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 glowing structure above is the Yellow Crane Tower on Snake Hill in Wuhan, China. The current tower was built in 1981, but a traditional tower has existed in this spot in various forms since AD 223. It was immortalized in poignant verse by 8th-century poet Cui; read the poem here. The tower is marked with four Chinese letters that read ‘Mu Ji Tian Chu’ and mean ‘amazing heaven.’
You’ve probably seen this link elsewhere by now, but just in case: Here’s a very detailed personality quiz that will reveal your similarity to a long list of fictional characters. I had an 87-percent match with Hermione Granger (86% Lisa Simpson; 84% C.J. Cregg from The West Wing.)
Sure, you know Little Women, but have you read any of Louis May Alcott’s thrillers?! (You can read the novella The Mysterious Key and What It Opened on Gutenberg.org).
In the German language, the word fernweh literally translates to farsickness, i.e., homesickness for a place you’ve never been. In this sweet piece, Atlas Obscura has collected readers’ accounts of their personal fernweh.
Based on what I’ve seen on social media and in my emails, a lot of us are suffering from a lack of focus right now. This is a great time to try compelling graphic novels.
Let’s all pretend we’re in the market for a posh new estate in which to quarantine ourselves. Money is no object.
Our new podcast episode is Chicago: Baseball, Hot Dogs, Industry, and Infamy. If you want a bit more of the Windy City, here’s a take on the best bars in town, a boardgame café, and Sara Paretsky, author of the V.I. Warshawski crime series, on her favorite books.
The UK National Theater is streaming some of its stage productions online for free this month. You can watch James Corden in the play One Man, Two Guvnors from now until 9 April. The following weeks feature a ground-breaking adaptation of Jane Eyre, as well as Treasure Island and Twelfth Night. Details here.
The Getty Museum in LA invited people to recreate famous paintings. The results are fantastic.
From Modern Mrs. Darcy: 7 Independent Bookstores That Are Doing Great Things Do you know what you’re local bookshop is up to? Call them and ask! Now is the best time to buy books from your local indie.
One hundred percent yes to these quarantine travel posters.
We love Andrew Sean Greer’s novel Less so very much. From all accounts, the author is as lovely a human as his protagonist Andrew Less. Greer recently released a FREE short story on Apple Books called Hush Now, a ghost story about twins forced to stay indoors during the polio epidemic. (I just read it, and it’s very atmospheric; poignant, not scary). To find it, open the Books app on your iPhone and search for the title. Easy-peasy.
JSTOR is an archive for 12 million (!) academic journals and books. Some parts of the archive are free, but others require a subscription. It’s one of our favorite resources to research quirky topics. Right now, full access to the journal Fairy Tale Review is FREE. There are 16 volumes that include hundreds of fairy tales for your comfort reading needs.
I’ve been a fan of Wil Wheaton since his Star Trek: The Next Generation days. He’s also an excellent audiobook narrator, so he’s recording stories in the public domain to entertain us. The Ghost of Harrowby Hall is a satirical ghost story for easy listening.
This ‘at-home’ version of The New York Times 36 Hours feature is really cute.
We are firmly on Team Hilary Mantel. Here’s our review of the first book in her Wolf Hall trilogy, and we’re currently reading the final installment The Mirror & The Light. In this lecture, she talks about how she created her version of Thomas Cromwell.
Coloring is a fun activity do keep your hands busy while listening to your favorite audiobooks. These downloadable coloring pages from The Public Domain Review are fantastic and fantastical. And this coloring book from cartoonist Liz Climo is adorable.
Yes, yes, books are our favorite. But how about the best road trip movies? (The Sure Thing from 1985 remains one of my all-time favorites.)
Bookish podcast of the week: I’ve been trolling through the Overdue podcast archives. If you’re new to the show, the hosts Craig and Andrew discuss books ‘you’ve been meaning to read.’ I find it comforting to hear smart, funny people talk about books I’ve already read and loved; maybe you will, too. Here are a few suggestions with a decidedly classic spin: The Raven, Jane Eyre, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Wuthering Heights, Something Wicked This Way Comes, Jurassic Park, Charlotte’s Web.
Travel podcast of the week: The Lush Life podcast celebrates the art of the cocktail. This delightful episode features David Lebovitz, an American (baker, chef, writer) who’s lived in Paris for decades. His new book Drinking French was just released, and he talks about Parisian cocktail culture and the ways baking and mixology are similar.
Top image courtesy of Matee Nuserm/Shutterstock.
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