Iceland, Black Tudors, a Poignant Scrapbook, Secret Paris & More: Endnotes 04 June

Iceland, Black Tudors, a Poignant Scrapbook, Secret Paris & More: Endnotes 04 June

Friday, 4 June, 2021

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.


In case you were wondering: Yes, Iceland is a very magical place. When we visited a few years ago, we went on an all-day excursion to a volcano, a hot spring, a waterfall, and the fantastic (and fantastical) black church of Búðir. On our journey around the Snaefellsness peninsula, we encountered almost every type of weather: brilliant sun, soupy fog, pouring rain, snow squalls, blasting wind, a calm sunset, and then, once it was dark, a blizzard-level snowstorm that cleared up as we approached Reykjavik so we could see the city lights twinkling against the night sky. It’s no surprise this photographer was able to capture a rainbow in the wake of a thunderstorm.

  • Standing ovation for this upcoming book: Freddie Mercury: Lover of Life, Singer of Songs — the first graphic novel to pay tribute to one of the best rock singers of all time — will be published in November 2021. Learn more and pre-order right here!

  • We’ve heard from so many of you that (like us), you’re fans of Yoga with Adriene. Her dog Benji has stolen our hearts — and he’s a legit celebrity in Texas.

  • Best eight words ever?! Welcome to the Potato Chip Capital of America.

  • Sort of related: The Whoa Nellie Deli near Yosemite just might be the ‘gas station with a gorgeous view and surprisingly great food’ that you need in your life.

  • FutureLearn is a website that offers free online courses from world-class universities and industry experts. I took the Literature of the English Country House a few years ago; it was fantastic and is probably responsible for my obsession with manor house stories. Now I’m very interested in a new course called Black Tudors: The Untold Story. ‘Discover the little-known history of Black Africans in Tudor England and challenge your preconceptions of Black history.’ The class is free and starts on 12 July; register here.

  • We shared photos of the stunning Atlantis Books in Santorini, Greece, on our Instagram this week. Here’s owner Craig Walzer in a TEDx Athens talk about the power of stories and the genesis of their bookshop.

  • If you only read one link this week, make it this one! Beginning in 1887, a woman named Hannah Ditzler Alspaugh — a teacher, artist, and librarian — kept a scrapbook of fabric samples, annotating each with details about the garment’s making, remaking, use, and eventual demise. Through the fabric samples, we see the events of her life: her visit to the World’s Fair, her mother’s last dress, her own wedding dress. Such a beautiful, poignant documentation of one ordinary/extraordinary woman’s life.

  • Ah, Paris… a nineteenth-century illusionist, a soignee cabaret, and alchemy: Tracing the Hidden History of Secret Paris.

  • Fascinating! Smithsonian Magazine reveals how the seashore evolved from a scary place to a vacation wonderland. ‘The specter of Leviathan or Kraken gave the beach its threatening aura, but so did real hazards that arrived on the shore: pirates and bandits, crusaders and colonizers, the Black Death, and smallpox. No wonder Dante’s third circle of hell is lined with sand. On the beach, terror strikes Robinson Crusoe, the first of many castaways to confront destiny on the sand. In Western literature, the shoreline has served as a boundary; the beach the symbolic edge of the unknown.’

  • I will always show up for trolls. (The cute, folkloric kind, not the mean, internet kind.)

  • This is so cool and creative:


May you feel your swagger this week.

Top image courtesy of Calvin Chou/Unsplash.

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Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got best crime fiction series, Victorian bathing machines, Dickinson's love letters, Sweden in summer, jet-age airports, and more.
Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got a steampunk carnival, book fairies, Atlas Obscura trips, an Imperial Russian train route, Dickinson's Herbarium, and more.
Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got essays from Aminatta Forna, walrus sightings, Iranian hotels, a seafaring brooch, a funny homage to Anne Brontë, and more.

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