Cormorant Fishing, Updated Shakespeare, Female Detectives & More: Endnotes 11 September

Cormorant Fishing, Updated Shakespeare, Female Detectives & More: Endnotes 11 September

Friday, 11 September, 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 image above looks like a setting for a fantasy novel, but it’s a cormorant fisherman on the Nagara River in Japan. The traditional method of using Japanese cormorants to catch fish has been practiced for 1300 years. The fishing masters are given the title ‘Cormorant Fishermen of the Imperial Household Agency,’ a hereditary title passed from father to son. Visitors to Japan can watch the day’s fishing from tourist boats, and back in the day, Charlie Chaplin watched the ritual on a trip to Japan. The famous Japanese poet Matsuo Bashō was so moved by his experience, he wrote haiku about it: Exciting to see / but soon after, comes sadness / the cormorant boats. {more}

  • There are so many phrases to love in this TV show description: The Stratford. New York luxury hotel. A young man’s search for his father’s killer. A reimagining of a Shakespearean world. Updated versions of classic Shakespeare characters.

  • If you want to fulfill your dreams of living in a small British village where you might have to solve a murder mystery: 14 things everyone should know before moving to a village in the country

  • Somewhat related: Top 5 female detectives, real and imagined

  • These new streetlights in Los Angeles are very cheerful indeed.

  • Attention writers and storytellers: the TripFiction website just announced their ‘Sense of Place Creative Writing Competition.’

  • Two books you need to know about if you’ve listened to the Paris and Alaska episodes of our podcasts. Author Elaine Sciolino wrote our recommended memoir The Only Street in Paris and has a new book coming on 29 September The Seine: The River that Made Paris. Heather Lende, who wrote If You Lived Here, I’d Know Your Name (which David loved so much), recently gave us Of Bears and Ballots, about politics in her small town of Haines, Alaska. Both showcase the authors’ trademark writing styles, i.e., gorgeous detail, moving narrative.

  • This video was one of the highlights of the online Brontë conference I attended last week. It’s an exploration of the Brontë Stones Literary Walk between Thornton and Haworth, where the Brontës lived and wrote their novels. Start watching for the literary history, stay for the adorable dog Wolfie.

  • You know you want to see 5 incredible animals found on the Isle of Wight.

  • Bradford Morrow is the author of a book we love set in Prague (The Prague Sonata). His new novel is called The Forger’s Daughter and involves, in no particular order, family secrets, rare books, and Edgar Allan Poe. In this piece for CrimeReads, he talks about finding treasures on the shelves of used bookshops. ‘Even the rarest books do eventually surface, like species once thought to be extinct that are now and again sighted. As it happens, copies of Poe’s Tamerlane, known as the “Black Tulip” or Holy Grail of American letters, seem to surface once in a generation or so.’

  • Wanderlust asks: Where in the world are these quirky museums? I got 8 out of 13.

  • Just discovered the work of author and artist Emma Mitchell. In her book The Wild Remedy, she combines drawings, photographs, and paintings with personal stories of nature walks and how flora and fauna can heal us. It’s beautiful and warm and whimsical, as is her charming Instagram account.

  • Travel with your taste buds: 30 recipes from around the world.

  • Diversify your reading list with these 16 LGBTQ+ travel books from Suitcase magazine.

  • Fancy some pretty writing paper, a brass stapler, or a bottle of colored ink?!

  • How about colorful windows in cities around the globe! Click on the embedded Tweet below, then scroll the thread to see cities, including Venice, London, Bangkok, Barcelona, Amsterdam, and more.

  • Bookish podcast of the week: The Chronicles of Now podcast commissions authors to write short stories inspired by news of the day, then pairs the fictional works with sidebars that explain the basic facts, background, and context for each news story. In this episode, Curtis Sittenfeld (author of Rodham), shares a story about two giant pandas in Hong Kong who finally mate after ten years, when their zoo is closed to visitors due to COVID.

  • Travel podcast of the week: Take a virtual trip to Uruguay with the Extra Pack of Peanuts podcast. Karen Higgs is the only Uruguay travel guide author who actually lives there, and she drops some knowledge bombs about this fascinating country.


May you enjoy the hidden gems in your neighborhood this week.

Top image courtesy of Sam Beasley/Unsplash.

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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.
Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we’ve got why fiction makes good leaders, novels about weather, Darwin200, a 16th-century book ring, 1970s Paris, Sonnet 18, and more.
Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got Edith Wharton's private library, books set in Florence, a new version of Pride and Prejudice, Dino National Monument, and more.

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