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 awesome graffiti above can be found in Shoreditch, an arty neighborhood in London’s East End. Some day, when we can all roam the world again, you could walk around Shoreditch to browse vintage shops, grab a cocktail at a rooftop bar, play a round of quirky mini-golf, eyeball contemporary art, and eat, eat eat. But for now, let’s all internalize the message of this graffiti. From my (im)patient heart to yours.
Prague-based travel writer Mark Baker went to Pilsen to investigate a famous architect and, instead, learned about a dramatic moment at the end of WWII.
This 4-panel cartoon by Tom Gauld perfectly captures the allure of a dream library in a castle (that is, perhaps, also dangerous).
This mixed media comic about visiting Estonia is just great: funny, smart, insightful, entertaining. ‘I was especially curious about Estonia — a former Soviet republic that, from afar, looks as though Silicon Valley and Scandinavia had a baby. It seemed like the hip cousin I didn’t know I had… as opposed to Britain, the drunk uncle I used to admire.’
An important question: Who invented the gin & tonic? (When we visited Haworth, England, to go to the Brontë Parsonage, I enjoyed the best G&T of my life: herbaceous gin, grapefruit tonic water, and so much ice. Prague has many wonderful things, but ice is not one of them.)
In case you run into trouble when canceling reservations with an airline: a script to help you get a cash refund instead of a voucher.
Need a project to keep your hands busy? Here are tips for organizing your bookshelves from a librarian.
I’m a longtime fan of Elizabeth George’s Inspector Lynley series — British-style, psychological murder mysteries with a strong sense of the UK and a very dynamic detective duo at the helm. Her latest is a nonfiction book about writing called Mastering the Process: From Idea to Novel. You can read an excerpt here. (I also enjoyed her previous how-to book Write Away.)
This is an interesting look at the deliberate role of needlework in fantasy fiction. ‘…for many historical women, sewing allowed them the space to think and work, as well as an art form that allowed them to create and to convey meaning when other methods of self-expression were barred from them. This makes female authors who do integrate female needlework into their fantasy novels surprisingly subversive.’
Enjoy this short story about a little free library. It’s described thusly: ‘Upon setting up her Little Free Library, Meigan develops an unexpected friendship with a mysterious book borrower.’
Library backgrounds for your next video chat.
Enjoy two minutes of colorful flowers at the Keukenhof Garden in Lisse, Netherlands.
Author and bookshop owner Ann Patchett talks about what she’s doing to help her employees weather the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
Art historian and writer Anne Louise Avery posts mini-stories on her Twitter account that are so sweet and poignant, like this one:
Pine Marten was tucked up in bed. Babcia was telling him a favourite tale about a glass mountain with a gold castle at its peak. And time faltered & their old Kraków apartment rose up: flowers painted on the walls & waxed parquet floors & the cathedral bells silvering the hours. pic.twitter.com/qRK2hc33CF— Anne Louise Avery (@AnneLouiseAvery) April 13, 2020
Bookish podcast of the week: We loved the book The Warehouse by Rob Hart; it would make an excellent quarantine read, BTW. In this episode of the Writer’s Bone podcast, Rob Hart talks about writing his uncomfortably prescient novel.
Travel podcast of the week: This episode of the Guardian Books Podcast combines travel and books. The hosts talk to Toby Ferris about his search for the 42 surviving paintings by Dutch master painter Pieter Bruegel. It’s a virtual trip to London, Vienna, Detroit, and more.
The podcast episode we released this week is called Sweden: So Happy, So Murdery. We recommended so many great books and talked about the cool stuff that makes Sweden special. As always, the show notes page is a treasure trove of entertainment. Here are a few more diverting links about Sweden:
This is a collection of photos that document what life was like in 1945 Sweden.
Charming photos of how colorful embroidery was used to repair the holes in a 14th-century book in Uppsala, Sweden.
Top image courtesy of Toa Heftiba.
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