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.
We’re coming up on one of the best weeks of the year: Fat Bear Week! Some of the largest brown bears on the planet live in Alaska’s Katmai National Park and do their fishing for salmon in the Brooks River. Now that the leaves are turning in North America, it’s time for the bears to start packing on the winter weight they need to get through their winter hibernation. That means they’re eating salmon for breakfast and elevensies, salmon for lunch and dinner, and salmon for a bedtime snack. You can watch them splashing in the river with this live cam. Starting next week, the competition for the grand champion of Fat Bear Week is on! From October 5 through 11, you can vote for your favorites on this website. Last year’s winner Otis has taken the title five times! Will he triumph again this year? Cast your vote and find out. Until voting opens, you can enjoy this adorable Hall of Champions and treat yourself to this fantastic Outside article about Otis. ‘Consider the classic advice for how to photograph well: Sit up straight, lift your chin, don’t get too close to the camera. Otis does the opposite, to great effect. He leans forward on his haunches, pushing the rolls up around his neck and letting the rest of his fat lump around him. On his best days, he looks more Hershey’s Kiss than bear. Other bears tend to stand while catching fish, dispersing their weight for the cameras. Otis slouches chubbily.’
I shed quite a few tears when I heard the news of British author Hilary Mantel’s passing, and I’ve been reading every article that came my way. Here are two that I found particularly impactful: ‘The pen is in our hands. A happy ending is ours to write’: Hilary Mantel in Her Own Words and Remembering a Singular Prose Stylist.’ Mantel was more than adept in briefer forms, and much of her wisdom and flair can be celebrated at the level of the sentence. Her prose style contains a studied wildness of image and metaphor, like a falcon hooded and trained for the pageant field.’
Need ideas for cataloging and organizing your book collection? Here’s some first-class inspiration.
This is such a cool idea! A new audio story set in Sweden can only be listened to in the Swedish forest where it’s set. ‘The story is experienced in the first person, inviting listeners to literally walk in the footsteps of a character who encounters the enchanting Huldra, a forest nymph from Swedish folklore… A geo-restriction has been applied to make the story fully immersive, inviting the listener to discover the mystery of Sweden with all their senses.’ The trailer video is awesome.
Tor.com recommends books with a strong sense of place: Five SFF Settings That Feel Like Characters.
Every house needs a secret door that leads to a secret room, but well, there are secret rooms and then there are... pic.twitter.com/uQogpzi24P— Fake History Hunter (@fakehistoryhunt) March 6, 2022
Tom Hanks’ upcoming novel The Making of Another Major Motion Picture Masterpiece sounds really fun! Comics, filmmaking, stories within stories? Yes, please.
Yes! More old churches turned into bookshops, please.
BRB, I need to get to this bookstore asap.
Okay WOW. Just WOW.— Melissa Caruso (@melisscaru) September 27, 2022
My 19yo daughter found it. She found the labyrinthine magical bookstore that you thought only existed in stories. This place is WILD and clearly chock full of forbidden tomes that open portals to other worlds.
Get cozy and come with me on a magical journey. pic.twitter.com/DFS1n2Sv9z
Weirdly compelling: What 11 Fictional Characters Would Look Like If They Were Real People. The Jane Eyre is appropriately elfin!
If you haven’t listened to the series of Reith Lectures from Hilary Mantel, you should probably remedy that immediately. I found them life-affirming and inspiring. You can read the transcripts and listen to the original audio here.
How well do you know the castles of the world?
These ‘to be read’ origami stars are very charming. They’d make an excellent gift for your favorite reader… or you. (Trick! Those are the same person.)
The Women Who Travel podcast is back! ‘For all self-identifying women who want to see the world and chat about their experiences through a female’s point-of-view.’
Hey! It’s my favorite workout:
How to enjoy your workout pic.twitter.com/fThCC0VSwB— How Things Are Manufactured (@fastworkers6) September 25, 2022
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.
In this episode, we get excited about two new book releases: The Most Likely Club by Elyssa Friedland and The English Understand Wool by Helen DeWitt. Then Mel tells the twisty story of Rebecca The Musical on Broadway. [transcript]
Our write-up of the novel Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.
Watch a 90-minute documentary on YouTube.
Top image courtesy of Volodymyr Burdiak/Shutterstock.
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