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.
Scarborough is a seaside town in North Yorkshire, England. You might be familiar with that name from the Simon & Garfunkel song ‘Scarborough Fair’. But in the mid-19th century, it was a luxurious resort town where well-to-do Victorians went on a holiday to take the waters. That beautiful building above is the Grand Hotel. When it opened in 1867, it was the largest hotel and the largest brick structure in all of Europe. The hotel was designed around the theme of time: four towers to represent the seasons, 12 floors for the months of the year, 52 chimneys to symbolize the weeks, and 365 bedrooms, one for each day of a non-leap year. The hotel was a favorite of Anne Brontë, the author of Agnes Grey and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. She spent her last days there, taking the waters at the spa and riding a donkey along the beach, before succumbing to tuberculosis on 28 May 1849. Learn more in this video about the history of the Grand Hotel.
So relevant to our interests: A review of the book Around the World in 80 Books by David Damrosch. ‘If the field of world literature in the 21st century has become unwieldy — a contested collection of books or a network of overlapping discourses — Around the World in 80 Books performs a masterful trick of scale: translating world literature to the individual reader’s or traveler’s experience.’
Treehugger advocates for the Japanese practice of tsundoku, a.k.a., buying more book than you can read.
Love this marriage of poetry and fashion from Twitter; click through to see more. (ht Clever Manka)
Last year I discovered one of my favorite Arabic love poems. I spent the next year trying to figure out how to incorporate it into clothing somehow. Now that it's done, I feel like I completed a journey not just a collection. pic.twitter.com/hGcDvvdfhj— Iman (@imanwilliamss) December 22, 2022
Yes, please, sign me up for a holiday at any (or all!) of these 12 fictional hotels.
Sorta related: The Sylvia Beach Hotel in Oregon is a hotel for book lovers, a bed-and-breakfast with literary-themed rooms. ‘Each of the Sylvia Beach hotel’s rooms is decorated with mementos of famous authors — from Jane Austen to Alice Walker to Dr. Seuss… truly a retreat for readers, writers, and visitors who want to rest, restore, and read. There are no TVs, radios, telephones, or Wi-Fi at the Sylvia Beach, but who needs them when there are books and journals tucked into every nook and cranny?’ (Thank you to friend-of-SSoP Lisa M. for sharing this with us.)
Stories of paintings accidentally hung upside down will never not delight me.
Before we say a final goodbye to 2022, here are Crime Read’s picks for the best traditional mysteries of the year.
This is delicious fun: Getting Lost in the World’s Largest Stack of Menus. ‘You can feel the weight of history when handling these historical artifacts… If a menu is stained, it makes you wonder where the stains came from. What did the original possessor of the menu order? I imagined New York City’s hungry denizens enjoying unfamiliar dishes like pig’s knuckle in jelly or calf’s head with brain sauce. You might find yourself wondering what frostfish is when looking at a Waldorf-Astoria menu from 1901….’
Treat yourself to a whole lot of cute with this roundup of the top 9 children’s book illustrators from Culture Trip.
Name That Thing MegaQuiz! (I got 24/30.)
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: City Under One Roof by Iris Yamashita and Endurance: 100 Tales of Survival, Adventure and Exploration by Levison Wood. Then Mel talks about why Realm is her favorite new place to find awesome fiction podcasts. [transcript]
City Under One Roof by Iris Yamashita
Video: Iris Yamashita talks about writing City Under One Roof
Endurance: 100 Tales of Survival, Adventure and Exploration by Levison Wood
Walking the Himalayas by Levison Wood
Walking the Nile by Levison Wood
Real.fm — our new podcast network
Marigold Breach, starring Jameela Jamil and Mannu Jacinto
The Witch Who Came in From the Cold, a spy-witch story set in Cold-War-era Prague
Spark Hunter, a story of AI gone wrong with Mark Rylance, Vanessa Redgrave, and so many other awesome cast members
Top image courtesy of Gordon Bell/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 ©2023 by Smudge Publishing, unless otherwise noted. Peace be with you, person who reads the small type.