Grand Hotel, Books for Ukrainian Kids, Women's Prize for Fiction & More: Endnotes 18 March

Grand Hotel, Books for Ukrainian Kids, Women's Prize for Fiction & More: Endnotes 18 March

Friday, 18 March, 2022

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 Edwardian confection above is The Grand in Folkestone, a port town on the English Channel in Kent, England. Built between 1899 and 1903, it’s hosted weddings, sun seekers on holiday, and even members of the royal family. As it happens, Edward VII was a frequent visitor, and in 1909, he opened the new ballroom — the first in Europe to offer a sprung dance floor, all the better to dance the night away. The Palm Court (photo), with its glass walls and ocean view, rattan furniture, and potted ferns, was a favorite place to indulge in afternoon tea. Sadly, the hotel is in serious disrepair. It was recently purchased at auction, and the new owner has said, ‘The target is to get the Palm Court watertight and back into use at the earliest possible opportunity.’ {more photos}

  • Poland’s Universal Reading Foundation is raising funds to put Ukrainian-language books into the hands of Ukrainian children uprooted by the Russian invasion. I think we can all agree that stories can be a necessary escape when the world feels overwhelming. You can help buy books and support Ukrainian publishers at the same time — click here to donate.

 illustration of a little girl sitting on a ukrainian flag while reading a book

  • Related: I’ve been reading the war diary of Yevgenia Belorusets for the past few days. She’s been documenting Russia’s war against Ukraine since 2014; her writing is honest, urgent, and heartbreaking.

  • I found this informative; perhaps you will, too.

  • World Central Kitchen (WCK) was created by José Andrés to feed people in areas of crisis. ‘To this day, when we go to far-away places, we make sure that what we are feeding is what the locals will love to eat.’ A documentary about his work is screening at SXSW in Austin, Texas. WCK set up at a border crossing in Poland to feed Ukrainian refugees and has now expanded to Romania, Moldova, and Hungary. They’ve also partnered with restaurants inside Ukraine to get hot meals to anyone in need. You can donate to support the effort here.

  • This story about Triangle Square Books for Young Readers and the growth of children’s books in translation is very uplifting. ‘They Said No is a historical fiction series for younger readers about protestors, activists, poets, revolutionaries, and other brave changemakers from around the world, and it emphasizes the importance of standing up for what you know is right. These are books based entirely on fact, and yet by fictionalizing a particular turning point in the person’s life, they humanize and make more accessible the events described.’

  • Native Americans are wearing colorful Ukrainian scarves to show solidarity with Ukraine. ‘Scarves were early trade items when immigrants met tribal people. What’s happening to Ukrainian people feels grimly familiar to descendants of Northwest tribes… “It didn’t happen very long ago, and it wasn’t very far away. It was right here in this country, not very long ago that our people were being treated in the same way.”’ (Thank you, Melissa J, for the link.)

  • This is all just so cool and fun! The novel Tram 83 by Fiston Mwanza Mujila (translated from French by Roland Glasser) sounds just about perfect for SSoP: ‘Tram 83 plunges the reader into the modern African gold rush… using jazz rhythms to weave a tale of human relationships in a world that has become a global village.’ The website Africa is a Radio created a jazzy soundtrack to go with the book.

  • How ‘Adult Bedtime Stories’ Became an Unlikely Insomnia Cure. It includes solid recommendations for sleepy-time stories and apps.

  • Quiz: How well do you know these literary destinations?

  • Yes, it’s the 2022 Women’s Prize for Fiction longlist! This video is so great: I love that the judges are providing a little context for each book. It’s so much more exciting than a mere list of titles and authors. Bonus fun: You can register to win every book on the list!

  • Do you need recipes for Hash You Wish or Inigo Montoya’s Taste of Revenge? Then you should probably learn more about the upcoming Princess Bride Cookbook. Read all about it - and preorder here.

  • Read all about the majestic jackalope. ‘By my rough estimation, there are at least 1 million jackalope mounts in existence, many of which keep watch over local bars, tourist traps, junk shops, greasy spoon diners, and dimly lit pool halls. Once rare, the jackalope migrated from Wyoming throughout the West and then across the nation. Antlered bunnies now adorn the walls of watering holes from Los Angeles to Seattle, Dallas to New York.’

  • The novel Crescent by Diana Abu-Jaber — set in a Lebanese restaurant in the Iraqi community of LA — is among my favorites (my review). I was thrilled to learn her new book Fencing with the King is available now — and she wrote this brilliant piece for LitHub on ‘nourishment, betrayal, and finding family histories.

  • Um, this exploration of filler words and ‘floor holders’ makes sense of words like totally, really, look, and right?. ‘Hesitation markers are ubiquitous in both native and nonnative speakers of language. The force of these is that they signal a pause and that a turn is not done, and the listener should continue listening.’

  • Oh, to be transported directly into these photos of Mont St. Michel.

 tiny typewriter and suitcases made of paper
Everything in the SkyGoodies shop is adorable.

Let’s all agree to continue to lead with empathy.

Top image courtesy of Zoltan Tasi/Unsplash.

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Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got a stunning Czech library, a lost Eiffel Tower restaurant, identity-switching novels, how wonder can transform us, and more.
Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got new writing from Aghan women, a vampire hunting kit, Edward Gorey's sweeter side, the science of bookstore design, and more.
Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got the history of the question mark, Pennsylvania scrapple, Ukrainian novels, LA's Union Station, fiction podcasts, and more.

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