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.
The clever, handsome cat lives on Tashirojima, a.k.a., Cat Island, in Japan. The island’s population is currently 25-percent humans and 75-percent cats. Sounds pretty purrfect. Back in the day, the island was a hub for silkworm production, and cats were brought in to patrol for pests. As the human population aged out, the pampered cats multiplied, and now, it’s a tourist destination. There are 11 (!) other cat islands in Japan.
This quiz about commonly confused words is fun, and I learned that ‘immanent’ is a word (not to be confused with eminent or imminent, obvs).
Strong agree that the butler is one of pop culture’s most underrated archetypes. ‘The English butler in fiction sometimes feels like a trope that isn’t long for this world, at least not the type done with the sort of nuance of an Ishiguro or Wodehouse… It’s a shame, really, because what the butler knows almost always makes for the most interesting story.’
Square Waves Are an Actual Thing — and If You See Them, You Should Stay Away From the Water.
This futuristic house designed to be a multigenerational home for parents, kids, and grandparents reminds me a bit of Vietnam’s tube houses.
This sentence is quite arresting: From Kathmandu to Timbuktu, an American monk travels the world to safeguard invaluable treasure—ancient documents that tell humanity’s story.
Truly terrible and also entertaining, here are 30 puns from the Victorian era.
The book National Geographic Night Vision: Magical Photographs of Life After Dark is filled with stunning images. You can peep seven gorgeous pics at the Nat Geo website.
Here are eight unusual roadside attractions for your next American roadtrip.
I’ve had The Midnight Library on my TBR for far too long. This Q&A with author Matt Haig just nudged his novel up my list.
Aubrey Plaza wrote a book called The Legend of the Christmas Witch (out 12 October; you can pre-order now) — and she’s narrating the audiobook. #teamaubreyplazaineverything
https://t.co/l4AmggUUts pic.twitter.com/OyfCfN1jjA— Aubrey Plaza (@evilhag) July 26, 2021
The real secret London? It’s down in the river mud.
Take a bite of these summer sandwich recipes from around the world.
Gimme (super) dark-and-gloomy or sweet-and-funny… here are 13 laugh-out-loud mysteries.
We’re re-watching the first season of the [insert every loving adjective here] show Ted Lasso. Enjoy this video of the musician Cam Cole who got everyone dancing their bums off in episode four.
Jamming a new riff in Camden pic.twitter.com/yBdzWq1Omq— Cam Cole (@MrCamCole) July 26, 2021
You need to know about the Exercise Book Archive. It’s an online collection of old exercise books written by children from 30 different countries from the late 1700s until the early 2000s. And check this out: You can volunteer to transcribe or translate! I loved this sweet story about planting trees from a notebook from the year I was born (1968) in Buenos Aires, Argentina. This one from a 3rd-grade girl just before WWII in Tarporley, UK, is also very good. She writes, ‘Our Milk man is called Mr B. and he brings our milk every morning. He has a horse and its name is Dolly, and he has cart to put his milk cans in… On each side of his cart he has a lamp to see where he is going, and sometimes in Summer he gives me apples.’ You can also just click the crossed arrows icon in the upper right to enjoy a random page. (Sorry/not sorry for the time you will lose exploring this treasure trove.) And finally, here’s a Collector’s Weekly interview with the founder.
Declaring herself her ‘own heroine,’ artist and diarist Marie Bashkirtseff decided her name was going to live through the ages. In 1884, she had consumption and had little time left. ‘Should sufficient time remain before her death, she hoped to secure posthumous renown through her painting. In the event of an early death, her diary was to be published.’
These circular stained glass windows found in cathedrals are called rose windows (or sometimes wheel windows), and they are just the best. Click through to Instagram for more fascinating info about these beautiful works of art.
Top image courtesy of GAGAnuma/Shutterstock.
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