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 runway of flame-colored leaves is the Central Park Mall in New York City. It was the first project created by the team of Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmsted. (Olmsted would eventually be known as the father of American landscape architecture. He also designed the landscaping for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, so thrillingly detailed in Erik Larson’s The Devil in the White City.) The Mall was originally conceived as an ‘open air hall of reception’ with carriages of wealthy New Yorkers driving its length. Today, it’s populated by skateboarders, rollerbladers, street performers, and all kinds of New Yorkers — including book lovers. The Literary Walk at the south end of the Mall boasts features of Fitz-Greene Halleck (a.k.a, the American Byron), poet Robert Burns, novelist Sir Walter Scott, and the one and only William Shakespeare.
Choose your favorites in the Goodreads Best Books of 2021.
It’s all sparkly lights and gingerbread at the 11 best Christmas markets in Europe. Fun fact: The Prague market at Náměstí Míru is a lovely 15-minute stroll from our flat. Less fun fact: There’s a big question about whether or not Christmas markets are a good idea this year; Covid numbers are soaring here in Prague.
The painful art of small talk has bedeviled introverts for centuries.
This is an unexpected treasure in New Jersey:
24 Types of Book Genres Every Bookworm Should Know and Read (Thank you, Claire Diaz-Ortez.)
One week from today, I’m going all-in on Christmas-season reading. These 10 perfectly plotted murder mysteries that take place during Christmas are a good place to start.
Bella Ellis (author Rowan Coleman) is the author of the Brontë sisters mysteries: The Vanished Bride and The Diabolical Bones. This charming series imagines the famous authors as amateur sleuths and seamlessly intertwines plot twists with real Brontë history. In this episode of The Bert’s Books Podcast, the author talks about her upcoming release The Red Monarch.
This is handy when your time machine deposits you in the early 19th century: A Guide to Your 1816 Stagecoach Journey. (This was brought to my attention by the excellent newsletter The Browser.)
Time jump to 1945, and you get this:
Airline reservations before computers, 1945. pic.twitter.com/tfyyFrzILG— Weird History (@weird_hist) October 21, 2021
Jason Reynolds is the author of the fantastic verse novel Long Way Down. He shares what books have meant to him in this Q&A with The Guardian.
Winning headline of the week: The Only Thing Standing Between You and the Best Gravy of Your Life Is Your Own Fear of Greatness.
This is very cool. Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam, Netherlands, is the world’s first publicly accessible art storage facility. ‘In the Depot, fourteen compartments are fitted with shelves, racks, and cabinets for all different kinds of artworks. There are compartments for paintings, metal objects, organic and non-organic materials, and black-and-white and color photography. The depot compartments have climate control; the temperature and humidity are kept stable. From the circulation route, the stairs, and the lift, you can see the artworks from a variety of angles. Accompanied by a guide, you can also enter a storage compartment.’
Pop quiz: How well do you know the 50 US states? Shameful! I only got 21/25.
You’re probably going to want to bookmark this page: Eater At Home for the Holidays.
I wanted to scoff, but then I found these photo-posing tips to be pretty solid.
Don't pose like this❌ pic.twitter.com/ahWNTDThCf— BuzzFeed (@BuzzFeed) November 3, 2021
Top image courtesy of Sean Pavone/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.