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.
Those darling penguins above live at Gold Harbour, a small bay in South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. These South Atlantic islands are found to the east of the tip of South America and are described as ‘inhospitable’ for humans. In fact, there are no regularly scheduled passenger flights or ferries to or from the territory. But the islands are ideal for penguins. King penguins, like the ones shown above, as well as yellow-crested macaroni penguins! Black-banded chinstrap penguins! Gentoo penguins! Enjoy this breathtaking view of the penguin colonies and their elephant seal friends:
The people of Ukraine (and the brave protesters in Russia) are very much on our minds. If you’re thinking of them, too, and want to offer aid, Global Citizen shares 8 Meaningful Ways You Can Help Ukraine, the UN has a Ukraine Humanitarian Fund, and the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America is accepting donations to provide humanitarian provisions. (This is a really good account of the general feeling here in Prague.)
This is an excellent list of 8 dark fairytale retellings.
A few weeks ago, a brilliant poem by a 6-year-old was making the rounds on social media. Called The Tiger, it includes just 12 words across five lines, and it’s very good. Here’s an analysis of why it captured so many hearts.
The photos in this love letter to the golden age of Egyptian travel are stunning: Cruising with Agatha Christie on the Last Steamship of the Nile. ‘By the late 19th century, Ancient Egypt was a firmly established must-visit for those of means. Despite the heat, sand, and general unsavory conditions for ladies of high society, the trip had also attracted many women adventurers such as Florence Nightingale, who resided in and wrote about Egypt in 1850. She vividly described her intoxication with Cairo… and sailed up-river to Abu Simbel in a local Dahabiya, one of the old traditional boats.’ (For more on Egypt, here’s our podcast episode Egypt: Ancient Antiquities, Fiery Djinn, and the Lure of the Nile.)
Ready to add a new spin to your Wordle experience? You can make your own.
This account of visiting an abandoned house on an uninhabited island in Scotland is harrowing and exhilarating. After reading this piece, I immediately got my hands on the book Islands of Abandonment: Nature Rebounding in the Post-Human Landscape.
Get yourself a friend who makes you a mini pop-up book as a gift.
My incredible @bodleianlibs colleague made me a tiny pop-up book of my library for a leaving present! She is so talented I couldn't believe it. She also got all my team to sign a little pull out tab. 😭🥺🥰 pic.twitter.com/dxUtK6tGnL— Kat Steiner (@Kastrel) February 19, 2022
A look at Edward Gorey’s sweet story of ‘tenderness and soulful oddness,’ The Osbick Bird. ‘In spare lines and spare verses, Gorey tells the singsong story of the osbick bird — a creature of his wild and wondrous imagination — who alights one day to lonely, dignified Emblus Figby’s bowler hat, out of the blue…’
News you can use: The Best Doughnuts in Every State.
This essay about the ‘silently painful breakfasts’ of British vacationers made me laugh. (ht to SSoP pal Ellen for the link.)
The Guardian writes about a new short story collection My Pen is the Wing of a Bird. ‘Zainab Akhlaqi’s Blossom draws on the real-life bombing of the Sayed ul-Shuhada high school in Kabul. The story ends on a note of defiant hope: its young narrator, Nekbakht, decides she wants to show some spirit in the face of our struggles and goes back to school.’ Available for preorder in the US; out now in the UK. (For more on Afghanistan, here’s our podcast episode Afghanistan: Poppies, Tribalism, and the Taliban.)
My birthday is coming in May, in case you’re wondering what I might like.
That moment at the flea market, when you realize you're looking at a vampire killing kit. pic.twitter.com/ktwuDGFX6q— John Moffitt 🌊🌊🧢🧢 (@JohnRMoffitt) February 18, 2022
This adorable cottage is for sale, and it’s so tempting. It has a built-in reading nook and is located in a village with a pub (The Black Swan), a boatyard, and a seal and sea lion rescue center.
This is a sweet (and informative) ode to an Indian spice box.
The Science and Recent History of Bookstore Design. ‘My favorite space in my bookstore is the seat in the corner next to our front window. It gets all of the sunlight throughout the day, and I love being able to see and speak to the people who are walking in!’
High society and punk rebellion: A History of Scottish Tartan. ‘Plaid is a paradox. It was ubiquitous with prim, proper, and preppy culture. Then it became appropriated by the punk movement in the 1970s. Since then, tartan has swung back and forth between those worlds and others—and it’s safe to say that it embodies all at once.’
This is one way to ensure you have something to read while waiting in line at the post office. This dress is made from Omaha’s Evening World-Herald newspapers from June 1928.
Top image courtesy of Paul Carroll/Unsplash.
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