Homes in Classic Lit, Venice, Library Heist, '50s Air Travel & More: Endnotes 21 August

Homes in Classic Lit, Venice, Library Heist, '50s Air Travel & More: Endnotes 21 August

Friday, 21 August, 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.


Ah, Venice. If you were standing behind these gondolas, enjoying the evening air, you’d have the Doge’s Palace, St. Mark’s Basilica, and the Bridge of Sighs at your back. And there, across the water, is the island of San Giorgio Maggiore. That spire you see in the distance on the left? That’s the bell tower (campanile) of the Basilica of San Giorgio Maggiore, a 16th-century Benedictine church designed by the famous Italian architect Andrea Palladio. When the world wakes up again, and it’s safe to visit Venice, we recommend you take yourself to the top of that tower and enjoy the view. {more}

  • Tomorrow is the Ray Bradbury Centennial Read-a-thon! It will be streaming from 4:30 Eastern on 22 August until 5 September. A bunch of smarty-pants people — authors, librarians, actors, and young readers across the US — will be reading the novel Fahrenheit 451 aloud in its entirety, including Neil Gaiman, Susan Orlean, Marlon James, William Shatner, and more.

  • Take a tour of the best homes in classic literature.

  • On the pleasures of re-reading: ‘Would you not go back to a place you loved because you’d been there once or never visit a friend because you thought you knew them? My most beloved places and people are those most familiar to me. Why would it be different with books?’

  • What books do Hilary Mantel and Bernardine Evaristo love? Refinery29 asks the six women authors on the shortlist for this year’s Women’s Prize for Fiction about the books that shaped them.

  • Take a brief break and enjoy this soothing book fountain in Egyetem Square in Budapest. According to this post, there are at least 7 book fountains throughout the world. (Big hug of thanks to Susan F. for sharing this with us on Facebook.)

  • These words are like catnip to me: Flapper queens. Jazz Age. Female cartoonists. And then there’s this: ‘The ukulele has not made me as popular as I expected.’

  • Ooooh! I am very into this guide book to artists’ homes in the US, published by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

  • We’re big fans of Tom Cox, a British writer whose books interweave personal experience, love of nature, folklore, and atmosphere to create stories and nonfiction with big feelings, relatable humor, and real humanity. We love his story collection Help the Witch. Now he’s writing his first novel, and it’s available for pre-order.

  • This is so gripping: the story of a 25-year, 8-million-dollar heist from the Carnegie Library. ‘The room has a single point of entry, and only a few people had keys to it… The room had limited daytime hours, and all guests were required to sign in and leave personal items, like jackets and bags, in a locker outside. Activity in the room was under constant camera surveillance… In the spring of 2017, then, the library’s administration was surprised to find out that many of the room’s holdings were gone.’

  • I have never looked at chic as Shirley Bassey on an airplane.

  • Related: Air travel in the 1950s was swanky.

colorful malaysian kek lapis sarawak cakes
Beautiful kek lapis Sarawak cakes from Malaysia
  • Bookish podcast of the week: Word Matters is a new podcast from Merriam-Webster editors. The hosts ‘challenge supposed grammar rules, reveal the surprising origins behind words, tackle common questions, and generally geek out about the beautiful nightmare that is language.’ You can find all the episodes here — I particularly enjoyed ‘Irregardless: You Don’t Have to Like It’ because they discussed dinner versus supper and ‘irregardless.’ But devour them all! They’re snack-sized.

  • Travel podcast of the week: On the Special Collections podcast, host Jeff Simpson explores museums and attractions around the world. In this episode, travel to abandoned places, including Yellowstone National Park; Barrow, Alaska; Centralia, Pennsylvania; Pompeii; and more.

Just sitting here, daydreaming about teleporting to Venice.

Top image courtesy of Jonathan Ford/Unsplash.

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Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got an interview with Lee Child, buildings shaped like food, travel books by authors of color, amazing movie theaters, and more.
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