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.
Before the Louvre in Paris was the world’s most iconic museum, it was a palace, home to kings, emperors, ministers, and courtiers. This is the dining table from the apartments of Napoleon III, circa 1861. To learn the story of the ghost that haunts the Louvre, we must travel back to 16th-century Italy to meet Catherine de’ Medici. She was an Italian noblewoman who became the queen consort of France (1547 until 1559) and lived at the palace in Paris. She’s a controversial figure. Known as the ‘serpent queen,’ she wielded much power but was also blamed for the atrocities committed during her sons’ reigns. Her own crime? The murder of Jean l’Ecorcheur, a.k.a., Jack the Skinner. According to scuttlebutt, Jean (a butcher by trade) was the queen’s most trusted assassin, hired to kill her political foes. But she feared Jean knew too many secrets about the royal family and ordered his murder. After his untimely death, he returned to haunt the royal family and was dubbed the Red Man of the Tuileries. It’s said he can still be seen, dressed in red, striding through the museum and nearby gardens. Napoleon III claimed to have seen the ghost in 1815, perhaps in this very dining room. Read more terrifying tales from the world’s most haunted museums.
Fulfilling all of your flowing hair/diaphanous nightgown/spooky manor house needs: 11 masterpieces of romantic suspense.
Yes, please, gimme all of the niche bookshops. Books and pickles! Mysteries! Animals! (Fun fact: I had a book event at the fabulous Omnivore Books in San Francisco when my cookbook Well Fed Weeknights was released.)
We at SSoP HQ firmly believe that Paris is always a good idea, so we enjoyed this look at Paris locations in the suspenseful, sexy series Lupin. (For more Paris awesomeness, visit our Paris Destination page.)
Wes Anderson designed a train carriage on a 1950s British Pullman called Cygnus. ‘With a pastel-pink ceiling detailing and a variety of green tones in the carpets and chairs, at first glance, Cygnus feels like stepping onto one of the director’s film sets. Stunning marquetry work in numerous wood panels shows sunbeams, clouds, stars, and waves.’
The Living Knowledge blog takes you behind the scenes of the British Library. Here’s one of their charming videos: Meet Liz Jolly, Chief Librarian…
Last week I shared a link to an essay about Regency romance author Georgette Heyer. Unfortunately, this week I learned that she was antisemitic. There are so many other great romance authors, maybe we should just relegate Heyer to history?
The Edinburgh Horror Fest is offering lots of fun events online this year: live storytelling, improvisational theater, spooky radio, and more. Most of the shows premiere on 22 October and are available until Halloween, so you can watch at your leisure. See the schedule of online events right here — David and I are planning to watch A Gift of Nightmares and The Literary Medium.
Creepy or cool? It’s both!
Creepy or cool? A hot air balloon shaped like a giant floating head was spotted above a park in Tokyo. The project was designed by the Japanese art collective mé. pic.twitter.com/XyqtEoCfbn— NowThis (@nowthisnews) October 13, 2021
I loved this piece on bringing back the positive versions of everyday words like inept, disheveled and discombobulated. ‘While you brush your unkempt hair and tidy your disheveled clothes, have you ever thought how pleasant it would be to wake up ‘sheveled’ and ‘kempt’ for a change?… I’m campaigning for the revival of the positive words that have been lost from our language. And none more so than the counterparts to what linguists call orphaned negatives, or words that have lost their better half.’
While discussing the stunning book The Lost by Daniel Mendelsohn with an SSoP follower this week, I was reminded of author Lee Child’s excellent installment of By the Book.
Have you seen the web tool that gets rid of everything but the punctuation in a writing sample, so you can see your writing style in stark black and white? Read about it on LitHub, then try the tool yourself, if you dare. Here’s mine, and yes! I do enjoy an m-dash.
There are so many pretty places in Scotland on film: Harry Potter, James Bond, Hamlet, and more.
The 99% Invisible podcast delves into the history and meaning of presidential libraries. ‘Among other things, presidential libraries are tributes to greatness… But they’re also a “weird mix of a historical repository of records and things that have a lot of meaning.”’
How deep is the ocean? Very. (For books set on the sea and our podcast episode The Sea: Tales of Poets and Pirates, visit our Sea Destination Page.)
Top image courtesy of Amy-Leigh Barnard/Unsplash.
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