Icelandic Horses, Best Food Books, Literary London, New Scrooge & More: Endnotes 04 December

Icelandic Horses, Best Food Books, Literary London, New Scrooge & More: Endnotes 04 December

Friday, 4 December, 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 handsome emo fellow above is an Icelandic horse. The horses of Iceland are the original Viking breed, developed from ponies brought to the island by Norse settlers more than 1000 years ago. Although the horses are pony-sized (52-56 inches/132-142 cm), they’re hardy and long-lived, thanks to their isolation in Iceland. Much revered in historical records and Icelandic literature, the horses are still used today to shepherd sheep in the highlands and for horse shows, leisure riding, and racing. They even have an official website! We recommend you watch this completely chill video of horses roaming through stunning scenery.

  • Sure, tell us all about the etymology of the word wuthering!

  • Inspired by the borders of illuminated manuscripts, the Getty Museum curators created their own works of art with flowers and manuscript pages. The results are lovely. (The entire Getty Iris blog is pretty fantastic.)

  • This 3D crosswalk in Iceland is trippy!

  • News you can use: BookRiot lists places to buy books online that aren’t Amazon.

  • Love this so much! Two artists in North Carolina were commissioned to restore vintage ‘ghost signs’ painted on the sides of buildings in the town of Mooresville. ‘There’s so much digital technology, TV, movies, and stuff that’s out there now,’ says artist Jeremy Russell. ‘This is an old-school thing you can preserve. I think people get excited about that.’

vintage sign painted on a red brick wall
This department store sign was originally painted between 1890 and 1920.
  • Yummy! Take a bite of the best food books of the year according to Smithsonian magazine.

  • Remember when we introduced you to the TripFiction website? They returned the favor and invited us to do a Q&A. David and I shared our favorite places, go-to recipes, the genesis of Strong Sense of Place, and what it’s like to work for a cat named Smudge.

  • These trompe l’oeil paintings are delightful: Circa 1670, artist Cornelis Norbertus Gijsbrechts painted his masterpiece called The Reverse of a Framed Painting. This and his other works — I also really like An Open Cabinet — look fresh, modern, and whimsical, even though they’re 350 years old.

  • We talked about Peruvian singer Yma Sumac’s remarkable vocal range in our Peru podcast, and serendipitously, she showed up in our Twitter feed.

  • Wow! Someone created a 238-hour Spotify playlist that includes every song mentioned in the works of Haruki Murakami. It’s 3442 songs! The music in his writing is no accident; before becoming the legendary author we know today, he owned a jazz bar in Tokyo called ‘Peter Cat.’

  • Take a virtual trip to the ‘New Seven Wonders of the World’ — The Great Wall of China, the Taj Mahal, Petra, the Colosseum, Christ the Redeemer, Chichén Itzá, and Machu Picchu — with these stunning photos and videos.

  • ‘I can tell I love you because I want to give you a bite of whatever I’m eating.’ Treat yourself to this sweet online comic about food and memory.

  • How to plan a literary walking tour through London

  • Christmas spirit alert! The new show Estella Scrooge is a ‘Dickensian Musical Extravaganza,’ a modern retelling of A Christmas Carol with additional characters and plot lines from Great Expectations, Little Dorrit, Bleak House, and other Dickens’ novels. Tickets to watch it online are available now — because we can have nice things, but only online these days.

  • Bookish podcast of the week: We get so many good book ideas from the Currently Reading podcast, and we were thrilled to be guests on the show this week. Listen in as David and I talk to the host Kaytee about our bookish moments of the week, current reads, our work on Strong Sense of Place, and the books we want to press into your hands.

  • Travel podcast of the week: In this vintage episode of the Zero to Travel podcast, the hosts treat us to a Norwegian Christmas Spectacular.


It’s never too soon to start holiday baking.

Top image courtesy of redcharlie/Unsplash.

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Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got Rebecca filming spots, the Staunch Book Prize, surprising travel facts, the art of noticing, romance novels panel, and more.
Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got a touching graphic novel, Peruvian soul food, classic cocktails, Irish libraries, posh locations from 'The Crown,' and more.
Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got why Lagos might be a must-visit, a look at Mary Wollstonecraft, Russia's Road of Bones, the benefits of board games, and more.

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