Belize Manatees, Book Dress, Baklava Butler, Evil Books & More: Endnotes 09 October

Belize Manatees, Book Dress, Baklava Butler, Evil Books & More: Endnotes 09 October

Friday, 9 October, 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 sweet-faced Antillean manatee was photographed near Caye Caulker, a small coral island off the coast of Belize in the Caribbean Sea. Belize is a sanctuary for manatees, with up to 1000 of these gentle ‘sea cows’ found in the warm waters of its 240-mile coastline. Manatees are herbivores and have a very slow metabolism. They spend half their day resting and the other half slowly swimming in search of food. (That sounds pretty good, right?) They weigh between 440 and 1300 pounds (200-590kg) and consume about 10% of their weight in food every day. Their protection and conservation is a major focus in Belize; several organizations combine eco-tourism with preservation and rehab. {more}

  • Fantastic news! There are two sequels to Laura Esquivel’s classic Like Water for Chocolate coming our way! We talked about this lovely novel in our Mexico podcast, and you make these mole meatballs inspired by the story.

  • Is this a Wuthering Heights quote or Sam Smith lyric? I got 14 out of 15.

  • Two delicious words: Baklava Butler.

  • Alta Magazine is hosting a new online California Book Club. The first meeting is 15 October, and the selected title is How Much of These Hills Is Gold by C Pam Zhang. ‘John Freeman will lead lively one-hour discussions each month with writers whose books are as richly varied as the state itself.’ It’s free and when you sign up, you get free bookplates. Upcoming books include The Distance Between Us by Reyna Grande and Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosely.

  • The Lobkowicz Palace Museum in Prague is one of our favorites. It’s the former home of the Lobkowicz family, who were great patrons of the arts. The museum exhibits paintings by Bruegel, Canaletto, Velázquez, and more and has handwritten musical scores by Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven. The museum is now offering live virtual tours on Sundays for just $10 per ticket.

  • This is my dream dress, TBH.

  • Abactor! Jackroller! Biblioklept! Merriam-Webster has 9 more obscure words for thieves.

  • Take a little break from whatever you’re doing and enjoy these sounds of the forest. People from all over the world have contributed short recordings of the sounds from woodlands and forests. It’s very soothing.

  • Enjoy stunning photos and the empowering story of Nupi Keithel (Women’s Market) in India. ‘The air is full of heady aromas: incense and fermented fish, jasmine buds and pungent spices. Every shopkeeper in sight is a woman. Collectively, around 5,000 of them here in the Indian state of Manipur constitute one of the largest markets run solely by women in all of Asia.’ (Thank you to Lilisa for sharing this with us.)

  • The box-bed is enticing (quiet, dark) and kinda spooky (Cathy’s ghost in Wuthering Heights). These vintage photos are a little bit of both. (Click through for more.)

  • Would you be daring enough to zipline into Godzilla’s mouth?!

  • Ready to get spooky? Read all about the 15 most haunted hotels in the United States and check out Popsugar’s list of 22 new scary books.

  • The New York Times ‘52 Places to Go’ features usually take us around the world. For 2021, they’re inviting readers to submit stories of their favorite places. ‘We want 52 love letters to travel, all penned and photographed by you, our readers around the world, each about one place in the world that is special to you.Get all the details here.

  • Books are almost always a force for good. But when books go bad, it can be very, very entertaining. Here’s a list of fictional evil books in horror. Grimoire, anyone?

  • Travel might be out right now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t virtually eat your way around the world and the US. CN Traveler magazine compiled a list of ‘state-specific cuisines, each based on a longstanding diaspora (like Vietnamese food in Louisiana), an Indigenous community (Abenaki in Vermont), or something totally endemic (New Mexican in New Mexico).’ Get all the delicious right here. (The article mentions Shady Maple Smorgasbord in Pennsylvania; my family loves that place!)

  • Bookish podcast of the week: Now that we’re well into October, we here at SSoP HQ can fully indulge our affection for all things spooky. The original fiction podcast Blackwood follows three friends who started a podcast to investigate a local legend called the ‘Blackwood Bugman.’ What started out as fun quickly turned all too real. I’ve only started listening, and it’s a lot of fun. Great production and voice acting. The other thing that’s appealing is that the website offers additional goodies: handwritten notes, newspaper articles, drawings, and more. Start with Episode 1.

  • Travel podcast of the week: The new podcast Driving the Green Book is ‘an audio journey through the segregated South’ via the history of the travel guide The Negro Motorist Green Book.


May your books be enthralling, and your food be comforting.

Top image courtesy of Maegan Luckiesh/Unsplash.

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