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.
That’s a family of golden snub-nosed monkeys (Rhinopithecus roxellana if you’re into Latin) hanging out up there. They’re found in the mountain forests of southwestern China — mainly the Hubei, Shaanxi, Gansu, and Sichuan provinces. Their luxurious golden coat isn’t just pretty to the eye; it keeps them snuggly warm, too. According to National Geographic, ‘Many have been pushed into high-altitude isolation, where they leap across branches, traverse icy rivers, and weather long winters at nearly 10,000 feet, shielded by that coveted coat.’ These monkeys are highly social and form groups of up to 400 members. Their diet includes fruits, seeds, bark, herbs, flowers, and lichen. Which brings us to this short video; treat yourself.
Writer’s Digest asks: Would Mystery Author Agatha Christie Make a Good Amateur Detective?
This article makes the case for why audiobooks can sometimes be better than reading on the page. ‘Audiobooks aren’t cheating. They aren’t a just-add-water shortcut to cheap intellectualism. For so many titles in this heyday of audio entertainment, it’s not crazy to ask the opposite: Compared to the depth that can be conveyed via audio, does the flat text version count?’
I loved Neal Stephenson’s enthralling cinderblock of a novel Cryptonomicon, and I’m looking forward to reading his latest Termination Shock next week when it’s released. In this interview, the author talks about climate change, the future of democracy, the metaverse… little stuff like that.
Well, this is pretty magical.
November 5, 2021
TripFiction asks: When does the use of foreign language phrases in a novel feel like a turn off?
There are otherworldly landscapes to be found in this roundup of the 6 most beautiful places to visit in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
At the Baiae marine park, near Naples, Italy, visitors can snorkel among Roman ruins, including a statue of Dionysus, ancient baths, tile mosaics, and the ruins of brick walls.
Electric Lit delivers your Fall Reading Horoscope.
The TV show Columbo is pure comfort viewing in our house, so I was delighted to discover the Columbophile website, a one-stop shop for episode recaps, fun facts, hot takes, and more on everyone’s favorite rumpled detective. (Did you know the character of Columbo was partially inspired by Porfiry Petrovich from Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment and G.K. Chesterton’s Father Brown?)
News you can use: 46 Faberge Eggs, ranked. Click through to see the opulence.
The House of Faberge made 52 "Imperial" eggs as Easter gifts for Tsars Alexander III and Nicholas II to give to their wives and moms. 46 of these survive. I will rank all 46 Imperial Faberge eggs.— charlemagne tha gourd (@grnpointer) November 6, 2021
Heads up, Canadians! The Rose family’s mega-mansion from Schitt’s Creek is for sale! ‘The custom-designed banquet hall can host 150 guests (and is the setting of the Rose’s annual Christmas party in one episode), decorated decadently in blue and gold tones with marble and granite floors…In the formal dining room, cherubs fly across the ceiling frescos, looking down upon marble floors created in the Renaissance-style.’
Read an excerpt from the new book The Library: A Fragile History by Andrew Pettegree and Arthur der Weduwen. The book introduces you to ‘the antiquarians and philanthropists who shaped the world’s great collections, trace the rise and fall of literary tastes, and reveal the high crimes and misdemeanors committed in pursuit of rare manuscripts.’
UNESCO recently chose the Iranian city of Kermanshah as a ‘creative city’ of gastronomy. ‘No Persian meal is complete without an abundance of herbs. Every table is set with sabzi-khordan, a basket of fresh herbs, radishes, and scallions often tucked into a piece of fresh flatbread with a bite of feta, cucumber, or walnuts.’
This is a delight! Messy Nessy Chic invited writers to submit short stories inspired by a photo of a French woman carrying a 6-foot long baguette. Here are the results.
Mr. B’s Emporium is a fantastic bookshop in Bath, England. In addition to carefully curating the best books to sell on its shelves, Mr. B’s also publishes books. The latest is Iberia by long-distance cyclist and award-winning travel writer Julian Sayarer. The book is an account of his impromptu journey across Portugal and Spain, from Lisbon towards Barcelona, during the pandemic on an old blue bicycle named Miles.
Travel writer Mark Baker recommends Central Europe’s best second cities. ‘Sure, grand capitals like Prague, Budapest, and Vienna offer a taste of the region, but to experience what makes Central Europe distinct — the unique national cultures, surviving remnants of old kingdoms and monarchies, remnants of the two world wars (and the many conflicts that came before), and remains of the region’s (mostly) disastrous experiment with communism — you have to get out and poke around the provinces.’
Street art or vandalism? pic.twitter.com/BNo4bePavl— BuzzFeed Bring Me (@bringme) November 8, 2021
Top image courtesy of Wang LiQiang/Shutterstock.
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.