 Books That Capture the Fierce Spirit of Scotland
12 Books That Capture the Fierce Spirit of Scotland
Craggy islands, damp peat bogs, twisty lanes of cobblestones, vast swaths of green to make your heart soar — Scotland is a beautiful country with larger-than-life heroes (and heroines) and more than a few ghosts.
SSoP Podcast Episode 05 — Scotland: Wraiths, Rebels, and Royalty
SSoP Podcast Episode 05 — Scotland: Wraiths, Rebels, and Royalty
Stunning windswept landscapes, a rebellious national spirit, an affinity for smart tartan plaids, a predilection for ghost stories, and an appreciation of a wee dram o' whisky. Scotland is all this and so much more.
Vintage Bookshelves, Feasting in Zanzibar, Novel Fashion & More: Endnotes 31 January
Vintage Bookshelves, Feasting in Zanzibar, Novel Fashion & More: Endnotes 31 January
Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got a lush art nouveau house in France, vocab for book lovers, literary Airbnb reviews, why you should visit Bodø, Norway, and more.
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.