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.
That airy, vaulted space above is the Reading Room at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. The Rijksmuseum Research Library is one of the primary art libraries in the world. It’s a repository for catalogues from art auctions and exhibitions, as well as books, periodicals, and annual reports related to the museum’s art collections. Librarians have been building the collection uninterrupted since 1885. The museum itself is the country’s national museum dedicated to arts and history in the Netherlands. You can go deep into some of its most beautiful paintings via this virtual tour. (We enthusiastically recommend this; it’s as close as you can get to pressing your nose up against the painting while a guide gives you the inside scoop.)
Walk through a typical day with a rare book dealer at The Second Shelf, a bookshop in London that specializes in rare literature by women.
How about a handful of virtual garden tours to celebrate spring? (Hawaii! England! France! Chicago!)
This isn’t entirely book-related, but whatever. Up is down, left is right. BBC History magazine has made its BBC Extra service FREE, so you can dive into articles about the myths of the Victorian freak show or 11 amazing facts about Anne Boleyn. Access the whole archive here.
Conde Nast Traveler serves up 101 Ways to Travel Without Leaving Your House. So many wonderful articles and photos to remind us that the wide world is still out there and will wait for us.
I’ve read all the Midsomer Murders, Inspector Lynley, and Grantchester books. It’s very soothing to watch them on a screen, too. Now CrimeReads has really delivered the goods: Quaint English Village Murder Mystery TV Shows With a Million Seasons, for Your Binge-Watching Pleasure During These Hard Times
In the Moravia area of the Czech Republic, people can get face masks from a vending machine! Proceeds from the sale of the masks are being donated to charity. (This is significant because in the Czech Republic, we’re required to cover our faces when we go outside our homes.)
From time to time, LitHub publishes close readings of classic literature, and I love them. Reviewing an excerpt of a well-written book line by line is fascinating. The latest installment disects the prologue of Donna Tartt’s The Secret History. (I also really enjoyed this look at the first paragraph of Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle.)
This is basically a dictionary of happiness, and that makes it very good, indeed. Tim Lomas, a lecturer in applied positive psychology, created the Positive Lexicography Project. It collects words from foreign languages that describe ‘positive traits, feelings, experiences, and states of being’ that don’t have direct counterparts in English. On the website, you can click around to see words in different categories or explore by language. (The New Yorker has a nice piece about the project’s origins.)
Flip your wig! This online tool lets you design an oversized 18th-century wig, complete with feathers, jewels, and powder.
These photos of the underwater remains of the ancient city of Alexanderia look like the legendary kingdom of Atlantis.
They’re all good dogs, even when they’re bad dogs. Get to know the winners of Britain’s Naughtiest Dog competition.
100-percent yes to free, downloadable literary paper dolls. Rebecca, anyone?
Remember when we told you about Typewronger Books in Edinburgh? Every book comes with an origami animal made by owner Tom Hodges himself. Now he’s sharing his origami secrets on the Typewronger Books YouTube channel.
Bookish podcast of the week: On this episode of Reading Women, the host Kendra Winchester talks to author Emily St. John Mandel about her new novel The Glass Hotel. Mandel wrote the wonderful (but perhaps too stressful for right now?) novel Station Eleven about a global pandemic and the Shakespearean actors who keep art and human spirit alive in the aftermath. (I just started reading The Glass Hotel, and it’s keeping me very engaged. I’ve been starting and abandoning books left and right because I’m so distracted. That this book has me enthralled is the best endorsement I can give it.)
Travel podcast of the week: We’re mostly keeping our Strong Sense of Place content a mostly virus-free zone, but here’s an exception: Two of our Prague friends January and Tasci — both American expats like us — have started a daily pod called From Quarantine where they share what’s on their minds as they stay home here in the Czech Republic. In the 23 March episode, they discuss the pressing question: To mask, or not to mask.
Top image courtesy of redcharlie.
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