Iceland, Literary Jeopardy, Retro Rest Stops, Ode to Used Books & More: Endnotes 16 July

Iceland, Literary Jeopardy, Retro Rest Stops, Ode to Used Books & More: Endnotes 16 July

Friday, 16 July, 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.

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This very satisfactory lighthouse is found at Grótta, a nature reserve on the tip of Iceland’s Seltjarnarnes Peninsula. Just a 35-minute drive from the capital city of Reykjavik, it’s a wonderland of black sands, dramatic coastline, seabirds, and seals that frolic in the foamy Atlantic. In the winter, it’s one of the best places to see the northern lights. This spot has been home to a lighthouse since 1897; this cutie dates to 1947. Grótta is connected to the mainland by a narrow spit of land that’s submerged beneath the waves at high tide! Someone, please, write a novel about mysterious happenings and intrepid adventurers trapped on the island by the churning sea.

  • Author John Fram breaks down why Dick Francis mysteries are so comforting. ‘[The books] are about solving the harder problem: how does a person keep going after everything falls apart? In Proof, our protagonist Tony Beach begins the novel almost paralyzed with grief by the death of his young wife. Sid Halley, hero of Odds Against, Whip Hand, Come to Grief, and Under Orders, still dreams of the races he used to win before a horse’s hoof destroyed his left hand. In Straight, Derek doubts he’ll ever have half of his bother’s decency and intelligence. But in every novel, these men find the courage to keep going. They do the right thing. They survive.’

  • This hiking lodge designed by Antoni Gaudi is a visual treat and a neat story.

  • Would you want to take this bath in Switzerland?!

  • In which a book lover reflects on the ‘mild anarchy of piles of books’ at second-hand bookshops.

  • Somewhat related: How great are bookstore cats? Click the arrows to scroll through the slideshow.

  • It’s not summer with a new Gabriel Alon thriller from Daniel Silva. The author stopped by the Today show to talk about his latest The Cellist. (I’m about 30% into this book, and I love it.)

  • Nerdy fun! 12 Books That Break the Rules of Point of View.

  • Where are my crossword puzzle fans? You’ll want to read this interview with The New York Times crossword editor Will Shortz. ‘I think humans have a natural desire to fill empty spaces. It gives us a sense of fulfillment, to complete a grid.’

  • There are some interesting ideas about community in this essay on how to build a small town.

  • David and I are going to spend the weekend at this cottage (in our imagination). There will be tea and scones involved. You’re welcome to join us.

 

May you enjoy a little touch of the fantastic this week.

Top image courtesy of Willian Justen de Vasconcellos/Unsplash.

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Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got Edwardian dinner etiquette, abandoned German ballroom, dancing on a giant typewriter, American accents, fiction pods, and more.
Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got improv typewriter poetry, city squares around the globe, best crime novels, Lewis Carroll's 'Alice' illustrations, and more.
Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got surfing with Agatha Christie, a beautiful Budapest flat, mythical spots IRL, who versus whom, Dick Francis novels, and more.

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