Lit in Translation, Azulejos Tiles, Magic Books, Dracula & More: Endnotes 18 September

Lit in Translation, Azulejos Tiles, Magic Books, Dracula & More: Endnotes 18 September

Friday, 18 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 tiled mural above is the exterior wall of the Igreja de Santo Ildefonso, an 18th-century church in Porto, Portugal. Built in the proto-Baroque style, the building dates back to 1739. The blue-and-white azulejo tilework was created and installed by artist Jorge Colaço in 1932. The 11,000 tiles illustrate scenes from the Gospels and the life of Saint Ildefonso for whom the church is named. The beautiful azulejos — ceramic tiles that are painted and tin-glazed — are found all over Portugal, decorating interior and exterior walls, floors, and ceilings. {more on azulejos}

  • Translating novels is a special kind of alchemy. In this Guardian interview, Ann Goldstein — the translater for Anna Ferrante’s best-selling books — talks about her unique job. ‘In my first draft I look at the Italian; in the second I am still working with the Italian and trying to solve problems I couldn’t solve first time around. Then, eventually, I try to read just the English, without the Italian…‘

  • Enjoy this ‘stranger than fiction’ list of real-life locations around the world that could inspire wild and wonderful stories.

  • Do you love dogs? Do you love word-nerdery? This quiz is for you. (It’s very challenging; I got only 3 correct.)

  • This 1400-page book bracelet filled with drawings by Rembrandt is a stunner — and the story of how it came to be is very inspiring.

handmade book bracelet

  • Special event alert! On 7 October, The Rosenbach is hosting Stoker on Stoker: A multi-media presentation by Dacre Stoker, Bram Stoker’s great grand-nephew. The Zoom presentation will explore Bram Stoker’s life and the history of Dracula, Stoker family lore, and more. Dacre will share rare historic images from his personal collection and answer questions during a Q&A. More info and registration here.

  • Take an imaginary trip to paradise with these five great books on Hawaii.

  • The combination of Agatha Christie and Angela Lansbury is irresistible. With the new film version of Death on the Nile coming soon, it’s a treat to hear Dame Angela talk about her experience filming the original.

  • Bookish podcast of the week: Witness History from the BBC is one of my favorite short-form podcasts. In just 10 minutes, each episode delivers unique perspectives on one historical event from people who lived through it. This edition delves into how Ian Fleming created his classic spy James Bond.

  • Travel podcast of the week: In this episode of the Flight of Fancy podcast, host Ben Groundwater and his guests talk about the weird and wonderful things that inspire us to see the world — and why the notion of travel continues to be important to us, even during The Weirds of lockdown and social distancing.


May you be safe and healthy and inspired by the world around you.

Top image courtesy of Dominik Kuhn/Unsplash.

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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.
Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got living in a British village, a new writing competition, quirky museums, LGBTQ+ travel books, letter-writing supplies, and more.

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