Dragon Bridge, Mexican Gothic, Vintage Train Travel, Bookshop Kittens & More: Endnotes 03 July

Dragon Bridge, Mexican Gothic, Vintage Train Travel, Bookshop Kittens & More: Endnotes 03 July

Friday, 3 July, 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 handsome green fellow above is perched atop the Dragon Bridge (Zmajski Most) in Ljubljana, Slovenia. It was built in the early 1900s when the country was still part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and its original name was The Jubilee Bridge of the Emperor Franz Josef I. Jubilee! This is one of four dragon statues on the bridge, and, according to legend, when a virgin walks across the span, the dragons wag their tails. {more}

  • Say yes to fashion and literature! Here are the 10 best-dressed characters in fiction.

  • Somewhat related: a 25-year-old American woman has become a little obsessed with Victorian fashion, thanks to her job as a CARETAKER FOR A 19th-CENTURY MANSION.

  • Our Weekend Getaway recommendation this week is Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s eerie manor house novel Mexican Gothic. To get you in the mood, here’s a Spotify playlist put together by the author, a book club kit that includes a paper doll with glamorous retro outfits, and a list of 6 horror and speculative novels recommended by Moreno-Garcia.

  • This is some inspired lockdown cooking! A University of Cambridge professor cooked a meal from recipes found on a Babylonian stone tablet. Click through for more photos and descriptions of the dinner.

  • Calling all fans of Choose-Your-Own-Adventure novels: You can now buy boardgames based on the books. There are two titles — House of Danger and War With the Evil Power Master — in which you’ll use cards and a game board to ‘maneuver around an environment dripping with threats.’

  • This 1980s art project is amazing and oddly timely: In 1983, two artists were tied together with an 8-foot piece of rope and spent the next year tethered to each other. ‘We, Linda Montano and Tehching Hsieh, plan to do a one year performance. We will stay together for one year and never be alone…‘

  • Train travel is the best travel. These vintage photos and vintage menus illustrate just how glamorous it could be in the early 20th century.

  • Future Learn is offering a free online course called Literature of the English Country House, starting 3 August (also in November and February). Offered by the University of Sheffield, the course explores the role of the English country house in classic fiction via a series of reading assignments, video lectures, and online discussion. I took this class in 2019, and it was fantastic!

  • This bookshop in Canada is also an adoption center for kittens; we should go there immediately.

  • How about a fantasy novel set in these photos of the water lily harvest in Vietnam! Who’s going to write that for us?

women collecting water lillies in Vietnam

photos of handcarved doors

  • Bookish podcast of the week: The podcast Unlikeable Female Characters features feminist thriller writers discussing female characters who don’t give a damn if you like them. In this episode, the hosts recommend their top summer reads.

  • Travel podcast of the week: The Extra Pack of Peanuts podcast is a cheerful show that’s all about travel without breaking the bank. In this episode, the hosts talk to a retired diplomat who speaks 20 languages and has 50 years of travel adventures to share.


Wishing you a safe and happy weekend with lots of stuff you like.

Top image courtesy of Iztok Avsec/Shutterstock.

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