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.
This is a shot of the Golden Bridge (Cầu Vàng in Vietnamese), a 490-foot (150m) pedestrian footbridge in the Bà Nà Hills resort, near Da Nang. The walkway soars 3200 feet (975m) above sea level, providing a thrilling view of the vast green spaces and hills below. Why simply walk when you can promenade on a shiny golden bridge held aloft by the hands of a giant? Marvel at more photos here, including one with a rainbow.
This is an interesting discussion on Reddit: Why is the verb ‘to be’ so irregular in so many languages?
Why so many authors are saying goodbye to Goodreads. ‘…authors now exist in a world where book coverage has shriveled at almost every major news outlet, professional reviews are few and far between, and in-person events rarely if ever take place these days thanks to the pandemic. As a result, most of the feedback we get these days comes from open-access online platforms where armchair critics abound. This ecosystem has caused so many authors to ask themselves the question: Should I read all my reviews?’
Ever feel like your ears/head might explode while the plane is landing? Here are tips for how to safely pop your ears after a flight.
Related: Advice from a flight attendant on what to do if your flight is canceled.
When a photo on Instagram makes me gasp, I share it with you.
I’ve been enjoying the newsletter The Biblioracle Recommends. In this edition, he talks about being an ‘unrepentant book abandoner,’ and the time he nearly gave up on a book but held on and reaped big rewards.
Related: Novelist Mark Billingham makes his case for the 20-page rule of book abandonment.
I found this informative and delightful: The five most realistic PIs in fiction. (Written by an author and licensed private investigator!)
Most of us have been exploring a ‘strong sense of home’ for the past 18 months or so. The new book Home: A Celebration is a collection of essays in which contributors — artists, poets, photographers, historians, novelists, actors, and activists — share an interpretation of home. Not only is it a lovely book, but a portion of the profits will also go to No Kid Hungry. Read an excerpt of the book — or buy a copy.
Quiz: How well do you know the world’s cuisine? I got 10/16. It seems pretty clear I need to be traveling and eating more.
These Romantic illustrations that depict ascending Mont-Blanc are a delight — and they’re in the public domain. They’d make beautiful Christmas cards if you’re a DIY kind of person.
Here’s a cool project if you want to help out the Library of Congress and future web users. You can help transcribe 18th- and 19th-century title pages from the Early Copyright Records Collection. From 1790 through 1870, copyright registration required applicants to submit a fee and printed title page to the federal district court. When those records were consolidated, the old entries were transferred to the Library of Congress’ where they have since resided, nestled away in archival boxes.’ They’re scanned now but need to be transcribed. Get all the details here.
If you enjoyed our podcast episode The Circus: Found Family and Daring Feats, you might like this trivia question from Ken Jennings’ weekly trivia newsletter: What unusual distinction is shared by all these well-known people? Eddie Albert, Cary Grant, Mata Hari, Ben Hecht, Alexander Jodorowsky, Burt Lancaster, Anton LaVey, Paul Mooney, Joseph Pilates, Steve-O, David Strathairn, Christopher Walken. Before their more famous achievement in their fields, each was a circus performer. Mooney was a ringmaster, Strathairn was a clown, and Lancaster was an acrobat. Mata Hari had a horse act. Christopher Walken was a lion tamer!
I cannot improve on this headline: Who is the mystery man caught on Google Maps writing a poem on the beach?
How about a brief armchair adventure to Albania?! The photos and story are swoony-inducing.
Neat online event alert! On 03 November, you can join an online show-and-tell of 19 objects from Jane Austen’s life. ‘This lively online talk will whisk us through Jane Austen’s life and legacy, using 19(ish) objects from the Jane Austen’s House collection to help tell the story. Featuring blockbuster objects such as Jane Austen’s writing table and the magnificent patchwork quilt she made with her mother and sister, as well as some of the lesser-known objects in the collection, including a recipe book that tells us how to make ink, a portrait of Jane’s cousin (arguably the original Mr. Collins!), and a letter from Jane to the Prince Regent’s librarian.’ Details here.
David and I just made our list of scary movies for our Halloween Film Fest. #RIP a good night’s sleep for the next week. If you’d prefer something less terrifying and more delightful, here’s a collection of Halloween movies for Jane Austen fans.
Whoa. Clothing designer Ashley Rose was born in Salem, Massachusetts, and she’s created an 18-piece collection inspired by the Salem Witch trials. All of the pieces are white and incorporate at least 800 beads (!). When asked what she wants the collection to make people feel, she replied, ‘Hope. It’s not meant to be pretty. It’s strong women pushing through what life throws at them, and there’s always going to be hope.’
The photos in this story are nightmare fuel, but if you’re curious, this piece explores how dolls became symbols of horror.
September 5, 2021
I recently read The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix and loved it. This piece from Slate explores horror’s most infamous trope.
This week, we shared a recipe for a dangerously delicious savory bread pudding from the forthcoming A Gothic Cookbook. In the presentation Monstrous Teapots & Tart Tangerines, the authors Ella Buchan and Alessandra Pino discuss the meanings of food in literature.
We tend to think of haunted houses in moody locales like chilly New England or the misty moors. But California has an enticing history of spooky Victorian homes. In the Los Angeles Review of Books, Joy Lanzendorfer traces the stories of these haunting dwellings. ‘I’ve always found something sick and fascinating about California’s grand estates. I grew up near the Carson Mansion in Eureka, owned by the lumber baron William Carson. The lolling gingerbread house is considered the pinnacle of American Queen Anne architecture. It’s as green as a new dollar bill, with a tower, turrets, gables, and stained glass. Dozens of railings made of carved spheres run the length of the house, like beads in an abacus. The only people allowed inside are members of an exclusive club. It’s a handsome house, yet something about it bothers me. Every inch seems covered in carved woodwork: strips, fans, curlicues, and other shapes glob in patches under the eaves and up and down the walls. I’m both fascinated and repelled by the mansion…’
Top image courtesy of Aleksandr Barsukov/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.