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 monastery above that seems to be growing right out of the stone of the desert is Saint Catherine’s Monastery. It’s located at the foot of Mt. Sinai in Egypt, on the site that’s said to be the location of the Burning Bush. The monastery’s full, official name? Sacred Autonomous Royal Monastery of Saint Katherine of the Holy and God-Trodden Mount Sinai. Built between 548 and 565, the Eastern Orthodox monastery is significant for Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Relevant to our interests: It houses the world’s oldest continually operating library. If you could browse the shelves, you’d stumble upon the Codex Sinaiticus, a handwritten manuscript of the Bible from more than 1600 years ago, and the Syriac Sinaiticus, the oldest translation of the Bible in any language. Here are details about the monastery’s architecture and art collection — and this video shows the monastery’s remote location. (The most dramatic shot is at about 2:10.)
We recently watched the TV adaptation of Station Eleven and loved it so much. The translation from page to screen is very well done, and I’m so happy both exist in the world. This deep dive into the healing power of art, inspired by the show, is excellent. ‘Across its infinite and too-quick 10 episodes, it investigates the messy continuum of trauma and grief and violence and healing and forgiveness and love — and, chiefly, the ways that art can catalyze each of those things and provide a guide through them.’
Let’s build a time machine and then enjoy a long, leisurely lunch at the Eiffel Tower’s lost art nouveau restaurant.
Lucy Foley’s new book The Paris Apartment is out on 22 February. While you wait, you can read this interview with her at Goodreads and catch up on her previous books The Hunting Party and The Guest List. (Or re-read them; I know from personal experience they hold up to multiple readings.)
I’m betting you’ve never seen anything like this before. Vietnam-based artist Nguyễn Phát Trí creates updo hairstyles that look like delicate flowers. So beautiful.
Something for your must-visit list in the Czech Republic.
Spiral staircase made from one tree without even one nail. Year 1851. You can see it in the Lednice chateau in the library. Truly a masterpiece! Make sure to click on the picture to see the whole staircase. 😉 Have you seen it? pic.twitter.com/RPDKqo1nBR— Czech Cookbook (@czechcookbook) February 11, 2022
This seems like a good time to explore a reading list of poetry and prose from Ukrainian writers.
News you can use (someday): The Important Difference Between Non-Stop and Direct Flights
An Airbnb in a lighthouse (!) on an island (!) in Scotland (!).
What?! Yes, that’s our Dave, quoted on Oprah’s website.
Two people sitting on the Abraj Al Bait clock tower in Mecca pic.twitter.com/2cUe0K9BDP— Human For Scale (@HumanForScale_) January 14, 2022
The Backlisted podcast went all-in on Dorothy L. Sayer’s Gaudy Night recently. ‘Sayers was a feminist pioneer, and we discuss her intellectual life and brilliant and unorthodox career.’
How Can Wonder Transform Us? ‘[W]onder helps us to move away from seeing things as a means to an end to things that are valuable in themselves… Once we have the sense of wonder, our sense of what is possible shifts, our action-schemas become different.’
This Gastro Obscura online cooking class on recipes from ancient Mesopotamia, ancient Rome, and the Mediterranean Middle Ages looks like so much fun.
Erin Morgenstern (author of The Night Circus) wrote a brilliant introduction for a new edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. ‘These stories are woven into the fabric of so many of our fictions, leaving pawprints and tea-stains and whimsy in their wake, yet going back to the original texts always leads to more discoveries, more details to catch in imagination nets like bread-and-butterflies.’
Embrace the chill: 13 Scandinavian TV Shows Worth Binge-watching
The Darker Side of Jane Austen. ‘[D]espite her penchant for happy endings, Austen also doles out her fair share of despicable villains, terrifying marriages, and even a few thriller-esque motifs.’
Related: This looks to be a really fun adaptation of Jane Austen’s Persuasion. Modern soundtrack! Foam party! Ticket details.
Top image courtesy of Georg Arthur Pflueger/Unsplash.
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