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 enchanting lake+island+church combo above is Lake Bled in the Julian Alps of Slovenia. It’s about an hour by car or 90 minutes by train from the capital city of Ljubljana. There’s a 4-mile path made for a leisurely stroll around the lake. At various points, you can take in views of the medieval Bled Castle perched on a craggy hilltop, a slew of 19th-century villas — including the former residence of Yugoslav president-for-life Marshal Tito — and the Church of the Assumption, which sits on the picture-perfect island in the middle of the lake. The only reasonable way to refuel after that walk? Kremna rezina, the local cake made from thick layers of cream and vanilla custard tucked between sheets of buttery, crispy pastry. Enjoy a virtual visit to Lake Bled, then treat yourself to this celebration of kremna rezina. For more details, we love Rick Steves coverage of Lake Bled and Slovenia.
We’re currently watching (and loving) Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, so I was delighted to read this interview with actor and artist Bruce Horak. He plays a blind telepathic alien on the show, and in real life, he’s a painter. The Art Newspaper has an interview — and here’s his art website.
This is very entertaining and sweet: What Happens When You Offer Grammar Advice to Complete Strangers in the Middle of Manhattan. ‘Sometimes my interventions soothe the insecurities of the questioner. A tiny Filipino woman — maybe five feet tall, about forty years old — approached the table holding the hand of a tinier girl. She wanted to know how to pronounce “finance.” Did the word start out like “fine” and have the stress on the first syllable, or did it begin like “fin” and have the stress on the second? When she heard that her second-syllable stress was fine, even preferable in the opinion of one of the experts whose books lay on the Grammar Table, she started jumping up and down. This is neither hyperbole nor metaphor: she literally jumped up and down and made her smaller companion’s arm sail in sync with her excitement. Someone had been telling her she was wrong, and now she knew she wasn’t, and she felt better!’
Oeuf mayonnaise is one of life’s simple, elegant, delicious pleasures. Dave and I had a sublime version at this bistro in Paris just before the pandemic struck, and it’s one of our best memories of the Before Times. Who knew there’s an Egg Mayo Protection Association?
Sorta related; sound up.
"French is much easier to learn that English"— K.O.L.Z (@datkolzguy) July 5, 2022
In our 15 July episode of The Library of Lost Time, Dave mentioned hopepunk. It’s a subgenre of speculative fiction in which characters fight for positive change and practice radical kindness. The EarBuds Podcast Collective (an excellent resource for discovering new podcasts BTW) recommends five hopepunk audio dramas.
Outside Magazine says that these 8 meals are worth traveling for. Fondue in Switzerland! Fried chicken in Mississippi!
Kinda related: Belmond, current purveyors of the Orient Express and other posh travel experiences serve up (sorry) a bunch of tasty (not sorry) articles about long, lazy lunches around the world.
This artwork is an amazing feat of patience, engineering, and dexterity.
You need to know about Bookwallet. It’s a tiny book cover that does double duty as a wallet for your passport and a mini-travel journal.
Maybe you could do something like this with your travel journal? ‘Over the last 13 years, artist José Naranja has been filling pocket-sized notebooks with his own visual diary. By illustrating his daily experiences, observations, ideas, and memories, Naranja considers his ongoing project as a love letter to notebooks, a flight of fancy and also a part of [him].’
Book lists to power-up your TBR: best crime fiction of the year (so far), 16 new books recommended by LitHub, the best recent translated fiction, and 35 thrillers recommended by Bustle.
Pop quiz: Which historic hotel is perfect for your next vacation?
We signed on for the deluxe version of this game called League of the Lexicon. It’s a ‘beautifully original quiz game about words and language… made for word-lovers and quiz nuts.’ The illustrations on the playing cards are adorable, and it’s made for word nerds.
Author KJ Charles wrote an excellent essay on how writers can develop a strong sense of place in their work. (ht Clever Manka)
So, this is awesome:
This is a great article about how some new things to do in Prague feel more authentic, written by a fellow Prague expat. I have to say: It was pretty excited to find myself quoted in The New York Times.
Use-It publishes travel maps with must-see stuff in cities all over Europe. The tips include a mini history lesson, details about local cuisine, self-guided walks, landmarks, and more. Here’s their new map of Prague! You can pick up free print versions in their member cities or download a high-res version from their website.
Did you watch the The Gray Man movie yet? It’s based on a novel by Mark Greaney, and a bunch of it was shot in Prague last summer. Here’s a guide to the filming locations.
News you can use: The Best Places to Find Audiobook Narrator Jobs for Beginners.
This is neither book- nor travel-related, but I feel very strongly you need to see it:
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.
For this episode, we get excited about two new book releases: The Half Life of Valery K by Natasha Pulley (which I’ve already devoured and loved loved loved) and The Man Who Could Move Clouds: A Memoir by Ingrid Rojas Contreras. Then we go retro with Welcome to Kutsher’s, a documentary about the last surviving Jewish resort in the Catskills, a.k.a., the most Dirty Dancing-esque hotel ever.
Visit the Welcome to Kutsher’s website for photos, behind-the-scenes scoop, and more.
ABC News did a report on the film.
Top image courtesy of Ursa Bavcar/Unsplash.
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