Giant Pandas, Why Read Fiction, Earl Grey, Magical Treehouses & More: Endnotes 13 March

Giant Pandas, Why Read Fiction, Earl Grey, Magical Treehouses & More: Endnotes 13 March

Friday, 13 March, 2020

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.


This baby giant panda is hanging out at the Chengdu Research Base in Chengdu Shi, China.⁠ We can only assume that his agenda for the day includes eating massive amounts of bamboo and taking a break for roly-poly time. The Base was created in the 1980s with the rescue of six sick, hungry pandas. Since then, the research and education facility has bred 261 giant pandas. The Base is open to tourists and is visited by 3.5 million animal lovers each year. {more}

hand-colored travel journal pages

  • Such a feel-good story! Sri Lankan author Sybil Wettasinghe (who is 90!) invited kids across her country to submit alternate endings for her book Wonder Crystal. And now there are 1250 alternate endings and a new world’s record.

  • Is it just me, or does a recap of 12 days on the Silk Road seem super exotic and romantic?

  • Daniel Mendelsohn is the author of one of my all-time favorite (an all-time toughest-to-read) books The Lost. In this essay, he explores all of Hilary Mantel’s novels and weighs in on her latest The Mirror & the Light. (I thought he was a little rough on this final book in the Cromwell trilogy, but he’s such a powerful writer, I enjoyed the essay overall. Also, I’m listening to The Mirror & the Light on audio, and it’s fantastic.)

  • Don’t you want to read in a treehouse?

  • This is a fun romp! What novels can teach us about getting away with murder. (I’m reading his book Eight Perfect Murders right now, and it’s excellent escapist fun.)

  • Another happy story (because we need as many of these as we can get). In Beijing, bookstores are teaming up with a food delivery app to get books to people in quarantine.

  • Bookish podcast of the week: The Guardian Books podcast talks to author Isabel Greenberg about her new graphic novel about the Brontës (called Glass Town), and the hosts discuss the titles nominated for this year’s International Booker Prize.

  • Travel podcast of the week: The Dish is a culinary podcast that shares the stories behind dishes from around the world. In this episode, the story of Piri Piri Chicken. It’s a spicy, crispy, salty chicken dish with roots in Africa and Portugal. Plus, the scoop on Nando’s, which might be all-new for our US audience. Fun!

May you find just the right book to distract you from the news. (Wash your hands!)

Top image courtesy of Theodor Lundqvist.

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