Secret Passages

Secret Passages

Friday, 30 September, 2022

Secret corridors, hidden rooms, and trapdoors are the stuff of adventure and romance. Egyptian pyramids riddled with secret chambers and booby traps. An English country house with a priest hole and a trick bookcase. A speakeasy with a sliding panel that leads to a brothel and a gambling parlor. Who wouldn’t want to go exploring?!

And where would Gothic storytelling be without the secret passage in Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto? Or the hidden door to the attic in Jane Eyre that’s protecting an epic secret?

If your childhood was shaped by reading the enchanting adventures in The Secret Garden and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, or by solving the mystery of The Hidden Staircase with Nancy Drew, this show is for you.

our podcast

In this episode, we discuss an amazing book heist from an ancient French monastery, debate if Ben Franklin was a werewolf hunter, get lost in the Mansion on O Street, and daydream about living in the New York Public Library. Then we recommend great books that lured us into magical portals, dangerous tunnels, secret passages, and other hidden spaces that prove irresistible. (show notes / transcript)

recommended books

Cryptonomicon

buy | read review

A Dangerous Collaboration

buy | read review

Daughter of Smoke & Bone

buy | read review

The Diary of a Young Girl

buy | read review

The Historian

buy | read review

The Kingdoms

buy | read review

Mexican Gothic

buy | read review

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore

buy | read review

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore

buy | read review

The Ten Thousand Doors of January

buy | read review

Tunnel 29

buy | read review

The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep

buy | read review

Underground

buy | read review

Top image courtesy of Won Young Park/Unsplash.

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featured posts

Would you rather... lean on a bookcase, then feel it swivel you into a previously unknown secret room — or pry open a small hidden door, grab a brass candelabra, and step into a secret passage to who knows where?
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?
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!
Anne Frank was born on 12 June 1929. Her words are as essential now as they were when she committed them to the pages of the journal she received for her 13th birthday almost 80 years ago.
This novel has so much good stuff: a foreboding lighthouse and a secret society dinner, tall ships and sooty London streets, love-to-hate-'em villains and heroes with undeniable mettle — plus mystery and adventure.
Forget the hard sell. A few key phrases will probably prove this delightful adventure is right for you: 24-hour bookstore. Mysterious library. Secret society. Loyal friendship. Flirty romance. Extreme bookishness.
Sometimes you just want to get lost in a cinderblock of a book, and when you do, we recommend this sweeping story of adventure, intrigue, WWII, lost gold, longtime friendship, and love in all its forms. Plus Einstein!

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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.

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