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 Sejong the Great up there, casting his eyes and benevolence over Seoul, South Korea. He was a king and scholar during the Choson Kingdom, circa the early 15th century. He’s known (and beloved) for promoting literacy and pushing for the improvement of moveable metal type about 215 years before our ol’ buddy Johannes Gutenberg introduced his printing press. He also said, ‘If the people prosper, how can the king not prosper with them? And if the people do not prosper, how may the king prosper without them?’ But he’s best remembered for his invention of hangul, the Korean alphabet. In 1443, he and eight advisors developed an alphabetic system to represent the 14 consonants and 10 vowels that create all the sounds in spoken Korean. Read more about his legacy.
Why Literature’s Greatest Detectives Are All Obsessed With Food. ‘…food is definitely an indicator of social status, but it also highlights the cultural capital of each detective. It is oftentimes used as shorthand for an entire type.’
Sara Nović is the author of the excellent novel Girl at War. Her latest True Biz will be released 05 April (preorder) and tells the story of a year in a boarding school for the deaf. In addition to written dialogue, the book includes conversations in American Sign Language (ASL), which presents a unique problem for the audiobook. Sara explains the creative solution developed by her team.
These night-time neon photos beg for noir novels to be written about them. Click through to see the whole thread.
Better late than never. My favorite 10 neon night photos from 2021— lostfoundEurope (@LostfoundE) January 9, 2022
This time of year is so much fun if you want to get crafty: It’s #ColorOurCollections, an annual coloring festival during which libraries, museums, archives, and other cultural institutions around the world share free coloring pages from their collections. You can see them all right here — I’m downloading these cute dogs from the Library of Calgary and this kinda-bananas image of animals having a formal dinner party from Stanford University.
The act of writing down a thing that’s worrying you can help you stop obsessing about it. Here’s why.
What Driveling Times Are These! In Georgian times, there was plenty of grumbling about the state of the world.
Who wouldn’t want to dance in a tree?!
Tanzlinden are trees designed for dancing in.— Present & Correct (@presentcorrect) January 7, 2022
Found across Germany, the oldest is from the 1680s. The branches envelop a platform for meeting & dancing.
Happy Friday! Thanks @dobraszczyk pic.twitter.com/yOkZx4kr3w
Scandalous! A new exhibit at the Brontë Parsonage in Haworth, England, invites us to take a look at Charlotte Brontë’s ‘sensual’ outfit (a ruffled pink housecoat), along with 20 other pieces of clothing and accessories from her wardrobe.
What Are the Qualifications for the Travel Industry’s Weirdest Jobs? ‘From pro bed-warmers to meerkat men, the world of hospitality is full of gigs that require a very particular set of skills.’
Agatha Christie was an avid traveler throughout her life. In 1922, she went on a 10-month trip around the world, and her book The Grand Tour collects the letters, photos, postcards, and newspaper clippings that documented her trip. Now, lucky travelers can follow in her footsteps to Africa, Australia and New Zealand, or North America.
These pop-up books are so charming. Just look at The Aquarium!
7 Novels About Family Curses. (I read Defenestrate by Renée Branum this week. It explores the impact of one family’s ‘curse’ of falling out windows and is rich with family drama and descriptions of Prague; I loved it.)
Gaze on beautiful Sangorski & Sutcliffe book bindings found in the Aramont Collection at the Library of Congress. The ‘Raven Binding’ at 13:25 gave me all the heart-eye emojis.
Are you hooked on word games like crossword puzzles and Wordle? Here’s a reading list of books about puzzles and games, including a brief history of word games and an exploration of why we’re playing more board games than ever.
Fancy running a 300-year-old pub on a remote isle in the north of England? ‘While there are periods when the pub and the island are bustling with people, there will be periods of quiet too — something the successful applicant will need to embrace.’ (h/t to my cousin Jana for sharing this with us)
The second part of our chat with The Prague Times podcast is out this week! We talked about why Prague is such a popular setting for books, some of our favorite titles set in the city, and why book shopping is so much fun.
Big finish: Here’s Duran Duran emoting in the library of a castle outside Prague.
Top image courtesy of Mathew Schwartz/Unsplash.
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