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.
We’ve had this photo of a tree in our files for months with the note ‘just a really good tree.’ All I know about this tree is that it lives in Nicaragua, and the photo was taken by a photographer called niko photos. We hope you enjoy this soothing, magical, and somewhat mysterious tree as much as we do.
Audible is offering dozens of audiobooks for free online streaming, including classics, kids, and YA books. Browse the titles here.
Author Rowan Coleman is posting video of herself reading from her (excellent) book The Girl at the Window for 20 minutes every day on her Facebook page. You can find the first installment here and scroll through her page to see the rest of the segments. Her haunting and beautiful story is set in Ponden Hall, a farmhouse on the Yorkshire moors that is rumored to be the inspiration for Thrushcross Grange in the novel Wuthering Heights.
Chicken Kiev. London Broil. Crab Rangoon. Baked Alaska. Why are these foods named after places?
I’m currently re-reading Bram Stoker’s Dracula because it’s soothing to me (?). It’s also made me curious about Stoker’s other work. Here’s a recap of his other 11 novels, including an Egyptian adventure and a ship-board tale.
If you’ve ever wanted to read Tolstoy’s War and Peace, this virtual book club could be the thing that helps you do it.
This story about Chilean women using traditional embroidery as an act of resistance is super inspiring.
LitHub gives us the first lines and last lines of classic novels, re-written for our days of social distancing. From Jane Eyre: ‘There was every possibility of taking a walk that day, as long as we kept six feet between us and the others on the path.’
The Louvre, Yosemite National Park, the San Diego Zoo, the Great Wall of China, and seven more amazing places around the world… you can visit them all online via livestreams and virtual tours.
Rick Steves is updating his blog every day with snapshots of his favorite places in Europe. It’s very life-affirming. This post of updates from his tour guides around the world also gave me good feels.
If you listened to the Scotland episode of our podcast (Scotland: Wraiths, Rebels, and Royalty), you heard me rave about how much I enjoyed the audiobook Haunted Voices, a collection of gothic storytelling from Scotland (our review). The publisher is offering the audiobook and ebook for 50% off; details here.
The story and photos of the motorcycle woman of Pakistan are fantastic.
Julian Fellowes is the creator, writer, and producer of Downton Abbey. His new series Belgravia is based on his novel of the same name. It follows two families, the ‘newly rich Trenchards and the established Earl and Countess of Brockenhurst,’ who meet by chance, then are brought back together 25 years later by a secret. Here’s the story of the Scottish country house that’s the star of the show.
Bookish podcast of the week: On this episode of Smart Podcast, Trashy Books, Deanna Raybourn, author of the Veronica Speedwell mystery series, talks about her new book A Murderous Relation (our review), Schitt’s Creek, and red lipstick, among other things. It’s always a treat to hear Deanna talk about… everything.
Travel podcast of the week: We like to think of Rick Steves are our travel guru. His most recent episode is all about Ireland, and why not?! If we can’t physically go anywhere, we may as well armchair travel everywhere. His statement about the importance of armchair travel is comforting, and I will join him in being ‘militantly optimistic’ because I do what Rick Steves tells me to do.
Top image courtesy of niko photos.
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