Hiking Slovenia, Black Sci-Fi, Boxing Vocab, Postcard Collecting & More: Endnotes 26 June

Hiking Slovenia, Black Sci-Fi, Boxing Vocab, Postcard Collecting & More: Endnotes 26 June

Friday, 26 June, 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 photo above looks like something out of a sci-fi movie, right?! After David saw that pic, he immediately did some research to make sure it’s real. It is! That’s Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne, Australia, juxtaposed against the city’s ultramodern skyline. Affectionately known as ‘Vic Market’ or ‘Queen Vic,’ it’s been the place in the city for fresh produce, handmade products, prepared food, household goods, and — we can only assume — good neighborhood gossip since 1878. These days, the market also offers special events, including a two-hour Ultimate Foodie Tour and Wednesdays’ Night Market, featuring live music, festival bars, and global street food. {more}

  • This news is very sad: Carlos Ruiz Zafón, the beloved Spanish author of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books series, died last week. I’d been reading his final book The Labyrinth of the Spirits when I learned the news, and it added a more profound poignancy to the final chapters of the novel. If you haven’t read these enchanting books, please do. I also recommend the author’s essay about why he wrote, this homage to his writing, and this tribute to his characters in The Washington Post.

  • The Mary Sue asserts that if we want to unlearn racism, we should read Black sci-fi authors. ‘Every Black American I know has a story like this — a story of one of their ancestors doing some other-worldly shit that they lean on when they need strength and courage. The fact that we, as a race, are even alive is proof that someone in our blood lineage survived a 4,000-mile long journey chained, starved and alone. We have endured the type of trauma, abuse, torture, and gaslighting that sounds other-worldly—like something out of a science fiction novel.’

  • Win a free advance copy of Daniel Silva’s new Gabriel Allon thriller The Order. (I’m a long-time fan; here’s my review of the first book in the series.)

  • Now added to my want-to-do-it list: these hikes in the Julian Alps in Slovenia. ’ The next thing I knew, I was sitting knock-kneed at a tiny wooden table in her two-room cottage, between shelves lined with ancient sets of china, black and white photos, and walls plastered with yellowed newspaper clippings. The woman opened her icebox and served me meat, cheese, bread, and sweet wine until my stomach ached, even as I half-heartedly protested. After swallowing nearly a quarter pound of prosciutto, I finally convinced her to stop feeding me. I tried to wash my plate and offer money, but she just whacked me with the cane, snatched the plate, and shooed me out.’

  • These handmade maps of people’s lives during the coronavirus pandemic are sweet, heartwarming, and inspiring. It’s been fascinating to experience how our worlds have both shrunk and expanded in different ways during this unusual time.

  • This quiz about literary settings was pretty tough; I only got 8 of 15 correct. I much prefer that this challenge to create a luxurious library determined that my real age is 26.

  • Guernica magazine invited 13 writers to tell us about their favorite garments as a way to consider ‘the sentimental, contradictory, and ultimately inescapable relationships we have with what we wear.’

  • It’s a low blow to not know these everyday phrases taken from the world of boxing.

  • These covers of good movies depicted as vintage books — there are dozens of them! — are so charming and retro. (Also available as prints and in book form!)

photos of retro book covers
Good Movies as Old Books by Matt Stevens
  • These cute and kitschy items are a fun way to support restaurants and hotels around the U.S., while travel is a no-go.

  • Registration is open for the Jane Austen Festival, which will be held entirely online this year. Video workshops begin 7 July, and conference sessions are 10-12 July — including tours of Chawton House and Jane Austen’s house, a literary roundtable with your favorite (and ours) Anne Bogel, an examination of Northanger Abbey and Jane Eyre, and tons more. Schedule here; registration here. Don’t hesitate! Registration closes 30 June.

  • This essay about a postcard collection is quite touching. ‘Soon, I was bringing my postcard collection with me everywhere I went… My collection was an anchor for me in difficult and unfamiliar territory. After graduation, it followed me to my first job out of college, where I arrived an hour early on my first day to pin them up in my very own cubicle. They were always present, a reminder of bigger, better things.’

  • Heads up! New Zealand is one of the destinations for Season Two of our podcast (YAY!), and The Luminaries is on my reading list. So I’m pretty excited about this BBC six-episode adaptation.

  • Who knew social distancing could be so cute and cuddly?!

  • Bookish podcast of the week: Lectures from the University of Oxford are available for free online. (This is so awesome, right?!) The Approaching Shakespeare series devotes one lecture to each individual Shakespeare play. This week, perhaps drop into the world of Hamlet.

  • Travel podcast of the week: The Upgrade is a new podcast from Suitcase magazine. In this episode, the hosts discuss what they’re eating and reading to keep the travel spirit in their lives while they hang out at home.


Wishing you something cool to drink and something enthralling to read.

Top image courtesy of Kon Karampelas/Unsplash.

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Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got a letter from Emily Dickinson, a magic portal, Scottish crime novels, the sounds of the Lapland, George Floyd street art & more.
Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got sci-fi/fantasy books by Black authors, an Uzbek wedding, food memoirs, a protest poem that will gut you in a good way & more.
Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got Mont-Saint-Michel Abbey, undiscovered Europe, online Midsommar celebrations, 50 coolest neighborhoods, bookish face masks & more.

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