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 shabby chic building above is the Constanța Casino in Constanța, Romania. It looms above the Black Sea, flaunting its Art Nouveau style and inspiring daydreams of glam evenings of the past. Opened in 1910, the casino was a gambling mecca until it was bombed during WWI by Bulgarian and German forces and, during WWII, was transformed into a wartime hospital. Since then, it’s been a community center, a restaurant, and abandoned. In 2008, it played a starring role in the caper film The Brothers Bloom. (Armchair travelers should note the movie also features gorgeous scenery in Belgrade, Serbia; Greece, Montenegro, Prague, and a glorious steamship.) As charming as the crumbling casino looks now — here are photos of the interior — you’ll be happy to know it’s currently under renovation. We can only hope we’ll be attending a masquerade ball there someday soon.
The American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) shares the winners of the 50 Covers of 2021 competition — just like its been doing since 1923 (!). The detail in the winners’ gallery is stunning; be sure to click around a bit.
Why are unlikable characters (sometimes) so beloved?! Agatha Christie’s Most Memorable Unlikeable Characters.
Gastro Obscura got me all nostalgic for the lost glamour of department store restaurants.
The excellent podcast The Perks of Being a Book Lover recently featured Michelle Haring, the owner of Cupboard Maker Books in Enola, PA. So much bookish wonderfulness. (There are three bookstore cats involved!)
These photos of old New York storefronts are very evocative.
Whoa. The Future Library in Oslo, Norway, is hoarding books that won’t be published until 2114. The first author to submit a book was, of course, Margaret Atwood. (Thanks to Tiffany W. for sending this our way.)
Fair warning: This article from Travel + Leisure will have you daydreaming about a trip to Bulgaria asap.
Two (adorable) words: Leaf Sheep.
We’re big fans of Deanna Raybourn’s work; the Veronica Speedwell series is delightful adventure and escapism. Her new book Killers of a Certain Age is now available for pre-order and if you sign up for her newsletter, you’ll get an exclusive excerpt of her new book. Deanna says, ‘We have an entire extra scene that y’all will get to read August 5, and I can’t wait to share it with you.’
Atlas Obscura is offering a 3-session course on how to turn everyday paper products into handmade books. It looks so good!
Two book-related conventions (online and offline) you might like: Miss Fisher Con, a celebration of intrepid lady detective Phryne Fisher (04-06 August) — and VirtualJaneCon 2022, a radically inclusive Jane Austen event made by and for fans.
Statesider curates great stories about US travel and American culture; it is delightful. We were thrilled to see our Strong Sense of Place podcast recommended in the most recent edition — and loved this moving piece about the meaning of a big white cross on a hilltop.
Patrick Radden Keefe is the author of Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland, recommended by Dave in our episode about Ireland. In this Q&A, he discussed his new book Rogues: True Stories of Grifters, Killers, Rebels and Crooks.
Yes, please, I would like some Tahitian-Chinese food.
Strong agree with the following statement:
The world needs more reading gargoyles pic.twitter.com/mw5iUCROjH— Into The Forest Dark (@ElliottBlackwe3) June 30, 2022
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: What Moves the Dead by T. Kingfisher and The Mermaid of Black Conch by Monique Roffey. Then we explore the delightfully retro world of Thomas Allen’s pulp fiction art.
Top image courtesy of Luca Arsinel/Shutterstock.
Want to keep up with our book-related adventures? Sign up for our newsletter!
Strong Sense of Place is a website and podcast dedicated to literary travel and books we love. Reading good books increases empathy. Empathy is good for all of us and the amazing world we inhabit.
Strong Sense of Place is a listener-supported podcast. If you like the work we do, you can help make it happen by joining our Patreon! That'll unlock bonus content for you, too — including Mel's secret book reviews and Dave's behind-the-scenes notes for the latest Two Truths and a Lie.
This is a weekly email. If you'd like a quick alert whenever we update our blog, subscribe here.
We'll share enough detail to help you decide if a book is for you, but we'll never ruin plot twists or give away the ending.
This 30-page Reading Atlas takes you around the world with dozens of excellent books and gorgeous travel photos. Get your free copy when you subscribe to our newsletter.
Content on this site is ©2023 by Smudge Publishing, unless otherwise noted. Peace be with you, person who reads the small type.