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 charming house is found in the Getsemani district of Cartagena, Colombia. The neighborhood used to be the hangout of ne’er-do-wells. Now it’s a laid-back haven to dance to street musicians, stroll past colorful murals and Spanish colonial architecture, enjoy a drink, and snack on Colombian cuisine at hip restaurants or from street food stalls. Read more about Cartagena’s coolest new neighborhood.
This is fun at BookRiot: 8 Delicious Foodie Manga.
This is not fun at Publisher’s Weekly: AI Comes to Audiobooks. ‘Today’s focus on the AI-enabled auto-narration of audiobooks is fostered by the same technology that taught Siri to speak and Alexa to listen… Underneath digital voice audio is text—text converted to speech… Text to speech (TTS) creates artificially generated audio that sounds like a person talking. The perfect application for this has been voicebots on smartphones and voice assistants in the home. The holy grail has been to make their voices indistinguishable from human voices.’
This, however, is awesome. A man in England named Freddy Goodall found a hidden passageway in the library of his 500-year-old home.
This thoughtful piece argues that armchair travel is no substitute for real-world experiences. Agree, but also: IT’S GREAT TO HAVE BOTH. Plus, armchair travel makes other cultures accessible when we can’t travel for all kinds of reasons.
Wil Wheaton (a.k.a., super-nice human, actor, and former Wesley Crusher) has a new book coming out in April. Still Just a Geek is available for pre-order. The book’s concept is really fun: He annotated essays and blog posts he’d previously written with updates and new insights.
I think you all know that I love a manor house novel (evidence here). But real-world country houses do have a troubling history. ‘In Britain, the history of slavery hides in plain sight, not merely in gilt frames on dark oak walls, but in the works of Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, and Charles Dickens—as well as in the faces of black Britons, many of whose slave ancestors labored to make the nation’s gracious houses and fine gardens and art collections possible.’
Fascinating: Sweet treats like halva and baklava traveled with Muslim traders to China and were transformed into Moon Cakes.
If you listened to our podcast about the Arctic, you heard about Svalbard in the Two Truths and a Lie segment. This week, the residents of Svalbard experienced their last sunset of the year.
This is the last sunset in Svalbard of this year..— Buitengebieden (@buitengebieden_) November 2, 2021
The next time they will see the sun there is in March.. pic.twitter.com/IqU9CkjNbN
Merriam-Webster challenges you to take this punctuation quiz. I got 10/11. All hail the em-dash!
On the Life’s a Beach podcast, British comedian Alan Carr invites celebrities to share their favorite travel experiences. This week, he talked to Duran Duran frontman Simon Le Bon.
Enjoy a musical interlude from Gaza.
We love life, if we find a way to it..— Maha Hussaini (@MahaGaza) June 12, 2021
Good Morning Gaza pic.twitter.com/98vYWSjan0
The Shedunnit Podcast is the perfect listen for fans of golden age crime novels. The writer and host Caroline Crampton is smart, funny, and has a gorgeous radio voice. Her Shedunnit Book Club is great (I’m a member), and she’s currently in her annual drive for new members. There are bonus podcasts and audiobooks and brilliant discussions and all manner of nice things for mystery lovers. You might like it — perhaps check it out.
Who wouldn’t want to stay in a bubble hotel with elephants?!
5 Books That Changed the World. Three of my personal favorites are on this list; I suppose I should read the other two.
Today’s Far Side cartoon from the daily feed:
Top image courtesy of eskystudio/Shutterstock.
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