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.
The photo above combines two American icons: The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and Poppin’ Fresh, the Pillsbury Doughboy. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade debuted in 1924. It was originally conceived to promote ‘World’s Largest Store’ — 1 million square feet of retail space — at the kickoff of the holiday shopping season. In 1927, the enormous balloons were added to the festivities and included ‘a dinosaur 60 feet long attended by a bodyguard of prehistoric cavemen’ and ‘a 25-foot dachshund [that] swayed along in the company of gigantic turkeys and chickens and ducks of heroic size.’ Here’s the history of the parade and 47 fun facts about the world’s most famous parade. Our old pal Poppin’ Fresh was born on March 18, 1965, and starred in 500 commercials for Pillsbury products. This podcast tells the story of this adorable mascot in the words of its creator Rudy Perz.
Lizzie Post and Daniel Post Senning are the descendants of Emily Post, of etiquette fame. They’re charming and funny, and a few years ago, I was obsessed with their podcast Awesome Etiquette. In this article, Lizzie talks about how the centennial editions of the epic guide to manners has been updated for the 21st century. It now addresses the challenges of digital communication, to hug or not to hug, and personal pronouns. ‘If you don’t know someone’s pronouns… asking is the polite thing to do: Joan, what pronouns do you use? Note that you don’t ask what pronouns Joan prefers — an unfortunately common construction for this question.’
Sorta related: Helena Bonham Carter is the first female president of the London Library.
These paintings of nighttime Japanese street scenes stopped me in my tracks. See more on Keita Morimoto’s website.
Delicious! The Sweet and Sticky History of the Date.
This essay from The Everywhereist made me laugh and speaks the truth. You Do Not Need to Make a Pumpkin Pie From Scratch. Ever.
Delicious, Part 2: The Reckoning! On the podcast Obsessions: Wild Chocolate, host Rowan Jacobson’ elbows his way through the rain forest, crash lands into cocaine flyaways, and avoids a few too many anacondas, tagging along with modern-day Lara Crofts as they try to get their hands on some of the world’s most ancient — and expensive — cacao.
YES! NPR just released its 2022 version of Books We Love.
Also funny and full of truth, from LitHub: I beg you, don’t buy a novelty notebook for the book lover in your life this holiday season.
This is a great poem from Typewriter Rodeo:
Here’s an excellent gift for the mystery lover on your shopping list: a t-shirt or hoodie from Murder by the Book.
Our pal Whitney Matheson — creator of the now-gone but never forgotten blog Pop Candy — wrote a short film called Denny Barracuda. ‘Who on earth is Denny Barracuda? William has no idea, but he’s about to let her into his apartment after spending eight months in quarantine.’ You can watch it on Vimeo.
Test your knowledge on this quiz! You get a famous person, a landmark, and a food dish, then you guess the country. (I got 10/11.)
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 new books: The Secret History of Christmas by Bill Bryson and Wayward: A Novel (Wanderers Book 2) by Chuck Wendig. Then Mel takes us to the Germany of the Brothers Grimm. [transcript]
The Secret History of Christmas by Bill Bryson
Notes from a Small Island by Billy Bryson
Wanderers by Chuck Wendig
Wayward (Wanderers Book 2) by Chuck Wendig
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Culture Trip’s guide to the German Fairy Tale Route
Top image courtesy of Gordon Donovan/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 © 2022 by Smudge Publishing, unless otherwise noted. Peace be with you, person who reads the small type.