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 feeling gouda because it’s National Cheese Lover’s Day! That’s right! It’s a day dedicated to the celebration of cheese. Did you know there are about 2000 varieties of cheese around the world? Don’t be bleu! We swiss you the best — and we’re not munsters — here are 10 grilled cheese hacks for your best grilled cheese ever. (Is mayo the secret to success?)
This essay by Andrew Sean Greer is about love, food, family, food-love — all the good stuff — and it includes a recipe for his grandmother’s fried peach pies.
I’m very excited to read the new novel City Under One Roof — I talked about it in this episode of The Library of Lost Time. Here’s a charming, insightful interview with its author Iris Yamashita.
Want to read something that will make you laugh out loud and improve your writing skills? Treat yourself to this essay from The New Yorker about grammatical pet peeves. ‘Usage preferences are preferences, not laws, and I sometimes switch sides. At a health club many years ago, the man on the stair climber next to mine, who knew I was a writer, told me that he despised split infinitives. If I had an opinion about split infinitives at that moment, it was probably that I despised them, too. The man annoyed me, though, so I said, “Oh, I love split infinitives. I use them all the time.” In an article I wrote not long after that, I made sure to use one or two, in case he was checking.’
On the Women Who Travel podcast: How Other Cultures Care for Their Dead—And What We Can Learn From Them.
A fisherman, 1930, Istanbul, Turkey pic.twitter.com/V3ha4qJ0Og— History Defined (@historydefined) January 17, 2023
Six Tips for Starting (and Maintaining) a Thriving Book Club.
New-to-me term: Shadowologist. ‘In my images, I always use the shadow of an everyday object and add a little drawing to turn it into something else.’
We should send Crime Reads a fruit basket to thank them for this epic list of 100+ mysteries, thrillers, and crime novels coming in 2023.
Hey, it’s us, over there! Pocket Casts — a pretty awesome podcast app — featured our Strong Sense of Place podcast in this collection of shows to help you learn something new. I found some new favorites: Where There’s a Will: Finding Shakespeare, The History of Literature, and Sidedoor, which goes behind the scenes of the Smithsonian.
The super-swanky Hudson River Rail Excursions are coming up again. The tickets always sell out in a heartbeat, so if you want to treat yourself, mark your calendar: Tickets are on sale today (!) and 17 February.
Comic Strips and the OED. ‘The area in which comic strips have made a big impact on the English language, however, is in characterization… H. T. Webster’s meek and timid Caspar Milquetoast gave his name to a class of inoffensive and ineffectual people, while George Baker’s inept World War 2-era soldier the Sad Sack continues to typify inept misfits in the English-speaking world.’
Spaceship? Magical Egg? Sauna?
I have mixed feelings about beauty pageants, but I unabashedly love when the Miss Universe contestants showcase their National Costumes. Miss Angola and Miss Cameroon are so fantastic! (And Miss Costa Rica is a giant hummingbird?!)
This class from My Modern Met looks like a fun way to turn your travel photos into embroidered works of art.
Esquire weighs in on the best celebrity memoirs of all time.
When Libro.fm invites you to make a playlist of your favorite audiobooks, you say yes!
Turns out, Queen Victoria was pretty good at sketching and watercolors. ‘A keen artist from an early age, the Queen made numerous sketches of her homes and family, the places she visited, and the people she met.’
The HarperCollins Union has been on strike since November 10, 2022. We stand in solidarity with the union. If you want to help, please consider a donation to the strike fund and/or sign up for this newsletter to stay informed about what’s happening.
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: Really Good, Actually by Monica Heisey and How to Sell a Haunted House by Grady Hendrix. Then Dave explains why the Tollywood movie RRR is the best action-adventure movie since Raiders of the Lost Ark. [transcript]
Really Good, Actually by Monica Heisey
Monica Heisey on a perilous trip to Paris.
Read an excerpt of Really Good, Actually.
I Can’t Believe It’s Not Better by Monica Heisey
How to Sell a Haunted House by Grady Hendrix
Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix
My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix
The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix
Top image courtesy of N K/Shutterstock.
Want to keep up with our book-related adventures? Sign up for our newsletter!
Can you help us? If you like this article, share it your friends!
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.