Up Helly Aa, Teen Sleuths, Heywood Hill Books, Pasta Love & More: Endnotes 03 February

Up Helly Aa, Teen Sleuths, Heywood Hill Books, Pasta Love & More: Endnotes 03 February

Friday, 3 February, 2023

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.


Up Helly Aa — literally ‘Up Holy (Day) All’ — is a festival of fire held in Shetland, Scotland, to celebrate the end of the Yule season. The participants are called guizers. They show up in costumes, carrying flaming torches (!), making a snaky parade through town, then setting a wooden (imitation) Viking ship on fire. It’s all very dramatic. The revelry kicks off in Lerwick, the capital of Shetland, with the largest festival. Although the red-hot action takes place after dark, the festivities in Lerwick begin right after breakfast with a morning parade. The evening entertainment starts with a processional and brass band. When fireworks light up the sky, that’s the sign for the guizers to set fire to their torches and begin their march to the galley awaiting its fate. The Lerwick Up Helly Aa was held on 31 January, and the ‘country’ Up Helly Aas will happen throughout the islands during February and March. You can watch the Lerwick 2023 Up Helly Aa on YouTube — and this ‘audioletter’ with mood-setting talk about Up Helly Aa and music is just fantastic. Fiery torches ahoy!

  • Loved this piece by Elizabeth Held for Crime Reads: The Enduring Appeal of the Teen Detective. ‘YA books transport adult readers instantly back to their adolescence. It’s a sensation compounded by the reminiscence bump, a psychological phenomenon that makes memories from that time period stronger than other times in our lives. All those emotions that mark the teenage years — helplessness, a desire for control and even, yes, the angst — come rushing back.’

  • Clementine Paddleford was a ground-breaking food journalist who ‘elevated food writing from dull and mundane to a delicious art form.’ This episode of the Fierce podcast digs into her fascinating life and bold career.

  • Sort of related: A brief history of the beloved pasta dish fettuccine al fredo. ‘…he personally prepared some fettuccine, using a semolina dough, and mixed it with very fresh butter and parmesan cheese. Then he said a prayer to St Anne (patron saint of new mothers) and served it to [his wife], saying, if it’s not to your taste, I’ll eat it.’

  • I’m very taken with the wooden automata made by Stoccafisso Design:


New Episode of The Library of Lost Time

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.

Photo courtesy of Serj Sakharovskiy/Unsplash.

In this episode, we get excited about two books: Cold People by Tom Rob Smith and Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your Life by Dacher Keltner. Then Mel shares the delicious history of Berlin’s currywurst. [transcript]


What’s a little thing that’s bringing you joy today?

Top image courtesy of konstantin belovtov/Shutterstock.

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Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got an epic cache of retro menus, upside-down paintings, top children's book illustrators, a short story from Robin Sloan, and more.
Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got a tasty essay from Andrew Sean Greer, the Miss Universe 'National Costumes,' great audiobooks, Queen Victoria's art, and more.
Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got the English Breakfast Society, a Gamache Read-a-Long, narrative paper sculptures, an ode to Lunar New Year, Word Daily, and more.

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