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 dreamy photo of Buddhist monks above was taken in Myanmar. Buddhism is practiced by almost 90% of the population there; the two most popular practices are merit-making (accumulation of good merit through charity and good deeds to obtain a favorable rebirth) and vipassanā meditation (training of the mind to see things as they really are.) This video will take you inside the UNESCO World Heritage site of the 12th-century temple at Bagan.
This is really good: Find Your Bunk, Change Your Life: Thinking About Liminal Spaces in Books, TV, and Movies. Katie Lattari, author of Dark Things I Adore, discusses how transitional places — camps, colleges, and boarding schools — serve as powerful settings for stories of thrills, chills, and gore.
Is there a perfect shape for books? ‘Everyone has their book-object hangups. There’s something compelling about a gorgeous paper-over-boards book… I love a small-format hardcover… they feel compactly special, the literary equivalent of a petite but intensely flavorful dessert.’
The beach can be a special place in fall and winter. ‘Strolling along sandy shores is always a great activity, even if you have to wrap up in a jacket and scarf to do it. And hearing the waves crash from your bedroom window can be even more comforting if you’re wrapped up in a big fluffy comforter to keep warm and cozy.’
You probably need these chocolate bars inspired by classic literature.
Fancy a stay at this villa in Vals, Switzerland?!
People have been playing board games for about 10,000 years (!). The Public Domain Review explains the relationship between board games and events in history.
In this episode of the podcast Cold War Conversations, Prague-based journalist Mark Baker shares stories of his time in the Czech Republic of the ’80s. Spy stuff!
These travel and etiquette tips are specific to Paris, but I would argue that most of them apply to any European city.
Last week, I shared a link about crossing the Atlantic on the QE2. This week, I learned there’s a travel company that specializes in retro cruises on the Queen Mary 2. Period-appropriate outfits! Swing music! Cocktails! (Thank you, Ronda!)
Who doesn’t love to see their favorite book pop up in movies? Here are 50 Literary Cameos in ’90s Movies. Then you can keep it going with 50 Great Literary Cameos in Terrible Early 2000s Movies. (Do I need to watch Definitely, Maybe?)
Italy’s Book Doctor. ‘In the city of Bologna, home to the world’s oldest university, Pietro Livi developed an unusual machine shop—part artisanal and part high-tech—built to restore damaged ancient texts to their former glory. And then came Venice’s historic floods of 2019.’
The 1930 novel The Invisible Host is a mystery written by two US journalists, and it may have inspired Agatha Christie’s most successful book.
In our podcast episode about Peru, we talked about the country’s 3000 varieties of potatoes and the delicious cuisine that lures visitors to its restaurants. National Geographic explains why every foodie you know is heading to Peru. (Perhaps you’d like to try Peruvian Popcorn or the stir-fry known as Lomo Saltado.)
I really enjoyed this story about British wildlife artist Mouse Macpherson. ‘Mouse Macpherson kept an eclectic menagerie of pets and wild animals and signed everything, from paintings to cheques, with a tiny mouse.’
This artist is living my bookish-introvert-who-just-wants-to-be-alone-to-read dream:
Top image courtesy of vectorx2263/Shutterstock.
Want to keep up with our book-related adventures? Sign up for our newsletter!
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 © 2021 by Smudge Publishing, unless otherwise noted. Peace be with you, person who reads the small type.