A Real Hobbit House, Booksellers Documentary, Online Austen Exhibit & More: Endnotes 15 May

A Real Hobbit House, Booksellers Documentary, Online Austen Exhibit & More: Endnotes 15 May

Friday, 15 May, 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.


That adorable Hobbit house above is located in Suffolk, England. According to scuttlebutt, it’s the only habitable hobbit hole in the world, and it was ‘built in consultation with Tolkien experts.’ Is that a tall tale? Maybe. But what’s totally true is that you could own this charming living space — along with a 19th-century manor house, 4.5 acres of woodsy land, and six other charming cabins. One of the rooms includes a sign that reads, ‘Let us drink like dwarves, smoke like wizards, and party like hobbits.’ The property is currently for sale, and I’m thinking: If we pool our resources, we might be able to come up with the £2 million asking price. Then we drink tea, eat elevensies, and wait for Gandalf to show up with fireworks and the beginnings of a grand adventure. See more photos of the estate.

vintage travel posters for quebec, egypt, and india

  • Erika Swyler is the author of The Book of Speculation, a novel we recommended this week in the circus episode of our podcast. Her latest book is Light From Other Stars, and this is so much fun: She shared a music playlist to go along with her novel, a book she describes as a ‘small town time-stopping space opera period piece.’

  • Hecktic Travels is one of our favorite travel websites. They recently shared online jigsaw puzzles of some of their best travel photos — really pretty and pretty fun.

  • Here’s what happened when a group of boys was marooned on an island in 1965. Spoiler: It was not like Lord of the Flies. (And here’s a really neat Twitter thread about how the author did his research.)

  • The Booksellers is a documentary about antiquarian booksellers who are part scholar, part detective, and part businessperson. Variety called it a ‘documentary for anyone who can still look at a book and see a dream.’ So… I feel like we all need to watch it. And now it’s available online.

  • Why, yes! It is essential to know how to place a curse on your books. (Thank you for the link, Jen.)

  • What do Ernest Hemingway, a bowl of spaghetti, and cookbooks have in common? Read this to find out.

  • Cats are so silly. And awesome. But mostly silly.

  • Bookish podcast of the week: This week, I learned about the Magnus Archives podcast: a fiction podcast examining what lurks in the archives of the Magnus Institute, an organization dedicated to researching the esoteric and the weird. The first episode is more eerie than scary with lots of atmosphere and a very strong sense of Edinburgh.

  • Travel podcast of the week: I love the idea of exploring inside our homes. In this episode of 99% Invisible, host Roman Mars describes the things he encounters on a journey through his home.


More Circus Fun

Our podcast The Circus: Found Family and Daring Feats was released on Monday. We recommended so many great books and talked about the cool stuff that makes the circus so compelling. As always, the show notes page is a treasure trove of entertainment. Here are a few more diverting links about the circus:


May you see all the amazing things around you with fresh, appreciative eyes.

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Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got moving comic set in Iceland, virtual tours of ancient Egyptian tombs, bookish confessions, UNESCO World Heritage sites & more.
Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got cycling in Transylvania, IKEA meatball recipe, short story recommendations, the Grand Canal in Venice, anti-censorship & more.
Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got online literary festivals, your best road trip, re-reading favorite books, witch trial transcripts, charming bookmobiles & more.

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