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 soothing space above is a working room in the French National Library, a.k.a., Bibliothèque Nationale de France. I feel like I could get so much excellent work done in that inviting space. The library was originally founded at the Louvre by Charles V in 1369. Now, it’s the national repository of all books and periodicals published in France. To date, the free online collection includes more than 6 million (!) digitized books, magazines, newspapers, photographs, cartoons, drawings, prints, posters, maps, manuscripts, antique coins, scores, theater costumes, stage sets, audio, and video. The library has multiple branches around Paris with evocative names like Opera, Richelieu, and Arsenal. Each location offers stunning reading and lecture halls — like this one and this one. For those of us who can’t get to Paris right now — quel dommage! — there is a slew of online exhibits (available in English) featuring architecture, maps and globes, storytelling, photography, and more.
I miss going to a well-stocked newsstand and discovering niche and new-to-me periodicals. RIP print magazines. Here’s a blast from the past that is so cool: Tradeswomen Was the Magazine for Women in Blue-Collar Work During the ’80s and ’90s.
In 1940, when the Nazis enclosed Warsaw’s Jewish quarter in a ghetto, a librarian set up a secret children’s library. ‘The thirst for knowledge that the children showed in those terrible times was truly wondrous… The book became a vital need, almost like bread.’
Take a cute break:
News you can use: Lay’s Around the World. Enjoy ‘a journey through the many flavors of Lay’s from the four corners of the globe.’ Thailand has Hat Yai Fried Chicken! Romania has Wild Mushroom and Sour Cream!
Dearest Jane Austen fans, you might want to mark your calendar for Virtual Jane Con, a ‘radically inclusive Jane Austen event. Made for and by fans.’ In its second year, this Con is an Austen-filled weekend online with sessions about Regency costuming, period history, discussions of Austen’s novels, and more. It’s all happening 16-17 July. Sign up here for updates.
For your summer reading list about vacations gone awry: 10 Novels About Vacations Gone Horribly, Fantastically Wrong and Great Ominous Beach Settings in Fiction.
Is it even a summer vacation if you’re not canoodling in an enormous champagne glass?!
This video is a nice way to spend 10 minutes:
Now you can enjoy the Edinburgh Book Festival without an airline ticket! The director of the world-renowned festival says they learned lessons during the pandemic about how to make their sessions more accessible, so half of this year’s festival will be available online. I love the respect and care shown for people with illnesses or anxiety: ‘With the accessibility of the online offering, people have been in contact with me who have chronic illnesses or anxieties, or long Covid, saying that it was possible for them to attend the festival events even though they couldn’t come in person… Literary festivals are among the most local festivals, but we reached all over the world to hundreds of thousands of viewers last year, and we do not want to lose that.’
You will probably be inspired by this love letter to the experience of doing research at the Library of Congress.
Or perhaps this online Gothic Library is more your thing. Hooray for a world with both.
This examination of food in the play Cyrano de Bergerac is very tasty. (Sorry.) ‘Food… plays a major role in the play—one that culminates in act 4, when Roxane, the woman both Christian and Cyrano love, arrives at the Arras front in a carriage stuffed with a feast for the starving soldiers: truffled peacock, a haunch of venison, ortolans, copious desserts, ruby-red and topaz-yellow wine.’
If you’re too hot to cook, why not celebrate Pride Month with these Taiwanese-style Big Queer Cold Noodles!
A few weeks ago, we featured the Country Life Vlog in an episode of The Library of Lost Time. We continue to be somewhat obsessed with Aziza and her beautiful farm in Azerbaijan. Now a friend-of-Strong-Sense-of-Place (thanks, Trine!) has introduced us to Apricot Lane Farms and the award-winning documentary about it: The Biggest Little Farm. So soothing! So inspiring!
In each 5-minute show, we talk about two new book releases at the top of our TBR, then share a fun book- or travel-related distraction. Get all the episodes and books galore here.
In this episode, we get excited about two new book releases: Last Call at the Nightingale by Katharine Schellman and Downton Shabby: One American’s Ultimate DIY Adventure Restoring His Family’s English Castle by Hopwood DePree. Then we share details about the Midnight Sun Marathon in Tromsø, Norway, where 6000 runners hit the course under a bright sun that never sets.
Here are The 12 Best Things to do in Tromsø.
SSoP Podcast Episode 28 — The Arctic: Otherworldly Beauty That Might Kill You.
Top image courtesy of Alexandra Lande/Shutterstock.
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