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.
Those giant paws above are found in Sigiriya, an ancient rock fortress in Sri Lanka. Way back in the 5th century, King Kashyapa built his palace on top of a small plateau, then decorated the sides with frescoes and a gateway shaped like an epic lion. After his death, it became a Buddhist monastery for about 900 years. Today, you can visit the beautiful royal gardens and the palace atop the rock, but pack some snacks — there are 1200 steps to the top! Here’s a video tour to give you the lay of the land. And National Geographic has the story of how the lion fortress was ‘swallowed by the jungle’ hundreds of years ago.
Good news for all of us! There’s value in owning more books than you can read. ‘The problem is that my book-buying habit outpaces my ability to read them. This leads to FOMO and occasional pangs of guilt over the unread volumes spilling across my shelves… But it’s possible this guilt is entirely misplaced. According to statistician Nassim Nicholas Taleb, these unread volumes represent what he calls an antilibrary, and he believes our antilibraries aren’t signs of intellectual failings. Quite the opposite.’
This is a delicious love letter to the food in the Inspector Gamache novels by Louise Penny: Even When There’s a Murder, There’s Also a Meal. And don’t miss this review of the new Three Pines TV adaptation from friend-of-Strong-Sense-of-Place Elizabeth Held.
WINTER FOLKLORE IN COSTUMES - A thread— Coffin Boffin (@DrSamGeorge1) September 28, 2022
Europe loves its folk festivals and Charles Fréger has lovingly photographed the most striking winter folk costumes - a delight to behold. Let me know your favourites & share your own!
1. Austria pic.twitter.com/WZJj2YK6aR
Jeremy Irons bought and restored an Irish castle. ‘In the midst of a creative crisis, the British actor impulsively purchased Kilcoe Castle, a long-abandoned fortress near the water.’ The photos are as dreamy as you’d hope.
Get in the spirit of the holidays with this webinar and podcast from the Bodleian Library about Christmas carol culture and performance in the medieval period. You can watch the video here and listen to the audio here. (I found it in my podcast app by searching for ‘The Bodleian Libraries (BODcast).’
Two words: Shetland Webcams.
Who said fairytales aren’t real?— Buitengebieden (@buitengebieden) November 27, 2022
📍Skógafoss waterfall, Iceland
🎥 IG: icelandwithsophie pic.twitter.com/DO3TQZv0wu
Pick up some new ideas for an old-style Christmas part in this essay from Collector’s Weekly. Would you choose An Emily Post Dinner Party or a Tiki Holiday Luau?
Pop quiz: Challenging SAT Words, Vol. 2.
I enjoyed this deep dive into the issues of ‘primogeniture, entailment, and inheritance; royalty, wealth, poverty, and social class; adultery and illegitimacy; colonialism and slavery; and equal rights’ that Jane Austen wove into her six beloved books.
Are you a reader and a gamer? Then Pentiment might be for you.
Pentiment, a video game where you play a 16thC illustrated manuscripts artisan in a small german town who wanders around solving murders and debating about martin luther, is my whole personality now pic.twitter.com/XtmQtOek00— Kathryn VanArendonk (@kvanaren) November 26, 2022
We love the Word bookshop in Brooklyn, NY, wholeheartedly. Their 2022 gift guides — for The History Aficionado, The Multi-Passionate, The Lover of Love, The Nerdy Type, and more — are filled with must-read titles.
Two publications you probably need in your life: the world’s most unexpected literary magazine Taco Bell Quarterly and the glossy pub covering all things gothic, ethereal, and magical Enchanted Living.
So much inspiration here: How to create a book nook – your own cozy corner to read and escape.
I enjoyed this counter-programming to all the ‘best books of 2022’ lists we’re seeing right now: The 23 Best (Old) Books We Read in 2022.
What could be more fun than eating a gingerbread man while reading The Gingerbread Men by Joanna Corrance? Perhaps read this ‘surprisingly dark history’ of gingerbread first!
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: Murder at Black Oaks by Phillip Margolin and Dickens and Prince: A Particular Kind of Genius by Nick Hornby. Then Mel makes her case that Betty Crocker’s Cooky Book is the best cookie cookbook on the planet. [transcript]
Murder at Black Oaks by Phillip Margolin
Gone But Not Forgotten by Phillip Margolin
Dickens and Prince: A Particular Kind of Genius by Nick Hornby
High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
About a Boy by Nick Hornby
31 Songs by Nick Hornby
The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby
From CrimeReads: The Joys of Incorporating Golden Age Cliches Into Contemporary Fiction
Betty Crocker’s Cooky Book by Betty Crocker
Top image courtesy of Dmitry Chulov/Shutterstock.
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