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 original Ferris Wheel was designed and built by George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr. for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. It was meant to be the American answer to the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Now, the Ferris Wheel — equal parts romance and thrill — is the most common amusement ride at state fairs across the United States. But Mister Ferris wasn’t the first to strap people to a wheel and give ‘em a spin. In 17th-century Bulgaria, passengers rode on ‘pleasure wheels’ in chairs suspended from large wooden rings; the wheels were turned by strong men. (This illustration makes it look more like a torture device than a pleasure wheel, but to each their own.)
Little Girls. X pic.twitter.com/b6mWAdmOmF— ✨ Miss PunnyPennie ✨ (@Lenniesaurus) August 21, 2021
Just gonna leave this right here: The golden library of the Moscow tsars that no one can find.
News you can use: 30 Taco Recipes to Put on Repeat.
Joséphine Baker to be the first black woman to enter France’s Panthéon. ‘Her induction into the Panthéon recognizes her contribution to the performing arts and her courage in actively resisting Nazi Germany during the war.’
Sorta related: I would like to teleport to this version of Paris. Thank you. (If you, too, want to visit Paris in the ’50s, try this novel.)
LitHub blows up your TBR with this flowchart to decide which big fall book you should read.
The Perks of Being a Book Lover is one of our favorite bookish podcasts, and we were thrilled to be guests on the show. We saw this on Instagram recently, and it made our hearts grow three sizes. This is EXACTLY what we hope will happen when we release our podcast episodes. (Have you listened to our Costa Rica show yet?!).
Don’t you want to learn about the Phantasmagoria of the Enlightenment? ‘[Belgian entertainer] Robertson hired the ruined vaults of a medieval convent in the heart of Paris. Audiences were welcomed in an environment filled with skulls, bones, and magical symbols; they were served some drugged punch and left in the dark, before the magic lantern started projecting slides… Images included mythological monsters, but also scenes from Gothic novels — the most typical was the ‘Bleeding Nun’ from MG Lewis’s The Monk — or references to contemporary politics: Jean-Paul Marat [a French politician killed in his bathtub in 1793], or the guillotined head of French Revolutionary leader Georges Jacques Danton. At some point, the show was forcibly closed by the police, when rumor was spread that Robertson could bring the king Louis Capet [Louis XVI] back to life.’
Not to brag (too much), but I got ‘Bookworm baddie’ on this book-related quiz.
Virtually explore an English village that’s been frozen in time. (More from The Mirror.)
The Bookstour: A Documentary is about an author who visited 50 indie bookstores in 50 days to promote his novel. He talked to so many booksellers and had an epiphany along the way. You can watch the 20-minute documentary online — watch the trailer here.
Look at the gorgeous ceiling frescoes and murals painted with mud (!) by Japanese artist Yusuke Asai.
The English language is so weird — and this post is funny. ‘English mugs other languages in dark alleys and rifles through their pockets for spare vocabulary.’
This Edinburgh bookshop crawl looks like so much fun! (Click through to see all the shops.)
📚If you visit Edinburgh there are some amazing indie bookshops to visit. @Dan_Zep was my amazing tour guide as we took Mrs Death on a flying carpet ride around the city to see 7 magical bookshops in one afternoon. So here’s our Edinburgh book tour picks and here’s a thread… pic.twitter.com/0KYbCb29gL— Salena Godden (@salenagodden) August 21, 2021
The paintings by Scottish artist Caroline Walker feature ordinary/extraordinary women in candid scenes: working in a bakery, styling hair in a salon, cleaning a hotel suite, reclining on a couch. They’re tender snapshots of everyday life.
As the photos below prove, Romania isn’t all vampire fangs and black bats. Just look at the stunning nature, cobblestone streets, and fairy-tale cottages! (Use the arrows to flip through the slideshow.)
Top image courtesy of Hannah Morgan/Unsplash.
Want to keep up with our book-related adventures? Sign up for our newsletter!
Can you help us? If you like this article, share it your friends!
Strong Sense of Place is a website and podcast dedicated to literary travel and books we love. Reading good books increases empathy. Empathy is good for all of us and the amazing world we inhabit.
Strong Sense of Place is a listener-supported podcast. If you like the work we do, you can help make it happen by joining our Patreon! That'll unlock bonus content for you, too — including Mel's secret book reviews and Dave's behind-the-scenes notes for the latest Two Truths and a Lie.
This is a weekly email. If you'd like a quick alert whenever we update our blog, subscribe here.
We'll share enough detail to help you decide if a book is for you, but we'll never ruin plot twists or give away the ending.
This 30-page Reading Atlas takes you around the world with dozens of excellent books and gorgeous travel photos. Get your free copy when you subscribe to our newsletter.
Content on this site is ©2023 by Smudge Publishing, unless otherwise noted. Peace be with you, person who reads the small type.