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.
As far as we know, that’s not a magical portal in the photo above. It’s the Dubai Frame, an observatory and museum in Zabeel Park, Dubai. Made of steel, aluminum, reinforced concrete, and glass, it soars 460 feet (140.24m) into the air. Would you be surprised if I told you it holds the record for the largest frame in the world? And TBH, it’s almost a magic portal: When you look through one side, you see modern Dubai, and when you peer through the other, you look back in time to the older parts of the city. For all you thrill-seekers out there, the observation deck at the top features glass floors that give you a peek down to the ground, so very far below.
The 2022 Scottish International Storytelling Festival starts next week. It features some great online events for those of us who can’t make it to Edinburgh. Download the program here and flip to page 22 for online events. I’m looking forward to ‘I Would Drink of Your Heart’s Blood,’ a story about a fairy woman on the Isle of Lewis. ‘Scottish folklore, poetry, and Greek myth are woven together into a unique storytelling performance.’
We were delighted to find our podcast Strong Sense of Place on this list of recommended bookish podcasts from Libro.fm.
In celebration of Spooky Season: How Witches Cast Their Spell on Art History. ‘There’s also Circe, sometimes hailed as the first witch, a minor goddess with a major understanding of potions and herbs as well as a magic staff that she used to transform her foes and rivals into animals. She is depicted living her absolute best life in a painting by Wright Barker, surrounded by lions and foxes that were presumably once her enemies. It looks like she’s just blown us a kiss. Mwah! she seems to say. F*ck around and find out. I cannot stress this enough: Do not make enemies of witches.’
Perhaps you’d like to visit Europe’s 5 most authentic Halloween destinations (Hello, Whitby!) or spend the night at the 13 most haunted hotels in the United States.
Is it art? Is it lighting? Yes! At the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.
Condé Nast Traveler features 12 women who made travel history, including the always-inspiring Amelia Earhart and lesser-known role models like Annie’ Londonderry,’ who rode her bicycle around the world in 1895, and British-Italian explorer Freya Stark, who traveled in the Middle East in the 1930s and wrote 24 books about her experiences.
Messy Nessy asks So What’s the Deal with those Ceramic Sicilian Heads?. ‘Behind the visage, so to speak, is a passionate folk story from Palermo, of love and jealousy, steeped in mythology and Sicilian history.’
Phew. These two poems from North Macedonia are brutally beautiful.
Dave and I signed up for this class about how to make a paper cabinet of curiosities. You can either enjoy the class live online or sign up to get the recorded version to watch anytime. Here’s a preview of the papercraft:
Add bookish goodness to your email inbox: I’m always happy to see Shayne’s Bookish Newsletter show up. Browse the archive or start with a recent favorite A Magical Mystery Tour.
Artist Craig Williams paints colorful birds onto the pages of vintage atlases, textbooks, and field guides: ‘Williams carefully chooses the pages for their connection to each specimen, such as a map of Tasmania that provides the background for a green rosella, a species endemic to the island.’ The results are whimsical and lovely.
In each mini-podcast episode, we discuss two books 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 books, one backlist and one new: Wakenhyrst by Michelle Paver and This Is What It Sounds Like: What the Music You Love Says About You by Susan Rogers. shares three reasons to put the tiny country of San Marino on your must-visit list. [transcript]
Perhaps you’d like to visit the Museum of Vampires and Lycanthropes (Museo Dei Vampiri E Licantropi).
Mel also mentioned the delightfully eerie ghost story Dark Matter by Michelle Paver and the Arctic episode of our podcast.
Top image courtesy of Wirestock Creators/Shutterstock.
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