Barcelona, Mystery Islands, Perfect Tea, Travel Stories & More: Endnotes 16 September

Barcelona, Mystery Islands, Perfect Tea, Travel Stories & More: Endnotes 16 September

Friday, 16 September, 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 satisfyingly geometric cityscape above is a district of Barcelona, Spain, known as Eixample (which means ‘extension’ in Spanish). When the city experienced a growth spurt in the middle of the 19th century, this grid pattern was designed with traffic flow, sunlight patterns, and optimum ventilation in mind. Although many inner courtyards are used for parking lots and enclosed shopping, the city has made strides to create more green space: When a business relocates, the city redesigns the block with parks and other open spaces. Read about Barcelona’s plan for ‘superblocks’ and enjoy more photos.

  • The Enduring Allure of Choose Your Own Adventure Books. ‘You were a girl who wanted to choose your own adventures. Which is to say, you were a girl who never had adventures. You always followed the rules. But, when you ate an entire sleeve of graham crackers and sank into the couch with a Choose Your Own Adventure book, you got to imagine that you were getting into trouble in outer space, or in the future, or under the sea. You got to make choices every few pages: Do you ask the ghost about her intentions, or run away? Do you rebel against the alien overlords, or blindly obey them?’

  • I’m a fan of Lauren Groff’s novels — The Monsters of Templeton is a favorite. She talked about the trips that have inspired her books on the Women Who Travel podcast.

  • You probably (definitely) need these iron-on patches made especially for badass readers.

  • These postcards from 19th-century France are dreamy.

  • I give you a very, very tiny book:

  • And a very, very large book:
  • These six mystery islands existed only in the imaginations of ancient explorers. Or did they? Some islands, such as Lemuria, were pure legend. But many, including Atlantis, contained at least an element of truth.

  • I think you will enjoy getting to know Edmonton’s Green Onion Cake Man. ‘Siu’s cakes are crispy on the outside, softer on the inside, slightly salty, and typically a half-inch high and 5 inches in diameter. And while you can eat them plain, each table has sweet and sour sauce as well as spicy sambal oelek. Siu also recommends trying his green onion cakes with sour cream.’

  • This travel advice about becoming a temporary regular is pretty cool.

  • Author Theodora Goss wrote a love letter to book buying. ‘I think I have two addictions: chocolate and books. The book addiction is definitely stronger. I can live without chocolate. I’m not sure I could live without books.’ #veryrelatable

  • George Orwell on A Nice Cup of Tea. ‘When I look through my own recipe for the perfect cup of tea, I find no fewer than 11 outstanding points… Here are my own 11 rules, every one of which I regard as golden.’

  • This is great! The (excellent) podcast The Perks of Being a Book Lover podcast talked to Sean Petrie of Typewriter Rodeo — the collective of poets who write spontaneous poetry, by request, on typewriters. We waxed poetic about them in this episode of The Library of Lost Time.

  • News you can use! 9 Alternative European Cities for a Magical Autumn Break and 19 Incredible Places You Never Knew Existed in Europe.

  • SSoP HQ is very excited about the film version of The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry.


New Episode of The Library of Lost Time

In each mini-podcast episode, we discuss two 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.

The facade of the Museum of Lace and Fashion in Calais, France. Photo from artist's website.

In this episode, we get excited about two new book releases: Ten Things I Hate About Me by Joe Tracini and Thistlefoot by Gennarose Nethercott. Then Mel explains how the Sleep Stories in the Calm app have taken her on adventures around the world. [transcript]


Wishing you a smooth transition into fall.

Top image courtesy of Logan Armstrong/Unsplash.

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Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got Keanu Reeves & The Devil in the White City, books we pretend to have read, visiting Slovenia, summery polar bears, and more.
Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got a stellar bakery in Madrid, pairing tea and classic British novels, a magical dragon boat, the dogs of Kars, Turkey, and more.
Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got the best book adaptations, a travel persona quiz, tasty restaurants in government buildings, a Victorian scrapbook, and more.

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