Every Friday, we celebrate the weekend — and all the reading and relaxing and daydreaming time ahead — with Melissa's favorite book- and travel-related links of the week. Why work when you can read fun stuff?!
This post is part of our Endnotes series.
The beautiful lady at the top of this post is The Motherland Monument in Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine. The enormous stainless steel statue commemorates and celebrates the Soviet Union’s victory over the Nazis in World War II. Marble plaques in the Memorial Museum in its base are carved with the names of 11,600 soldiers and more than 200 home-front workers who died during the war. Recommendation: Click through to this web site to let the video and music wash over you.
The BBC asks: What are the best first lines in fiction?
The unprecedented effort to preserve a million letters written by U.S. soldiers during wartime — including excerpts and audio clips of the letters. Keep tissues close at hand.
If you’re fascinated by learning how everyday things work, you will be into the 12 ways airports manipulate our behavior.
If this hilarious video doesn’t convince you to donate to the campaign to bring return Charlotte Brontë’s tiny book back to the Parsonage in Haworth, nothing will.
This week was the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. We will never get tired of the celebratory photos.
Michael Chabon’s tribute to Star Trek, his father, and family love is just as wonderful as you imagine it will be.
Sometimes you just want to look at pretty pictures of castles.
We recommend the book Help the Witch by Tom Cox with our whole hearts. Now, musicians are creating an album of songs inspired by the stories in that book. There are so many things to love about this! Get details here.
A state of emergency has been declared in Venice due to flooding. Rick Steves helps put it in context.
Tour Food is a searchable database to answer the burning question, Where are we going to eat?! It was started by traveling musicians who want to eat inexpensively, but also crave high-quality, delicious food that represents the region: ‘Over years of touring across the country, we have been lucky to experience and appreciate America’s diversity through its food, and want to share our rolodex with anyone interested.’
Electric Lit is a non-profit digital magazine that features fantastic writing and smart thinking about literature and storytelling. They’re doing a membership drive, and they’ve listed exactly how they’ll use the funds (very cool), including paying writers on time and improving benefits for staff members. Get more details on membership here.
This story about Olkhon Island in Lake Baikal is a perfect example of why we love good travel writing.
Warm up with goulash, Hungary’s national dish.
Bookish podcast of the week: Library Talks is produced by the New York Public Library. In this episode, NYPL curators join monster theory scholars and best-selling authors to trace the history of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s Frankenstein. You may know the plot, but this podcast digs into the real story of the novel and why it still matters today.
Travel podcast of the week: The nice people behind Taste of Prague provide food tours of this magical city and recently launched a podcast that combines food and travel. In this episode, they talked to Janek Rubeš, the host of the YouTube show Honest Guide. He gets real about how he spend money when he travels, what he misses about Prague when he’s on the road, and how he became a scam detective.
Top image courtesy of Denys Rodionenko.
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