Egypt Oasis, Postcard Stories, Glamping, Travel Guide Love & More: Endnotes 28 August

Egypt Oasis, Postcard Stories, Glamping, Travel Guide Love & More: Endnotes 28 August

Friday, 28 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.


That enchanting oasis above is near the city of Fayoum in Egypt. Located about 95km/60m from Cairo, it’s the oldest city in Egypt and among Africa’s oldest. It’s near the Nile delta, which means water, which means civilization and attractions for visitors, including a petrified forest, a waterfall, fossilized whale bones, ancient ruins, and Magic Lake. {more}

tiny mouse house in sweden
  • We’ve been inundating you with Paris stuff this week — did you listen to our new Paris podcast yet?! — but you can never have too many pretty photos of Paris. Enjoy these street scenes from the 1970s.

  • Of course there’s a potato vending machine in the Czech Republic. (Also, I find it quite exciting that a publication called Potato News Today exists. It’s your ‘no-frills, no-nonsense daily account of breaking global potato news stories.’ I didn’t even know I needed this until now.)

  • This is a 16th-century memento mori ring from the British Museum. The skull is set between a sapphire, ruby, emerald, and diamond; inside the little book, there’s a figure with a skull and hourglass. Click on over here to see a giant photo that lets you zoom into detail.

tiny book ring with gemstones
Photo courtesy of British Museum
  • This piece about an emotional attachment to tattered travel guides is so good: _ I’m fully aware of all the apps, sites, and media tools I can use to replace all my books in a single swoop. But when I hold my crumbling copy of ‘Plan de Paris par Arrondissement,’ I can feel the heat of the summer day I bought it, see the lines on the face of the grumpy tobacco shop owner who sold it to me, and feel all the aspirations I had not only for that trip, but for all the trips I would ever take._ (Thank you to Pam G. for sharing this with us!)

  • Dozens of author events from the Edinburgh Book Festival are available free online until the end of August. You can see the entire list here; of course, I watched this amazing interview with Hilary Mantel.

  • I am 100-percent not a camping person. But I think even I would enjoy this glamping outpost in the Grand Canyon.

  • This deep dive into writers’ original manuscripts and how they changed over time is very inspiring.

  • This story is a little bit of a journey, but stay with me. In 2021, a tall ship called the Darwin200 will begin a 2-year voyage around the world, re-tracing Charles Darwin’s famous journey. The ship will stop in every major port where Darwin made landfall, including 50 one-week stays along the voyage route; learn more about the project. Natasha Pulley is the author of several wonderful books, including The Bedlam Stacks, which I love with all my heart. She recently spent 28 days sailing on the tall ship and shared some of her experiences on Twitter. In the video below, she talks about the team’s investigation into microplastics. Obviously, I’m now obsessed with all of these videos and this whole experience. Join me in my madness: Darwin200 on Twitter, Darwin200 on Instagram, Darwin200 on YouTube.

  • Bookish podcast of the week: The History of Literature is true to its title, and this episode takes a deep dive into Sonnet 18, a.k.a., Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? It’s timely because the prevailing theory is that Shakespeare wrote his poetry during the plague. And I have a sonnet-sized hole in my education, so this was fascinating to me. (And also reminded me how much I love this number from the musical Something Rotten.)

  • Travel podcast of the week: Each episode of the Fall of Civilizations podcast explores the collapse of a different civilization: Why did it fall? What was it like to watch it happen? In this episode, we learn all about Easter Island: how a unique community grew in complete isolation, survived for centuries, then came crashing down.

To-Do List: Make time to read. Be kind to others. Register to vote.

Top image courtesy of Mhmd Sedky/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.
Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got the joy of estivating, Erin Morgenstern's book recs, Mexican cookbooks, behind the scenes at '70s Zoom, bookshop magic & more.
Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got American towns that feel European, Accidentally Wes Anderson, stretches for readers, competition for the Eiffel Tower & more.

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